The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is hoping to attract the hipster set via a new ad featuring Jesus as the “original hipster”

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Hipster Jesus isn’t just another internet meme.

Well, it is, but now it’s also an advertising campaign by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. The church seeks to attract the skinny-pants crowd via ads portraying Jesus Christ as the original hipster. The ad shows a man in flowing robes with a pair of red, Converse-style sneakers sticking out from underneath. The words “The Original Hipster” are superimposed in block letters.

“We wanted people to be able to see in Christ a reflection of themselves and in themselves a reflection of Christ,” said diocese spokesman Monsignor Kieran Harrington.

The ad is part of the diocese’s new “All Faces, Everyday Understand­ing” campaign, which aims to make all walks of life feel comfortable in church.

“Historical­ly, any depiction of Christ is a reflection of the people of a certain culture,” said Harrington.

So far, the campaign has generated much discussion in the church, some of it negative.

“There are some very devout Catholics who are questioning why we would depict Jesus in this way,” said Harrington. “But when Jesus goes out to meet the Syrophoenician woman, he meets her where he is. When Jesus goes out to meet Saint Matthew, he’s a tax collector. He doesn’t care. We love people because of who they are.”

Harrington does not know how many hipsters have been persuaded to visit a Catholic church because of the ads, but that’s not what matters.

“All we can do is invite people,” said Harrington. “This is an invitation.”

Jordan Strain said the ad is unlikely to get him to church.

“It’s so not my thing,” said the 27-year-old as he walked with friends in Williamsburg.

But others might be convinced. One ad features a runner in a gym, while a later phase will be in Chinese and Spanish.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Posted 12:00 am, May 5, 2013
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