GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

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Birds in dockers?

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Welcome back to our week-long look at the risky world of religious humor. Today we take wing with . . .

Lark News

Right from the trademark – a bird in belted Dockers slacks – Lark News shows a birds’-eye sharpness for faith-based foolishness. The Denver-based monthly uses satire in the best tradition: taking odd trends to ridiculous extremes.

This week’s lead spoof has congregants praising a pastor for having supernatural insights into their lives, when he’s actually just reading their social networking sites. Another piece tells of a college group starting a ministry to men with ponytails, considering them an “unreached” group.

Check out the past stories, too. They include a man losing friends for constantly asking forgiveness. In another, a pastor turns his church into a coffee bar after finding the frappes got more raves than his sermons. Still another headline: “Small Group Members Decide to Stop Feigning Interest in Each Other.”

Lark News even makes fun of Internet conventions. A giant-print version serves the visually impaired; a computerized voice reads stories for the hearing impaired; and a high male voice recites for the benefit of eunuchs.

The free site gets money partly by selling cheeky T-shirts. They bear slogans like “I Love Cheeses,” or “I Worship Better than You Do,” or “Jesus Loves You! Then Again, He Loves Everybody.”

Obvious target audience for the column is the evangelical world, and much of the humor would be classified as gentle or “cute.” But for others who want to see evangelicals laugh at themselves – or who may want to load up on ammunition against them – it’s a worthwhile read as well.

Either way, take advantage of the pull-down menu at the upper right-hand corner. It’ll yield back issues of Lark News all the way back to January 2003.

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Written by Jim Davis

August 10, 2008 at 3:24 am

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