There's something sus about He Gets Us
Also, Vrillon from Ashtar Galactic Command has a message for you
Happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate — not me though. But if you still need to buy a gift for that special someone may I suggest a reliquary from eBay?
Hussein Kesvani and I spoke about this meme when I interviewed him a few weeks ago, and I’m pleased to tell you that conversation will be going to air next week on Soul Search. I will post a link.
In the meantime, click the like button on this post to send me a little Valentine.
Modern Relics is still free. If you haven’t signed up yet, please give it a red hot go.
He get sus
It was the Superbowl in the US, and because Americans are inescapable on the internet, the rest of the world knows about it too. Notable was that among all the ads, there were two promoting Jesus (costing $20 million!) — part of the He Gets Us campaign that’s been running since 2022. The ads claim “Whatever you’re facing, Jesus faced it too.”
I didn’t watch the Superbowl, so I’m not sure which of the many He Gets Us ads actually ran (sorry). There are a number of them, and they say things like Jesus was misunderstood, he had fun, called out toxic religious systems, was a refugee, suffered anxiety, supported women, etc, etc.
The whole thing has very “is [pop star] a feminist? Is Mastercard a queer ally?” vibes. I admire some things about the campaign, but I can’t get past the feeling it’s deliberately not telling the whole story. Sure enough, I was amused to read in Sojourners that one of ads goes like this:
The voiceover in this particular ad describes Jesus as “an influencer who became insanely popular,” which led to everybody following him, until “one day he stood up for something he believed in.” At this moment, an image of a Black person and a police officer embracing takes center frame. The ad eventually concludes with the following slogan: “Jesus was canceled.”
Lmao. He was cancelled was he? Ok.
It’s a red flag, and, yep, the campaign is funded by anonymous donors via a group called The Signatry, which also funds the Alliance Defending Freedom. CNN reports the ADF “has been involved in several legislative pushes to curtail LGBTQ rights and quash non-discrimination legislation in the Supreme Court.” David Green, owner of Hobby Lobby, also claims to be a major donor.
Religion News Service reports that He Gets Us wants to spend $1 billion total on the campaign! The Weird Religion podcast has tackled the ads (haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but I will!) Also, here’s Stephen Colbert’s take:
Beary hot Vatican tailor
Twitter user @yuthxcru89 generously points out that one of the ecclesiastical tailors that makes vestments for the Pope and his cardinals is an extremely sexy gay bear.
You can find him on Instagram at @filippo_sorcinelli.
Gospel by Gen Z
Enable 3rd party cookies or use another browser
Thanks for sending this to me Travis.
The Interruption podcast
Recently I’ve been enjoying The Interruption, a podcast about the Southern Television broadcast interruption. For the unfamiliar, in 1977, “Vrillon, representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command” seized control of the Hanninton TV transmitter for six minutes and delivered an urgent message for humankind.
It’s made by hochelaga, a YouTuber I’ve featured here before who often makes videos about the weirder aspects of religion. The podcast is no different, because as hochelaga uncovers, the Southern Television broadcast interruption has connections to UFO religions.
I’m about halfway through the pod, and it’s great! Can’t wait to see how this turns out.
A good tweet
“You part of that lady Beyhive? And you call yourself a Christian?”
Reminds me of the Beyonce Mass, which is a Christian worship service that “uses the music and personal life of Beyonce as a tool to foster an empowering conversation about Black women.” Here’s a video.
Also don’t forget there’s a Modern Relics playlist on Spotify, which has practically every song I’ve ever mentioned in this newsletter. It’s… eclectic.
Very accurate church history
My favourite Wikipedia title
To finish up, this week Marty reminded me of one of my favourite Wikipedia pages of all time: List of sexually active popes. Unfortunately the page no longer displays the notice “This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.” I guess they found them all, or they no longer want me to fuck the Pope.
Oh yeah and here’s a meme I made about Uniting Church meeting procedures.