There is an account on the platform formerly known as Twitter, which shares posts encouraging people to worship Greek gods. For real. At least, it seems to be in earnest. We all know that many social media platforms openly pay contributors who stir up lots of engagement, and an easy way to do this is to post crazy, provocative things.
At the same time, we also all know that people in the year 2024 will really, truly believe anything. People are uneducated in a way we haven’t seen in quite some time, and they are thirsty for meaning and direction in direct proportion to how little truth they are encountering. So it’s plausible that “The Hellenist” is making money on social media, but is also someone who thinks the Greek gods look cool and has decided: Sure, I’ll go with that.
Here is the recent post that got my attention. He wrote: “What if instead of forcing our children to become Christians, we let them choose which gods to worship. Does anyone honestly think they would choose Jesus?” And the image that accompanies it has photos of statues of Zeus, Aphrodite, and Apollo, pointing out that they are the Gods of (respectively), “the sky, lightning, thunder, law, and order,” “love, passion, pleasure, and beauty,” and “oracles, archery, healing, music, light, knowledge, and protection of the young.” And then it has a picture of Jesus hanging limply from a cross, and under him, it says, “God of loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, meekness, and poverty.”
It matters to God whether or not this fellow is in earnest, or if he’s just yakking about sacred things as a way of earning some cash; but it doesn’t really matter to me. The truth is, he’s asked an excellent question. Why WOULD we chose to worship Jesus, when he puts up such a poor show? It’s easy for comfortably established Catholics to say, “Oh, how ignorant this guy is,” and wave him away, but this is a missed opportunity, especially since he’s specifically talking about children, and what they would do if they had a choice.
Since I do have children, and since they do have a choice about whom to worship, but they also presumably have the advantage of knowing a thing or two about why we follow the man on the cross, I went to my kids, and I showed them the image. I asked, “What would you say, if someone asked you this?” Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.