Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More in the Plain Crazy Religion Series: Underwear-Themed Deadly Sins, Cain Breaks into Song, Rome Preaches the Gospel in Latin

And on the religion-can-be-plain-crazy front (have I mentioned that that seems to be the theme of everything I've chosen to post this morning?), there's this--in case your appetite hasn't already been sated by reading about Mississippi's FEP bill and Bully Bill Donohue's defense of the indefensible:

1. If you need to brush up on your catechism lessons, especially re: the seven deadly sins, fashion designer Andrew Christian has just created an underwear-themed guided to the capital sins.  And he's helpfully provided both gay and straight versions.  The gay-themed series is here, and the straight one is here.  These links lead to YouTube videos, in case readers need to know ahead of time that they're clicking on a link that will bring them to a video.  And it goes without saying (I did use the phrase "underwear-themed," didn't I?) that these videos are mildly risqué, though I'd judge them not much more so than just about anything one can encounter on television these days.  They're not, after all, in that section of videos YouTube has set aside, which require you to verify you're an adult before watching them.

For me, the videos are more funny than racy.  Steve concurs: as I played them through before posting, he just observed, "Oh, so that's what sin music sounds like!"  And I have to wonder, as I think about these catechetical knock-offs, if those of us interested in religious education might well benefit from finding some new, smarter, more tech-savvy ways of communicating our lessons to the younger generation about whose abysmal lack of religious knowledge we're inclined to groan (h/t to AfterElton for the links to the Andrew Christian videos).

2. And then there's this: when the press is grilling you about sexual harassment cases you've forgotten, but in which you've made pay-offs, break into song.  Better yet, sing a rousing hymn (the preceding link is to Anthea Butler's brilliant analysis at Religion Dispatches; for Pam Spaulding's typically incisive take at her House Blend blog, see here).  Choose a rousing hymn about the virtue of forgiveness.  And do all of this on Halloween.

3. And when you want to teach Catholics how best to evangelize in the world today, do it all in Latin.  As Robert Mickens reported in one of his "Letter from Rome" columns in The Tablet on 22 October,* the Vatican hosted a conference about what it likes to call the "new evangelization" on the weekend of 15-16 October.  Some 8,500 people from around the world, including the military archbishop of Colombia, the superior of a thriving group of new singing contemplative nuns from Spain, and two Italian t.v. celebrity hosts attended the gathering, which was organized by Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

The whole shebang ended with a Mass at St. Peter's, entirely in Latin.  You know, the language the common people, those we're trying to reach with the gospel message, speak.  Only the prayers of the faithful and the liturgy of the Word--with the exception of the gospel itself, which was chanted in Latin by a deacon of the Legionaries of Christ--were in languages now spoken anywhere in the real world.

Religion: gotta love it.  When it's not plain crazy, it can be downright silly in a way that keeps us laughing (or crying)--some of us, at least.

*The article is behind a subscribers' paywall at The Tablet website.  I'm grateful to Jim McCrea, who is a subscriber, for emailing me a copy.

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