Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Catholic Church TV Ads: Something is Missing, Here’s What It Is

Unless you’ve been very lucky, or unless the Catholic Church figured your area isn’t worth the effort from a cost benefit perspective, you’ve probably seen their slick new recruitment ads.

Stung by dwindling numbers of church going, money contributing faithful, the Church launched its “Come Home” campaign back in early February. It started in western state markets and seems to now be nation wide. There are three versions that tout the benefits of Catholicism and why lapsed Catholics ought come home.

Simple research on the internet shows that producing a 30 second TV commercial costs an average of $350,000 each. Then the airtime runs approximately $100,000 for each showing in a major market. It doesn’t take a financial genius to figure out the Church has spent millions of dollars with this slick new campaign.

Every time I see the ads I think about how many condoms that ad money could buy for third world AIDS ravaged nations on a bulk/wholesale basis. Or how many doses of pain medication could be given to Mother Teresa’s dying patients’ in India. Or how many mosquito nets it would buy for African’s infested with Malaria carrying mosquitoes. But I suppose the answer from the Catholic Church would be just like Jesus’ answer when Mary was criticized for given him that lube job with the expensive oils: “The poor will always be with us.”

But besides the money issue, the ads invariably evoke a feeling that something is missing. Something is being left out, omitted, and hidden. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I see theses ads, their praising of the Church’s role in creating the Bible, the good works they do, the sense of calm and comfort and family it offers, I just keep waiting for them to say something like this:

“We know that we have alienated many of our faithful by the illicit acts of our priests and those who oversee them. We understand that the responsibility is ours and ours alone and that we as your clergy are solely responsible for the pain we have caused; from the novice priest all the way to his Holiness the Pope.

We are now taking steps to unearth and expose every pervert priest, and every enabling Bishop and Cardinal. Nothing will be kept secret, no sensibilities will be spared. We will purge the church of those who have soiled its name, and defiled our beloved congregants. We will excommunicate the guilty and have them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws of each nation.

To those of you who have been practicing birth control against our doctrine, and/or who support abortion, it’s all good. From now on what you do with your genitals and reproductive organs is your business exclusively. It always should have been so. We are sorry for having been so fucking stupid for so fucking long.

To our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters - we now know we were wrong. We know it isn’t a choice, it’s just who you are. We know that the authors of the Bible were simply self-hating homophobic dicks. You are welcome, blessed and valued. We look forward to sanctifying your marriage unions as each state legalizes it. Heck, half the Church hierarchy is gay. The Vatican has its own leather bar.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon we will be announcing that this virgin birth, and original sin, and life after death, and resurrection stuff we’ve been pushing all these centuries is all a bunch of hooey. But you probably knew that already.

Come home to the Catholic Church, and be surprised by our truth, like we’ve never had the guts to tell it before.”


Emily said...


NewEnglandBob said...

I would also love to see them say all that but if they did, then there would be nothing left for them to do, since their house-of-cards, bullshit dogma is all they ever had. The Catholic Church has always been a burned out carcass with no substance inside.

Also, I have not seen any of these ads, probably because I watch so little TV.

islandponies said...

Awesome post, Hump. Just last night I saw a 60 minutes segment about some fat, self- satisfied white guy who is the bishop of New York. They call him the American pope. Seeing him all dressed in his shiny gold dress with his tall funny gold hat made me nauseous and I had to change the channel. The Catholic church is the biggest suckers fleecing game in history!

Rachelle said...

Spot on, Hump!!! :)

aspen-bh said...

Actually I am very sympathetic to the Catholic church in the “child abuse” witch hunt. (It is the only instance I support this hideous church.) Ever since the dawn of time, all over the world human age of sexual consent have always been triggered by the maturation of sexual gonads circa 14 years old. (We are all grandchildren of 16 y.o. mothers.) After WW2, North American puritans created this weird notion that minors to 18 y.o. should be declared “children” and that people having sexual intercourse with them should be sued as “pedophiles”. [Note: a pedophile is the sick person who abuses CHIL.DREN.] This crazy talk spread from the USA to the world and now we see priests being persecuted for having sex with “poor”, “defenceless” 17 y.o. body builders back in the 1950's! Adolescents ARE NOT children and should not be hidden from sex. Western teenagers are so rebel exactly because they are not given adults responsibilities.

