Christian culture places great value on acting happy. It mandates that if you know Jesus you will know peace and joy, and it parlays these two things into acting as if everything in your life is perfect. (Remember, you are a walking advertisement for Jesus.) Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t once mention Jesus laughing. It talks much more about his lamenting than his rejoicing and it says he was a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Children are taught to act happy and be grateful. Refusing to smile for pictures is unacceptable. Being sorrowful or angry is de-emphasized and for the most part is considered somewhat shameful.
This is the new incarnation of the goatee in Christian pop culture. The goatee is quickly becoming the new mullet and this is the latest version of creative facial hair that is widely embraced among youth pastors, worship leaders and people ‘starting a ministry.’ (The ministry can take on various forms, per its definition.)
*Both the goatee and the soul patch are known in common vernacular as a “prison pussy.” Most Christian culture members are unaware of this term.