Sacred or Profane?
Increasingly, we are assaulted by a barrage of images everywhere we go — billboards are plastered with scantily clad women, and the Nike and Starbucks logos are so widely recognizable that the companies don't even need words for promotion. Images are sometimes used to stir emotions and sell products. When the Virgin Mary is used as a marketing tool, this practice is sometimes viewed as disrespectful by religious people.
For this reason, the Christian response to these particular manifestations of Mary's image has often been one of skeptical wariness, if not outright condemnation. It's important to realize, however, that at least a few of the individuals who will be discussed in this chapter seem to be sincere. They don't necessarily recognize the negative impacts of their statements or art. Still, many of them have experienced a great backlash of criticism from those within and outside of Christianity who resent these depictions.