US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Lighten up! Obama votive candle sparks controversy

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Here’s another example of what Father Paul Boudreau argues in The Unimportance of Being Earnest: A San Francisco priest gives free publicity to a joke store selling Obama votive candles by complaining about it.

Just for Fun card and novelty shop sells candles with the body of St. Martin de Porres and the head of President Barack Obama, and they are quite popular. In a church newsletter, Father Tony La Torre of St. Philip the Apostle Church asked his parishioners to boycott the store. The item, he says, "mocks Jesus" and "depicts our beloved saints in a not so saintly way," according to the San Francisco Chonicle.

Store owners Robert Ramsey and David Eiland say this item is no different from the other religious gag gifts, such as the “Beware of Nunzilla” wind-up toys, and they do not carry some of the truly offensive products available in other novelty stores. They’ve posted La Torre’s letter in their window and the candles continue to sell well.

Even worse, La Torre said the owners as Jews "should know what it feels like to be mocked and ridiculed." Turns out the owners are not Jewish, though, and La Torre has since retracted that statement.

Speaking of Obama’s holiness, did you hear about his secret canonization? Just kidding, of course, but the picture (found on the Telegraph's page on Obama) looks pretty silly--and it's another good reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.

(Votive picture from here.)