NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The concept of a “hipster Jesus” has been around for some time as an Internet meme, and now the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has adopted the idea.
Animal New York late last week posted a photo of an ad on the side of what appears to be a pay phone kiosk, calling Jesus Christ “the Original Hipster.” The advertisement by the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn shows a pair of red Converse shoes under Jesus’ robes.
The ad has appeared at bus stops and phone kiosks throughout Queens and Brooklyn, according to Animal New York.
The diocese discussed the ad in a recent news release, which noted that today, “most Catholics see the church as archaic and not relevant, nor valuable, to their everyday lives.”
The diocese’s new “All Faces, Everyday Understanding” marketing campaign, of which the “hipster Jesus” ad is a part, is geared toward getting a younger and more diverse demographic interested in the church, the release said.
“If you have faith, there is never a need to take yourself too seriously; life is so much easier when you have a sense of humor. Sure, we are poking fun at ourselves, but also making clear that in Catholic Churches in Brooklyn and Queens, everyone is welcome,” the Rev. Monsignor Keiran Harrington, vicar of communications for the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, said in the release.
Harrington told DNAInfo he created the campaign with the idea in mind that Jesus, like hipsters, stood against mainstream culture.
Hipster culture, of course, has been associated for several years with Brooklyn – the Williamsburg section in particular.
A more irreverent take on a Hipster Jesus has been around for a few years. A Google search turns up five Hipster Jesus Twitter accounts – four in English and one in Spanish. The largest, which features an icon of Jesus wearing the thick plastic-frame glasses associated with hipsters, has nearly 4,500 followers.
A “Hipster Jesus” character wearing similar glasses is also featured in a series of LOLCats-style graphics, accompanied by snarky text such as, “Walking on land? Too mainstream; I walk on water,” and, “Turned water into craft beer.”
KnowYourMeme.com says the Hipster Jesus Internet meme began around November or December 2009.
Do you think the ads will get people to come to church? Leave your comments below…