Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Friday 26 April 2019

How could the Met Gala mock Christianity when it doesn't exist?


Share This Article:

Earlier this month the Met Gala took place, and some people weren't happy at the religious theme.

The Met Gala has taken place in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute since 1948, and throughout its history there have never been such large scale allegations of mockery made against it as there were this year.

The Metropolitan Museum

Put simply, the Met Gala is an annual ball through which exclusively chosen celebrities celebrate art and culture.

Whilst I'm not a fan of these inner-circle, club gatherings, what I do appreciate is the Gala's combination of art and fashion, history and the modern-day, in which it sews together affairs that are worlds apart. 

In its most recent ball, the Met Gala displayed its capability of bringing together different eras under the title: 'Heavenly bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination'. It makes for a great theme, and an even better display of art. 

Nearly all art and literature has its roots in religion. We wouldn't have a great number of books and paintings if it wasn't for holy scripture or ideas derived from religious practice. So I want to establish early on that I am grateful for the contribution religion has provided the arts.

What I'm not enthusiastic about is the way in which subjective truths (truths that only exist for certain people) have the ability to control objective truths (truths that are real for everyone). 

The celebration of Christian art meshed with a hint of Hollywood glamour has been frowned upon by a large group of religious followers, moreso on social media, with some users going as far as to say the Met Gala was 'blasphemous'.

How much did the Met Gala, if at all, mock Christianity?

To understand better how no claim of blasphemous mockery can be made, I'd like to draw a parrallel with the Star Wars Saga, that has thousands, if not millions of followers worldwide. What you see next is a hypothetical scenario.

The Met Gala is holding a ball in 2019. The title is: 'Intergalatic Worlds: Fashion and the Imagination of George Lucas'.

Thousands of Star Wars fans eagerly await the oppurtunity to see the world's A-listers dressed as their favourite characters.

But, it's all gone horribly wrong. Rihanna has come dressed as Luke, but she is seen swapping jokes with Katy Perry who's draped in gloomy robes as Palpatine (natural enemies). That would never happen in the movie! Just behind them, Lana del Ray and Jared Leto stand hand-in-hand, dressed as Princess Leia and Jar Jar Binks. Why are they together?! This is blasphemy in the name of the Force!

'This is outrageous. I can't believe the Met Gala would go so far as to undermine the order of the Star Wars Galaxy!,' says one Twitter user.

Another says, 'No other film saga would EVER be mocked like this. I bet if this was Harry Potter themed people would be going crazy!'.

Of course, this would never happen. The ludicrous nature of it is immediate.

But, if this did happen, I would bet that a large majority of people would guffaw at the claim that the Met Gala was mocking the Star Wars franchise, by hosting a night where guests conversed with one another regardless of their choice of fictional character. After all, Star Wars is only a story dreamed up by the imagination of George Lucas.

Yet, we can find similairties between the bold claims of mockery of religion, and Star Wars.

The claims of blasphemy are immediately nonsensical. As shown in the hypothetical scenario, someone may claim that in putting together incompatible characters, the Met Gala has blasphemed the Force. Is this true? 

The Force is only so sacred in that it fictionally exists within a fictional galaxy within a fictional narrative. I would conclude then, that we cannot blaspheme fiction, because it doesn't exist.

Similarly, God is a fictional entity created within the structured narrative of religious scripture. So, to what extent has the Met Gala blasphemed a fictional character?

We have already seen that it is impossble to blaspheme something that is fictional, because it doesn't exist. So surely the answer must be that the Met Gala has not blasphemed.

But the Met Gala was full of celebrities wearing garments with sacred symbols plastered all over them! Surely this amounts to some sort of disrespect?

Though this statement is more plausible, it poses a frighteningly close step towards the squeeze on freedom of choice. What was wrong with Lana del Rey wearing a dress that portrayed the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with swords bursting from her chest?

Ed Condon, who appeared on Good Morning Britain, argued that the image of Mary is sacred and shouldn't be displayed in such a way.

Yet, how far is the image sacred? So far in what immutable universal sacred value it holds? Or sacred so far in the value we have given to it in as humans? I think you'll find that the latter holds more sacred truth than the Immaculate image of Mary ever could.

Religious mythology for centuries has dictated the mechanisms of reality. Yet, its true worth sits within it's name: mythology. 

The moment religion is permitted to re-establish its powerful grasp on what happens in reality is the moment in which our logic and reasoning is defeated. And, as it stands, I would much prefer to see another Met Gala Ball celebrate the beautiful imagery that religious fiction has provided us with.

© 2019 is a website of BigChoice Group Limited | 201 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JA | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974