Weekly Roundup: Ashtag Selfies, McConaughey’s Oscars Speech, and “Saint George”

Posted by Amy on March 07, 2014, 1:53 pm

Happy Friday, everyone! We're starting a new series here on the Manga Hero Blog: the Weekly Roundup. Every Friday, I'll post links to stories at the intersection of faith, culture and social media. It was an interesting week regarding all three of those! Let’s take a look at this past week...

Ash Wednesday #Ashtag Selfies

Christians took social media by storm on Ash Wednesday with #ashtag “selfies.” The concept? Receive the cross of ashes on your forehead, take a picture of yourself, and post on social media. At first, I thought it was a neat idea, since it made people more aware of Ash Wednesday and was a way to show you’re proud of your faith. But then it made me feel weird because the ashes are a symbol of piety, and selfies are inherently narcissistic. I thought of what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew: “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them…” and “But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret.”

Regardless, the social media campaign was a big success, and I think if it encourages people to get excited about their faith, then that’s a great thing!

Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1hPctzf

Matthew McConaughey Explores Christianity?

Another hot topic this week was what Matthew McConaughey said during his Oscars acceptance speech. He thanked God, and for some reason, that got a lot of people really worked up. Many started questioning how deep into his faith he is. The following day, author Lee Strobel tweeted this photo of McConaughey reading his book The Case for Christ.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1f2Qzsl

George Lopez Returns to TV with “Saint George” Show

After being arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness last week, George Lopez returns to the spotlight with a new cable TV show called “Saint George,” a comedy in which he plays a successful businessman going through a divorce and grappling with other personal issues. Clearly the show’s name is a tongue-in-cheek play on sainthood, emphasizing in a humorous way that the show’s character is “no saint.” Here’s what George said about the show’s title:

"'Saint George' might not be the particularly right title for me, but you don't become a saint until you get to the end of the road. There is still hope for me on the way to sainthood.” -George Lopez in The Los Angeles Times

While George is right--all saints had sinful pasts but repented from those ways--I couldn’t help but wonder if the show’s name is a sort of cultural appropriation, an irreverent adoption of something good from the Christian culture to be used in pop culture in a way that devalues the good. What do you think?

Read more about the show here: http://lat.ms/1f80vRw

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