Growing up I I was obsessed with being cool. I liked the idea of standing out and being set apart and I sympathized with rebelliousness; this idea of sticking it to the man. At a certain point I realized that the most rebellious thing a millennial like me could be is a Catholic, so in that sense maybe it is cool to be Catholic. To know if Catholic Christianity is cool I think we have to properly define what it means to be cool and as far as I can tell there’s a couple different definitions. On the one hand being cool means fitting in: wearing the right clothes, listening to the right music, using the right app, using the right slang, and whatever else is approved by the herd. On the other hand being cool could mean rebelling against the trends and the approval of the herd. You embrace an attitude that says I don’t care what other people think of me and in so doing you impress everyone. As opposed as these two definitions seem to be they do share one thing in common. They both depend on an awareness of the trends and fashions of the day. So if you want to fit in you have to know what’s trendy in order to embrace it. If you want to rebel against it, you have to know what they are in order to avoid accidentally adopting them. Both pursuits subjugate a person to fashions and trends and here’s the really sad part; fashions and trends are arbitrarily defined by media personalities and advertising executives for one reason: to sell you crap that you don’t need. Like the last iPhone would serve everyone’s needs just fine but if you want to be cool you have to be using the latest one, even though whatever improvements they’ve made are impossible to detect for the average user. Cool is an arbitrary standard that turns a person into a means to someone else’s ends; an end that makes them rich and you into an easy sell. Catholic Christianity rejects the idea that you are a means to an end. It says that you are an end in and of yourself. You are the object of God’s love. So if my definitions of cool are accurate then I would say that, no, Catholicism is not cool. Catholicism is an enemy of cool. Chesterton said that it’s the one thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. I remember a conversation I had with a friend one time about faith and Christianity and by the end he found himself agreeing with a lot of the things I was saying so I decided to invite him to consider trying out for himself. Spend some time in prayer maybe even go to church and discover if it’s real for yourself. At that invitation he recoiled dramatically because he said that in the past he had openly ridiculed Christianity and he couldn’t just adopt it now for fear of what people might think of him and it made me think that how many people are there out there who steer a wide path around Christianity for fear that if they adopted it they’d no longer be cool… and they’d be right. You could say that a slogan of our generation is to not care what other people think of you and Christianity is one of the few things that will really put that to the test because you will be ridiculed for adopting it. Nobody knew that fact better than early Christians living in the Roman Empire. One of the earliest depictions of Jesus comes from graffiti that was carved into a wall that was mocking a Christian for worshipping a man that was crucified. Because crucifixion wasn’t just used to torture you to death, it had the simultaneous effect of publicly humiliating a person and the Roman Empire used it to great effect to subjugate anyone who would oppose them. So for Christians to worship and honor Jesus, a man who was crucified; that made them easy targets. But instead of hiding in shame they owned it and adopted it as their symbol as a lasting refusal to fit in. That symbol would eventually, triumphantly, come to rest on the highest peaks in the city of Rome. The crucifix, in that sense, is the most audacious symbol for not caring what other people think of you and if that’s important to you then maybe you should take a more serious look at the faith that has held it high for 2,000 years. Thanks for watching guys; if you want to see more cool videos then please subscribe and like and share and follow and all that stuff and come find me on Twitter and Facebook or YouTube or wherever you happen to find me and follow along and stay tuned.