Was Jesus a hipster?

If you can, think back to 2008. Remember when Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama’s community organizing background? Do you recall how popular this slogan became soon after that?

Jesus Organizer

Remember in 2011 when some media outlets intimated that the Occupy Wall Street movement was simply emulating Jesus?

Occupy Wall Stret

Okay, well here’s the latest “Jesus meme.”

Jesus Hipster

I know what you’re thinking: What new age, trendy evangelist put this out? Rob Bell? Shane Claiborne? The kid who rapped about how he hates religion but loves Jesus?

All three would be wrong. This ad is actually part of a marketing campaign of the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, as you may or may not know, is home to a large concentration of skinny jeans-wearing, iPod-toting, RayBan-clad Bohemians, many of whom are not Catholic. Seeing how there’s no silver bullet that will make young adults attracted to the Catholic faith (other than prayer) some will say that this is exactly the type of marketing that is needed in the Catholic Church. I see where they’re coming from, but for me it’s too gimmicky and irreverent for my liking.

I grew up Catholic and, like many of the college-age persons this ad is targeting, I fell away from the Church when I moved out of my parent’s house. By the grace of God, I came back to the Catholic Church. But I didn’t revert to Catholicism because of a chic marketing campaign or a feeling that Jesus was a “cool guy” I could talk about corporate greed with over coffee at three in the morning in DUMBO (an acronym for a neighborhood in Brooklyn notorious for being home to hipsters).

Of course, I am but one of the 1.2 billion Catholics on this planet. My reversion story is different than others. Some people might like this type of ad. Others won’t, and will likely see it as offensive. So what do you think? Do you think this ad is effective? Is it appropriate? Do you think Jesus was a hipster? Let’s hear what you have to say.


Categories:Culture Youth

  • dolbash

    Jesus, though maybe not a hipster, was a radical. If alive today he would be on the streets preaching against a capitalist system that allows so many to live in poverty while benefiting a minority. If you think otherwise you are only fooling yourself.

  • Anne Bodee-Galivan

    I agree with you Stephen, and with Bonnie who commented above. I’m frankly more than tired of all the things the church does (and I think evangelical churches are even more guilty of this) to try to make Jesus “cool” and “relevant.” A sense of humor is one thing, but I believe it was Paul who warned against those who would want their “ears tickled.” There is far too much preaching that is “cool” and “relevant” and far too little that calls people to repentance! And no, Jesus was not a “community organizer” or an “Occupier.” He was the perfect Lamb who was sacrificed for the salvation of the world, to redeem us of our sins. This is the message that needs to be preached.

  • db

    Truth, beauty, goodness. Always present in Christ. Often lacking in hipsters.

  • Joe M

    Hipsters are the first people to deny that they are hipsters. It has become a somewhat derogatory term for many people. So, I think that could be problematic for the ad.

    At the same time, I’m not sure what harm it does. If someone has an open mind, they can understand that it was designed with good intention: to point out that God’s message is relevant to young life.

  • jgbech

    My diehard brother called us radicals for our arguments with the church. I replied that Jesus was also a radical, not a hipster and we were in very good company, indeed.

  • Bonnie

    Trying to give Jesus a more relevant image? Not necessary – Jesus IS relevant, as nothing else is. This is manipulation. People turn to Jesus because of who He is, not because He’s just like us but because He’s everything we are not – and He is all that FOR us.

    • Tyler

      “the world must conform to Our Divine Lord, not He to it”



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