All Hipsters Eventually Become Catholic


If you’ve been living in a bomb shelter under your parent’s house since 1990 and don’t know what a hipster is, then go here and read up to get a rough idea. I think they’re Catholics.

Hipster refers to a subculture of contemporary young adults. They like independent
music and wearing unpopular clothing styles. Hipsters love things that aren’t mainstream, and they love irony and paradox. They love having their own art, culture, and hipster jargon. They love reading the books no one recognizes and listening to the music you wouldn’t know about.

Lots of people I know have opinions of hipsters. Some flat out hate them. They have been called names like “the embodiement of postmodernism” by critics. Some turn their noses up in contempt, but secretly (or not so secretly) dress like them. In fact, a hipster would turn up his nose if you called him a hipster.

The Word on Fire blog gives some good insight into how to evangelize this subset of our modern culture, but I don’t think we have to be too worried:

Hipsters eventually become Catholic.

This is less of a fact and more of a prophecy. But haven’t you felt the same way deep down?

Aren’t you, as a Catholic, somewhat charmed and intrigued by hipsters?

Next Generation Hipster Manifesto

Isn’t it true that living out the Catholic faith in modern society is the ultimate anti-mainstream life of non-conformity and going-against-the-flow? And the Catholic culture we’ve inherited provides a wealth of uncool topics to chose from.

Eventually all the dingy coffee shops will be places where you can spot a guy wearing skinny jeans, an impractical scarf, and donning a green tattoo of St. Basil on his arm.

The new hispter loves going to daily Mass at his parish, where the pews are filled with no one under the age of 50. He did it before it was cool.

That guy in the corner with the thick rimmed glasses and bowling shoes sipping a chai latte? He’s wearing a St. Benedict crucifix while reading a leather bound copy of “Medieval Religion and Other Essays” with yellowed pages. He’s been on a Christopher Dawson kick these past months. (If you don’t know about him, you aren’t a Catholic hipster and you should really look into him.)

You can tell the likes of the Next Generation of Hipsters by their out of place lingo. They use words like “interretium” when referring to the internet, are known to dance and shout “Veni, veni, veni Locamowae cum me”, and have stickers on their bikes that say “Sona si Latine loqueris”.

Latin is a “dead” language you know. How much more not mainistream can you get?

They form book clubs and meet in the back of the local open-mic cafe to chuckle over G.K. Chesterton – you wouldn’t understand.

They argue about how Tantum Ergo should be chanted, and have Gregorian Chant for all Seasons as a channel on Pandora.

They believe whole heatedly in subsidiarity, and they pick up their vegetables from a local farm CSA program wearing their paradoxical clothing.

They date seriously and are excited to live a life of chastity and monogamy. Being single and sleeping around is so safe and boring and mainstream anyways. It’s a cowardly garden-variety life running from responsibility, never risking rejection or failure, and being too timid to attempt the challenge of choosing the one you will spend the rest of your life loving in total selflessness. And try raising other human persons for 18 years at a time once you are married.

The next generation of hipsters refuse the mediocrity of self-indulgence. The popular existence of floating from one drunken party to another memory-less night, that’s easy. It takes no thought or self-reflection or individuality. What a familiar story. Getting consistently high is too simple – what a lame and bland existence.

Try to make a decision that lasts the rest of your life – get married. That’s risky. Have a child and try to get him to heaven. What a lofty goal. Live through the ups and downs and feel the pains and joys of REAL life experienced to the full with the wide spectrum of human emotion and experience.

These Catholic Hipsters of the New Generation don’t accept the widespread belief that suffering (and therefore life) is pointless.  These hipsters have the radical notion that they are in a love affair with a God that is bigger than the universe, knows them better than they know themselves, and longs for them and their perfection like a deer pants for water. Now there is the premise of an outside-the-box life worth living.

Because Jersey Shore and the sex, drugs, and rock and roll of the average has so been done before a GAHJILION times.

_________________________________________________________________________

This is part of a series of posts called the Catholic Hipster Manifesto.

**Comment and add some of the activities and interests of the Ultimate Catholic Hispter.  I know you’ve seen one.  Of course you’re not one.

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95 thoughts on “All Hipsters Eventually Become Catholic

  1. Last week I was talking to my youth minister asking if Catholics frowned upon hipsters and he just sent me this link. it’s IRONIC because I was telling him I want to become one.
    Love this.
    - Jez

  2. Generations for Life » Blog Archive » Catholic Hipsters of the New Generation

    • Yeah, I actually did that. “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” was my fave thing ever, so I started using it two months early. #uberhipster

      • I am sort of an “old hipster”! And I also have been praying Latin responses to myself for a time. And, being a female and not wanting to look or dress like a man, I wear skirts to Mass. I love sacred hymns and cringe at the Protestant and sometimes heretical songs foisted upon us at Mass.

        Also love and attend daily Mass. Regular confession? Of course!!! Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Love it!

