GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

A warped mirror of religion

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Remember those funhouse mirrors in carnivals? God Spam is a lot like that. It holds up a mirror to religion — a warped one that makes you laugh.

A nativity scene made of Jawas from Star Wars is among the God Spam.

A nativity scene made of Jawas from Star Wars is among the God Spam.

Examples:

  • Jesus Junk, including Christmas nativity scenes with leprechauns and Jawas from the Star Wars movies.
  • Playing Gods, a board game for spiritual world domination. The game’s Web site even boasts a video of (gasp!) Buddha blasting with a chain gun.
  • A recent log of Tweets about Jesus on Twitter. One gem: “Wasn’t Jesus the first zombie? He came back from the dead.” Ahr, ahr.

Delivering this hilarity is Gwynne Watkins, a New Yorker whose profile rather defensively calls her “a Christian, but not the kind that sucks.”

Some of her most perceptive reflections come under “Find the Religion.” In January, she spotted at least seven religious references during Obama’s inauguration ceremonies. More seriously, she asks why the TLC cable channel is afraid of religion, in interviewing Mayim Bialik about her wardrobe but not about the Conservative Judaism that prompts her to dress modestly.

On basic cable TV, Gwynne notes, “there are two kinds of religion: extreme and nonexistent.” She could have said the same of most secular media.

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Written by Jim Davis

July 21, 2009 at 4:39 am

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