Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We Want You To Come Home, But You May Have To Come In The Back Door

OK, so we're plunked down in front of the 60" plasma, watching Scott Pelley tell us that even though they'd showed a video of an Australian Navy exercise instead of the North Korean torpedo attack on a South Koren ship (we totally understand. Happens to us all the time) they all work very hard around CBS to ensure accuracy--well except for the guy who's supposed to recognize flags--oh, and when they report about the Occupy movement, or the World Cup, or...well you get the point. Anyway when Scotty got done with his soliloquy on precision they went to commercial and  what should drift across our screen but:

Now, frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall that the two greatest lies parents tell their children are there is a Santa Claus and hard work pays mean will recall that your humble scribes here in the marbled halls of IM Central are refugees from the church catholic and thus the primary target of the above plaintive request.

You kind of know where this is going, don't you?  OK, let's go to the video tape:

The thing opens like a trailer for the next Schwarzenegger movie: "Coming In December...A National Television Event..." The only thing missing is the voice over "TERROR HAS A NEW FACE AND HE'S LOOKING AT YOU!!! COMING IN DECEMBER...THE POPINATOR...THIS TIME IT'S BIBLICAL..."

Cut to soft focus shots of some Mexican folks in native costumes just having a grand old time being catholic, some Africans standing around what looks like a movie set watching a priest, and some guy feeding Asian kids out of the back of a truck.Take away here: Catholics are allowed to dance (subtext: Baptists are lame) Africa is actually in doors, and Asian parents are lazy because they make their kids go get the free food.

Then comes a scene in a catholic hospital which apparently doesn't treat Jews because while the nuns are in the background helping someone who appears to be Wilford Brimley, a sickly looking Hasidic fellow shuffles out unnoticed.

Next up is a shot of a couple of Hispanic looking newlyweds in front of some Spanish cathedral architecture and we're told the church likes to bless marriages, well, some marriages anyway. After that we're whisked to a school with a very Aryan looking  teacher (female) in front of a decidedly multi-hued group of students--most of whom appear to be drugged. We're thinking this is not one of the catholic schools in Ireland.

Then the big finish wherein we're told the catholic church was started by Jesus himself (subtext: suck on it protestants) and even though there are a billion of us, we're just like one big family (shot of a priest greeting a family back to church with a quick shaking of dad's hand, then fondly putting his arm around a small child who apparently doesn't realize how much danger she's in).

Finally the obligatory web site and...we're out. So, since the Stoli still hadn't reached optimum temperature yet we decided to visit said web site where we were greeted by Tom Peterson, former advertising executive and founder of Catholics Come Home. It's not clear whether old Tom came home himself, or never left, but anyway, in a rather studied, sort of avuncular manner he wants one and all to know they're welcome back, even if they've never been catholics, which seems to create a philosophical dilemma in that one wonders how one can return to a place one has never been? Well, the church always was better at do as I say, not as I do than doctrinal consistency.

The basic takeaway here seems to be that if you're ethnic (crazy dancing Mexicans, African tribals, or jungle dwelling Asians) we want you, but don't forget it's white folks (priests, nuns and teachers) who run the place.

So, to recap: Let's take Hispanics, Blacks and Asians, put them all in stereotypical situations, show them being ministered to by white people and use that to let the world know we're the new and improved catholic church. On the bright side, you could argue that racism is an improvement over pedophilia.

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