  3. Just when I thought grasping at straws couldn’t get any more lame the RCC comes through again.
    What could be less mainstream than a church that boasts hundreds of millions of followers?
    Answer: Everything else.

    • From the outside it is tough to see the differences. Get to know a few Catholics a little better, and you’d be surprised. It’s also interesting how so many can feel so inferioralized/marginalized, but it’s also evidenced frequently. Critics will criticize.

    • Most Catholics are not hipster. “The new hispter loves going to daily Mass at his parish, where the pews are filled with no one under the age of 50. He did it before it was cool.” This article is spot on. I’m an older Catholic who has raised a hipster child or three into young adulthood, though I’m not sure they would admit it. Now that mainstream America, including a lot of Catholics, has turned against authentic Catholic teachings and lifestyle, they’re not mainstream any longer. Of course, those of the “new mainstream” don’t like for anybody to point this out but that’s their problem.

  4. It is undeniable that straight edge Catholics are rare among this generation of Catholics. On the other hand, it’s completely ridiculous to think that being catholic, and raising a child to be catholic is going against the “main stream.” But I’m glad you’ve found a way to take the hipster’s ability to make yourself feel like you are better than other people and apply it to a group that already thinks they are superior in their beliefs to the rest of the world.

    • What fun to have such a clear example of autohypocrisy to use in my classes. An autohypocrisy, as used here, is a statement of judgement/condemnation that is made so broadly as to condemn itself. In the above argument, Casey seeks to condemn other people “who think their beliefs are superior to those of the rest of the world.” Casey, in the above argument, thinking his/her belief “that it is wrong to believe that one’s belief(s) are better than the beliefs of the rest of the world” is superior to other peoples’ beliefs to the contrary, manages to condemn him/herself while condemning us lesser sorts who don’t agree with him/her. Unfortunately for those who use like to use autohypocrisies, all arguments based on autohypocrisy are fallacious.

      • googled autohypocrisy, and even google scholared it, but nothing came up. Here is a link to fallacious arguments for your classes: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html.
        A hypocritical point is still logical, so I don’t see how autohypocrisy is possibly a fallacious argument. If x accuses y of an act x has committed, that does not excuse y.
        I was pointing out the contradiction of being both catholic, and a hipster. hipster = going against the mainstream. catholic=mainstream.
        fyi most hipsters are atheists. Very high and mighty atheists.

      • Casey, you are confusing the terms “invalid” and “fallacious”. A valid argument is one where, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. In other words, the conclusion is forced by the premises (and we say that the argument is logical). In an invalid argument the conclusion would not be forced even if the premises were true. On the other hand, a fallacious argument is any argument that doesn’t prove its conclusion. The argument contained within your comment is fallacious because one of the premises is false. While all invalid arguments are fallacious, many valid arguments are also fallacious. Also, the truth of a conclusion is not dependent on the quality of an argument used to support it. I did not comment on the validity of your arguments nor did I say whether your conclusion was true or false, I merely said that your comment contained a fallacious argument, which it did, and that all arguments based on autohypocrisy are fallacious.

        So Casey doesn’t feel he’s “better than other people” like “some people he could mention.” LOL Guilty as charged.

  5. “Live through the ups and downs and feel the pains and joys of REAL life experienced to the full with the wide spectrum of human emotion and experience.”

    This one resonated with me. Experience and feel your conscious conception, pregnancy and birth! Don’t dull it with drugs or make it a clinical, managed, separated experience. It’s real…a sweaty, heart pounding, REAL experience.

  6. Mainstream is Cartesian; Hipster is Catholic | CatholicVote.org

  7. Also, look at the beards at places like Steubenville.
    And I’m going to invest in a hiking baby-carrier when I have kids. However, I’m hoping I can get the kids hiking quickly so the next bundle of joy can get carried.

  8. Love this post. So much win I can’t even begin. But I did like Adoration before it was cool (seriously, as a teenager I was the impetus for a 24 hour adoration chapel at my parish).

  9. I don’t know about hipster, being in my mid-thirties, but I know plenty of ex-punks turned Catholic. I’ve long known Catholicism is the punk rock of religions.

  10. Half-joking (but *only* half!) questions from one who is longer a youth (I’m Catholic, just not a youth!): Can a 39-year-old man (or woman) even potentially be a “hipster” without being /seeming pathetic? Also, can one *objectively* be a hipster, if she/she would not really *want* to be *considered* a hipster? :-)

    I ask these questions half-jokingly, because I’m 39 and, for about 30 of those years (continuing to today), I’ve been passionately interested in books, music, and (eventually, from the time of college onward), films, which most of the wider culture around me in America does not embrace. (From reading serious literature and philosophy to enjoying classical, jazz, funk, punk rock, and “indie-rock” to watching obscure foreign films– all very “hipster-like.” I also love other things which are decidedly not “hipster-like” though, such as the band Journey!)

