A couple of media related questions


Perhaps I should first mention that I am not a Catholic (or a Christian, for that matter), but my upbringing in the Catholic educational system has lent itself to me developing the deepest respect and admiration for the faith, and for the thoughtfulness and intellectual rigor underlying its pronouncements on ethical matters. In that regard, I often find myself consulting a Catholic perspective in my attempts to navigate my way through various ethical matters in my life, and I would be most grateful if I could benefit from such a perspective here (despite not being a member of the faith).

That said, and I apologize if the questions I’m asking come off as being needlessly concerned with ethical minuta, I wanted to gain some insight into ethical matters related to popular media. First, is it considered irreverent, through a Catholic perspective, to purchase books that refer to themselves as ‘The Bible of…’ in their titles? That is, "The Computer Programmer’s Bible,’ ‘The Weight Lifter’s Bible,’ etc. I realize that the word ‘bible’ itself simply refers to a collection of books, and is often used to simply refer to any authoritative compendium of information. However, even these colloquial uses of the word are obviously based upon the authoritative guidance of The Bible, and I imagine that’s the imagery that such titles intend to evoke.

Secondly, I’m sure we’re all familiar with musical albums that, while not necessarily collectively objectionable, have individual songs that may be objectionable themselves. More specifically, I recently came to purchase a band shirt that has the name of an album containing on particular song that rails against religion (and, it seems, the Judeo-Christian understanding of God), with the narrator coming to believe that his faith was the end-result of him having been lied to. I realize that the material here reflects ones own personal meditation on their life experiences, but I also realize that we must be mindful of the content we promote and associate with ourselves, and perhaps even the types of behavior our decisions incite with others (though I’m admittedly unclear as to where our responsibility for other people’s behavior begins and ends). Would it be inappropriate to wear such a shirt?

Again, I apologize if what I’m asking amounts to moral hair-splitting, but they’re questions that concern me, and it is by virtue of my respect and admiration for Catholic intellectual tradition that has compelled me to ask them here. Many thanks in advance.

There was a secular alt-rock band from the 80’s/early 90’s called The Bible that released some really good albums. Someone put their best song (“Crystal Palace”) on YouTube:

Bump :slight_smile:

I think this is one of those cases where as long as they aren’t out right being disrespectful, it is ok. I would have no problem buying “The Computer Programmer’s Bible” or whatever as long is it was a good book.

Secondly, I’m sure we’re all familiar with musical albums that, while not necessarily collectively objectionable, have individual songs that may be objectionable themselves. … Would it be inappropriate to wear such a shirt?

This is one of those things where you are really just going to have to go with your conscience. I personally wouldn’t have a problem buying the songs I liked individually, maybe that would send at least a bit of a message on what kind of music I appreciate. I think I would be a bit more wary of buying something that would support the artist in general. I think it would depend on how much of their music I disagreed with. If it was like one song, I wouldn’t be as concerned as much as if a large majority of the songs were problematic.

Hoplite: I’m Catholic and see nothinng irreverent.The word bible is not sacred.Yes.Its like standing up for a cause .

Right, but texts that bill themselves as ‘The Bible of…’ are likening themselves to the Bible in terms of their importance, albeit facetiously. My intuitive reaction is that this is largely irrelevant, but is it considered irreverent?

One last bump.

Would like to gather some additional perspectives.

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