Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A TAIL OF TWO CHRISTMAS TREES AS A METAPHOR FOR THE RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR CELEBRATIONS OF CHRISTMAS


Rome's Christmas tree 'Mangy' needled for heavy shedding (on the left and in front of Rome's "wedding cake" the Victor Emmanuel monument) and the other in front of St. Peter's Basilica and next to the exquisite nativity scene on the corporal works of mercy. 

The one on the left is an apt metaphor for the secular side of Xmas.

35 comments:

TJM said...

Charlie Brown comes to Roma!

Marc said...

The muscular naked man in the Vatican's nativity scene is an apt metaphor for the "religion" being practiced there at present.

Anonymous said...

But at least the Italian tree doesn’t have a gay nativity scene in front of it. Of course that abomination stands in front of the grave of the prince of the apostles.

The picture at the top of the page is great. I especially like the wreath taking the place of the Blessed Sacrament. Talk about a metaphor.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Do you call the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment above the altar and all of the other male nude marble sculptures by the greats gay art or homoerotic?????

Anonymous said...

People see what they WANT to see.....

Anonymous said...

“Do you call the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment above the altar and all of the other male nude marble sculptures by the greats gay art or homoerotic?????”

You are seriously comparing the greatest art the world has ever seen to a nativity scene that was made by a community, the Montevergine (who claim the Blessed Mother saved to homosexuals from being killed and the couple celebrated by having sex with each other), Because that is who made this “nativity” and it is also why the face of the figure depicting Our Lady looks masculine is because it is supposedly a man in drag. You are defending this filth. Am I getting that correct Father? They are clearly is sending a message. And why would a well built, well nourished, physically fit, naked male be chosen to represent one of the works of mercy? I would call him a bum. If you had to represent the corporal works of mercy (clothing the naked) why not an old sickly woman or man. Why the Adonis? Clearly it’s because somebody has an agenda to push.

Marc said...

"Do you call the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment above the altar and all of the other male nude marble sculptures by the greats gay art or homoerotic?????"

Yes.

Anonymous said...

"You are seriously comparing the greatest art the world has ever seen to a nativity scene..."

No, Fr. McDonald is not. You are intentionally misunderstanding him.

I've just looked ay close ups of the image of the Blessed Virgin and I see nothing "masculine" in the depiction.

A "well built, well nourished, physically fit," male can as easily be a victim of crime as an "old sickly man or woman," can't he?



Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Oh, my Marc, your puritanism is showing, but the Catholic version, Jansenism?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Personally I don't care for the nativity is it looks "trashy" to me and overwhelmed with to many sermons or themes not that portraying the corporal works of mercy is a bad thing, but not at the nativity which evokes different sentiments.

It is too busy, the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are overwhelmed by the other activities.

but with that said, what this remind me of is a Mass I concelebrated in the very tiny chapel of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem at the very altar that is above the actual spot of the Nativity, which you can go under and kiss. This is below the main church run by Catholic and orthodox and not always happily so.

This chapel is actual below the main walkway of this area and tourists and pilgrims pass by it in huge numbers and it was like a community bazaar as we celebrated the Mass which made me wonder if this wasn't what the Nativity was actually like given the culture there.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I presume that the young, buff man that offends so many (typical puritanical American response) is the injured man that is helped by the Good Samaritan. Maybe the buff man is homosexual or maybe not--an outcast, like the Samaritan?

If the scene were a depiction of biblical passages associate with Jesus public ministry, it would be great, I just don't like it obscuring the sentimental aspects of the nativity.

Marc said...

I'm certainly not a Jansenist (nor a Puritan). I just don't think that any sort of eroticism has a place in religious art, whether that is this horrid Nativity scene, the Sistine Chapel, or The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. While the sexual suggestiveness of this Nativity is absurd, to a certain degree, the emotional appeal of the other art is similarly problematic, in my opinion. All of these pieces of art might serve well as art qua art (with the exception of the Nativity scene, which isn't actually artistic, in my estimation). But they do not serve well as religious art.

Marc said...

Fr. McDonald, the naked man in the Nativity is supposed to be a representation of the corporal work of mercy "clothing the naked." One wonders why the builder of this scene decided that this image needed to contain a "young buff man" in order to convey the message. If the naked man were of a more typical build, I would expect there to be less focus on his presence.

The reaction against this figure is not a "typical puritanical American response," in my view. People are not reacting against his nakedness per se. People are reacting to his muscular nakedness juxtaposed with the Nativity scene and in the larger milieu of the present time, wherein drug-fueled homosexual orgies are happening in the Vatican and a significant archbishop has recently had a homoerotic painting made of himself in his cathedral.

Anonymous said...

