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Why is Christianity so gloomy?

Over the years, I must have seen thousands of paintings, sculptures, depictions of God, Jesus, saints, Biblical characters. I don’t ever recall seeing anyone smiling or laughing. Since joy and humor are so integral to being human, I wonder why.
I do, of course, realize gloominess isn’t limited to Xtianity (I love Bodhidharma’s ill-temperedness!), just that it’s the religion in which I’ve seen most works of art.
Love all these answers, but I was blown away by
Talk about the exception proving the rule!


  1. well, it’s full of people with low self-esteem, seeking righteousness and a purpose in life from imaginary cult characters.
    what did you expect?

  2. Come to think about it, I’ve NEVER seen a portrait of Jesus smiling.
    This might be the best point I’ve read here all week. Kudos.

  3. Yeah, a lot of Christians seem to be like that—particularly the ones who attended the churches I used to go to. A lot of them seem to be overly fixated on all that burning Hell stuff, too. Like “Do this, this, this, this, and this or else you’ll burn in Hell, where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth!”
    Really uplifting, eh?

  4. your thinking of the catholics with the saints and things,they are always trying to scare you it seems

  5. We “Christians” are not all gloomy…admittedly, we do take life more seriously than many others,however….check out my avatar….hangs head in shame…I am just so silly.

  6. Most of the Christian art that you see is from a certain period of time when everybody looked gloomy. More recent artwork shows Jesus laughing or smiling.

  7. I’ve never noticed that before, but now that I think about it you’re correct.
    There are many works that focus on the anger and judgment of God, rather than His love and forgiveness – the core belief of Christianity.
    You’d think that there would be more works that focus more on those aspects of God, rather than trying to scare people into Heaven.
    Good point.
    God bless.

  8. Christianity is about fear, hatred, money and power. I don’t see happiness and smiles in there anywhere do you?

  9. Because it’s a serious religion, as are all the Abrahamic religions. I’d be willing to bet if someone painted a portrait of Jesus with a big grin they’d be persecuted by the Christians!


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