Catholic Appropriation

Diversity. Appropriation. Equality. Privilege.

It seems that our culture has taken a shift to embrace everything that has been traditionally marginalized. Folks don’t know what to say anymore. Words can hurt. Actions speak even louder. Micro-aggressions speak loudest of all. Just by being, we may be of offense to someone else. But rarely do you see Catholics taking offense at some of these things. Yes there is blasphemy. Yes, there is slander. But, how many times have the phrases and symbols of our beloved faith been used inappropriately without anyone even batting an eye. As I try to live my life in our culture, I try to be keenly aware of who I am and how my actions, or non-actions may come across to others. I think this is living the Gospel message of Love.

We need to be present. We need to be an ally. We need to speak up for those who have no voice. But should we watch our faith be used along the way? Should we speak up as well in this day and age? I do not have an answer, but pose the question. I thought about this as I passed a billboard on my drive to work.


I hate ALS too. I think we should all take moments to understand so many different diseases that affect people and help however we can. But this message caught me off guard. This is no football term. This is the beginning of a prayer I say every day. Was I offended that it was used in this way? I didn’t know how to feel. Yes, ALS, Cancer, AIDS, and so many other diseases need a game changer. They need attention and a strong (hopefully not last ditch) effort to cure them. But why divorce this need from God? Why relate it to a football game instead of “ALS needs your prayers”?

We see this appropriation in so many areas. I see the Virgin Mary, Jesus, saints, pr the rosary used by people who could care less about them. The put their image on clothes, jewelry, and merchandise that feel as though they cheapen the meaning.

Should we be happy to see these images, or mad? True, we don’t know the disposition of the person wearing them, but how can we? A thought for discussion as you go on your day. How do you spread the faith, and how do we misuse it…..


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