Now that Christmas is officially over, it’s time that I start blogging again.
And that means, among other things, shining light on those who are hostile to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
As of late, my attention has been focused on fast food giant KFC.
I can’t believe this went un-reported for so long. I guess that’s to be expected, though. When I first came across this earlier in the week I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit.
Apparently, the following commercial is part of an ad campaign released by KFC back in early December in the U.K.
It’s only two and a half minutes long but it’s excruciating to watch.
So, did you catch that?
Christmas carols are “stupid songs.”
In reality, people “typically hate each other’s guts”.
Giving in to our vices is a good thing.
And lawsuits are usually how broken windows are resolved.
What type of misanthropic, bitter society does KFC think we live in?
Now, I get what KFC is trying to do. They are simply dramatizing the stressful situations that can arise during the holidays so they can convince us that a big ol’ bucket of genetically engineered chicken is the answer to all of life’s problems.
As devious as that is, that’s marketing, I suppose.
But there is another element at play here.
Surely this particular commercial’s creators did not intend this, but what they’ve managed to do is make a rather insightful remark on the spiritual state of the Western world.
What, for example, do you get when God and an authentic understanding of charity is completely removed from our public consciousnesses? What do you get when the notion of sin is whitewashed from society and, aided by a culture that equates happiness with a bigger bank account, we are encouraged to satisfy every impulse we have? In other words, what do you get when the afterlife becomes an afterthought?
Well, you get parents who think that giving their kids whatever they want will make them love them fighting over toys. You get neighbors bringing each other to court instead of amicably finding a solution to their quarrels. You get senior citizens expressing feelings of contempt for those who want nothing more than to bring them joy. And you fall prey to the belief that cheap, unhealthy, obesity-inducing food is what truly brings us together.
Catholics should recognize that this sort of society, the one satirized by KFC, is sadly not all that dissimilar from the increasingly atheistic world we live in today. As such, we should acknowledge that we have a lot of work to do in our evangelizing efforts.
Also, we should be cognizant of the fact that Christ brings us together far more greater than any food or material possession ever could, and that we need to not only place him at the center of our lives but that we need to convince others to do so as well. As Pope Pius XI proclaimed in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, “[only when] men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, [will] society at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.”