Columba vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What a week! With one more battle to go, we will have set the stage for the Faithful Four as the march to the Golden Halo continues. Today, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Columba vie for the final spot as they seek to join Constance, Sojourner Truth, and Julian of Norwich.

To make it to this point, Bonhoeffer defeated Athanasius and Barnabas while Columba got past Kateri Tekakwitha and Meister Eckhart.

Yesterday Julian of Norwich skated past Albert Schweitzer 68% to 32. And in 24 hours, we bid adieu to saintly kitsch. We only encountered a few Kitsch Kranks this year and for that, we’re grateful.

The Faithful Four will take place on Monday and Tuesday with the vote for the Golden Halo happening on Spy Wednesday. Onward, Lenten Soldiers!


Of course, the most famous of all St. Columba artifacts would have to be the abbey at Iona, which still exists today. Visitors from all over the world journey to the abbey for retreats and spiritual renewal.  The community at Iona continues to transform the Christian world to this day.

However, one could hardly call such a worthy endeavor mere kitsch, and kitsch is what this round is all about. Therefore, let us now, with one accord, turn our attention towards the less serious items of St. Columba’s lore.

First off, if you are in the mood to pretend you actually are St. Columba, wandering hither and yon through the Scottish countryside, you are in luck. There is a CD which purports to contain the sounds of ancient Celtic Christianity, and also features the most disturbing cover image ever! I direct you to “In Praise of St. Columba: The Sound World of Celtic Christianity.” GAZE UPON THAT MASK AND DESPAIR.

Further, to really establish your identity as the bookish saint, there is this lovely mug, with which you can subtly taunt those who would attempt to countermand your decisions regarding poets or copyright disputes. Wave your hot beverage of choice; you got this.






Now, because copying manuscripts by hand is no longer required in this day of technology, you will surely busy yourself playing that most intelligent of card games: Magic: the Gathering. So you are going to need this Iona card. Because this exists. That’s right–for the enormous overlapping population of those devoted to Celtic monasticism and those devoted to role-playing card games.

But maybe this isn’t enough for you. Maybe, in your slavish kitschish devotion to the Celtic saint, you desire more challenges. Then, might I suggest you undertake as well Columba’s greatest feat? You’re going to need to face the Loch Ness monster.

But not all at once; no. You will need to work in stages. First, order one of these Loch Ness monster soup ladles for your kitchen.

Practice your stirring defenses of our Lord Jesus to it. 

Then, read up on how others have done it. Might I suggest this vintage copy of Dr. Who and the Loch Ness Monster? As Columba teaches, one can never do enough reading.

Finally, you are ready. Take a trip down to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, and ride the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster. As you approach speeds of 60 mph, plunging down towards Nessie’s home in the lake, scream out your best admonitions to godly behavior to the deep.

And then, as you stumble off the coaster, dazed and confused, and avoiding the other creeped-out patrons who are now calling security, you will feel a sense of peace which passes all understanding  For you have completed the Pilgrimage of Columba Kitsch.

— Megan Castellan

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

When German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (born in 1906) was a teenager, a new word was coined in German….kitschen, meaning “to throw together a work of art.” This quickly evolved into the English word “kitsch,” a noun meaning “something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.”

Kitsch? Bonhoeffer? How can we even think of putting such a distinguished theologian in the same sentence as this often disdainful word?

But, if you are a fan of Bonhoeffer, hoping, praying, and voting that he will be awarded the coveted Lent Madness Golden Halo, you may launch your very own collection of Bonhoeffer kitsch before this 2016 Lent Madness bracket is completed!

Let’s begin your collection with items you might wear, such as Bonhoeffer-emblazoned shirts & hats:



Or, perhaps Bonhoeffer “cheap grace” pajamas (don’t go there…) are more your style for remembering him in the privacy of your own home:

And, my personal favorite, allows you to start your child or grandchild off on his or her spiritual path with the Bonhoeffer Baby Bib (available with blue, pink or gender-neutral green trim):

(you can’t make this up, folks!)

Of course, since Bonhoeffer was Lutheran and Lutherans are famous for that third sacrament, coffee, your collection must include a coffee mug or two:







These items (and more!) are readily found at online stores CafePress and Zazzle.

