Jim Gaffigan and Catholic Celebrity Canonizations

Jim Gaffigan and Catholic Celebrity Canonizations

[A neo-Catholic idol turns to clay]

Eric Sammons
June 26, 2017

We all remember high school and its cliques: the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, etc…and of course the mass of kids who just hope to survive without any embarrassing moments on their permanent record. One thing was certain: you were either a cool kid, or you wanted to be one. If you were a cool kid, you did everything in your power to remain in that position, and if you weren’t, you did everything you could to be accepted by the cool kids.

Celebrity Crushes

I’m reminded of this Lord of the Flies scenario by the attitude of many practicing Catholics today. Being a Catholic today is like being the last kid picked for kickball, and the kid picked before you was on crutches. This impacts how we interact with our culture: we all have a natural desire to be liked and accepted. So we have a temptation to grasp any acceptance we can find, like an insecure teenage girl who wants the quarterback to notice her. Every few weeks Catholic social media gushes over a random celebrity who said something that wasn’t completely anti-Catholic. Did you hear? Mark Wahlberg said he goes to Mass! Hey, Patricia Heaton is pro-life! Melania Trump looked at a Mary statue! Catholics end up sounding like a Sally Field acceptance speech, “They like me – they really like me!”

One celebrity that has been highly feted in recent years by Catholics is the stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan. He’s been a speaker at a FOCUS [Fellowship of Catholic University Students] conference, gave the commencement address at Catholic University, and was even featured at the World Meeting of Families in 2015. Catholics assumed that since he has more than 2.3 kids and doesn’t attack the Church like a typical Hollywood star, then he must be a practicing, orthodox Catholic. His public canonization was nearly complete.

Not so fast:

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That’s right: model Catholic Jim Gaffigan publicly supported an event that celebrates objectively sinful activity. When’s that next World Meeting of Families so we can invite the president of Planned Parenthood? Of course, for those paying attention, it’s been clear for years that Gaffigan would only go so far in his support of Catholic teaching, as his shows have always been gay-friendly. The homosexual agenda is incredibly powerful in Hollywood, and anyone who dares to oppose it quickly finds themselves lower than Carrot Top in the Hollywood hierarchy.

American or Catholic?

The inferiority complex Catholics feel has a long history in this country. In fact, I would argue that it’s embedded in the American Catholic psyche. The United States is beyond question a Protestant country, with Protestant founders, and Protestant history, and a clear Protestant majority population. Catholics have long felt the need to “fit in” so that they can peacefully practice their faith without interference. But by fitting in, Catholics have often themselves “interfered” with their Church—by reshaping it in a more American-palatable image.

A supreme example was the presidential candidacy of John F. Kennedy in 1960. As potentially the first Catholic president, Kennedy made sure to downplay any connection between himself and the Vatican. In his famous address to Protestant clergy, Kennedy made clear that the Vatican—and by extension, Church teaching—would have no effect on his decision-making.

A couple decades later, Catholic governor Mario Cuomo ran for the 1984 presidential nomination in the abortion-loving Democratic party, and he made the now-infamous (and false) distinction between his private beliefs and public policy. Since then, many Catholic politicians have used the same cover when running on a pro-abortion platform.

But for Pride, Richard?

This rush for acceptance isn’t limited to political circles; Catholics in America by and large avoid parading any peculiar Catholic beliefs and practices, in order to fit in to our non- (and often anti-) Catholic culture. We throw away our Catholic beliefs in order to gain acceptance in a world suspicious of Catholicism. We’ve seen the same phenomenon inside the Church as well. Prelates are terrified to confront sinful lifestyles if it means challenging our rainbow-colored zeitgeist. Priests don’t preach against popular sins for fear of appearing out-of-touch, losing the support of well-heeled donors, or being called down to the chancery for a tongue-lashing. And popular ministries—many of which often are sincerely trying to follow Church teaching—lift up as models celebrities who follow the religion of “pride” more than God’s religion.

Our Lord told us, “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mark 8:36). And what does it profit the Church, to gain the world’s acceptance, and suffer the loss of her soul? Instead of striving to find acceptance among the world’s elite, Catholics should be striving to be accepted by Heaven’s elite: Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Saints. Like St. Thomas More, we must be willing to face rejection by those in power—even in the face of death—in order to be faithful to Christ.

In those high school cliques, it’s usually the kids who don’t care about being “cool” who end up the most successful in life, for they, like St. Thomas More, are the most self-assured. The cool kids, on the other hand, often simply spend their days reliving their high school glory years, still pining for attention from others. Catholics can learn a lesson from this.

With Jim Gaffigan publicly supporting one of the “sins that cry to heaven” (CCC 1867), the only people laughing now are those who wish to see the Catholic Church, desperate for acceptance, continue its slide into cultural irrelevance.

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2 comments on “Jim Gaffigan and Catholic Celebrity Canonizations

  1. [He’s worse than we thought: Not only disappointing fellow neo-Catholics and setting a bad example for his children but also being a hypocrite as the “King of Clean Comedy” in the kind of entertainment he participates as well as in his statements of the effect of the Catholic faith on it and his vote]

    Catholic Comedian Jim Gaffigan Catches Heat for Photo of His Children at Gay Rally

    “I’m so proud of my gay kids”

    by Trey Elmore • ChurchMilitant • June 26, 2017

    NEW YORK – Popular Catholic comedian Jim Gaffigan is drawing ire from thousands of Catholics after posting a picture on Facebook of his children waving rainbow flags at the New York City gay pride parade Sunday. Gaffigan captioned the picture of his five children with the words, “I’m so proud of my gay kids. Happy #pride2017#pridenyc.”

    A number of Catholics voiced criticism of the image in the Facebook comments thread. Gaffigan has long been public about his Catholic faith, making appearances with Cdl. Timothy Dolan on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel and appearing in a documentary film on the original Divine Mercy painting. He also performed at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in 2015.

    His wife Jeannie posted a comment on Instagram in response to the backlash explaining that her children had been in the sprinkler park and the gay pride parade marched by and “handed out rainbow flags!” She did not address, however, her husband’s choice to have their children pose with the flags while he snapped a photo and posted it publicly to promote the gay pride rally.

    The Wall Street Journal dubbed Gaffigan the “King of Clean Comedy,” although the cleanliness of Gaffigan’s material about “meeting a hooker” immediately after confession is disputable at best. During an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, Maher, a liberal atheist, asked Gaffigan if his Catholic faith affected his vote, and Gaffigan responded simply, “No, I don’t think so.” His television program, The Jim Gaffigan Show, features a gay character played by Michael Ian Black.

    In an interview on NPR, Gaffigan alluded to controversy over dissident Catholic politicians, commenting that he has gotten the impression from the Holy Father that the teaching of the Church and of St. Paul about worthy reception of Holy Communion doesn’t apply in the case of Catholics who reject the Church’s moral teachings.

    “You know, it’s interesting because I was watching this thing last night,” he said. “I think CNN had a thing on it, and it made me realize that for the past 20 years, there has been this belief among the Catholic community — and this — I’m no expert, this is my opinion, that cafeteria Catholics are wrong. It’s either you follow all the rules or you’re not really Catholic.”

    He continued, “And I think what Pope Francis is saying is that nobody’s perfect? And so someone like Joe Biden, when he was running for president, there were some bishops that were like ‘don’t let him have the Eucharist.’ And Pope Francis is saying that’s not the point of this.”

    Gaffigan described himself on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert as “not a good Catholic, like if there was a test for Catholics I would fail. But most Catholics would fail, which is probably why there’s not a test.”

    Gaffigan’s wife Jeannie said to the National Catholic Register last year, “We’re not turning around and telling everyone if you don’t live this way you’re bad. Be good, and the good will spread, rather than casting judgment on other people.”

    Gaffigan’s stunt with his children makes him one of the country’s most visible public lay Catholics who is not a politician to voice support for the homosexual ideology.

  2. What a farce. He might as well be a front man for his local Rotary Club. Although many neo-Kathlyckx will not “get ” what’s spiritually wrong in this story, anyway.

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