I was raised Catholic, but I’m not one of those Catholics. I’m a cool, fun Catholic! You know what I’m talking about-- I feel lot of shame regarding the Church’s scandals and injustices and I probably overcompensate when it comes to expressing how valid I think other religions and various beliefs arethat don’t jibe with the Church’s. I’m a guilty liberal Catholic who doesn’t go to church that much. Technically, you could easily say I’m not truly a Catholic, actually, but I still feel the need to give something up this time each year, so I think it’s pretty ingrained.
I know one person who definitely wouldn’t see me as a real Catholic, and that’s Rick Santorum. Santorum is one of those Catholics who isn’t afraid to express religious beliefs that will make him unpopular with feminists, gays, people of other or no religion and those who support all those folks. Obviously, these beliefs have been a turnoff for a lot of people, but a turn-on for several as well.
Santorum is, to put it mildly, a religious kind of guy. The kind of guy who believes that religion is good for the country as a whole, and I think we can infer that he is especially partial to one particular religion. He wouldn’t be thrilled if the country suddenly became devout but worshipped Allah instead of Jesus.
Santorum’s ways of expressing his beliefs regarding the separation of church and state have gotten him into some trouble with people who don’t believe that God belongs in government. Recently, though, I realized Santorum has blown a big opportunity when it comes to arguing the superiority and power of the Catholic church, and it’s this:
McDonalds’ fish sandwich was invented in 1962 by a franchise owner who wanted a sandwich he could sell to his Catholic clientele that didn’t eat meat on Fridays in Lent. This is why you suddenly see so many commercials and ads for the Filet-O-Fish this time of year (like this piece of artistry.)
I’ve thought about it, and I can’t think of any other major brand that has invented a such a popular product simply to appeal to people of a particular religion during a particular time of year. This, to me, is the truest and best sign of the power and importance of the Catholic Church (not to mention the fact that Catholics buying McFishes during Lent = more money being pumped into the economy.) Thus, since Catholics had a sandwich made for them by the juggernaut that is McDonalds, it’s clearly the one true religion.
Santorum’s failure to exploit this amazing fact is probably what caused him to lose the primaries in Michigan and Arizona last night. Many think he’s a holy rolling nutball when in fact he could have used cold, hard facts and hot, delicious fast-food to further his cause.
Rick, I don’t agree with you on anything that I can think of, but if you need my services as a campaign manager, I am available. I charge one million dollars.
UPDATE: I just got a note from a reader: regarding meatless Catholics: "In THOSE days, all 52 Fridays in any year were meatless. So if you are right about the provenance of the filet-o-fish, it was not a seasonal phenomenon. It was yearlong. Just FYI."