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File:Buddy christ.jpg

Who's awesome? You're awesome!


Jesus was way cool
Everybody liked Jesus
Everybody wanted to hang out with him

King Missile, "Jesus Was Way Cool"

It's an interesting phenomenon: Jesus is generally presented as an admirable or at least benign figure, even in non-Christian or even anti-Christian media. Atheists, Buddhists and authors of stories unflattering in their portrayal of the Almighty or religion in general are nonetheless complimentary to that nice Jewish boy. This is often used as a Take That ("Jesus was cool even if his followers all suck"), as a number of the examples show.

Of course, it's not always a positive thing. Portraying him as a cool dude can somewhat dent his gravitas as a religious figurehead, and as a result some Christians can get a bit offended by the perceived trivialization of their Lord and Savior, although obviously any work that openly promotes Christianity gets a bit of a free pass.

This characterization of Jesus may be used in works aimed at young children as an attempt to make them consider Christianity in general as "cool".

When Jesus surpasses "way cool" and delves into "Freakin' Badass", that's Kung Fu Jesus. Compare and contrast Jesus Was Crazy, Hippie Jesus.

Examples of Jesus Was Way Cool include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the manga Saint Young Men, Jesus and Buddha are best buddies living in Tokyo and generally enjoying the human world on their vacation, doing such mundane things as going to convenience stores, taking the train and buying souvenirs. Even though Jesus is depicted as a bit of a Bunny Ears Lawyer, it's affectionate rather than insulting.


  • In the Battle Pope series, Jesus is the hippie and oblivious sidekick to a Badass post-apocalyptic God-buffed Pope. Jesus Was Way Cool.
  • Garth Ennis, well-known for his Rage Against the Heavens/God Is Evil stories, sympathetically portrays Jesus in Chronicles of Wormwood. Jesus, or "Jay", is the African-American best friend of the titular Anti-Anti-Christ (both sons who hate their dads), who suffered brain damage from police brutality while protesting the Iraq War, and who has suffered psychologically for centuries from his overwhelming desire to do good.
  • In Valerian the Son is the most laid-back member of the Trinity of Hypsis, taking the form of a guitar-playing, weed-smoking hippie with stigmata. He once healed the comic's Satan Expy (who isn't really a bad guy either)!
  • Underground comic artist Frank Stack (aka Foolbert Sturgeon) did a few comic books with Jesus in the present day, quietly (mostly) observing humanity's less than stellar actions.
  • In Spawn, God and Satan, though neither are particularly malevolent toward anyone but each other, are portrayed as essentially bratty teenagers on a cosmic scale. Jesus, on the other hand, is not God's son, but His mother, and the true Creator of the universe. She (the entity is technically genderless, but usually given feminine attributes) incarnated herself on Earth in an attempt to make humanity better than her children. As can be imagined given this goal, religious fundamentalism gets her down.


  • Monty Python's Life of Brian is surprisingly non-scathing toward Jesus in a work that parodies His life and works; the Pythons rejected their initial concept of Brian as a forgotten disciple of Jesus because the laughs stopped dead whenever Jesus was around—none of them felt comfortable directly making jokes about Him. He remains in one scene where people mishear the Sermon on the Mount (which He is delivering straight), which basically epitomizes the real theme of the movie: the conflict between what Jesus said and what certain people thought (and still think) they heard. (The Pythons had hoped to persuade George Lazenby to play Jesus so they could proclaim "George Lazenby IS Jesus Christ!" on their posters, but Lazenby was busy.)
  • Although He never speaks and is only seen from behind or at a distance, Jesus appears as a background character in Ben-Hur. One memorable scene has Him giving a drink of water to the title character. A Roman Centurion tries to stop Him, but Jesus just stares at him without a word and the Centurion backs down.
    • In the original stage version, Jesus was played by a spotlight. Part of the contract from the author of the original book was that Jesus would not be portrayed by an actor.
  • Hair (theatre) - The title song references wanting "hair like Jesus wore it." Jesus was so cool, he had hippie hair 1,935 years before hippies even existed.
  • Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter has the titular character hunting vampires, doing Kung Fu, dancing, singing, and preaching tolerance for sexual minorities.

"Don't follow me. Follow my teachings."


"You know what He was saving us from was his fucking father!"

