THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB (at The House Of Shadows, Gresham Oregon)

“Brother Cobweb: A White Trash Opera,” 8 ft x 4ft house paint on wood panel ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB  (house paint on 8 ft x 4 ft wood panel) “Jonestown Massacre” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Rehearsing Brother Cobweb with Rev. Harry (Garman Gibson)

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB  (house paint on 8 ft x 4 ft wood panel) “Gotterdammerung (detail)” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB  (house paint on 8 ft x 4 ft wood panel) “Gotterdammerung” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker as Brother Cobweb in the “The Church Of Brother Cobweb” @ the House of Shadows©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb’s Communion” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb’s Communion” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB The Whore Of Babylon (Holly Day) ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb’s Communion detail” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB (house paint on 8 ft x 16 ft wood panel) “Brother Cobweb’s Last Supper” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb : Get Behind Me, Satan!” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb preparing the sacrifice.” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB “Brother Cobweb & Rev. Harry preparing the sacrifice” ©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB Brother Cobweb’s A GOOD FIGHT ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker as Brother Cobweb in the “TheChurch Of Brother Cobweb” @ the House of Shadows©2017 Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker as Brother Cobweb in the “The Church Of Brother Cobweb” @ the House of Shadows©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB . Old Nick (Kevin Klansnic). ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker as Brother Cobweb in the “The Church Of Brother Cobweb” @ the House of Shadows©2017 Alfred Eaker

THE CHURCH OF BROTHER COBWEB Harlot for Christ ©2017 Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker as Brother Cobweb in the “The Church Of Brother Cobweb” @ the House of Shadows©2017 Alfred Eaker

Jesus of Nazareth: A First Century Harry Potter

Jesus raising the dead with a wand, Roman catacomb, 3rd century)

(Photo: Jesus raising the dead with a wand, Roman catacomb, 3rd century)

When J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books hit the shelves and became a global hit, American fundamentalist Christians took note and reacted with a loud fear, demonization, and astoundingly idiotic condemnation that was rare even for their various denominational demographics.  There is perhaps nothing more threatening than rival mythology, especially when its well publicized and successful. Protestations and calls to ban the books were followed by entire websites devoted to instructing Christians how to respond to witchcraft and demonology as pop phenomenon. It backfired and the Potter juggernaut paved right over all that evangelical silliness. With the films that followed, Rowling became the most successful franchise since Disney. Given their way, these Western, allegedly Christian sects would have certainly have mounted a belated sequel to the Salem Witch Trials. Alas, pesky secular laws predominantly douse homegrown puritan torches and minimize imitation of Isis-styled iconoclasm, which hardly negates in-house suspicion of and aggression toward imagery, such as detailed here:

https://frjustinbelitzteachings.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/an-isis-like-iconoclastic-spirit-in-our-own-walling-off-our-lady-and-erasing-the-holy-in-north-denver-our-lady-of-guadalupe-parish/

4th century Raising of Lazarus Fresco (Christ with magic wand) Catacomb cubiculum O, Rome

(Photo:  4th century Raising of Lazarus Fresco ((Christ with magic wand)) Catacomb cubiculum O, Rome)

Although the display of overwrought evangelical histrionics reached a new, modern height with the opening of the Harry Potter universe, their pop paranoia is nothing new. For those of us old enough to remember, the same demographics were issuing warnings about Superman, who they saw as a rival to their Lord and Savior (the mythological underpinnings of the DC character were undoubtedly inspired by Christ origin Gospel narratives).

In A Search For Solitude, Journals 1952-1960, Thomas Merton lists “distrust and rejection of emotional symbolism of art,” as an unfortunate tenet of contemporary Western Christianity.

Earlier, in Run To The Mountains. Journals 1939-1941, ” Merton wrote:  “It is one of the singular disgraces attached to Catholics as a social group that they, who once nourished with their Faith and their Love of God the finest culture the world ever saw, are now content with absolutely the worst art, the worst writing, the worst music, the worst everything that has ever made anybody throw up. All this, far from being caused by their Faith, only weakens and ruins their Faith. It is something of a Middle Class culture which is poisoning the Faith instead of slaking our thirst to honor God. And those who cannot distinguish what is bourgeoisie, in what they believe, from what is Christian are crucifying God all over again with their trivial, complacent ignorance and bad taste and materialism and injustice.”

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