why the mall is the new church

"Mall as Church" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Mall as Church” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[You can get a print of this cartoon HERE!]

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays everyone!

I hope you are surrounded by love and filled with peace and joy.

SHOP

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16 Responses

  1. Adam Julians says:

    Thanks and seasons greetings to the naked pastor family :).

  2. Thanks Adam. And to you and yours.

  3. maura hart says:

    unless your credit card is declined the mall doesn’t judge you. well, the teenboppers may have an opinion about your attire

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    Lol! David, fun cartoon!

    And Maura has a good point – the mall is a pretty accepting place, provided you bring the right currency… 😉

    Merry Christmas to the Naked One, and to Adam (please stay clothed… one naked author is all I can handle… 😉 )

    Cheers! Caryn

  5. Yes Maura I like your point!! Good thought.

    Hope you all have a lovely day.

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    Merry Christmas, David.
    My home is still sleeping!
    Soon we will be opening presents, laughing and eating.
    The malls were convenient, friendly shopping.
    My encounters with shop people were wonderful as usual.
    I looked forward to our holiday today and it has been fun.
    Thank you much for the gift of all your cartoons this year.

    Consumerism is inevitable, it is how we treat it.

    Religion, like consumerism, is potentially dangerous like consumerism.

    Is religion really any better than the shopping, malls and all the gifts?

    Is religion any worse than blind consumerism — hmmm, I wonder.

    Here is a negative snap shot of religion, to match your negative snap shop of this season:
    Worshipping gods that exclude other gods and ideas.
    The message of me-me-me, us-us-us fills religions.
    Prayer begging for health, safety, eternal life and much more groveling.
    Communion in fancy show-off clothes and gossiping mouths.
    Offerings hoping to be seen as an upstanding citizen.
    Payment to your fine social club.
    Fellowship with backbiting, social control and sexual exploitation.

    So, to belittle the season of buying and gifting by saying it does not add up to churchiness reveals an over-rating of religion.

    I know you don’t over-rate religion at all — you are a big critic of it.

    But maybe the old churchy habit of belittling the season need to be inspected a little at time.

    Enjoy the prosperity and giving. Smile with family.
    Let’s take a moment and relax from all the guilt that religion tries to instill in use.
    Let’s not make guilt a habit.
    Sure, the world is suffering, but today …..

  7. I’m not criticizing the season. I’m just pointing out similarities. I love shopping, especially with my wife, at the mall. Mainly because I’m a people-watcher.

  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    RIght, I imagine you would enjoy yourself.

    I am also pointing out the similarities of how ugliness is found in the churches’ worship, message, communion, prayer, offerings and fellowship. In the consumerism culture, these ugly aspects can be seen easily, in religious cultures, they are disguised by “god-talk” and holiness professionals — and in this way, much more dangerous.

    All to say, people have an ideal form of “church” in mind, of how to return to the “early church” and to return the Body of Christ, but I contend that such a thing should not be idealize. All to say, in an ironic sense, religion, church and God are insidious idolizations.

  9. Adam Julians says:

    “My encounters with shop people were wonderful as usual… Consumerism is inevitable.”

    Do you accept Sabio that the same can be true for encounters with “religious” people and that in a free country, it is inevitable that religion is present?

    Can I suggest that whether it be money, religion, power, theology, sex, celebrity / political status or any human movement or ideology that in principle in and of itself there is no good or bad but what one does with it that determines that.

    You mentioned religion and guilt. Perhaps there is no good or bad with guilt in principle but could be either. For example if I were to get into a car drunk and drive, I would feel guilty whether or not I had been the cause of an accident. I would experience fear of being caught by the police. I think that’s a good thing. On the other hand growing up with diagnosed dyslexia I felt guilty for not working hard enough (being told I was lacking in effort) when I was already working as hard as I can. I think that was damaging.

    Shamelessly getting into a car drunk and driving with no thought of the consequences for other road users while experiencing an absence of guilt – would that be a good thing?

