Theology of the Zombie: 7 Quick Takes XXVIII

by | Sep 6, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Notable and Quotable, Pop Culture, Pope Francis | 9 comments

So, this happened during a family rosary in the car this week:

All: . . . He will come again in glory to judge to living and the dead . . . 
Jack (11): What about the living dead? Will He judge the living dead?
Me: Zombies? Well, since that issue isn’t addressed in the Bible or the Catechism, I think it’s something that good Catholics can form their own opinions about. . . . I mean, shush, we’re saying the rosary.

Moments later, during our intentions (which we do after the creed). . .

Anita (4): I’d like to offer this rosary for daddy and for sick parents and children and for zombies.

But now, I’m wondering . . . how does the zombie myth fit into Christian truth? Because, really, most monsters can be traced back into a fictionalization (and sensationalization) of a Christian belief. Vampires drink blood to live forever? Hey, me too. Frankenstein is many parts, but one body? I feel like I’ve heard that in a catchy folk song someplace. Zombies’ human bodies have been raised again from the dead? I am totally looking forward to that.

We profess that belief in each of the creeds, but it’s fanciest in the Athanasian Creed:

. . . He shall come to judge the living and the dead; at His coming all men have to arise again with their bodies and will render an account of their own deeds: and those who have done good, will go into life everlasting, but those who have done evil, into eternal fire.
This is the Catholic faith; unless every one believes this faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved. Amen.

So what’s the answer to Jack’s question? I’m going to go with: Yes. Yes, He will.

And hey, speaking of dead stuff, I wrote a post this week about how reading Flannery O’Conner or watching Breaking Bad makes me feel like I’ve just had a visit from a dementor. All . . . happiness . . . gone.

But Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas disagrees and wrote up ten things she loves about Flannery O’Connor (I was totally hoping she would).

8. She shows me that something can be grotesque and heartbreakingly beautiful at the same time. When I find those two things in Flannery’s works, I’m reminded of looking at a crucifix and seeing the gutwrenching grotesque violent agony of Christ’s passion and how that sight is the most beautiful image I can imagine.

And that . . . is a really good point. But it must be a temperament thing, because while meditating upon the passion, I get shivers, but reading Flannery O’Connor still just gives me the creeps. I promise to try again in ten years.

I do like her non-fiction though, if that helps any. I am right with her on this:

How great would HER blog have been?

And now a cautionary tale from the blogoverse . . .

So, a mom blogger decided to write an open letter to the girls who post alluring selfies on social media, explaining how doing so, even once, would get a girl banned from social media interactions with her teenaged sons.

And then she illustrated her article with photos of said teenaged sons shirtless and flexing at the beach. Oops. Her poor combox.

In her defense, she did apologize for the confusion her photos created and reposted the article with new photos.

But while I agree with the commenters who thought her photos were an ironic choice, my main issue with her post was a different one entirely. While I like her policy of an open and parent-involved use of social media, I do not plan to teach my sons that modesty is just for girls OR that the responsibility for keeping their minds out of the gutter lies solely with the women and girls around them. That’s how we end up in burkas, ladies.

I think this is another case for my “It’s ALL Your Fault” method of parenting. I plan to tell my teenaged boys that it’s totally their responsibility to guard their own eyes and thoughts and to respect and honor the girls around them no matter how confused those girls are. And I plan to tell my teenaged girls that it’s totally their responsibility to dress and behave like ladies and to guard their own eyes and thoughts.

That’s the plan anyway.

Update: got this posted, catching up on blogs, realized that Simcha said pretty much this exact same thing at the Register today, and she already has teenagers!

I feel vastly more qualified to have opinions about TV shows and parenting than I do about just war doctrine and global politics, buuuuuut, I’m getting the feeling that bombing Syria isn’t the way to go on this one.

Here are some articles I’ve found enlightening on the subject:

Glenn Beck has a rant that made some good points.
It’s not good news when Putin starts making more sense than our own president.
There’s a heartbreaking letter from some Trappist nuns living in Syria.

Also, Pope Francis has some thoughts:

I like our family to join in opportunities for prayer and fasting and, ya know, do what the Pope says. So I’m trying to figure out how we’ll participate in this. My understanding is that he will be in St. Peter’s Square from 7pm to midnight, which would be lunch/naptime here.

I’m thinking we’ll have an early lunch and then go try to do another family holy hour. I was shocked when we did a whole hour (we were in and out with Frankie, but mostly in) and it was NOT a total disaster. 7/8ths of us aren’t bound by fasts because of age or pregnancy, but we could still manage that wimpy half-meal-type fasting, or at least no snacks or screens.

We had a great time at the LA County Fair this week. Most of it was the standard stuff: baby animals, bee keeper, blacksmith, junk food, carnival rides. But THIS year the theme of the kids’ pavillion was Fantasy Fiction (books mostly, but the T.A.R.D.I.S. snuck in there too). We were totally geeking out!

Pro tip: Write your cell phone number on your kids’ arms with a sharpie, then if (in my case, when) you lose one, some nice mom just calls you and you come get him instead of having to go all the way to security. It was Gus this time, btw.

Happy/solemn and prayerful weekend everyone!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Laura Rydberg

    I loved your Flannery post earlier this week: it was like, "oh! I'm allowed to NOT like her too?!" I do love one story of hers, however, the last one she ever wrote, about the tattooed man. Oh, that one is so stinking heartbreakingly beautiful.

    Also, a thought: I think that woman is teaching her sons to be respectful of women. She's just being realistic: those boys aren't going to teach themselves. 🙂

  2. Endless Strength

    I don't know…I liked the woman's post to girls. I have three girls aged 12, 10 and 7. The poses I see little girls post on Instagram (my kids don't have it, but these girls in their classes do!) make me shudder and I don't have sons their ages. I agree it's the boys' responsibility to guard their eyes/hearts/minds, etc. but she is showing them how and she's explaining to the friends they have that are girls why she's teaching her sons to steer clear.

    I loved Simcha's post, too. I also have little boys (ages 4 and 2). I don't know…I know the answer is NOT to ban all social media or anything, but it's tempting. 🙂

  3. Tiffany O

    I loved this! I can't wait to show this post to my husband. A "Theology of the Zombie" is something he can appreciate! 🙂

  4. Theresa

    When I read that open letter to girls the other day, I actually though, "Oh, I hope Kendra writes something about this!"

  5. Danielle

    Loved this post! And love the Flannery O'Connor quote enough to post it to my own blog (and linked back to you!) Pretty sure that hits on the head why I blog at all. Have a nice weekend! 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    Zombies are a demonic version of the Resurrection.

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