"I don't like it, therefore it is 1) homoerotic, 2) inappropriate, 3) sexually suggestive, 4) transgenderish, 5) cartoonish, 6) an abomination, 7) pushing an agenda, 8) horrid, 9) absurd."

Rampant individualism - everyone is being victimized because they don't like the art.

Whine on...

TJM said...

Let's just say this "Nativity" Scene display is not in keeping with the high artistic standards one normally finds in Italy and that the Vatican has its share of left-wing loons trying to stir up controversy at Christmastime

Marc said...

How dare people have individual opinions about art! Isn't that right, Comrade Anonymous?

Gene said...

Probably the dumbest Nativity I have seen...and, I agree completely with Marc. Michaelangelo was as queer as a three dollar bill, anyway.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Seems that this homoerotic nativity was produced to show forth the hatred so many have for "queers?" And somehow I think the hatred goes against the two greatest commandments, no?

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald, whatever the Vatican's motives, this nativity is in bad taste and it violates the most important lib law: it's DIVISIVE!!

John Nolan said...

All nativity scenes are a) non-liturgical and b) kitsch. If they never appeared, along with Advent wreaths, in churches, I, for one, would not miss them. Have a crib at home for the kiddiwinks.

What is far more significant is the almost total absence, in most NO parishes, of the proper and ancient Advent liturgy. Most Catholics, along with their secular confreres, see Advent as the 'run-up to Christmas'.

Anonymous said...

Comrade, everyone is entitled to have an opinion. But some opinions are . . . wrong.

People see in this Nativity scene what they WANT to see.....

Marc said...

I appreciate your inconsistency’s lack of guile, Comrade Anonymous. Being neither a nominalistic nor a relativist, I both agree and disagree with you.

Gene said...

Holy Scripture says that homosexuality is an abomination...in many places. It is a matter of hating evil, not queers. Our ridiculing of them, scorning them, and making fun are ways of identifying and highlighting a behavior that is clearly condemned by Scripture. Our modern universalism and abuse of the theological concepts of grace and mercy have weakened our ability to fight evil and make clear judgements regarding the Christian obligation to reject such abominatioins.

Anonymous said...

"Our ridiculing of them, scorning them, and making fun are ways of identifying and highlighting a behavior that is clearly condemned by Scripture."

No it's not.

It's your way of trumpeting what you think is your moral superiority.

It's you way of denying the dignity of the men and women you ridicule, scorn, and make fun of.

It's your way of expressing your contempt for those who, if you really believed they were in need of a Christian example for the salvation of their souls, you would treat with compassion, respect, and love.

You re-write the Scripture you claim to revere, trying to pass off "Blessed are those who ridicule, scorn, and make fun of others" as the behavior our Lord expects.

"All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels."

Marc said...

Well, that's your opinion, Comrade Anonymous, but we've established that some opinions are wrong. You see in Gene's statements what you WANT to see.

Anonymous said...

I think it's really Names Martin defending that filthy gay "nativity".

Anonymous said...

And, Comrade, when your child comes home from school or from playing and lets you know that he/she was ridiculed, scorned, and made fun of by adults, you will undoubtedly tell your child that his/her opinion about the treatment is . . . wrong.

Good parenting.

TJM said...

Anonyumous (Kavanaugh) at 8:23. Why not address the substances of Gene's remarks regarding sacred scripture's statements on homosexuality, rather than dodge it. It would be a refreshing change to your tiresome modus operandi. It might also revive some long dead brain cells.

Anonymous said...

The substance of Gene's remarks was his self-serving rationalization for his uncharitable behavior.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh/Anonymous, Dignity...what is dignified about two guys playing pink train in the tummy tunnel or going drilling for mud bunnies? There is no dignity in homosexual behavior...it is scornful of male/female relationships, marriage, and family...and, it is scornful of Church teachings. So, now condemning sin is "moral superiority". What a complete moron.

Anonymous said...


"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector - or gay man or lesbian woman..."

TJM said...

Anonymous/Kavanagh,
'
By the way, if a gay man or lesbian woman is celibate, they are not sinners. So again, your analogy fails. Answer the substance of Gene's comments on sacred scripture or just naff off

Marc said...

"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector - or Gene."

Do you see the problem with being a hypocrite, Comrade?

Anonymous said...

I would "naff off" but my naff is in the shop for repairs.

Or is it at the groomers?

Or did I have to send it back to the manufacturer for reconditioning?

Wait, I think my naff is in the middle of a two week antibiotic regimen and can't be bothered right now.

NO! I've got it!

And Comrade Marc, I thank God I am not like Gene, too.

TJM said...

Anonymous/Kavnaugh,

Again you failed to recognize your scripture analogy was an epic fail.

If you were Gene you would be Catholic instead of the apostate that you are.

Naff off ( I thought a lefty like you would be up on all of the British expressions)