Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Catholic Tat. Only €6

Most of what comes through our letter-box at home is junk-mail, but yesterday morning, something arrived that was more interesting than the typical rubbish:

As the bright red text attests, this is a mail-in offer for a free("!!!") 'miraculous medal', which apparently grants the wearer "great graces!". The only catch is you have to order a book about the medal itself.

For €6 (which including postage and packaging), superstitious old biddies can read a tale about Jesus' mother appearing to a French nun almost 200 years ago, in which she pitched a medallion design that sold like hot cakes. This medallion comes "Free!!!" with the book, so modern day dullards can avail of the "graces" that this must-have accessory bestows.

On the inside we get the hard sell, including the hucksterish offer to pay after you receive your wares:

Click for the full thang, in case you think I'm spinning this

Do you want to participate in "the spiritual regeneration of our dear country"? To do that, you'll need "great graces". Maybe you know someone in need of prayers - maybe "in studies or in work - or a special protection - or even a physical cure?" Well, for €6, you can "read about conversions, and broken families reunited, and people and property protected from misfortune... and cures of severe illnesses..." [the source ends in ellipsis - I didn't add that to make the claims seem even more specious].

Since the medal is "already blessed you can begin using it - immediately", along with the "powerful Novena" that accompanies it. How fantastic! The fact that some over-educated virgin has muttered some incantation over a pallet full of these surely raises the value a bit, and it never hurts to add a few "powerful" prayers to the old arsenal.

This is a troubling document. Not only does it leave no stone unturned in trying to qualify its appropriateness for vast swathes of society, but it's hocking a stupid trinket under the pretenses that it grants supernatural powers of wish-fulfilment. Are there Catholics stupid enough to believe that such McGuffins act as a parabolic antenna to boost your prayer power? If all you need to receive favourable treatment from the heavens is a shitty fashion accessory, what does that say about the internal consistency of the religion? Or the value of prayer in general? I know that these superstitious old hags trade prayers like recipes to find one that yields results (my own mother is well on her way to becoming an old biddy herself), but such a cynical attempt to co-opt that process irks me.

This leaflet also came into work, hand delivered by the postman - leading me to believe that these flyers are being indiscriminately distributed throughout Limerick city and county (if not nationwide) via An Post. This is not a cheap way to advertise to young, educated, savvy people, so forgive me for my assumption that this is aimed squarely at the older folks. Something tells me that once this company has the details of these cash-cows, their wrinkly teats will be sucked dry.

And who is responsible for this mailshot? The Irish Society for Christian Civilization. The same tinfoil-hat wearing Catholics who were squawking about the evils of the Lisbon Treaty back in the day, comparing the European Union to the Soviet Union, and generally advancing a "yay-Jesus, fuck everybody who doesn't like him" attitude.

Silly Catholics, believing in fictional entities.
Do you really want to see your grandmother's €6 go to support the endeavours of the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, including their art department? Get to her house right now and hide this leaflet before the damage is done. (That money is rightfully yours to inherit!)


Gammagoblin said...

It's all because of the Paganism that Christianity is based upon. Charms and fetishes, to attract and increase the "god magick". On one hand they spread the idea that god is everywhere while on the other they are throwing holy medals into the foundations of new buildings to bring "good luck". Even the notion of blessing someone is nothing more than witch craft; a magic spell to make you more god like.

Grayson said...

Meh, if they can make money hocking junk, then more power to them.
It reminds me of the simpsons."This rock keeps tigers away"...

Primateus said...

"the source ends in ellipsis - I didn't add that to make the claims seem even more specious"

That's hilarious. There's something about ellipses that makes any sentence seem... dodgy. "Yes, you'll read about real cures of severe mental illnesses........"

Poor ol biddies are ripe for exploitation, generally.

Sully said...


There are some hilariously examples of Catholics just copying and pasting their imagery over pagan shrines and customs. I once attended a lecture on the topic that elucidated on how cynical the whole thing was in Ireland in particular, particularly how saints came to replace specific deities in polytheistic tribes.


I consider it immoral to falsely promise "good graces" to old women contemplating their mortality and desperately trying to ensure their journey to the afterlife is a first class ticket.


I doubt that you have to be a particularly good copy writer to bilk money from superstitious old farts, so I doubt that lazily trailing off halfway through the hard sell is going to curtail the impact of these flyers. Which is most unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

People like you are the reason Europe is on its' way to being an Islamic nation. You don't have to believe in something to respect someone else may believe it. You can even disagree (for now... until Sharia takes over and just accidentally STEPPING on some holy text will land you in jail with a death sentence)as long as you show respect while doing it. When you belittle you get as much respect as you have given. Have fun bowing to Mecca.