NewEnglandBob said...

aspen-bh, you are completely clueless. Priests are not supposed to be having sex with anyone, but especially younger people, where they take advantage of their innocence.

You are also clueless about age limits. In most US states it is under 17 and some it is under 16.

Why does the church and everyone else hold these people as special? They are supposed to give advice on life and guide people, not take advantage.

Maybe you can excuse these priests for betraying a trust, but that is probably because you secretly admire their actions, but I do not and I am sure most people here feel as I do.

Anonymous said...

aspen-bh, there is something wrong with you. I don't know why you think sexual predation is ok, but excusing molestation is sick. Try having a relationship with an adult sometime.

Anonymous said...


Why is it that abusers always try to obscure the issue by focusing on minutia, like exact age?

aspen-bh said...

thishollowearth, if you check your family tree you would know that your great-grandmother was probably a 16 y.o. when she married your great-grandfather, because that was the rule 50 years ago. If you were not this sick puritan you would know that the word 'teenager' is a synonym to 'sex'. Of course they have the right to do that. And outside the USA they actually do. (Believe it or not, there are people out there that enjoy the presence of this weird species.)

Dromedary Hump said...

aspen... again with grandparents? thats a rather absurd generalization / assumption.

and 100 years ago it was 12. And in some muslim nations it's 5 yrs old. so what?

Thepoint is we livein a society/culture with rules that have developed, evolved over time. The expectation is they are to be observed. As for priests, read what bob said above. Using a position of power for sex, especially by men who have taken a vow of chastity, and who are "suppose" to represent a higher level of ethical behavior deserves ZERO respect or support, or understanding.

indeed, only a pedophile could possibly justify excusing their behavior.

aspen-bh said...

NewEnglandBob, If you were an US public servant you would work under Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations – each one with their own agendas – and you would still try to do your job the best you can. I have talked to priests and this is exactly what they feel about most of the dogmas that are supported by their church's Wojtylas and Ratzingers: they just don't care what those senile European pricks think! (Also, most of the priests in Latin America are communists and they simply ignore the right-wing, capitalist, anti-communist Vatican administration.) Although I have always being an Atheist I was raised in a family with lots of Catholics and I assure you 99% of them consider priest celibacy a joke. In the USA the Catholic church is much smaller, therefore it is probably more dogmatic. But in mostly Catholic countries the Protestants are the nasty, dogmatic ones and Catholics are mostly liberal. And believe me: they just don't care about priest celibacy.

aspen-bh said...

Domedary, don't you dare calling me a pedophile, because you don't know me and that is just untrue. (Actually, I have never made sex with people bellow 25 because I hate idiots – although obviously there are older idiots, too.) But you should know better: you should know that the concept of "teenager" comes from the post-war and that before that youngsters were considered "young adults" with most of the rights of the grown-ups, including a sex life. As for CHILDREN I completely agree with you: molestation of CHILDREN is an hideous crime and should never be tolerated. But you will not convince me that the same should be applied to teenagers. The only reason you think that is because you were raised in the most puritan society in the world.

Dromedary Hump said...

so, aspen..you draw a distinction betwen what: 8-13 yr old boys being seduced, raped, and threatened by priest predators, and their actions being covered up by the catholic heirarchy; and 16, 17, 18 yr old boys? Is that your position? Thats why the penalty for adult sex with a minor in the US are different for Under 14 yrs and Over 14 years

Priestly misconduct is rampant in many countries around the world, not just the US. Australia, germany, Ireland, England, Scandanvia... it's not just the US that is outraged because of it's "puritan" history.

Your original post was understood by at least three of us here as endorsing child sex by priests, justifying it, excusing it. Maybe its a language thing, but you need to be more sussinct in the future.

aspen-bh said...

16, 17, 18 yr old boys are old enough to take care of themselves - that's my position. It is obvious rape is a major crime, no matter if the victim is 8, 38 or 88 yo. It should be treated with maximum rigor, and the penalty should increased when the victim is unable do defend himself: children, older, physically of mentally challenged people. But 16+ yo young men are fully capable adults! When victims of sex assault, they should be treated exactly as any ADULTS victim of sex assault. If they were forced to make sex against their will, their predators are not “pedophiles”, but common sex offenders. There are no 17 yo children!

