Tag Archives: kitsch

Do you have your Beatitudes Coin?

Allow me to digress for a moment.

Through a direct mail advertisement I ended up with a Beatitudes Coin.


Now first, you might be wondering, where are such coins being produced? No worries here–the packaging alerts us that it was “made in America.” Good, I was worried such trinkets were being stamped out in a foreign sweatshop.

The writing on the reverse might be a bit obscure: It cites Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Now, this might seem too easy to critique–o.k., it is too easy to critique, but that won’t stop me.

You see, I might have missed the verse where Jesus commanded his disciples to “carry around a coin about being poor in spirit,” but now I can understand better. Further, I now know that I can gain more Beatitude Coins through purchasing other goods. Surely owning a whole set of Beatitude Coins is almost as good as having the virtues that lead to real blessings, right?

Further, of all the Beatitudes to pick, why would you put “Blessed are the poor in spirit” on a coin? And, to make things even more complicated, the parallel Luke passage (6:20) simply says “Blessed are the poor.” But how will the poor be blessed if they can’t afford to purchase Beatitude Coins? One suspects an irony was lost on whoever came up with this genius marketing idea.

But what should I do with my Beatitude Coin? I’m moving soon, and I surely can’t keep it. I don’t want to be like the heartless sot who’s trying to sell his “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” coin for $12.50 on ebay.  (Yes, who knew that being “poor in spirit” could now be obtained for a mere $12.50?)

If anyone’s really interested, you can have it for the price of shipping. Otherwise, it will disappear into oblivion, and I will no longer have a faux silver trinket to remind me of a virtue I should be following anyway.


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