Seth Says Hullo (Hello?)

I had a Skype message this morning from Seth J. DeMoor. He’s a young American Catholic who’s just started a blog called “Not on His Time”. I got this picture from one of his posts. Tell me, do you think the picture is blasphemous – or just good fun?

drivingtoofast

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12 responses to “Seth Says Hullo (Hello?)

  1. I’m not at all comfortable with that picture, Mr. Schütz. It trivialises the literally excruciating agony and death of Our Lord on the Holy Cross. The Sacrifice of Calvary should never be used, regardless of how indirectly, as the stuff of jest.

    • Any other thoughts? Is this picture blasphemous?

      • As time has gone by I have become progressively less comfortable with this kind of thing. When I was younger and even after my renewal of faith I would have found this pretty amusing and considered it harmless.

        My current rule of thumb is to laugh uproariously at myself and my co-religionists but never to laugh at Our Lady or Our Lord, especially, as Pole notes, with regard to the crucifixion. Now that I think about it, “The Passion of the Christ” probably has done a lot for me in that regard.

        • “My current rule of thumb is … never to laugh at Our Lady or Our Lord, especially, as Pole notes, with regard to the crucifixion.”

          Precisely, Louise. Surely the Passion of Our Lord should simply be off-limits to even the most well-intentioned joking?

      • “Is this picture blasphemous?”

        That was my initial reaction, and in my first draft of that comment I said so, and requested that it be removed. After further reflection I think that it is probably blasphemous, and certainly at the very least it is grievously impious, and that it should be removed. Piety is a Gift of the Holy Ghost. In any conflict between piety and ‘sense of humour’, piety should win. Secularists seem to value a ‘sense of humour’ inordinately (one hears from time to time of surveys in which it is rated the most attractive thing in a prospective spouse) but I don’t see why Catholics should compete to see who can be the most facetious.

  2. Also, I’m not fond of secularists laughing at even my co-religionists any more. I’m pretty sick to death of this one-sided Tolerance and Respect thing they have going.

    For example, my beloved mother who no longer practices the Faith, but whom I have never heard disparage the Church – ever – will shortly be performing in a comedy called “Messiah.” (she is an excellent local actress). It may or may not be blasphemous, but if she asks me would I like to see it, I will very gently tell her that I would not like to attend.

    I actually think many things were different even 20 years ago, but my sense of humour is now affected by the general sense of anti-Cahtolic and anti-Christian hostility in Australia.

    • One aspect that leads me to think this is just good fun, rather than blasphemy, is that there is the absence of derogation of our Lord. It might be flippant – and that in itself is probably a problem – but if it is having a go at someone, it is Catholics who speed, despite their profession of being “law-abiding” and moral, not at our Lord. Catholics often have rosaries hanging from their mirrors (I do) just like Protestants often have “Forgiven not Perfect” or fish symbols on their bumper bars. When we drive around advertising publically our religion, we have to realise we are being ambassadors for Christ.

      I dunno. I’m interested in hearing more reactions.

  3. Peregrinus

    1. I don’t think this is a big deal, one way or the other.

    2. My first thought was that, as a joke, it was pretty feeble, and pretty silly. (Sorry, Seth, if you’re reading, but I gotta call it like I see it. Console yourself with the thought that humour is always subjective.)

    3. It’s devoid of any theological content, so far as I can see. Therefore, it’s not blasphemous. I tried to read something into it about Christ clinging to the cross but, nah, there’s nothing there.

    4. If it’s derogatory, it’s derogatory of Catholics, or perhaps of certain expressions of Catholicism. It calls attention to the practice of hanging rosary beads from car mirrors, and to the pointlessness of that practice. (Rosaries are aids to meditative prayer, people, not lucky charms.)

    (4A. Sorry, David, I’ve just seen your confession that you hand a rosary from your rear view mirror. I hadn’t spotted it when I wrote the above. Since you’re asking for reactions, and in the interests of honesty, I’ll leave my comment to stand. Can you forgive me?)

    5. It could also suggest that an attachment to the rosary is not associated with a meditative and reflective life, but rather with a hectic and irresponsible one. But that’s reading an awful lot into something which is feeble and silly to begin with.

    6. Is there anybody I haven’t offended yet? I’d better stop here.

  4. I actually would have thought it was quite cute several years ago – and I fully recognise that humour is a fairly subjective thing, so – no condemnation from me. Just sharing my own reaction.

  5. I don’t think it is blasphemous, since as you also point out David, the element of reviling God or the Christian faith is not present, But I would say it is irreverent, and that is a growing problem in our day and age that does concern me.

  6. Tom

    I thought it was pretty funny. I certainly had a chuckle when I thought about it while driving in the car with a friend of mine – every car in her family has a rosary hanging from its rear view mirror. And she speeds. And the rosary swings about a little.

    Yeah, I don’t see how it’s necessarily impious or irreverent. It’s making a joke about a custom of some Catholics. It doesn’t really say anything about Christ, or the Cross, or the Church.

    As a question of piety – well, does piety always have to be somber? I will grant that in the liturgy and sacraments that are part of such, piety is always somber, it is not the place for a laugh or a chat with your friends. But in a more open context, nothing wrong with having a laugh.

    In so far as one is ‘pious’ or has ‘piety’ then it seems to mean a disposition to be earnest or sincere in the practice of one’s faith. Since Catholicism is by necessity communal, sometimes piety will involve having a laugh with your friends – not suggesting irreverently, at inappropriate moments, but sometimes, yeah. Overall, I think it’s hard to charge this with being blasphemous.