Another day coming at you from set on my acting job!
I know, we’re three weeks away from my wedding, and I’ll be an hour and a half away from home for the next two weeks from 7:45am – 5pm. Perhaps a little crazy, but hey — I like crazy.
Update on the invitation saga…A LOT of people STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR INVITATIONS!! We put them in the mail nearly a MONTH ago…
Here’s what we learned: Black, oversized envelopes that require extra postage require extra handling, and take A LOT longer to mail!
Is this something that I wish our invitation lady told us when we were designing it? Yesssss. Are we frustrated and frazzled because our final count is due TODAY and a good number of people haven’t gotten their invitations yet, and we’ve only gotten 15 out of 180 RSVPs back? YESSSS.
So yeah, our weekend consisted of calling and texting 335 people apologizing for the late invite, and asking if they were coming or not.
So yeah…it’s been a bit of a ride this weekend. And now I’m back on set!
But a couple other interesting things happened this weekend! First of all, Steven (my fiance) got his certification to be a Eucharistic Minister at Mass! He did SUCH a great job up there on Sunday! It was so beautiful to receive communion from him. I got a little choked up 🙂
But we’re thinking of both being Eucharistic Ministers at our wedding Mass! (I was certified when I was in high school, so I am already one.) What do you think? I’m a little worried about how logistically that would work with me (and the TRAIN my wedding dress has)…
But my mother assured me that that’s what my bridesmaids are for 🙂
Secondly, in Cincinnati this weekend, not only was it the Flying Pig marathon, not only were the Cincinnati Reds in town, and not only was the Kentucky Derby this weekend…but Banksyland was at a pop up location downtown.
Now, if you’ve never heard of Banksy, then you’re in good company — I didn’t know who he-or-she was before I met my fiance.
Banksy is this anonymous street graffiti artist. And no one knows who this person is. Murals of theirs have sold for upwards of 12 million dollars.
This is his or her most famous work of art, perhaps you’ve seen it.
Anywho — Banksyland is this traveling exhibit that highlights Banksy and their work. It has been in Chicago, NYC, Paris, LA, and now Cincinnati! So that’s pretty cool.
So Steven and I went this weekend.
And sure enough, I walked in, and on the wall was a giant crucifix of Jesus…sort of.
It was was a blasphemous image of Christ.
It was His crucified body in the position on the cross, but there was no cross, and hanging from His pierced hands were shopping bags.
The sign reads…
Capitalism and the Culture of Consumption
A persistent critique of capitalism and consumerism is central to much of Banksy’s work. Trolleys, sale ends, and Christ with shopping bags, all expore symbols of materialism leading to the excesses of contemporary Western cultures in a variety of different media.
Frankly, I don’t care what kind of commentary you’re trying to make about the culture or consumerism — the image of our Lord crucified is not something that you can manipulate or cheapen with shopping bags or cheeky symbolism in the name of “edgy art.”
And it makes me really disgusted that Banksy used this image in such a disrespectful way.
Jesus on the Cross is an image of the greatest act of merciful, sacrificial, self-giving love. Jesus’ mangled, bloody body on the Cross is the fulfillment of the destiny of humanity. It is that blood — His blood — which opened the door to salvation.
I was deeply disturbed by the disrespect shown to that precious image of our Savior’s crucified body — and I needed to share.
As to the commentary on consumerism – sure. I mean, yeah: we live in a horribly materialistic society where excess runs rampant. We have more “stuff” now than ever in history that promises to make us happy and yet, we are a depressed, horribly off-track culture. But none of those truths justify using our Lord’s image in vein.
That’s just my “Two Cents.”
What do you think? Do you think it’s really that “big of a deal?” Did Banksy go too far? Sound off in the comments!
OK – lunch break is over! Time to get back to work!
Here’s a sneak peak at one of my YouTube shorts!
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26 responses to “Banksy and Blasphemy”
So sad to see this complete abandonment of honor for Jesus Christ. In times past, even among unbelievers, there was a sense of respect for how He was to be portrayed. It’s interesting that you and I would post, within a few minutes of each other, a commentary on the image of Jesus Christ. It’s important because we’re called to give Him all the glory, exalting Him in everything we do. Sounds like that’s your plan for your wedding. Whatever happens, whatever details might fall apart (like your invitation problems), you will have a glorious, delightfully joyful day because Christ will be at its center. Blessings to you!
Perhaps Jesus crucified and holding shopping bags is shocking enough for people to question rampant consumerism at the expense of humanity. (On another note, this may be the first time I have known about something pop-culturally current–I learned of Banksy several years ago).
The image is 100% blasphemous and it makes me mad. So sad that America has turned it’s back on Jesus.
Hi C! Yes, that was too much. Even if I give him/her the benefit of the doubt and assume they were only using shock value and not trying to be disrespectful, there are some lines you shouldn’t cross to make a point. Jesus is above all that. Without His sacrifice and resurrection we would have no points to make.
Praying your work goes well! 🤗🙏💛
Another example of blasphemy is a Catholic church in Manhattan hosting a “God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey” art exhibit that was in the news a few days ago. Sadly blasphemy is showing up more and more.
I’m not a fan of Banksy
I believe Jesus would not disagree with Banksy – first impression
How miserably sad.
Hot take here. I think Bansky got exactly the reaction from you and your readers that he intended to. Perhaps you should take a step back and see the message. I agree with Mr. O Shays, I think Jesus would have enjoyed this statement.
It makes me sad to hear the name of God used so lightly in todays world by the emerging generation too. There seems to be more respect for other religions than Christianity and that tells us very soon God will pronounce those fatal words calling an end to this world and the redemption of those few who are willing to accept Him as the sovereign of the universe rather than self. We will than live in a better world with Him in control.
