Commercial Establishments

February

Anaheim, CA – Mother Publications, a five-year old company specializing in distasteful trading cards, released it’s “Perverted Priests” collection. A set of 36 cards, the company promises “100% unnatural corrupted clergy, demented deacons, maniac messiahs, sinister ministers, heinous horny healers and lesbian nuns.”

2/10/94

St. Cloud, MN – The US West telephone directory released new advertising guidelines which affected religious advertisers. The Yellow Pages ads for two nursing homes, the St. Benedict’s Center, run by Catholic Charities, and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home, were altered by the new guidelines. US West based policy on interpretation of the Federal Fair Housing Act which forbids discrimination. Good Shepherd was forced to remove its logo because it consists of a shepherd’s staff. St. Benedict’s Center, whose motto had been “All faiths welcome without preference,” was forced to change its motto to “Spiritual care for all faiths.” St. Benedict’s was also limited to using the “Benedict” just once in their entire ad, thus limiting their opportunity to list other services which included the same word. After numerous complaints both nationally and locally, US West returned to their original policy.

March

Anaheim, CA – Greg Garvey unveiled his Automatic Confession Machine, a computer programmed to guide users through a formal confession, at the 20th Annual International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Anaheim, California. His machine, in the shape of a gothic arch, features a photo of Jesus at the top, a red velvet cushion to kneel on, an eye-level computer screen and a keyboard. It charges $2 for three to four minutes of confessing, then spits out the penance.

October

The Funny Side Up catalog offers, for $6.50, “What’s Funny About Being Catholic,” which claims to be “chock full of comical Catholic, off-the-wall humor.”

December

Hoboken, NJ – Noble Works, a greeting card company based in Hoboken , produced a line of anti-Catholic Christmas cards. Images included Santa Claus on the cross, the Virgin Mary driving a cab, a mockery of the Nativity and of women religious. One card depicted a nun dressed in a traditional habit and playing guitar in front of a group of young children. She was singing “Like a virgin, touched for the very first time…” The inside greeting read: “Hope this Christmas is like the very first time.”

12/9/94

New York, NY – Barneys New York, an upscale clothing store, removed an offensive crèche scene from its storefront window in response to pressure from the league and the public. In the display, the Virgin Mary was shown as a “Hello Kitty” doll, dressed in an unfastened bustier and garters with her legs spread apart. Six nipples were depicted. Jesus was shown as another “Hello Kitty” doll, but was wearing a beanie and had a halo over his head. Bart Simpson dolls ere used to depict the Three Wise Men. Hanging over the middle of the stable was the red and yellow McDonald’s symbol. The scene was removed and returned to the artist.


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Written by Bill