Art and entertainment, sin and Satan, and some questions

On another forum, a person said that anything that is against God’s truth is Satanic and should be avoided. The irony is that this person is a Protestant. He opened himself up to a sharp reply, but I did not take that opportunity. Rather, I thought about what he said. I am reluctant to admit that I think he has a point. To some degree, all darkness and lies proceed from the Prince of Darkness and the Father of Lies. But then, should we be so ham-handed to say that all art and entertainment that is anti-Catholic is Satanic? Isn’t that too broad? After all, we would have to say that Protestantism is Satanic using that reasoning. Pretty much everything that disagrees with the Catholic Faith would have to be called Satanic, and that does not seem right. Quite a lot of things that disagree with the Catholic Faith would be Satanic.

So… what should we make of anti-Catholic stuff, then? And what are our moral obligations with regard to them? To avoid them? That does not seem right, either.

Take, for example, the recent controversy in France about the crucifix in a jar of pee. Is it offensive? Sure. But it is offensive to make a point - to shame us into realizing just how much we profane Christ.

Little things like this interest me.

[quote="Windfish, post:1, topic:239234"]
On another forum, a person said that anything that is against God's truth is Satanic and should be avoided. The irony is that this person is a Protestant. He opened himself up to a sharp reply, but I did not take that opportunity. Rather, I thought about what he said. I am reluctant to admit that I think he has a point. To some degree, all darkness and lies proceed from the Prince of Darkness and the Father of Lies. But then, should we be so ham-handed to say that all art and entertainment that is anti-Catholic is Satanic? Isn't that too broad? After all, we would have to say that Protestantism is Satanic using that reasoning. Pretty much everything that disagrees with the Catholic Faith would have to be called Satanic, and that does not seem right. Quite a lot of things that disagree with the Catholic Faith would be Satanic.

So... what should we make of anti-Catholic stuff, then? And what are our moral obligations with regard to them? To avoid them? That does not seem right, either.

Take, for example, the recent controversy in France about the crucifix in a jar of pee. Is it offensive? Sure. But it is offensive to make a point - to shame us into realizing just how much we profane Christ.

Little things like this interest me.

[/quote]

Yes, it is too broad a stroke to make because it assumes that most art made by Human hands may be evil. After all we all have different interpretations as to what is anti-catholic, so it a general judgement that should be left to God. Most art does not openly challenge faith, and therefore should not be considered evil. Most art is simply an imperfect reflection of life taken from a certain person's point of view. But some art of cause will cross that barrier and become offensive to both us and to God, we will naturally perceive this is the case. This art is indeed wrong and possibly the work of Satan, but this does not apply to most artworks which are mostly concerned with human issues and not faith.

If you do not like a specific work of art, you can choose to ignore it, or you can choose, if it is offensive to you and you believe it is openly offensive to God, to protest against it.

And by the way, protestantism is not of the Devil, it is partly of Mankind, and it is actually against the Catholic Church's ecumenical theology to teach that it is entirly of the Devil. The Catholic Church has always taught it is an imperfect church itself, containing human beings who are sinful. Saint Joan of Arc once said that evil exists within the human element of our church itself, therefore we cannot teach that protestantism is entirely of evil itself as it is somewhat hypocritical.

Protestantism contains the basic fruits of faith and some "protestant churchs"(Some churches with Apostolic Succession, like some parts of the Anglican faith) are officially recognized now as being in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Most protestants actually believe in the real presence(just not transubstantiation, but rather that our lord is already present), most protestants are correctly baptized and some protestants attend churches with Apostolic succession and also now attend church's in communion with Rome.

This of cause the ancient argument of weather or not the glass is half empty or half full. I happen to see it from the second opinion, as a glass half full(but not totally full!).

Even if the sentiment is theologically accurate (which I do not think it is), I would still recommend against using the word “satanic” to describe problematic art and entertainment.

For one, using the word “satanic” in such a broad way will lessen one’s credibility with pretty much anyone except for those that already agree with you. Nothing will provoke a dismissive eye roll faster than trotting out the word “satanic” as your descriptor of choice.

For stuff like the crucifix in the jar of urine, I find it more accurate to call it supremely blasphemous, highly offensive, and generally tacky. I do not care how good the intentions of the artist are, there is never a justifiable reason to place excrement on a religious object and call it art. I see no reason to call it satanic, though.

I think it’s more helpful to explain why this or that thing is morally problematic. Certainly, it is easier to simply call it satanic and have that be the end of it (after all, what good Christian wants to find themselves in the position of defending the satanic!?). But it strikes me as a rhetorical ploy employed to circumvent rational discussion. I think we can do better than that.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.