    • Of course, it's hard not to think his own issues may have played a part...
  • The View Askewniverse (the films of Kevin Smith) gives us The Buddy Christ, pictured above. This version of Jesus was part of the "Catholicism WOW!" campaign in Dogma as part of a move to boost Church attendance. Oddly, despite the cynicism of the move, Cardinal Glick's stated reasoning was sound: the symbol of Christianity being the cross was, to him, "wholly depressing". "Christ didn't come here to give us the willies! He came to help us out!" He has since cameoed in more than one Kevin Smith film since then (Smith's comic shop even had a life-size version in the store).
    • In a sense, he's right. Early Christians did not use the cross as a symbol as it reminded them of Jesus' torturous death. The more common symbols were the Ichthys or "Jesus fish" and the Chi-Rho. Even today many Protestant churches prefer an empty cross, emphasizing not the moment of Jesus' suffering but his triumph over death.
      • Actually, for many centuries after Jesus' crucifixion, official Church art didn't heavily use the cross but instead tended to depict Him in the styles of artwork that used to be used for pagan Gods; they were going with what they knew. It was particularly common for Jesus to be depicted in the same way that Apollo used to be in Roman art: a triumphant, conquering king. Around the time of the High Middle Ages, Western Europe began emerging from the height of the Dark Ages and rediscovering lost knowledge, with the first cathedral schools and universities starting up. Theological discourse developed, and "Christianity" started getting established as an ordered belief system more. This led the establishment of the idea that Jesus really wasn't very similar to the old Roman gods, and the whole reason He came to Earth was as an act of humility, mercy, etc. The result was a *major* change in artistic depictions of Jesus around the 12th century, a "humanistic turn" that emphasized Christ's suffering *as a man*: the whole point was that unlike Apollo or something, he *became a flesh and blood man* and suffered and died as one. Its from this point onward that the image of Jesus horribly crucified became such a primary symbol of Christianity.
    • Jesus was also mentioned several times by Rufus over the course of the movie. While other parts of the movie parody different parts of religion, specific references to Jesus himself pretty much match what's written in the Bible. From the descriptions, Jesus seems to have been fairly laid back (he apparently owes Rufus twelve dollars) and enjoyed listening to people talk more than anything else.

Rufus: He likes to listen to people talk. Says it sounds like music to Him. Christ loved to sit around the fire and listen to me and the other guys. Whenever we were going on about unimportant shit, He always had a smile on His face.

    • Unfortunately, He still owes Rufus twelve bucks.
    • The irony in the Buddy-Christ portrayal comes from Matthew 10:34, which is a very contested passage but, amongst other things, can be interpreted to mean that yes, Jesus did come to give us the willies—that was how he meant to help us out. He wanted to shake up the extant order of things. He wanted us to question ourselves and our beliefs. He wanted us to be nice to people for a change. (We think that's a pretty normal viewpoint now, but at the time...)
      • The other interpretation is that Jesus obviously knew that not everyone would accept Him or His teachings. Those that rejected them would often react violently to them, even if the one espousing them was their own flesh and blood. Salvation is Serious Business, and Jesus was warning the Disciples that they had to be prepared for the fact that following Him may mean having to abandon unbelieving family or be persecuted by them.
      • Out of the 13 apostles (14 if you count Paul), only one died a natural death, John author of Revelations. I think that Serious Business was the correct interpretation.
  • While most of The Last Temptation of Christ focuses on his internal strife over living as a man or dying painfully to fulfill God's will, the Wedding at Cana scene gives Jesus a sense of fun and humor. (Even better, the whole exchange is Canon);

Father of the Bride: It's been three days and I'm about to run out of wine.
Jesus: What's in those jugs over there?
Father: Just water.
Jesus: No, it's wine.
Father: It's water, I just brought them up from the river myself.
Jesus: Check again.
Father: (skeptically has a taste) It's wine!
Jesus: (smiling) Told you.