    Not least at all in order of importance, but rather, first, of course, I’m also an orthodox, practicing Catholic. Do all of these characteristics mean that, somehow, I’m a “Catholic hipster,” even if I don’t care to be considered as such? I’m curious. :-)

  11. SSPXers are the ultimate Catholic hipsters. They were traddy before the rest of the Church caught on and realized it was cool.

  12. Huh? Do you know what they do? Hipsters are the antithesis of Catholic.
    I know youths who left the church after being drawn into this new “fashion”, if you call it that.

    • These black friars’ robes are so not mainstream. Evolutionism is so yesterday: I’m a six-day creationist. Philosophy by David Benatar, the shocking utilitarian hedonist, or David Oderberg, the expositor of modern Aristotelian realism. I suppose that makes me the ultimate Catholic hipster. I was a trad before it was cool, and even when I was rebuked by the mainstream for it. But not too trad, y’know, because that would be conformist.

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  16. “It’s hip to be a square” :))
    Never did fit in! Prefer philo, lit and theo over bestsellers… Classical music and jazz… Deep inspirational films… Mass as daily as possible… Looks like I’m a Catholic hipster!

  17. I’m too old to be commenting here, and didn’t grow up in the USA, but my UD son told me recently that we (his dad and I) are hipsters. I have been looking for a definition of hipster-ism ever since, and this one has been the best so far. Reading this has shed light on one issue: I don’t think I was a hipster (sorry, son) but may sure have married one. My husband fits your description to a large part. Marrying me, a South American he met in grad school, crowned his hipster-ness: seven children and many sacraments later, we like Tradition but will never leave Papism-ism.

  18. This is spot-on. My daughter and I speak Latin, go to TLM, love early 1960s fashions (the Kennedy years) and Brazilian music (classy, original and unprofane.) We have Ego Sum Resurrectio (Gregorian chant) album on our iPods! How could you have known about us?

  19. Amusing. I was totally going to daily Mass back in 1998(ish) as a college freshman, with the median age being probably 70. That’s WAY before it was cool. And you should have seen my unfashionable clothing! I was a hipster before there WERE hipsters.

  20. Contra “The Dead Spirituality” of The Catholic Church: Against the Caricature That The Church Causes Division and Strife and Aids in Justifying Injustices « Reality and Illusions

  21. Everything you always wanted to know about hipsters (but were afraid to ask) « Random. Curious. Delightful.

  22. All Hipsters…

  23. And of course, when going backpacking in Europe, a Catholic hipster would of course go to Fatima, Medjugorje, and Zaragoza, Rome and Lourdes are just too mainstream

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  27. I want to be hipster… But my cousin says I already am one. Nobody knows my music, my friends think I dress strangely, and I love all the classic novels that have been untouched for years at the school library.

  28. My BFE’s (best friends for eternity)–the Saints « God Working Anonymously

  29. Wow. Thank you for defining who my friends and I are. We thought that we were just weird but the Catholic Hipster is the coolest invention of our times.

    • I like the article about Catholic hipters. My house is full of Catholic hippies, we love fashion art and music. Some of us have discussions about the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, others prefer politics, others just do not care about most of the stuff others care too much about. We all go for daily Mass, we all want to go to heaven real bad we will die doing it. We like to call ourselves Catholic hippies and so we are.

  30. I see this is an old article but I just came to it through K. O’Brien’s link above. I’m actually not sure if this article is supposed to be serious or a joke; if serious, it’s kind of scary because this phenomenon is not necessarily good. The hipster Catholic, perhaps also called a pop-catholic or conservative or neo-con Catholic, often has one foot in the world/the pop-culture, which they cling too, and don’t even realize it. They are often not so much Catholic as conservative or alternative or “pop” and they still engage in behaviors, attitudes, and the like foreign to Catholic sensibility, whether in t.v. shows they watch, movies, music, magazines, the way they dress, etc. I think O’Brien’s article is a good example, of having adopted the metrosexual notion of look and dress, among other things. They often seem to have a hermeneutic of discontinuity, thinking that truly “traditional” Catholic customs, attitudes, practices, are “old-fashioned,” though they may have adopted some authentic ones. To put it another way I think these are among those who went uncatechized and were raised more in the popular culture, so they often try to baptize elements taken therefrom and then claim these are now Catholic or part of Catholic culture. This also means they can adopt in piecemeal fashion different elements of Catholicism when they think it’s “cool” or it suits them, but discarding others if not so deemed; so they end up with a kind of Catholic schizophrenia and there is not necessarily a renewal of authentic catholic culture but a diluting of it.

    • Hallo,

      I am a Catholic hippie…………and i love the website.

      Thank you for making us realize that our faith is hip!

      On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 5:56 PM, Edmund Mitchell wrote:

      > Jo Schaffer commented: “Not the ultimate mainstream… that’s Amish. > And slightly less so…Mormon. (:” >

  31. Goodness from around the web..

  32. Sono un Catholic Hipster? | Il Puck

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