Christian Missionaries to Brooklyn Unsure if Ironic New York Hipsters are Really Serious About Christ
August 27, 2009
Brooklyn, NY-- Christian missionaries from the Landover Baptist Church have hit a roadblock in their efforts to bring the word of Christ to the people of Brooklyn, as they are completely unable to tell if the ironic hipsters of the New York City borough are actually serious about their interest to learn about Jesus.
Hipsters are a subculture of city-dwelling twenty-to-forty-year-old's who are marked by their self-perceived creativity, outlandish and vintage sense of fashion, appreciation of independent music and films, and irritating ironic personalities.
The trouble all started when efforts to convert the artistic and well-educated scenesters were met with overwhelming success.
"The figures right now are drastically different than any other region or demographic group we’ve come across in the past," explained missionary John Carlton of Freehold, Iowa. "These are young people coming from upper-middle class families who hold college degrees, yet our success rate has been dubiously high."
Traditionally young Caucasians with college educations are near-impossible to witness to, but the ironic New York hipsters can't seem to get enough of the message these missionaries deliver.
Carlton continued, "On a good day we may be lucky and convert an old Korean woman at the senior center or a strung-out meth addict at the homeless shelter, but to get these kinds of numbers from this demographic is unreal." Carlton added, "Right now we're getting eight out of every ten people we speak with to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. To put that number into perspective: during our trip to Mozambique last winter we were only converting six out of every ten people, and we were giving them food and water in exchange for their testimony."
Missionary to Brooklyn John Carlton can't decide if he's just saved three souls or been made fun of.
While the Christians are winning a high ratio of hipster souls, many of them are worried about the sincerity of the people they are witnessing to.
"I spent an hour yesterday at an organic fair-trade vegan sidewalk bistro eating $30 hand-crafted artisan arugula tacos with a young girl wearing a granny dress and a pair of non-prescription thick-framed bifocals. After I stressed the dangers of hell and her eternal soul she said 'Suuuuuuuuure, I'll become a Christian,'” explained college sophomore and church member Becky Gilmore. “While at first I was exhilarated to win my first soul, it dawned on me that something about her tone sounded insincere.”
Many of the hipsters the team has converted did so with smirks on their faces while others tweeted during the Lord's Prayer and took pictures of themselves with the missionaries for their Myspace pages.
Caleb Norwood, a bicycle coffee deliver boy and freelance part time DJ went so far as to call all of his friends to come watch him get baptized.
"It was really difficult to concentrate on the ceremony with all of his friends hysterically laughing the whole time," said John Carlton.
The missionaries were especially taken aback by how many of the ironic hipsters have never even heard of Jesus Christ.
"We knew the situation was going to be bad going in, but we had no idea how dire the reality was," said Nolan Mason, a member of the group. "To speak with white twenty to thirty year old men and women of apparent middle-class upbringings in the American Midwest that have flat out never heard the name Jesus Christ is truly heart-breaking."
"Skinny white guy, long brown hair, beard, white robe, turned water into wine, fed an entire village with one loaf of bread, walked on water, died and then resurrected," an exasperated and sweating Carlton preached to a dumbfounded-looking audience on a street in Bushwick. "None of this is ringing a bell?"
Roughly 95% of the hipsters the team have encountered were totally unaware of Jesus Christ, even as a historical figure, while a scant 5% confused him with various pop culture figures from the 1980s including John Hinkley Junior, Conan the Barbarian and the robot from Short Circuit.
"Jesus Christ? He was the actor from that sitcom about the guy who pretended to be gay so he could live with two female roommates, right?" Park Slope resident Meghan Ryan asked.
“They’re so quaint and authentic,” Josh Watson, the bearded bassist for the underground post-rock band Al Gore and part time freelance graphic designer explained. “Having people like them around reminds me of my boyhood days in Wisconsin. The least we can do is humor them.”
Tonight the missionaries pack up and fly back to Iowa, unsure if their mission was an overwhelming success or abject failure. When asked if they were excited about how many new souls they had brought to Christ the missionaries huddled up for a long time and finally replied with “We don’t know.” While the results of this trip have been a mixed bag, the Christians are looking forward to their trip to Chicago in November, where they will witness to improvisational sketch comics.