  • In The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, the main conflict erupts between the local druid/pagan factions of Britain and early Christians at the time of King Arthur. Even so, at least one prominent druid (Merlin, no less) remarks that he has never had a problem with Jesus, only with the way most people interpret His words.
  • Christopher Moore's novel Lamb the Gospel According To Biff is based entirely around this trope, portraying "the lost years" of Jesus' life between the events of the Gospels. Among its more notable scenes, Jesus: learns kung fu from Shaolin monks, learns to become invisible (by achieving Nirvana, to humorous effect with His friends and general consternation of the monks), becomes best friends with the last Yeti, and becomes a yoga master, which somehow lets Him create food out of thin air. This is all played relatively straight, however... and the character is portrayed very sympathetically. Jesus in the book... really is shown as being way cool.
  • Robert Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice paints God as a jerkass (though not evil), Satan as vaguely benevolent and both as mere peons before real deities, who run some sort of creation business. But Jesus and Saint Peter are both good guys.
  • Despite being irreverent towards religion in general, the beginning of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy still gives a nod to the man who was "nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change."
  • José Saramago's "O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo" (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ) makes a notable twist in the portrayal of Jesus; while he is sympathetic, in the end Yahweh leaves him to die alone, making his whole life a Shaggy Dog Story; even for works where God is evil and Jesus good this is unusual, specially considering that it is implied God might be a figured that Jesus envisioned rather than real. Naturally, many people didn't take this well...
    • Also, when John the Baptist appears in the book, Jesus is sorry for not being so cool as him.
  • Jesus is way cool and a generally nice guy when he comes down to try and sort out the plot of Robert Rankin's Armageddon: The Musical. His sister Christine, however, rather resents him getting all the press again.
  • In the book Deadline the main character has frequent dreams in which he talks to a character named "Hey-Soos". Hey-Soos is basically a tanner white robe wearing version of the 18 year old main character, has a calm, laid-back demeanor and is very supportive of main character Ben Wolf. He also likes to make jokes about his reminiscence of Jesus Christ through various means, one of which being when he made his hands bleed during a dream talk he had with Ben to freak him out, then laughing about it.
  • Attacked by CS Lewis, who pointed out that 'great humanistic teachers' do not go around telling people that there is no way to heaven except through them, and said that the only options for opinions on Jesus were 'Mad, Bad, or God'.
    • Of course, if you picked the 'God' option, then you would think he was cool. The message wasn't 'Jesus wasn't a good guy', it was that Jesus' life and teachings were 100% different to other moral teachers, and shouldn't be lumped in with them.
  • Philip Pullman's "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" is equal parts this and a Take That against organised religion (compare the many variations of "your Christians are so unlike your Christ" in Real Life below). It suggests that the "great humanistic teacher" and the Shameless Self Promoter, who CS Lewis considered so incompatible, were separate characters, with "the Scoundrel Christ" corrupting and profiting from the acts of "the Good Man Jesus", and that they were conflated by contemporary chroniclers.
  • In James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter, the second Messiah Julie Katz meets her older brother Jesus in Hell, where he tries to lessen the suffering of the damned. Although he initially comes across as a Jerkass, she eventually realizes Jesus Was Way Cool, and heads back to Earth to set things right with his blessing.
  • In The Catcher in The Rye, Holden states that he's "sort of an atheist" but he likes Jesus, though his disciples annoy him. He also believes that "Jesus never sent old Judas to Hell
  • The Vampire Lestat met Jesus in Memnoc The devil. At first Lestat was freaked out meeting the son of god, but then Jesus gave the vampire a drink of his very own blood. Lets just say allot of catholics were pissed about this.
  • In The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, one of the socialist characters who is openly opposed to Christianity admits that he is perfectly fine with Jesus, claiming that he was a practical man.

Live Action TV

  • French comic actors "Les Inconnus" once did a parody of Hollywood action flicks starring Jesus (or more accurately Stallone playing Jesus). The sketch, called 'Jesus 2 : Le Retour' (The Return) had Jesus introduce himself as "Christ, Jesus Christ", beat people up (a pun on "distribuer des pains" which can mean either 'give out loaves of bread' or 'beat people up'), turn the other cheek... only to knee his opponent in the crotch, stitch up his own wounds after being resurrected. "50 percent man, 50 percent God, 100 percent Saviour." (The sketch is on Youtube, but non-Francophones will miss most of the jokes.)
  • An episode in the second season of True Blood has this as well, with Godric interrupting a execution scene by the corrupt church, explaining that even some vampires think Jesus was a nice Guy.

Godric: "I am much older than your Jesus, I wish I had known Him, but sadly I missed it"

  • Subverted in Yes Minister. Hacker and Humphrey both agree that if Jesus had been around in their time, they would have had to suppress him because of "all those things about the meek inheriting the earth".
  • NBC's Community, season 2 episode 5, starts off with Abed not really religious or in favor of Christianity. Shirley manages to convince him to actually sit down and read the New Testament start-to-finish. While Abed doesn't convert or anything and still doesn't particularly favor "Christianity" the organization, actually reading the source material makes Abed change his mind and think that Jesus himself was pretty cool as He was depicted in the narrative of the New Testament (regardless of how "real" any of it was historically), or as Abed describes it "He was like E.T., Edward Scissorhands, and Marty McFly combined."
  • In How I Met Your Mother Barney credits Jesus with inventing a few of the cornerstones of Bro-ness such as the three-day rule and, notably, the high five.



