The Evangelical Smile

That cheesy, phony, artificial, mindless, mannequin-esque evangelical smile.

You know the one I’m talking about. It’s not really a smile. It’s a mouth in the vague shape of a smile, the kind of thing you get when you say “smile!” and pull the two ends of someone’s mouth upwards. There are only a couple of muscles behind it. In fact, it’s probably the same shape as a slack, hanging rope. There’s an equation for that, you know.


If this is you, we have to sit down and talk. All these evangelical smiles bug me. Did you read some kind of a book that told you God was a nice guy? Did this same book give you the idea that perpetual cheeriness is equivalent to holiness? I don’t own this book (though I do own several Bibles).

Holiness is not equivalent to happiness. Happiness is not equivalent to cheerfulness. Joy is not equivalent to emotion.

I know what a real smile looks like. Take that plastic grin off your face and talk to me.


3 Responses to “The Evangelical Smile”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    You know what’s really fun? When Christians give that smile to other Christians. A lot. Yeah. That’s *super* fun.

    I think people who resort to this smile use it because they are out of things to talk about–at least, anything edifying.

  2. Sometimes people also use that smile because they are excessively shy — as in, if they see I’m smiling, maybe the won’t see that I’m also terrified.

    (Guilty as charged.)

  3. I’m not sure. I think that’s a different smile, Christine. Because I’m talking about a smile you *only* see on Christians… smiley, evangelical, soft-focus-filter Christians.

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