When you think you have finally seen every destructive thing a culture can produce, something still more destructive confronts you.
In the video for her new single, “Feather,” pop singer Sabrina Carpenter used a Catholic Church’s sanctuary as a setting in which to perform provocative dances while scantily clad.
Now, according to The Spectator, the parish priest responsible for approving the church’s use has suffered demotion.
Carpenter’s performance occurred at the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn, New York. She released the video on Halloween.
In response to justifiable outrage, the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has stripped Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello of administrative duties. The Diocese also removed Gigantiello from a development role.
Meanwhile, Bishop Robert Brennan restored the sanctity of the altar by presiding over a Mass of Reparation.
“Bishop Brennan is appalled at what was filmed at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Brooklyn. The parish did not follow Diocesan policy regarding the filming on Church property, which includes a review of the scenes and script. The parish reports that the production company failed to accurately represent the video content. Bishop Brennan is taking this matter seriously and will be looking into it further,” a Diocesan representative said in a statement.
Perhaps this is a function of advancing age, but what struck me most about Carpenter’s video was her utter insignificance.
Never mind that she looks, sounds and behaves like any other uninhibited blond pop singer in the 21st century. That would make her unremarkable only in comparison with her peers.
She defiled a the holy setting to showcase herself; however, her comparative insignificance defies human comprehension.
On some deep level, in fact, one senses that even she must know these things about herself.
Oddly enough, Carpenter’s desecrating performance appeared only in the final 40 seconds of a more than three-minute video.
Most of what preceded that performance had Carpenter playing the role of a beleaguered, sexualized object, albeit a violent one.
First, she strolled along a sidewalk, wearing headphones while sporting a skin-tight top and short skirt. Young men began to follow her. She ignored them, and within moments a passing truck ran them over.
Then, she found herself in a gym wearing boxing gloves and punching at the camera. Her outfit, of course, revealed as much as possible while still passing for workout clothes. Men literally began fighting over her while she took selfies.
At that point, blood began to spatter. It seemed that all her admirers had killed each other. She appeared to enjoy this as she gingerly stepped over their bodies.
In the next scene, she entered an elevator. A nicely dressed young man caught her attention, but he tried to keep his notice of her secret, and in fact, he checked his watch.
Still, as she led him out of the elevator by his tie, it became clear that she intended to kill him. She got his tie stuck in the elevator, and moments later blood ran down the door as she waved goodbye.
Dressed in a revealing black outfit and veil that seemed to mock the very idea of mourning, she strutted down the center aisle and danced in front of the altar, itself covered with candles and other objects. Four pastel coffins — two on each side — flanked the altar. Then, having finished, she exited the front of the church with an exhale of relief.
Thus ended the spectacle.
Carpenter’s video, which contains vulgar language and disturbing imagery, can be seen here.
Again, having described that video, I cannot help but sense that Carpenter recognizes her own insignificance. How could she not? A young, blond pop star who wears revealing clothing and gets attention from young men? She could hardly be less original.
That makes her at least as much an object of pity as of scorn.
After all, if she wanted to realize her authentic self, she needed only to look around for inspiration. Rather than settling for a cookie-cutter, pop-star, shock-at-all-costs persona, she could have begun a journey toward becoming the person God made her to be.
Therein lay our modern culture’s destructive capacity. A young woman could throw off all her silly airs to find eternal love and purpose, and yet even in close proximity to the thing she most craves — finding her authentic self — she cannot recognize it.
God works in mysterious ways, however, so perhaps one day she will.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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