Caiaphas: One thing I'll say for him — Jesus is cool.

    • This is averted in some later versions, which change the line to "Infantile sermons, the multitude drools."
  • As you might guess from the examples above, this trope is often (though far from always) an exemption from Religion Rant Song targeting.
  • Miranda Lambert's latest single "Heart Like Mine" has a chorus that goes like this: "I heard Jesus, He drank wine and I'd bet we'd get along just fine. He can calm a storm and heal the blind and I'd bet he'd understand a heart like mine."
  • "Jesus Is Just Alright", popularized by the Doobie Brothers, and later covered by Christian Rock act dc Talk.
  • R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe is often critical of religion in his lyrics, and says in "New Test Leper" that while he can't say he loves Jesus, the guy did make some good points.
  • Woody Guthrie's song "Jesus Christ" depicts Christ as a socialist rebel killed for speaking truth to power (and notably makes no reference to his resurrection).
  • Lady Gaga's "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion":

Jesus is the new black. AOWW!!


Praise be to MagicWoodyAllenZombieSupermanKomodoDragonTelepathicVampireQuantumHovercraftMeJesus!"




  • In the Reefer Madness musical, Jesus is just about the only cool person present. Almost all the other characters are pathetic, deranged, and/or sociopathic drug addicts, or they're incredibly square and easily manipulated rubes. Jesus, on the other hand, speaks out against marijuana as the lead singer in a heavenly night club, accompanied by a troupe of sexy, scantily clad angels. Even in a musical that satirizes anti-marijuana Aesops, this can't help but come off as awesome.

Joan of Arc: The Lord of Hosts, the stranger from the manger, the hardest working man in the afterlife: give it up for Jesus!
Audience Member: You rock, Jesus!


Video Games

  • Let's mention The World Ends With You as one of the few exceptions to the rule. Jesus, AKA Joshua, is not exactly evil, but he knows full well he's divine in nature, and boy does he have a superiority complex. Then again, he saves the main character's life, and in the end he's convinced that maybe Shibuya doesn't need to be destroyed.
    • And let's keep in mind that the above is only Fanon- Memetic Mutation, even. It would be a good deal more accurate to say that Joshua is God. Rule of Symbolism works better for that, too.
    • I dunno... 'He,' Joshua seemed more like the Devil or God's equivalent, but for Purgatory to me.
  • You know some of that stuff Jesus did? He did it in under 10 seconds. At least, that's what this game has you do.

Web Original

  • In The Salvation War, Jesus is definitely cool. He realizes how insane his father is well before anyone else and tries three times to help humanity (Jesus, Mohamed, and someone else, possibly Joan of Arc or Martin Luther), but after these attempts backfire and he sees how rapidly they are progressing, he decides to see what they can do to correct the injustices done to them on their own. Even after Michael the Angelic Anti-Hero sets him up to die by nuclear weapon, he still forgives him because he understands his motivation for doing so.
  • Subverted in Jesus Christ Supercop, which portrays Jesus as a stereotypical Cowboy Cop. Possibly not a benign version of Christ, and certainly not a nice Jewish boy... but you cannot deny that this Jesus is Cool.
  • In this I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC video, Iron Man is daydreaming about the opening day of The Dark Knight and how it's stealing the hype for his movie. Everybody is rejecting his movie (released a few months before) as being yesterday's news, but the culmination is the arrival of Jesus.

Jesus: My children, I have come back to you. The sheer awesomeness of The Dark Knight has brought about my Second Coming, and with it the Rapture, which shall begin immediately. ...after the 7:45 session. I gotta see this bad boy!

  • Richard Dawkins: Atheists for Jesus.
  • Santa Christ.
  • In the Mr. Deity series, Jesus isn't perfect, but he's almost always standing up for the general good of humanity and objecting to particularly unreasonably aspects of the way his father does things. Out of Mr. Deity (God), Larry (archangel), Lucy (devil and Mr. Deity's girlfriend), and Jesus, who are the four main characters, Jesus generally gets portrayed as being more concerned with doing good than the other three and more reasonable than Mr. Deity.


  • Jesus is a semi-recurring character in Penny Arcade, where he hangs out with Gabe and Tycho, playing video games and being a cool guy in general. Though he is apparently a bit of a poor winner at Street Fighter.

