Your RDA of Irony

Mass Marketing


Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the “Christian Ramadan” in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity. The Catholic charity Vastenaktie, which collects for the Third World across the Netherlands during the Lent period, is concerned that the Christian festival has become less important for the Dutch over the last generation.

“The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent,” said Vastenaktie Director, Martin Van der Kuil.

Religion and marketing have long been synonymous. Perhaps Apollo and Thor could get along just on their charisma, but monotheism definitely needed a sales force. Invisible divine curmudgeons just don’t sell themselves. Being first, Judaism did have a certain brand loyalty but all those dietary laws were never “user-friendly.” Christianity initially marketed itself as Judaism-Lite, but then vastly expanded its appeal by absorbing pagan ideas and institutions. Saturnalia became Christmas, and Isis became the Virgin Mother. Some pagan gods simply were converted into saints. Ireland’s St. Brigid is the altar ego of the Celtic goddess Brigid. The saint even kept the attributes and sacred wells of her pagan self. So Jesus saves and recycles!

Now, the Catholic Church has to convert or at least retain the apathetic young. The crucifixion could be described as extreme body-piercing, and the Mass could be done in rap. Why not make the Gospels into a video game. For the small children (to come unto us), there can be Pax Man–who gobbles up Pharisees and demons while being chased by the Romans–who all look like Super Mario. For the ‘tweenagers and older, there can be Grand Theft Apotheosis. The player can start by hijacking a Jewish cult, fight gang wars with rival sects (watch out for those Arians), and eventually deal, steal and kill until he becomes the boss of western theology.

The one drawback to the game: knowing the actual history is unlikely to inspire any reverence. So, if the Church really wants to be relevant to today’s European youth, why not ask for a miracle? Those saints have nothing else to do, and even God must owe the Church a few favors.

  1. JC says:

    Jesus as the original recycler? I can see the ads now.

  2. Reading the semaphores of Dave Traini:

    How about change the fish symbol to chicken tenders and the holy trinity to Manny, Mo, and Jack?

  3. Rothgar says:

    Oh God. Help me survive your emissaries.

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