… My love of Catholic kitsch is a well documented fact. If it’s tacky and Catholic in theme chances are I am going to love and adore that object and give it a place of honor in my home. The more craptastic the better. I think it started as a young girl when I would gaze with child like wonder at my Abuela’s velvet Madonna hanging in the hallway. It’s a magnificent thing to behold, adorned with glitter and bedazzled to the hilt. All this splendor sat in a silver tin frame with angels and flowers etched into the metal. If I am ever lucky enough to have this heirloom fall into my possession it will sit behind a glass case, like the Mona Lisa, in my home under a spot light. I would charge admission and people would come from miles away to venerate Her. I get a tear in my eye just thinking about it.
But what purpose does kitsch serve and why does it mostly endear itself to me? Would you find this toaster offensive or would enthusiastically invite Father over for a cup of tea and toast for the opportunity to show off your newest kitschy acquisition?
“Are these items harmless, or humorless and offensive? Christian kitsch is becoming a mainstream commodity, making waves in Christian retail on Internet sites featuring odd items.
“There are some disconcerting side effects to watch out for in the world of Christian advertising,” noted James Beverley, in an interview with The Christian Post. “Any promotion that uses Gospel symbols to sell non-spiritual products increases the chances of non-Christians thinking that all Christians are interested in is money.
“There is also the danger of cheapening the value of Christian symbols by direct connection with various products of modern capitalism,” said Beverley, professor of Christian thought and ethics at Tyndale University in Toronto, Canada.”
I’ve always felt that if we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves we’ve lost the ability to laugh at all.
Feel differently, sound off.