Gabe: What can I say? Jesus is fucking metal.

  • Quoted nearly word-for-word in this strip of Wigu.
  • Sinfest—in which Jesus Christ is the most awesome superhero since Barack Obama.
  • The Devil's Panties has "J.C.", who often hangs out with the comic's version of its creator Jennie Breeden. He's presented as a really cool, pot smoking "long haired hippie" who often waxes philosophical with Jennie and some guy with horns and has a Friendly Enemy relationship with the latter.
  • The now-discontinued Lowroad 75 featured Jesus in a few episodes. In one, the main character and her boyfriend were surrounded by ads for Christmas shopping ("Buy crap! Because you're stupid!"), then cut to Jesus sitting alone in his apartment, holding a cupcake with a single birthday candle in it. ("Nobody remembered. Again.")
  • A semi-regular character in Ansem Retort. He first came to train the cast to fight against Larxene (much to Marluxia's disappointment, who wanted a hot Latino). He later shows up to officiate over Axel and Aerith's wedding, for an "Old Testament" drinking party with Axel and Zexion, and most recently has joined Axel, Zexion, Riku, and Marluxia to fix the timestream.
    • For comparison, Ansem Retort is a comic that Crosses the Line Twice in nearly every single strip and takes shots at everybody and everything, usually in as crude a way as possible (and I mean that nicely). Jesus is probably the closest thing the comic has to a "good guy".
  • Sandra from Sandra and Woo thinks that Jesus was a swell guy, but she can't stand his fanboys. (see the strip)
  • In Evil Diva, Jesus runs a cafe where he gives out advice. And coffee, of course.

Diva: You're awesome.
Jesus: I get that a lot.

  • Heavily averted in The Brick Testament.
  • Appears very rarely in Elijah and Azuu, where he seems to take on a sort of cool older brother role for the various angels. Has an apparent tendency to answer all questions of morality with, "What would I do?" (much to the annoyance of divine beings looking for a little guidance). God has a similarly laid-back personality.

Western Animation

  • South Park, a Refuge in Audacity show if ever there was one, generally shies away from Crossing the Line Twice where its Jesus is concerned. The miracles and theology take some whacks, but Jesus himself is a generally nice and occasionally heroic character in a Crapsack World of loathsome misanthropes and buffoons.
    • Don't forget that he was part of the "Council of the Nine" in the Imaginationland trilogy - the most righteous and heroic characters in all of fiction. (Note that Aslan was a member too. Jesus is so awesome, he got to be on the Council TWICE.) Also doubles as a Take That.
    • He also has a rather fitting knack for Heroic Sacrifice. Of course he recovers.
    • They got it out of their system early on; the genesis of the show was in a short called The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Santa, in which the Lamb of God opens a can of whoopass on Kris Kringle.
  • Family Guy portrays Jesus as playing golf with guys on weekdays, and going to bars with God on weekends (Seth MacFarlane is an atheist).
    • But, according to Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, was a very bad magician.
      • And he's really short.
    • Brian is skeptical whether the guy is Jesus, so asks if he can perform miracles; He responds by changing everyone's meal into a hot fudge sundae. Then, at Peter's request, he makes Lois' bust about five cup sizes larger.
    • One cutaway portrayed Jesus as black.
    • He also entertains his friends by turning water into funk.

Black Jesus: I rode into town on an ass....(looks at screen) Yo' momma's ass!

    • Another episode portrayed him as Chinese

"I just came back from Heaven and I learned that Jesus is Chinese and His last name is Hong. Jesus Hong. I don`t know where they got the Christ."

    • At one point, Jesus shows up to convince the temporarily anti-Semitic Peter that Judaism and Christianity are two sides of the same coin. He then says that all religions are complete crap, earning a thank you from the atheist Brian.
  • In the New Zealand animated comedy series, Bro'town, Jesus stars in every episode as every episode starts in heaven with god telling a story using the main characters. Jesus is depicted as a hip but naive teenager who learns from gods stories.
  • The robot Jews believe that He was built, and that He was a well-programmed robot, but they don't believe He was the robot Messiah.
    • That's the Robot Jesus, who may or may not be related to Zombie Jesus or the Jesus involved in the Second Coming of 2443.
  • Clone High had Jesús, a Latino clone of the Nazarene, who would attempt to give sage advice to other characters but often ended up accidentally injuring himself.

Jesús: God has a plan for all of us. A painful, painful plan.
Caesar: Careful with that nailgun, Jesús!