Hello! Thank you for the post. I think your post supports why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has “not adopted the cross that other Christians use as a symbol of their faith” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2022/10/41holland?lang=eng).
Just a question, and please don’t take this question as combative or argumentative, just curious, do you view the lone cross as blasphemous?
Thanks again for your post! Love posts that are based in protecting faith in Jesus Christ.
Well. I do respect Jesus of course but I am an artist and I wouldn’t paint something like that really but I do see what they are getting at. i mean they painted Jesus beautifully. That must mean something. The idea makes you think why is He holding shopping bags? Because He is not supposed to be. He is supposed to be holy. That’s the idea of why it appears shocking at first but this is America. Jesus has been reduced to another thing to buy. That’s the message-he shouldn’t be something to shop for!
I think Jesus would ask the self same question Bansky is asking through this image if he walked through our cities today.
Too much, possibly, but maybe he is trying to say, that instead of worshipping the risen Lord, we are worshipping our ravenous desire for more. Don’t know him, so I am not sure. God Bless.
I agree with you completely. You labeled it correctly. But, maybe it shines a harsh light on just how commonplace, ordinary and continual
blasphemy & sacrilege have become today.
Sure, we see this and it screams Blasphemy but look at all the little covert, thoughtless, even seemingly “innocent” examples.
Beyond the use of G D = taking the Lord’s name in vain, “J C Gladys, where’s the soap?”
The even more common OMG!
All blasphemous and yet so ordinary that most don’t even realize what they are doing.
Yes, absolutely vile. Jesus warned us about how we would be hated by the world because they hated Him first. The hatred continues. Well wishes for your marriage coming soon. May God bless yor union. God’s grip – Alan
I agree that the image of Christ crucified is a very serious image, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s blasphemous to use.
When I look at that piece, I think it’s an indictment of shallow Christians-in-name-only who act as if Christ suffered, died, and rose again to establish a capitalist empire. So I respond by examining my own conscience for all the ways in which I might be too comfortable in the relative affluence we live in and creating a bit more emotional distance between myself and “stuff.”
Agree – It is not acceptable at all. Congrats on the upcoming wedding ❤️
Was the picture titled in the exhibition? Does Banksy title works “IRL”? It is obviously simply an image, and it accentuates why some religions atually *prohibit* images (whether of this kind in particular or also more generally). I think there was actually an attack on some comic magazine in Paris for such a reason … in which some people were murdered. 😐
Check out “Persecution” in One Minute Wisdom by Anthony de Mello, S.J.
It’s an interesting piece, for sure. Offended or not, I’m glad it’s doing what art needs us to do: think. It’s interesting to me because it takes this iconic historical figure and “remakes” him in our reductive image. If that doesn’t make someone stop and take stock…phew. Not that this piece has or will change the culture of consumerism, but the more people see it, the more likely we are to at least take a good inventory of what we truly value.
As usual, I love your posts this week.
I think one could look at the Banksy crucifix from a slightly different perspective, one of idolatry. I think it can be argued that consumerism and materialism have so taken over our society that the First Commandment has been not just broken, but all but obliterated (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7 ~ “You must not have any other god but me”), and showing the Crucified Christ hold shopping bags is Banksy’s way of saying that.
The kind of consumerism and materialism that we’ve embraced in today’s culture is the highest form of idolatry, so maybe Banksy is going directly to the Source, Christ Himself on the Cross to make his statement.
I don’t know, I could be wrong. I’m wrong about a lot of stuff, but that’s what came to mind as I thought about it. And don’t get me wrong, I love the Cross of Christ with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength! Christ’s work on the Cross saved me from Hell, and I wouldn’t be alive today without it!
If it is not blasphemous, then it is certainly heretical. Our Lord never preached against the free market, and He most certainly did not preach *for* Marxism. One cannot find Him doing any such thing in the New Testament, nor does God forbid anyone from having a free market economy in the Old – not unless one were to take His and Our Lord’s words and twist them, as they all too often do.
Communism and Socialism have both been condemned by the Church, but this image suggests the Church has not issued and reissued Her condemnation of these belief systems. Thus, again, Banksy’s image is definitely promoting heresy if it is not outright blasphemous. Far too many modern artists do both these things today and have done so since at least the 1960s. It is considered – somehow – “brave” or “daring” to be so “shocking” when in fact it is merely a childish, predictable, and utterly uninteresting attempt to insult believers and/or God Himself.
The Way of Beauty (https://www.thewayofbeauty.org/blog/), Jonathan Pageau (https://www.youtube.com/@JonathanPageau/videos), and authors Karina Fabian and Jane Lebak (https://carolinefurlong.wordpress.com/2021/12/21/review-the-boys-upstairs-by-jane-lebak/) among others are artists who do much better. Mr. Pageau is Eastern Orthodox and recently produced a graphic novel about St. Christopher, following a little known (in the West) story that the saint had a dog’s head rather than a man’s. These are all great places to begin looking for Christian art and I highly recommend them as alternatives to works like Banksy’s above image. They do better – and have more fun. 😉
One of my friends and her husband were the Eucharistic ministers at their own wedding a few years ago, and to be honest, I had mixed feelings at first. But I talked with one of my close priest friends about it afterward, and his words have stuck with me since — not only is your marriage sacrament itself a beautiful witness to Christ’s love for everyone present, but at Communion, you and your husband get to individually and personally share the true body of Christ with every one of your (Catholic) guests. What an amazing opportunity!
With that said, I’m still on the fence about if this is something for my own wedding one day (I’m partial to the beauty of receiving at the altar rail). But I just wanted to share my experience and hope it helps you make your own decision!