Anonymous said...

Getting away from the teenage sex conversation...I went to catholicscomehome.org and looked at the top ten reasons people go back to the catholic church. Here's their number ONE reason:
"Because we hunger for the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the number one reason that people come back to the Church."

Yep. The little wafer.
The catholic church figures that their expensive commercial is an investment that they hope they'll see a return on. More parishioners means more $$$.
This commercial exposes the fact that they have never been so desperate as they are now. Tons of catholic churches across the country are closing down or consolidating with a nearby church. Attendance has never been lower in the churches that still exist. They know the numbers and they see the writing on the wall. If they don't get young, baby-producing people back to the church, the catholic church will slowly wither away.
The millions they've spent on these commercials are mere peanuts to them. They've got billions and billions in their coffers...all donated by poor idiots and middle-class morons who never thought that their hard-earned money would eventually be spent on lawyers hired to protect pedophiles.
Reminds me of a P.T. Barnum quote....

Dromedary Hump said...

Aspen...had you said that initially, without using the term "witch hunt" and implying priestly sexual misconduct was a non-issue...we wouldn't be having this prolonged discussion.

Dromedary Hump said...

gritle... interesting.
I guess once you've tasted the actual body of a dead jew in the form of a cracker, it's hard to be satisfied with Sugar Wafers and Fig Newtons.

aspen-bh said...

Dromedary, of course Protestants are promoting a witch hunt against the Catholic church, as most of the priest's assaults to “children” were actual seduction of teenagers. It is a shame you are taking sides on this dirty fight – it is like joining forces with Hitler to defeat Pol Pot! Atheists were not supposed to make allies among those monsters. BTW, if there was an “ugliness” contest among religious denominations, Catholics would score an 8, while Protestants would easily score a 10. In my country Protestants are the ones who march the streets demanding gay civil rights to be denied and the Ten Commandments to replace the Constitution. I understand that maybe in the USA it is different, but none of those gangsters deserve our support.

Dromedary Hump said...

apsen..I'm sorry, but you have a very skewed perspective on this.

I'm not siding with the damn protestant scum. I'm siding with sex abuse victims; I'm siding with African 3rd world people who are being told condoms spread AIDS and not to use them; I'm siding with the gays who have a right to marry regardless of what Catholics, protestants or mormons say.

i'm siding with reason, justice, and victims rights not the protestants. That protestants hate catholics is coinciental to my perspective. That we fought along side the USSR against the Nazis during WWII didn't imply the US had Communist sympathies or supported their agenda.

I trust this is clear.

Look... I dont know why you have this affection for the Catholic Church or its heirarchy. I dispise all christian denominations almost equally.

The protestants have their share of pervert ministers, pastors et al.. and I condemn them equally. But incase you haven't noticed it's the Catholic Church that made enabling and coverup of sexual misconduct into a science world wide.

I don't have any further explanations and justification to offer you. Take it as you will.

Atemis Ward said...

I wish you would start a catholicsdontcomehomeuntil.org site with this post as the entirety of the site's information. Terrific post, thanks.

Dromedary Hump said...

Hey aspen.. re your "witch hunt" against the catholic clergy molestations. Enjoy:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy you website very much. Keep up the good work. I've also seen commercials here in the Chicagoland area where, I kid you not, they actually said that the Catholic church DEVELOPED THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Now that was the most dishonest statement I'd ever heard!!! I thought I had mis-heard or something. But the commercial came on again, and it made that same statement.

Bookish Babe

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks, Anon...
Yes, the Catholic Church is happy to take credit for the sicentific method...much like the Russians used to take credit for inventing everything from basketball to toilet paper.

While Gregor mendel did indeed use the scientific method, the ancient greeks initiated it and galeleo is credited with being the "father of the scientific method." ands we all know what the church thought of nhim.

Deception is practically a sacrament to Christians..and to Catholics it's next to godliness.

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[Sign off]