Video: “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”

You may already be one of the 18+ million viewers of this video: YouTube Preview Image (Search “Jesus Religion” on Google and you’ll see this pop up in the #1 spot) If you’re impressed by medium level production, anti-establishment propaganda, you may also be one of the 300,000+ people who “liked” it. If you’re like me, a bit dismayed and a little bored by the message, you shrugged it off and didn’t even bother disliking or commenting on it.

After the swarm of video responses that appeared online, (especially the Catholic response which was very well done, but unfortunately hasn’t even reached half a million views) I think the whole ordeal brings up a lot of interesting questions for Catholics. Should we care that we’re outnumbered on YouTube or Facebook? Are people just trying to get a rise out of us? What responsibility do we have as Christians to defend ourselves in the digital realm?

The viral video outbreak and the recent Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen debacle are loud wakeup calls that the Catholic community is simply not organized online. And unfortunately, the glaring reason behind this is most likely money. The Church generally doesn’t funnel marketing dollars into social media campaigns, and frankly, if they were doing so, I’m not sure I could support that. I’d rather they funnel those dollars into schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, food pantries, and local parishes.

So where does that leave us as individual Catholics who are being targeted online? Do we organize? Embrace the power of social media and fight back? Turn the other cheek? What do you think?

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Author:Clare Zajicek

Clare Zajicek is a Catholic wife, mom, and Marketing professional working in the Milwaukee area.
  • http://twitter.com/ccerveny Caroline Cerveny

    Clare – Thanks for the questions!
    So where does that leave us as individual Catholics who are being
    targeted online? Do we organize? Embrace the power of social media and
    fight back? Turn the other cheek? What do you think?
    I’d like to add another question or two or three – Are Catholics comfortable with the online world?  Are our ministers trained to engage in online communication in seminary and in any of the graduate ministry or theology programs that exist?  The world around us is becoming a Digital World.  Are Catholics ready for it? 

  • Brad

    This was an interesting video when I first heard about it and read through the lyrics.  I think it’s an example of common misconceptions concerning religion.  It raises common questions that many of us have even experienced in our lives and what our children will experience.  I think it is a great example to be aware of and to be able to speak to young people and those “on the fence” about community and faith.  

    In terms of “Catholics and online” the question that has been nagging me lately is “Why do these normal society tech things become so confused when we throw in the word ‘Catholic’?”  It’s almost as if everything modern gets lost when we put ‘church’ into the equation for some reason.  

    It’s important to look at similar organizations for the proper application.  ‘Catholic’ for example can be viewed as a brand.  How do brands promote themselves online (evangelization)?  Likewise, our parishes are similar to service organizations.  How do similar organizations leverage websites and tech to promotes and manage their operation?  

    Do we need to ‘organize’?  Absolutely!  I am of the opinion that every Diocese should have a person/persons designated for parish support in terms of online activity.  The person would be responsible for the “model” of what “right looks like” and serves as a consultant to parishes.  

    Great post.

    • Clare Zajicek

      Definitely makes sense that every Diocese should have a dedicated online communications person! I think they could do wonders for parishes who are shying away from even attempting social media because of privacy concerns.

  • Fr. John Iffert

    Thanks for this post. I’m supposed to give a presentation on apologetics at Belleville’s Diocesan Youth Convention and I think this will work nicely. I can help the group parse this argument, look honestly at the part of the video that’s appealing (opposiition to hypocrisy), and craft a response to the rest. Maybe a title like “What to do with ‘Why I Hate Religion…'”

    My reaction to Caroline’s questions are probably predictable. 1. Oh no, not another thing to do. 2. They can’t possibly teach everything in the seminary. 3. There’s a diversity of gifts among priests. Some are really great at this stuff. 4. But mostly I fall back on what I hope are my strengths…preaching and catechesis. Like the marketplace and the public square, I think the web is the proper arena of the lay apostolate. A well-formed Catholic laity is the only answer to “Why I Hate…”

    And let’s not sell ourselves short. I’ve seen some great stuff from the Catholic perspective lately. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, for example, that a video like this was in response to sometthing like Catholics Come Home’s “Epic” video. If I were to evaluate the 2 I’d give Epic the edge (though it has many fewer views).

    Finally, we are not iconoclasts. Part of why I think these normal society things seem so weird when we put Catholic in front of them is that it’s not our tradition to do that. The church was never a patron of Catholic art, but of art. Flannery O’Connor didn’t write Catholic literature, she wrote great literature. Fulton Sheen wasn’t on Catholic television, his was the number one ranked show in primetime. Calvinists and their descendants have to create little cultural “ghettos” because they think that the material world and human culture are entirely corrupted. Thus, Christian radio, Christian music, Christian books. Catholics don’t have tocreate parallel societies and cultures because we believe Christ has given it to us to help form and convertthis one.

  • http://evangelizela.com/ Ricky Jones

    I think this video (as well as a few other recent controversies) have taught us that we do have the ability to defend our faith online. We might not have the presence that they do, but the truth is on our side and we shouldn’t give up. As far as fan counts or views, that’s not really a good measure of success. Someone pressing a Like button doesn’t really mean as much as we think it does. But I do believe that seeds can be planted and nurtured through these means of communications.

  • http://www.catholictechtalk.com/ Joe Luedtke

    Here’s a wonderful video perhaps in response to this one, http://www.frpontifex.com/portfolio/god-is-dead/