  10. Sabio Lantz says:

    Hey Adam,

    (1) Is Religion Inevitable?
    To put it simple, I fall in the “yes” camp on that issue. Many atheists are categorically “No” on that answer.
    But, to make my answer meaningful, let me add:

    (a) I think that was part of your questions. One of that biggest problems with that question is the word “religion” and it is definition. Have you read my posts on that issue?
    But some definitions of “religion” are very broad and some are very narrow, and no definition is correct, of course. So for some broad definitions, almost anything can be a religion. To me, these are boring definitions. Often certain religious folks can build their definition so narrow so that only they have a true religion — or the opposite, that their faith is not a religion, and all the others are “just” religions. This approach too is full of agendas.
    But I think that for a broad range of definitions in the middle, often religions are inevitable.

    (b) But is religion inevitable for everyone — absolutely not. We have lots of evidence for that.

    (c) Is it inevitable for the majority — again, the cultural factors that create religion determine that answer.

    (d) Can a society develop and operate well without a religion? Yes. Is religion necessary — absolutely not.

    I hope that answers your first question. Odd that you state it as “Do you accept…”

    When it comes to abstractions, agreements are difficult because abstractions, like “religion”, are contrived. But people often forget that.

    2) Are there good and bad in everything? (I think that is your question)
    Pretty broad to be too helpful but sure, a gun is good if you hunt responsibly with it and horrible in many other cases. Obvious truth.
    Torture, on the other hand, or Eternal damnation, I am not sure there is good sides to these.

    (3) Can guilt be useful?
    Sure, obviously.

    Hope that answered your questions. Not too interesting, and pretty common sense, I’d imagine.

  11. Adam Julians says:

    Pretty common sense I would agree, nevertheless a useful dialogue to have, if only to gain understanding of one’s position?

    It Is interesting that you perceive the mentioned question I asked as “odd”.

    I tend to go with context with the term “religion “. In most circles I mix in region is something to be tolerated at best if not regarded as something negative.

    I understand in the context of nakedpastor it to refer predominantly although not exclusively to Christianity. And for it to be an object of satire although not always with a negative slant.

    In the context of equality I understand religion to be any religion or absence of religion e.g. atheism.

    So to see your description of religion as an “insidious idealisation ” appears to put religion into to to be tolerated if not it be a negative thing. Correct me if this is not similar to what you wished to convey.

    I would suggest that religion (or money) in and of itself is neutral.

    “Torture or eternal damnation” well, I don’t know what the entails and to what degree there is literalism or hyperbole whenever is mentioned. However using the drunk driver example / metaphor, I have no problem with anyone getting behind the wheel of a car too inebriated to drive facing consequences with restrictions on their licence or even jail time. It is a comfort to me not dissimilarity to think of some kind of eternal justice with characters such as Hitler, Paul Pott, Idi Amin, Mugabe.

    It’s a sobering thought to myself to think of such justice. I assure you that in spite of how things may appear, I am somewhat less than perfect 😉

  12. Adam Julians says:

    And Caryn, with the sight myself naked in the mirror after Christmas indulgences, I wouldn’t want to inflict that again on myself any time soon, never mind anyone else.

    So relax, you are going to be spared from that particular delight ;-).

  13. Sabio Lantz says:

    Right.
    Many blogging atheists see “religion” as only harmful.
    I see people using their religions well. But religion almost always has negative components of exclusiveness or false comforting. But I see the ‘god talk’ as almost always harmful.
    Yes, I can tolerate religion in others — mainly because they really don’t believe what their religion tells them to believe. It is the half-ass believers that I find most tolerable.
    But building meaning without god-talk, is to me, a more hopeful practice.

    BTW, I assume your note to Caryn was meant for another post — very odd to read, didn’t need that.

  14. Adam Julians says:

    Lol Sabio – can’t handle the thought of my naked body? Take a look at what Caryn mentioned above and you’ll see my comment in context.

    Yes – I agree, there are folks that use “religion” well and some elements that can be exclusive and offer false comfort, including the “religion” of atheism in the the context of the use of the term by way of the Equality Act 2010 in the UK.

    Not sure what you mean by “god-talk”. Can you give an example?

    I don’t know about anyone else but I want to be loved not “tolerated.”

  15. Sabio Lantz says:

    No thanks Adam, I will pass. I don’t see this conversation going anywhere. So I will take a pass on this thread any further.

  16. Adam Julians says:

    I respect that as being your prerogative Sabio.

    I hope you realise I was goofing around with Caryn. If there was any offense taken at that, it wasn’t my intention.

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