Hello and welcome to Throwaway Relics, the newsletter where I take a look at religion, pop culture and the internet.
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I stream now. I’m a very cool streamer
We’re still in lockdown, so last weekend I had a go at streaming on Twitch, and what better game to begin with than the aforementioned Captain Bible. I’ll probably finish the game on there eventually, so if you see me streaming I encourage you to keep me company.
I hope his mind had memes :)
Baptising Baby Yoda
I’m going to talk about Star Wars. After all it’s been Disney’s world for a while now, and they permit us to live in it for $11.99 a month.
This meme is fairly old now, but it’s had staying power and it illustrates how theological ideas get conveyed using pop culture on social platforms like Twitter.
In November 2019, Disney+ released The Mandalorian. It was wildly successful and breathed some much-needed fresh air into the Star Wars franchise. Days later, it also kicked off one of the longest-running theological discussions to ever happen on Twitter: Should you baptise Baby Yoda?
A deceptively simple, seemingly frivolous question, but your answer concisely reveals exactly where you stand in a few theological conflicts in Western Christianity that are now over 500 years old. Namely:
Should babies be baptised?
Did Jesus only die for human beings, or does salvation apply to the whole of creation (and perhaps, to an alien)?
An account going by @ClaytonDeth first lept on the idea, indicating Baby Yoda should be dunked. Then a couple of hours later @waveturtlejake insisted he should not under any circumstances be subjected to the sacrament potentially against his will.
Both seem to agree that Jesus could hypothetically die for an alien, and that another incarnation of Christ as a little green fella would not be necessary for salvation to come to that species.
However, this view isn’t held by everyone. Some even suggest there’s no need to baptise at all because aliens don’t carry original sin. Others point out that the child (called Grogu in the show) is actually 50 years old, so it totally depends on what the age of accountability is for that species.
It’s such a tidy summary of various theological positions, someone wrote an article. Also, Rev David Peters, the TikTok priest, did actually baptise a Grogu plushie on TikTok and it got written up in an Australian youth culture website.
I do not know if Yoda’s species have penises to circumcise. Let’s not dwell on it.
In space, Mary can’t hear you ask for intercession
Speaking of baptising things that aren’t human…
This is a classic tweet and it’s lived in my mind rent-free for many years now. So every time I hear that elephants worship the moon, or chimps also exhibit some kind of ritual behaviour, I wonder… well, to be on the safe side, let’s baptise them all.
Mary did you know (how that sounds?)
Bun Bree 🌸 @BREElluminatishow me your favorite tik tok i wanna laugh lol.
A message to the Most High during lockdown
Me, as I reboot my freelance opinion writing business to pay my dental bills
I don’t know what’s NSFW anymore
A few longer things you might enjoy reading/watching
Just a short note - last week I did you diry! I did a whole newsletter about the Christian music industry and I totally forgot to include my fav Semler’s Refinery29 documentary about queer people in CCM, and it’s very good. The whole series about Christianity, politics and American culture rules, actually.
The Pope has restricted Trad mass - here’s an explainer
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