What is a Christian Side Hug? Does it Hurt?

People have been staring at their computers in an open-mouthed gape, at the latest Internet video, the Christian Side Hug.

I've got three words for this: WTF?

Is this a real thing, or a very clever satire? Part of me — a really big part of me — hopes it's just a joke, and that I, along with hundreds of thousands of other people, have been tricked.

  • Nothing makes kids want to do something faster than telling them not to. Tell kids WHY they shouldn't "front hug" and they'll want to do it more.

  • There are several lines, as well as sound effects, that really make this video seem violent. That is, why are they all getting shot at the end of the video? The message is "hugging is not okay with Jesus, shooting huggers is."

  • These guys can't rap.

Update: It turns out, this really IS a joke. Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune writes that this is self-deprecating of the real Christian side hug, which some Christians really do practice.

Johnson says "even some in the Christian community greet the concept with, well, a side hug."

"It's not a mockery of the faith," Ryan Pann said. "It's a mockery of the act of the Christian side hug."

Nice one. You guys had me fooled.

(Thanks to my friend Dave Kellogg for alerting me to the joke.)
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