God: "My Son went to Earth once. I don't know what you people did to him, but he hasn't been the same since." *Cut to Jesus sitting forlornly on a swingset*

    • They showed Jesus in another episode where Homer and Bart were being drawn to Catholicism. Marge had a nightmare where she went to the WASPy Protestant Heaven while Homer and Bart went to the loud, boisterous, Catholic Heaven. Jesus ended up in the Catholic Heaven, "going native".
    • Subverted in an episode about religion where Homer begins reminding the family of a certain cool guy with long hair and big ideas... but he's talking about a guy "who used to drive that blue car", whose name escapes him.
    • On another occasion, the bullies confront Bart after Lisa converts to Buddhism, responding to his "Who cares?" by telling him there's a man who cares, who has long hair, works as a carpenter, and has some crazy ideas about peace and love. His name's Gunther, and he's dating Jimbo's mom. Sometimes he buys them beer.
  • Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil, revolving around a pending Armageddon, has Jesus as a laid-back deejay.
  • In an American Dad Christmas episode, the Rapture occurs and Stan and Francine were left behind. Jesus comes back to lead people against the Anti Christ. He doesn't have his superpowers (except for being able to withstand freezing temperatures and Walking on Water), but he's still a badass. He's Hunky and charismatic and actually front flips onto the Anti Christ's shoulder and snaps his neck with his thighs. He's also allowed to date this time and Stan calls him the best guy Francine could ever end up with.

Real Life

  • C. S. Lewis was opposed to such portrayals of Jesus, writing: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
  • "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Mohandas Gandhi
  • Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, wrote a version of the New Testament that chronicled Jesus' good deeds and sayings without any references to the supernatural.
  • Neil Diamond didn't want to do a Christmas show until his mother told him, "Jesus was a nice Jewish boy."
  • Jesus is on the Deadpan Snarker article on this very wiki. Deadpan Snarkers are awesome.
  • "If Christ himself were alive, one thing he would not be would be is a Christian." - Mark Twain
  • As shown in Religulous, Bill Maher was severely outnumbered in a trucker chapel, and thanked his interviewees for their kind hospitality and their not-kicking-his-ass by saying, "Thanks for being Christ-like and not just Christians."
  • John Lennon's infamous Bigger Than Jesus quote (which was misquoted; see below) came from an interview in which he spoke about, amongst other things, the good Christ/bad Christian dichotomy that other famous dead people have commented on.

"We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first-rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

  • Comedian George Carlin, a well known atheist, in his stand-up routine included Jesus in his list of good people who were killed who wanted peace on Earth. His portrayal of Jesus in one of his audio books was very positive as well. In this portrayal he indicated that Jesus would probably be very disappointed in modern Christianity.
  • Although he dismissed Christianity in general as conducive to "slave morality", Friedrich Nietzsche viewed Jesus as his Worthy Opponent and as an Ubermensch who radically changed the views of society. He says (in a book entitled The Anti-Christ) that "the last Christian died on the Cross."
  • A Christian comedian, Mark Lowry, once discussed Jesus turning water into wine in his act. He said something like, "What I like about Jesus is that his first miracle wasn't healing the blind or raising the dead... his first miracle was to just keep the party going."
  • Eddie Izzard frequently comments on religion in his stand-up routines, and thus mentions Jesus on occasion. In "Dressed to Kill", he stated that he believed that Jesus existed and had "interesting ideas in the Gandhi-type area, in the Nelson Mandela-type area, you know, relaxed and groovy." Just don't take his name in vain. Or call him "Jeezy Creezy".

"Look, Dad, I went down there, I taught 'em to be hang out, be groovy, drink a bit of wine, they split into different groups! You've got the Catholics, the Protestants, the Jesuits, the Methodists, the Evangelicals, the free Presbyterians, the locked up Presbyterians... the Quakers, the Bakers, the Candlestick Makers... The Mormons are from Mars, Dad, we've had that checked out."

