East of Eden
Stars, stripes and saints.
Happy Independence Day! Soooo... how are you liking that picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary wrapped in the American flag? I saw it and thought, "Wow... just wow." David Gibson, writing at RNS:
I did a double-take when I received the latest edition of The Tablet, the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, and saw this image taking up most of the front page. It is the Blessed Mother wrapped in the American flag, and a poster of the photo has been sent to all parishes in the diocese.
The ad is part of the Fortnight for Freedom campaign by the bishops, which ends Thursday, July Fourth, with a closing Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl. (A number of other dioceses around the country will have similar events.)
This Star-Spangled icon of the Virgin is what bothers me. The Tablet provides no credit as the artist behind the image, and it doesn’t seem to come from the various resources offered at the USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom page. To be sure, the rhetoric in the F4F campaign as well as the structure of the liturgical celebrations figuratively wrap the church in red, white and blue: the campaign begins on the vigil of the feasts of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More on June 21 and ends on July 4th, the “feast day” of the United States.
So maybe this image just brings home what the bishops have been preaching. But this icon seems over the top — and disturbing. I know Catholics have in the past gone out of their way to demonstrate their bona fides as good Americans. But this? The flip side of a Thomas Nast cartoon, to me.
H/T to Fran at There Will Be Bread for the link. It's not just Mary getting the Americana makeover, of course. There is a proliferation of Jesus Christ as U.S.A. Star all over the place.
I found the image below, with Jesus' not-so-sacred heart, here.
Four years ago, Mother Jones brought us "One Nation Under God" by Jon McNaughton with Jesus holding the U.S. Constitution.
Want some more? How about this video, "In God We Still Trust"? I first saw this little gem over at Matthew Paul Turner's.
Shudder. I loathe this type of Christian/Country kitcsh. Maybe you feel differently? If so, do tell because I don't get it. At all. Shudder.