10 Ideas for Evangelizing the Culture That Probably Should Never Be Implemented

The other night, I was thinking about Truth & Charity and our attempt to help get Catholicism into the culture. Here are some ways to get Catholicism into the cultural conversation that probably should never be implemented:

  1. Candy RosariesProducts & Marketing – Remember those candy necklaces you had when you were a kid? With only a few small modifications, they could become candy rosaries! What an awesome way to get kids interested in the Rosary! Of course, on second thought, it would probably lead them to believe prayer is about the sweet consolation of sugary goodness. I assume this one was mostly for decoration.
  2. Youth Ministry SurvivorTelevision ProgramThis season, on Mother Angelica’s Youth Ministry Survivor: Join Therese, John Paul, Michael, Agnes, Rosaria, James, Philomena, and Andrew as they battle it out to discover who will be the next Youth Ministry Survivor! Take part in the process of voting them off one-by-one in our online conclave! Next week, sparks will fly when Philomena and leaves Michael to organize the NCYC trip by himself.
    • Cut to Michael: “Philomena, that darn girl. She really frosts my cookie! Argh! I’m sorry, that was really uncalled for. I’ll watch my language on camera next time.”
    • This week’s challenge: who will devise the best way to detect whether boys and girls on the trip are staying in their own dorm rooms?
    • Cut to Agnes: “At first I tried the duct tape on the door method, but apparently that’s a safety violation.”

    Who will be voted off and left to pay tens of thousands in college debt alone? Who will make it to the next round and all the way to win the ultimate youth ministry job? Don’t miss the next episode of Mother Angelica’s Youth Ministry Survivor!

  3. The National Catholic Reporter News HourNews Media – This one would probably have to air on MSNBC, but I’m not sure their executives would be comfortable with NCR’s liberal views.
  4. Theology of the Body NovelsLiterature – I can see the front covers now, lining the supermarket check-out, showing a buff man, fully and modestly clothed, embracing a young maiden, grasping her as tightly as he can while still leaving room for the Holy Spirit. The pages would be filled with sweet romantic gestures, awkward turtle moments, and decent proposals. There are any number of ways the couples could meet – just to spice it up: their hands could meet by some accident (providence?) in the holy water font, their eyes could catch one another through opposite sides of the bookshelf in the parish library, they could run into one another praying at the abortion clinic, and just to reach modern audiences, they could even meet on a Catholic forum and fall deeply in love via twitter correspondence. Possible character names: Christopher East, Janet Smyth, Aurora Eden.
  5. The Catholic PartyPolitical Activism – Much as I’ve fantasized from time to time about forming an all Catholic political party, it would effectively remove us from the national discourse as a group to be reckoned with. We’d never elect a candidate to a federal position and we wouldn’t have any say in the parties that run the country. Plus, we wouldn’t be able to sort out any number of things. Go into a room of completely orthodox Catholics and say one word – “poverty” – and you’ll have 100 loud voices clamoring, each one with its own ideas about how best to implement the Church’s teaching. Nope, better just to leave Catholic Vote to its lobbying.
  6. Catholic DubstepMusic – There doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for music in Catholicism that is at once non-lyrical and synthesized. Don’t even get me started on Dubstep in the liturgy. I’m personally against synthesized music, with rare exception. I once accidentally purchased an Irish music CD that turned out to be entirely synthesized. It was awful. The spirit of music is the human spirit. Machines can’t replicate that.
  7. Faith FactorTelevision Program – Taking Mark 16:17-18 to its logical, literal conclusion, Faith Factor is a television program on that somewhat-less-orthodox-than-EWTN local Catholic channel. “I’m Joe Rogan, and this is Faith Factor. The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained theologians. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone without faith! Can you drive out demons and speak new languages? More importantly, can you be bitten by snakes or drink poison and survive? On this week’s Faith Factor, watch our contestants lower their arms into vats of agitated camel spiders doused generously in acid! Faith Factor: Is your faith strong enough?!”
  8. Digest of Catholic Epic FailsNew Media – Ever find that statue of Jesus that looks like Mr. Bill? How about a painting of angels in clouds that looks like a couple middle-aged guys in a hot tub? I’ve seen both and thought about publicizing them as epic fails from time to time, but let’s face it, it wouldn’t contribute anything positive to the Church. Best just to let these things die off on their own.
  9. Who Wants to be a Chalice Chipper?Television Program – Another television show on our list, Who Wants to be a Chalice Chipper? sends female Catholic theology and philosophy majors off to the pre-theology program of a well-known Catholic university to test the vocations of young men who are probably better placed in seminaries. Who said the weeding out of seminarians couldn’t be entertaining?
  10. Blogs run by lay peopleNew Media – Yep. Really bad idea.

The Shadow of His Wings, by Fr. Gereon Goldmann

I would like to take this opportunity, however, to make one recommendation for evangelizing the culture. I really, strongly believe a movie could be (and should be) made out of this book (The Shadow of His Wings from Ignatius Press). If you’ve never read it, you should. You won’t be able to put it down.

It’s available for electronic download here.

What about you – have you had any crazy Catholic bad ideas? Let me know in the combox!

1 Comment

  1. Salvation Air Force – get some of the planes they use for firefighting, fill with holy water and baptize whole cities at one fell swoop.


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