  • Prominent anarchist speaker and writer Emma Goldman had nothing good to say about religion, but stated in at least one essay ("Minorities Versus Majorities") that she respected Jesus for going against the dominant powers of his day and didn't entirely disagree with his teachings—just with the people who blindly follow them and use their religion as an excuse to persecute others.
  • Averted by G. K. Chesterton, of all people. As he says in The Everlasting Man, "The truth is that it is the image of Christ in the churches that is almost entirely mild and merciful. It is the image of Christ in the Gospels that is a good many other things as well...The Church can reasonably be justified therefore if she turns the most merciful face or aspect towards men; but it is certainly the most merciful aspect that she does turn....A man simply taking the words of the story as they stand would form quite another impression; an impression full of mystery and possibly of inconsistency; but certainly not merely an impression of mildness."
    • It should be noted that Chesterton's point is not that Jesus was not kind and merciful, but that to anyone reading the Bible for the first time with no preconceptions about Jesus would see someone who was certainly not afraid to show wrath.
  • Stand-up comedian Richard Herring has an entire comedy show, 'Christ on a Bike', devoted to how much of the Bible is utter nonsense if you try analyzing it sensibly, but admits that he quite likes Jesus, he just hates the evils that he sees as having been justified by Christianity and the Bible. As he puts it, "Jesus was a cool guy, a lot of the people who follow him are idiots. Jesus is a lot like The Fonz in that respect.
  • Philip Bowman, an Irish stand-up comedian, has an act called "Jesus: the Guantanamo Years." In addition to talking about Jesus' stay in Guantanamo (he was an Arab guy trying to take a plane into the United States and ready to die as a martyr, what did you think was going to happen?) Jesus talks about Himself in his stand-up comedy career. Come on, he goes around telling long stories about himself that go nowhere, yet slyly prove a point about life?
  • A rather famous 1980s skit by Rowan Atkinson was based around presenting this trope as a sermon.

The Bible

  • The Bible. Come on, this guy can turn water into wine. This makes Jesus a walking party. His first miracle took place at a wedding reception in which turned three bathtubs worth of water into good wine. Jesus can crash my party any day.
    • Not just good wine, the best wine. One guy even comes up to the host and says, "Dude! You are this humongous freaking breath of fresh air! Everyone else, they start out with the good stuff and then give you cheap crap when you're too smashed to notice. But you-you saved the best until the party was in full swing! Could you be more awesome?"
  • Here are some verifiable (Biblically-sourced, that is) facts about Human Body v2: Post-Resurrection; the ability of either teleportation or phasing through solid matter (Jesus appearing in locked rooms), some degree of mental obfuscation (disciples at Emmaus), indestructible (1 Cor 15:42), immunity to psy-ops (Rev 21:4 - no pain, no sorrow, no sadness). And a guarantee that all genuine Christians get these upgrades. Yeah, I'm thinking that this kinda body isn't that of a zombie, unless you're talking about Necrons. Specifically, Necron Flayers. With built-in warp-portal generators. Badass enough yet?
  • Dude was nice to the IRS guys. He came up with food for five thousand people (so okay, He yakked at them for hours before that first, but the only reason that they were there in the first place was to listen to him). He did the whole Walking on Water thing. In. A. Storm. Heck, He even tells the storm to SHUT UP! I'M SLEEPING! And the storm obeys. He can teleport, phase through solid walls, and doesn't even need Intimate Healing to actually heal someone. He's a Physical God, pure and simple, and at the end of it all He even gets to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence! Let's face it, no DM in the world is ever gonna let us roll up a player character this awesome.
    • And the only reason he bothered with this plane of existence - to get his ass kicked, no less - was to give us the chance to ascend to the higher one.
  • Not to mention the fact that he can expel demons in a way that would put a Arch Cleric to shame (6,000 in one shot), and self resurrect without any help, Take that Grand Mages.
  • Also, if you take one of the commonly held interpretations, Jesus was fully man though He was God in personality and being. Essentially, this means any human could do what He did if they were in tune enough with the will of God and faithful (as opposed to Him simply having the divine power while in mortal form). So Jesus's power would be based on sheer raw epic coolness. Corroborated after the whole telling the storm to shut up episode - he tells the disciples that "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move." Matthew 17:20. Which seems like hyperbole, but when you consider that he's proscribing physical dimensions to an intangible concept...
    • It could also mean that he knew a mustard seed has enough energy to move a mountain. After all, E=mc^2; the amount mass is irrelevant when compared to how frickin' fast light is.
  • From the cultural perspective of Israel at that time, Jesus was an anti-establishment rebel who ran around with a gang of young men, trashed temples, and told everybody that everything they knew about righteousness and morality is wrong.
    • Up the punx!
    • One of his disciples (Peter) even carried a sword around with him (though the one time he is reported using it, Jesus calls him out on it.)
    • He even gave his gang members awesome nicknames. Most famously, he gave Simon the name Petra (or Peter) which means "The Rock" in Greek. Oddly, no one translates it as "Simon called Rocky".
      • That's nothing. He renamed the sons of Zebedee the Sons of Thunder. How filthy a temper do you need to have for Jesus to be impressed by it?
  • Jesus was so cool, He gets a trope dedicated to how cool He is.
  • Let's not forget that Jesus worked as a carpenter — millennia before power tools. He would have been a burly, muscular guy, not the thin meek figure commonly depicted. Now imagine him chasing the crooked money exchanges out of the temple... with a Whip. (And not a Miracle Whip, mind you.)
    • Keep in mind, he was upending tables — which is even more impressive when you consider that some historians have suggested that those tables, given the era, would have been marble.
  • He later (1300 years, give or take) appears to Julian of Norwich (who 'wrote' "Revelations of Divine Love") and told her, after showing her multiple fairly horrific visions, that "It has been behooved that Sin should exist; but, All will be well, and All will be well and All Manner of Thing will be well..." which is the basic belief of Universalists (Julian was described as a Proto-Universalist) that, even the Traitor (Satan) can be given the chance, even in Hell to be redeemed and Return to Paradise with the Father. It's very cool.
  • Jesus' got his first fan (John the Baptist) just minutes after being magically introduced in Mary's womb.
  • Averted for many, many people, right around John 8:58, or, y'know, when he makes his own claim to fame. Basically put, he claimed to be one with the God of the Hebrews, the transcendent God of all existence, as a manner of begetting, which means either he was was telling the truth, or was one of the world's greatest psychopaths.
    • If what Jesus said was the truth it changes from Jesus was (past tense, implying that Jesus is still dead) way cool to he is (Jesus is still with us) way cool. Being God is pretty cool.

