Religion & Politics: USF Fall 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Should Mass try to appeal to the Masses

Mass media has a strong influence on both our culture and religion. It has shaped our lives to adapt to the preset time. In the article, “Should Mass try to appeal to the Masses” by Terry Mattingly (,5_5_WA01_RELIGION_S1.article) discusses the changes that religion institutions such as the Roman Catholic Church have to make to keep their followers. As discussed in class, mass media interactive where it creates normals, reinforces normals, and reinforces a perception. In our fast pace society, there are many people who lack the focus to want attend and be at mass. With the rise and popularity of Megachurchs style that produce its Sunday service more like variety-show entertainment than a traditional Protestant worship experience attracting a far greater number of followers.
As noted by Terry Mattingly “There are many reasons shy American Catholic want to edit and tweak their ancient rites. They know that Protestants megachurch offer rock-concert quality mass media, ample parking, free babysitting, health clubs, and every conceivable form of special programs for all ages but especially for the young.” Protestant megachurch are more attractive to many people living in our society where are the Roman Catholic seems to be ancient. The mass media has made it difficult for Catholics to compete in a market place where mass is usually portrayed as a painful and long event. One of the examples that Mattingly sue in his article is of the popular video website YouTube in which there a video of a Halloween costume Mass in California in which the parish ended the mass with the priest recessing out of the church dressed as Barney the purple dinosaur. The Catholic Church has to reconsider their approach since the mass media has really glorified megachurch as more entertaining and more suited better to out present time. The interactivity and experience that the Catholic Church preset is toward an older way in which mass is presented with dignity, grace, and a sense of quality.
The images of the megachurch reflect a youthful image where consumerisms play a part of their lives. Mattingly points out, “Megachurch promotes its free Starbuck coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts,” which Megachurch modern entertainment also deals with economics it is important for them to survive and continue. Megachurchs can be seen as aspiritual market place and example of this was given in a blog report about Ted Haggart.
The mass media and our culture has adopted to our fast pace lifestyle and technology in which could be seen in the article, “Word of God goes mobile in Cell World,” by Michele Boorshein ( in that it discusses the way we perceived and experience religion. James Katz, who studies the cultural and social meaning of cell phones at Rutger University notes that evidence of what he calls a “talismanic” connection many people have with their cell phones such as Catholics who text message their atoning Hail Mary prayer. Mass media has influenced a new medium for ministry offering faith-based content in a more youthful and attractive manner through modern technology, where people are able to view their bibles on their cell phones. At Harvest Christian Fellowership, pastor of media ministries, Paul Eaton, discusses the connection between people and their cell phones saying that are more personal than radio or television. The issue of mass media can be seen as being the center of our cultural and religious landscape it is a big part of our lives.


  • I also wrote a similar response to the impact of the media on religion and since the advancement of technology that is occuring people are taking another perspection on it. As you said, "In our fast pace society, there are many people who lack the focus to want attend and be at mass." People expect more and not only want to go to mass just because they have to but they want something that will keep them entertained and intrigued. The mass media encourages us to take this new approach onto religion.

    By Blogger lauren, at 10:40 AM  

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