Monday, May 27, 2024

Oafish Behavior By Catholics

This post regards a not-so-new phenomenon prevalent among some Catholics on the internet to post and giggle at memes that are irreverent towards sacred matters or that utilize flagrant grammar and/or spelling errors.  When these are pointed out (and by far I have not been the only one to do so), the posters - or perpetrators - seem to take perverse pride in their irreverence and/or sloppiness.  They scoff at anyone who points out their errors.

This sacrilege is considered funny by some.
This sacrilege is considered funny by some
We are accused of not having a "sense of humor".  Behind such accusations I suspect is a bit of group-think.  The memes are posted on Facebook with the expectation of eliciting laughter.  When someone voices an opinion that isn't one of hilarity, that person is subjected to none-too-subtle peer pressure to get with the program and to mindlessly giggle along with the rest of the crowd.  That group-think peer pressure is often invoked in the mantra "lighten up".  Their "lightening up" is really a dumbing down of holiness, piety, intellectual integrity, language integrity, and serious thought,  I touched on this several years ago, and not much has changed, except that I am seeing this more and more among people who call themselves Catholic.

The routine is that someone posts a meme that treats with flippancy matters of the Catholic faith, or involves crude jokes of sexual or scatological matters.  Obviously the poster intends others to giggle and chortle like mindless hyenas or chimpanzees.  That establishes the group-think expectation and many people fall right in.  Should anyone dare to question the so-called joke, the mob mocks them, accusing them of not having a "sense of humor".  It's rather similar to the snow-flakes accusing independent thinkers of engaging in "hate speech".  They are attempting to squelch thinking contrary to their own, most likely because it stings their consciences.  I find it eerily reminiscent of nazi-like behavior.

Since I wrote that post eleven years ago, I have been pondering that, plus the nonsense that has come up since.  Lately tik-tok videos have been cropping up, in blind compliance with various "challenges" that are made.  One of them involved a parent or other adult trusted by a baby, cracking an egg on the child's head and giggling over the child's distress by the assault.  Yes, it is assault.  Others involve the throwing of food at the child's face, again to record the child's reaction.  I am stunned that some Catholics take a nonchalant attitude towards these actions.  At what level of harm would they finally wake up?

I tried to come up with a word that defines these folks - again, many of them Catholics - who engage in this behavior, under the seeming anonymity of the internet.  While I wouldn't say they are acting in a manner typical of apostates, they certainly conduct themselves in manners that are more adolescent.  They act as though they are devoid of common sense and common manners.  The word I think, is OAF.  Most of the online definitions of that word include the word "stupid".  

If some reading this bristle at the definition, are you the sort that glories in your demonstrations of lackluster language skills?  Do you take pride in guffawing at irreverent and/or crude memes and jokes simply because they flash across your screens, being slaves to internet group-think?

If the shoe fits, wear it.  Or better yet, you could always decide that you will grow up and act like a reasonable adult, both away from the computer and online.

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