Other Religions' Interpretations

  • The Holy Quran. Jesus (PBUH) could talk in the womb, and he wasn't killed. God raised him to the sky and made his enemies confuse another man for him.
  • Jews vary a little more in how they see him. Relatively few Jews have any qualms with him. Most of their issues come from the Book of Revelation.
    • Well, and Matthew 27:24-25.
      • Still didn't keep Pilate from getting a (deservedly) bad rap. You don't get away with killing someone that cool by washing you hands.
      • It is also worth noting that the Jews didn't exactly get along very well with their Roman overlords in any other areas of society besides, what with the destruction of the second temple being only forty years after. Jesus' disaster with Pilate wasn't exactly an isolated incident of Roman-to-Jew Jerkassery, just the most famous one.
    • Mehhhh, if so, this is because most Jews are secularized and live in Christian environments where they don't want to stir the pot. And Jews in the past would have been killed for doing so. Theologically speaking, if Jesus really unravelled commandments that God endlessly repeated were not to be undone, then he poses a pretty big problem for observant Jews.
      • Not just that—from a Jewish perspective, claiming to be a prophet with the message that laws should be changed is heresy worthy of the death penalty, to say nothing of claiming to be the son of God. Just because they don't always say it loudly doesn't mean Jews don't have issues with Jesus.
    • There's a difference between not believing that Jesus was *right* and not *liking* him. Obviously, most Jewish people don't believe that Jesus was actually a divine figure, but very few of us think that he was anything but a very good person.
  • In Gnosticism Jesus is usually depicted as an emissary of the Good God, whatever their interpretation of Jehova. However, most Gnostics did not believe in salvation in the modern sense.
    • Averted with the Mandaeans, who believe that Jesus was a false prophet, and that John the Baptist was the true messiah.
  • Some think he's actually a pretty cool Trickster God.
  • There is an organization called Atheists for Jesus. Professor Richard Dawkins wrote an article with a similar title and theme, though he was not aware of the Atheists for Jesus website at the time.
  • Many Buddhists, including the current Dalai Lama, view Jesus as a Bodhisattva, an enlightened being who abstains from nirvana to help other humans attain it, and sometimes study portions of the Christian New Testament.
  • Many Hindus, who tend to be extremely accepting of other religions, believe that Jesus was an avatar of Vishnu, and that in healing people and allowing himself to be crucified, he was actually accepting the karmic load of the people around him.
    • That last bit is actually how Christians basically see it, just replacing "the people around him" with "every last human being ever born, ever". (Heroic Sacrifices are a universal trope.)
      • Well, the entire planet is "around" him, isn't it? From the perspective of someone on Mars, the entire human population might as well be standing three inches from his face.
  • Porphyry, a Neoplatonist philosopher of the third century and the author of the mostly lost, fifteen-book-long treatise Adversus Christianos (Against The Christians), famously stated that

The Gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect.