Recently in Christian Category
In my work as a professor of social entrepreneurship, I often hear do-gooders express exasperation over the failure of government regulators and private companies to adopt measures embodying basic social values. The problem, of course, is that choosing among moral principles is a rather tricky business.
Consider the Modesty Survey, part of what is ostensibly a teen "rebelution" against poor social values. As publicized recently over at Sociological Images, the poll offers a revealing inventory of what Christian men deem to be immodest, from short skirts to prints on tights, decorated jeans pockets and a purse strap across the chest. Particularly noteworthy, given recent hostility toward Muslims expressed in opposition to the recent decision to allow a mosque to locate in the vicinity of the World Trade Center: The Rebulution's using an image of a woman under the veil to symbolize Christian moral virtue. (thanks Michelle!)
Meanwhile, the application of sharia law in Sudan has resulted in a court sentencing men caught in women's clothing and cosmetics to thirty lashes and a fine, while al Qaeda has called women themselves to become "holy warriors" in the "most important battlefield" -- namely, opposing the controversial proposal in France to ban the hijab and niqab.
Differing notions as to what constitutes social responsibility and fundamental values helped give rise to the secular state, and moral complexity has similarly shaped the limited moral rhetoric of commercial business. As Judge Vaughn Walker indicated in his landmark ruling on the definition of marriage, whatever the authority cited for one's particular worldview, there are clear pragmatic reasons why courts do not recognize "moral disapproval, without any other asserted state interest," as a rational basis for law.
Many moons ago, before geek chic had become a world religion, Star Trek's true believers had to hide their faith from their mainstream persecutors through coded communications. Above: the iconic symbol etched on many a fan's cubicle is now a ThinkGeek car ornament: the Trek Fish.
And here's another Hollywood blast from the past: How the Jesus Fish Helped Create the Matrix.
Regretsy, as the title suggests, heaps a generous dollop of snark on the goofiest items from Etsy. But the site's about a lot more than having a laugh at others' expense--besides bringing to light some of the more offbeat expressions of human creativity, Regretsy has also raised thousands of dollars for charity--"profits from Regretsy merchandise are used to hire Etsy artists to create handmade products for various charities, or to directly benefit Etsy sellers in need."
The publicity rollout continues for Kardashian Jewelry Collection for Virgins, Saints & Angels. Regardless of how that may sound, Virgins, Saints & Angels is not a description of the target clients--its actually a design brand of its own featuring "edgy jewelry made with original Vatican medallions." Still, despite the PR touting the "collaboration" VSA is careful to clarify that the Kardashian Jewelry Collection is "separate" from the company's main line.
Above: a Kardashian Armenian Cross Rosary, which exemplifies how the Kardashian collection's own brand identity draws on the sisters' religious heritage. For more on the richness of Armenian culture, values and history, check out the Kardashians' reflections on their pilgrimage to the Nordstrom's at Fashion Island.
These TARDIS dangle earrings--shrink plastic designed for a stained-glass effect--would be the perfect thing to wear to commemorate the announcement that The Doctor has replaced St. George as England's patron saint.
Not that the Church has actually made that decision--yet--but The Guardian's Adam Rutherford makes a compelling argument based on the role of narrative & design in defining national identity:
The Illinois Lottery has received a fair amount of attention in recent years, from its connections to disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich to the state's controversial plan to sell the lottery to private investors. Now, for the holiday season the Illinois Lottery has launched a new ad campaign using the Christian hymn "Joy to the World" to flog its scratch-off games, a move that has led at least one Christian to complain to the Chicago Sun Times:
In Monday’s paper, columnist Lewis Lazare notes that Energy BBDO has created a series of holiday television commercials using the song “Joy to the World” to sell—of all things—lottery tickets! The new lyrics and retro music may be captivating and clever, but are the people at BBDO familiar with the original words to this Christmas hymn? Or do they care?
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”
Or is Linus the only one who still understands what Christmas is all about?
Dan McGuire, Bensenville
It's a paradigmatic case of cultural appropriation, with one community's traditions used to promote ostensibly contradictory values. And as MultiCultClassics observes, the campaign doesn't stop there--"It’s gone from blasphemy to Black clichés."