Saturday, April 27, 2002

I live in Oklahoma City. It's what some would call the "buckle of the Bible Belt". If one looks at demographics, it is heavily Baptist with a growing Methodist population as you head towards Missouri. Total, there are approximately 100,000 Catholics.

In Oklahoma City there is one Catholic bookstore. In Oklahoma City there are over six Christian bookstores which all advertise themselves as "non-denominational" (to attract the largest crowd). However, given the heavy Baptist population, most everything is Baptist in nature (so much so that one can easily find a copy of "The Trail of Blood").

At any rate, I happened to be in one of these bookstores today (not the Catholic one) cause I'm a sucker for a cute book with a nice spine and cover. However, I had not been to this particular store in a long time (they've changed names and decor).

Now, I'm going to generalize here for a minute, but when it comes to anti-Catholicism, Baptists take the cake. Almost every "evangelization mission" that targets Catholics is run by Baptists. Just about every anti-Catholic I know who publishes their work are Baptists (with notable exceptions). And, according to them, one of their biggest "problems" with Catholicism is our supposed "worship of idols".

So, I walk into this bookstore today, which clearly has a heavy Baptist clientle and what do I see? Tons of stuff, and I mean tons of stuff. There are Max Lucado pictures (and others by other artists) of Jesus in various poses, from His crucifixion to His resurrection. However, the crucifixion ones are interesting because it appears that as long as it's on canvas, it's ok to portray Jesus crucified. Then there are the Jesus bumperstickers, the Jesus windchimes (yes, windchimes), Jesus keychains, Jesus bookmarks, Jesus coffeecups, Jesus travel mugs... you name it, it's got Jesus on it. Which, sort of seemed... you know... a little odd to me. Why is it, when Catholics wish to portray Jesus, events in His life, and the people He knew and who worshipped Him... it's idolatry, but placing Him on a coffee cup is a'ok?

If anyone has lost Jesus in the details, it's not the Catholics, let me tell you that.

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