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O Magazine
2015-2017

As it happens with politics, you can’t just not bother about religion. Don’t trust those who say: “No, I’m an agnostic”. What the hell is that? We’ve come to this life to play, so you either believe or you don’t. You think God created man in his image, that he is watching you while you seat on the loo and will be waiting for you, arms open, when you die, or you don’t believe any of this but do firmly believe that anyone swallowing all that must be kind of bonkers.

Be it as it may, and as an atheist educated in a Catholic school, I feel great respect for the Church. Careful! I said for the Church, not for people leading a religious life that greatly help to perpetuate this world’s injustice; nor for the people who believe in it, whom at the end of the day are accomplices, not only of these injustices, but also of making human stupidity eternal. I like the idea of the Church as a business model.

God’s
rave

TEXT BY
ESTEFANÍA GUILARTE

Things I like
about the Church:

Its business-like vision: “If there’s no market, create it”. Lots of people think that the Church does things for the poor, for instance. But with projects such as Cáritas, they simply make a charitable, not solidary or redistributive, vision of society chronic. I only give my leftovers and I have good press for it. It’s not easy to sell that idea, my friend it’s not. Or the question of missions in post-colonial territories, which we could sum up as: “Hi there, I’ve come to create a problem! Hi there, I’ve come to solve it!” Amazing, isn’t it? I guess that in MBAs this must be a paradigmatic case study.

God’s rave – O Productora Audiovisual

The Church needs the poor as much as the PP needs Catalan independence seekers. And these high society ladies are in this demonstration but could as well be behind a Cáritas table giving you a sticker in exchange for a euro.

Its brand approach: On the one hand, it has been able to be faithful to the classic elements of the brand: even when society made it really difficult, it preserved the “Originals” line and is really firm in stories such as abortion, homosexuality or misogyny. Although on the other hand, it has created prelates such as the Opus, the Kikos or the Legionaries that offer different options to suit consumer tastes.

God’s rave – O Productora Audiovisual

Don’t mistake the Legionaries of Christ with the Legion of Christ: the looks and all the stuff surrounding these guys deserves a different article altogether.

Its CEO politics are also interesting. Without having to go too far back, the three latest CEOs have been very useful to consolidate the brand at a moment in which it wasn’t living its best days. 

John Paul II authorised the new business lines we mentioned earlier and opened the institution to younger generations with the WYD (World Youth Day), with results that the organisers of the Primavera Sound Festival would envy.


The route of the bread loaves and the fish.

After him, Ratzinger (aka Benedict XVI) retrieved the more vintage line of perpetual and eternal hell and even dared to discontinue the limbo. Bye-bye, non-christened babies! You will burn in the hell of your parents’ sins without a second chance. And now with Pope Francis they are playing at good cop, cool and with a Twitter account. But don’t let them fool you: he’s much more dangerous than the previous two, with those at least you knew what you got. If you don’t believe me, go to a much more reliable source, like Misteriosa Realidad, and you’ll see that this pope is the anti-Christ. You’re welcome!

But the Church was lacking something; experimenting a process undergone by many businesses: pastry shops, barbershops, vermouth bars, fruit shops… The Church needed to undergo Hipsterisation! Well, the moment has come. Habemus coming. Because I’ve discovered something that has really given me life; it has given me hope and I completely trust again the Church’s capacity to re-invent itself and to keep on being the big business it really is. Hillsong Church. In two words: It Rules.

God’s rave – O Productora Audiovisual

How you like a party, right? Now you DO want to keep on reading…

I got to know them through Instagram and decided to approach them as one should approach God, without prejudices. So I decided not to Google them and just try to understand what was their story all about. The first thing that caught my attention from this Church, coming from Australia and with some evangelist reminiscence, was its graphic design. Pure canva, unsplash pics and better copys than many advertorial agencies.

I would also like to highlight their use of technology, with a high presence in social networks and other initiatives: you can watch their services on streaming or follow online training webinars and give your alms through PayPal.

With a very current naming (Sisterhood Breakfast for the exclusively female brunches they organise), they set up activities for the kids under the name Hillsong Kids or creative nights one Thursday a month. In case any of you are looking for a job, here’s the link. Then we have their pastors, Juan and Damsy, a couple of young guys with a brunch electronic kind of look that could well belong to the owners of a fashion blog or to O collaborators.

God’s rave – O Productora Audiovisual

“The blood of Christ turned Jaggermaister”

This Church, besides, bases a great part of its cult in music: it has its own label, Hillsong Workship, where they publish contemporary Christian rock albums with an indie touch that, hey, are not bad at all! And it has also a band called Hillsong United that could well make it and play a soft festival, one of those sponsored by Moritz.


But the best thing about them is their live shows (sorry: services). I had the chance to be present at their first Sunday in Madrid. Despite it being held at a smaller venue than they usually use, it was choc-a-bloc. Everyone wore their best looks, like when you go to afternoon disco, and even though I’d love to be able to say the opposite, they didn’t look like complete freaks. Well, at least they looked a lot less like freaks than the followers of my political party of choice.

Hillsong Madrid, for the moment (because I’m sure it will soon be too small), is held at a Maristas school, and the school priests must be wondering how this story manages to congregate so many people, a bit like when the PSOE wonders why Podemos fills Vistalegre. Then you enter the room and they welcome you with a hot chocolate and a party: a real God’s rave.


I have to confess this: I sang as loud as the others, if not louder, I raised my hands and I think at a given point I even lost it and prayed… It’s very scary but at the same time very stimulating. If you like politics, you have to like religion. Politics are a lot like religion: they have martyrs such as Pedro Sánchez, saints like Errejón, deified pastors like Pablo Iglesias… And while some wait for Susana Díaz’s Second Coming and others for the PSOE to finally die (so as to see it resurrect, that is), Fernandez Díaz looks for a parking spot with Marcelo, his guardian angel.

ps: #LastMinute The PSC (Catalan Socialist Party) has just sent me an email saying that they are planning to set up a Christian Socialist group. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry or… pray.