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Making Social Change a Joke

I like comedians. But I never really linked comedians with social change, until recently.

In an earlier post Kirstin shared about how she discovered she was the 'employer' of 36 slaves. For a long time we've known about sweat-shops and the 'modern day slave trade.' And events like the 2013 Bangladesh garment factory collapse remind us about these relatives, but it seems we're quick to forget. Thankfully, I've seen a growing number of solid Christians making decisive efforts to do our part and change the way we shop, which is absolutely fantastic. But how can we bring about mass social change, like Wilberforce and his buddies did years ago?

Perhaps through comedy..?

I've become a fan of John Oliver, not just because he's funny, but also because he's been able to tackle some difficult issues head on: the death penalty, America's nuclear arsenal, the struggles of chicken farmers to name a few. And what's impressed me is that he seems to be making real change (or at least call people to account) all while making us laugh. Which raises the question: if he can do this, presumably because it's a niche in the entertainment space that he's filled, then how much more should we be engaging these issues as people motivate by the Gospel?

(Note: Not everything John says is... as polite as we might find in Christian circles. It goes without saying that NZCMS does not endorse everything he says!)


Should we seek to bring about change the way John Oliver is? What difference should the Gospel make to the way we approach these sorts of things?

Watch the video. Share this with some friends and ask yourself whether you should make changes to the way you shop.


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