It’s hip to be Christ

The Brooklyn Paper
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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 or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Well, I guess he did know about the promise of heaven before a lot of other people?
May 6, 2013, 7:55 am
o3 from bk says:
well jesus did hand around alotta questionable folks w poor hygiene including addicts & prostitutes.
May 6, 2013, 8:06 am
Boaz from Boston says:
Wait, did Mary bankroll Jesus's pad in Nazareth?
May 6, 2013, 9 am
K. from ArKady says:
"Allen baby, why so jaded?
Have the boys all grown up?
And their beauty faded...

Billy, what a saint they've made you.
Just like Mary down in Mexico,
on All Souls day."
May 6, 2013, 11:39 am
Dan M. from Boerum Hill says:
Wow. At least they're trying.

I just don't understand how he was a hipster... I don't recall him being overly judgmental of other people.

Furthermore, there are a ton of other holes to this analogy that I won't even bother to get into.
May 6, 2013, 12:25 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
It's sad that Christianity has to advertise like its a company selling a product. I though religions were based on faith and not marketing.
May 6, 2013, 12:40 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Catholicism, not Christianity. I know most sects or Christianity are pretty faithful.
May 6, 2013, 12:42 pm
diehipster from Crucifying Calebs says:
Incredible that the church has to stoop to such a low to attract the dirty and lazy hipsters. The church better make sure the stock up on gluten free communion wafers and organic wine where the grapes were stomped on by a bearded converse clad urban farmer.

Wait time out, I keep forgetting that hipsters and their stereotypes don't exist - only "vibrant & creative types".There's just a few real New Yorkers like myself who are delusionally making all this hipster stuff up. My bad.
May 6, 2013, 12:57 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Mr. Hipster, you're not a "real New Yorker." End of story.
May 6, 2013, 1:08 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Ok now it's gone too far. This is just too much on behalf of the church. I don't have any sort of delusional hatred of hipsters like that fool diehipster but this is a bit ridiculous.
May 6, 2013, 1:34 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Avenue says:
I don't have any sort of delusional hatred towards hipsters because my mother bankrolls my 3800 dollar apt in BillyBurg, as I spend most of my day entertaining my fellow Brooklynites with my subway improv performance group that all, and I mean ALL subway patrons simply adore.
May 6, 2013, 2:33 pm
jay from nyc says:
so wait, are they saying hipsters are pedophiles, like the church?
I am not even gonna get into hipster stance on abortion or gay marraige, but last time I checked hipsters tend to be pretty pro-choice and support gay marraige. Is the church changing its positions on these issues? Now I am just confused......
May 6, 2013, 7:21 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
Wow somebody figured out they could type in my handle and comment as me! That's incredible! You barely even have a GED and you were able to figure that out. Brilliant!
May 7, 2013, 11:25 am
Dan M. from Boerum Hill says:
If Catholicism was serious about attracting young church-goers, it would take actions meaningful to them such as allowing female priests, allowing priests to marry, prosecute pedophile priests, and favor gay-marriage. However, Catholicism is not serious about attracting young church-goers. Instead it plans to continue to stay afloat with more traditional societies in Latin America, at least until they become more educated and affluent, deciding to leave the church as well. Perhaps the church should save the money they wasted on advertising and spend it on helping others. It'd do a lot more to attract youths to their church.
May 8, 2013, 6:01 am
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
To those that are using the comments section of this article as an opportunity to soap box and criticize the Catholic Church...shut up. You're totally off-base from what this is article is about and you just look like an idiot.
May 8, 2013, 10:54 am
JAY from NYC says:
no I am not going to shut up interloper, the church itself put this at issue and I am free to comment on it, don't like it ? Then move to Russia where they put people like —— Riot in jail for criticizing a church.
May 8, 2013, 7:23 pm
Jerry from Bay Ridge says:
"Interloper," I agree with Jay. When an entity puts itself out there with public pitch and p.r. campaign, people have every right to comment and criticize -- whether the entity is a corporation, religious group or political party.

And I don't understand this pitch at all. Seems like a very shallow reading of JC *and* a misrepresentstion to hipsters (if they're uninformed enough to believe it ...)
May 9, 2013, 1:38 pm
"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
I'm not saying you don't have the right to say what you want to say but when you bring in un-related hot button issues on something that has no relevance to the topic at hand you look like an idiot. Set up your soapbox and tell everyone how much you hate Catholics and the Catholic Church somewhere else.
May 10, 2013, 12:18 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Well, I know a lot of hipsters that like to cosplay as fictional characters, so one more isn't anything surprising.
May 12, 2013, 10:27 am

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