Hipster Jesus isn’t just another internet meme.
Well, he is, but now the concept of the Nazarene as the original flip-flop wearing counter-culture independent thinker is the basis of an advertising campaign by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn that hopes to attract the skinny-pants set to Sunday mass.
“We wanted people to be able to see in Christ a reflection of themselves and in themselves a reflection of Christ,” said diocese spokesman Monsignor Kieran Harrington.
And hipsters are no exception.
The ads, part of the diocese’s new “All Faces, Everyday Understanding” campaign, portray Jesus Christ as an enlightened man in flowing robes with a pair of red, Converse-style sneakers sticking out from underneath, with the words “The Original Hipster” superimposed in block letters.
Church officials say its not strange for Christ figures to be painted a certain way to attract a certain crowd, even if it means wearing wool hats in May.
“Historically, any depiction of Christ is a reflection of the people of a certain culture,” said Harrington. “When Jesus goes out to meet the Syrophoenician woman, he meets her where he is. When Jesus goes out to meet Saint Matthew, he’s a tax collector. He doesn’t care. We love people because of who they are.”
Harrington does not know how many hipsters have been persuaded to visit a Catholic church because of the ads, but claims that doesn’t matter.
“All we can do is invite people,” said Harrington. “This is an invitation.”
And it is yet to be seen if the campaign will work on its target audience
“It’s so not my thing,” said 27-year-old Willimasburger Jordan Strain, as he walked down Bedford avenue with friends.
Other ads in the campaign feature a runner in a gym, and more are planed to target Chinese and Spanish Brooklynites.Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@c