Saturday, February 20, 2010

Religious boobies

A nice pair

Inside the Vatican is not a humor magazine—at least, not intentionally. Sometimes, however, they just can't help it. The February 2010 issue is out and it immediately provides some light entertainment, beginning with the first letter in its correspondence section:

As a Catholic and an American I am appalled at the public pronouncements made by the Pope regarding global environmental issues. I would hope that the Vatican would start focusing on the spiritual rather than the political world.

On those issues, the Pope does not speak for me nor should he. As an American I do not agree with our president's socialistic/fascist approach to global environmental problems that appear to be a cover for something else.

M. Shirrel
California, USA
Was it an unconscious act of “truth in labeling” when the conspiracy-fearing Ms. Shirrel chose her e-mail handle? Was she aware of its pagan origins in Greek mythology? (Of course, that's a trait shared by several aspects of Christianity.)

The fun continues on the facing page, where the editorial staff found it necessary to provide Inside the Vatican's readership with an apology for the excesses of the December issue:
Special Note: We would like to apologize to our readers for using an image on the cover of our Christmas issue (December
2009), which depicted the Virgin Mary in the stable at Bethlehem in a way a number of our readers found offensive. We will be more careful in the future about including anything of this type in the magazine. —The Editor
An “offensive” depiction of the virgin mother? On the cover of a staid religious magazine?

Surely someone in the publication's art department must have evaded editorial supervision and slipped in something shocking. While the chosen artwork is a rather conventional mother-and-child nativity scene—with what my art history professor used to call the “standard glow-in-the-dark Christ child”—it apparently reminded too many of the devout Catholic readers that Jesus was not a bottle baby.

I'm sure that you must be as shocked as I am! No wonder an apology was necessary. I suggest that next Christmas Inside the Vatican play it safe by avoiding the kitschy devotional work of no-name artists and choosing a classic work by a famed Renaissance genius like Leonardo da Vinci. For example, there is Leonardo's justly famous “Boob and Winkie.” One can just imagine the flood of appreciative letters from readers.


The Ridger, FCD said...

Pictures like that always make me wonder if Leonardo & Co. had ever actually SEEN a baby...

llewelly said...

I don't see why there should be any fuss at all. Neither painting gives one a good look at Mary's nipple piercing.

Jonathan said...

@llewelly Winnar.

Porlock Junior said...

I don't get it. I examined the cover art very closely (though it's a pity, considering the interests of true scholarship, that the resolution of the jpg isn't higher), and I have determined that the Holy Titty is, allowing for a somewhat low cut, entirely covered in critical places.

WTF are they complaining about? Dirty-minded bastards, that's what they are. Can't stand to think of the way that the Savior who undertook the pain and humiliations of human life to save their souls would so something so vulgar as to be a baby and suckle. Much less that the Mother of God would allow such a thing

Do they break into wine shops and smash all the bottles of Liebfraumilch? Having formed a working alliance with Fundies (We'll attack Darwin if you'll support our position that Galileo was wrong) will they now make connections with mad Muslims as well?

(I am not actually an Angry Anglican, but if the above sounds like it, I consider it a success.)

Anonymous said...

I visited a big museum in Madrid a while ago, and it was kind of absurd. Most of the paintings of Mary there not only showed her breasts, but also included milk squirting.