But, if you want to get a jump on Dietrich Bonhoeffer with his golden halo already well in place, the good people at gave me permission to share with you that they have a fine array of icons as well as candles, notecards and other gift items for your collection featuring the iconography of Lewis Williams.









Who said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Well, my Google search indicates that there is some dispute about this. Whoever said it, this opportunity for you to enhance your home or office with your very own collection of Bonhoeffer memorabilia, some serious and some not so serious, certainly proves the point!

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography authors Eberhard Bethge & Victoria J. Barnett report that Paul Lehmann, who knew Bonhoeffer in the 1930’s at Union Theological Seminary reported of him “His aristocracy was unmistakable yet not obtrusive, chiefly, I think owing to his boundless curiosity about every new environment in which he found himself and to his irresistible and unfailing sense of humor.” I’m so glad he had an unfailing sense of humor with all of this Bonhoeffer kitsch available for purchase!

The most important point is that while we can chuckle over this memorabilia, we remember Bonhoeffer as a martyred theologian with much to say to us about being faithful Christians in these often challenging 21st century days!

— Beth Lewis

Columba vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer (59%, 3,455 Votes)
  • Columba (41%, 2,352 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,807

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146 Comments to "Columba vs. Dietrich Bonhoeffer"

  1. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 18, 2016 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Alone we all sail our small craft on high waves, and we face our monsters. It is tempting to seek to avoid the creatures from the depths, whose faces so much resemble our own. Bonhoeffer speaks to that: “You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out.” I faced my own hell recently, of speaking truth to power. It was not an epoch-making task, but it was frightening enough. Heartsick that perhaps out of fear I had botched my witness, I walked a labyrinth and in the crown invoked Bonhoeffer. And I had a healing vision. Bonhoeffer not only would go, he went; he took the gospel to Hell itself.

    But enough solemnity. It’s the Kitsch round. I present to your mind’s eye and ear this image of Bonhoeffer delivering those lesser known but still ringing words: “NESSIE, WER IST DEINER DADDY!”

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 18, 2016 - 9:19 am | Permalink

      Oh, Lordy, that’s hilarious!!

    • Roslyn Macgregor's Gravatar Roslyn Macgregor
      March 18, 2016 - 10:56 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your comments… very much. One of my favourite quotes is something like “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.” And it does.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 18, 2016 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

        That’s perfect. Thanks.

    • James Sliney's Gravatar James Sliney
      March 18, 2016 - 11:10 am | Permalink

      Sehr gute!

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 18, 2016 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

      St. Celia, as usual, you made me think.
      Thank you.

      I voted for Columba❤️

    • Nicole's Gravatar Nicole
      March 18, 2016 - 2:36 pm | Permalink


  2. Ann in MI's Gravatar Ann in MI
    March 18, 2016 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    For me, it’s Dietrich today, tomorrow, and on to the Golden Halo! Cast your vote for Bonhoeffer!

  3. oliver eight years old's Gravatar oliver eight years old
    March 18, 2016 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I voted for Columba because he got kicked out of his country and found his own island.

    • Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
      March 18, 2016 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      Oliver, I hope you get to go to that island some day.

      • Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
        March 18, 2016 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Visiting Iona is an incomparable experience. I hope you can go there.

    • March 18, 2016 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      I agree with Doris, Oliver!!

    • Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
      March 18, 2016 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Me, too. Oliver, you’ll love Iona. Bonhoeffer’s amazing, but Columba always has my vote…so far, anyway.

  4. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 18, 2016 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Great kitsch today! I was already pre-disposed toward Columba, but the Nessie ladle clinched it.

    • Ernest's Gravatar Ernest
      March 18, 2016 - 8:28 am | Permalink

      Same here Kim. I love to cook and I need to find that Nessie ladle !! PS Cleaning out my utensil drawer for a spot for it 🙂

      • March 18, 2016 - 8:49 am | Permalink

        I’d have voted for Columbia anyway, but so glad to see the Nessie ladle – I have one and bought more for all our kids for Christmas. You can find them on Amazon in three colors. So much fun!

        • Dawn's Gravatar Dawn
          March 18, 2016 - 10:38 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the source!! I need one for my kitchen – in honor of Columba & my husband’s Irish heritiage!!

      • Rambler's Gravatar Rambler
        March 18, 2016 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

        The Nessie ladle is available on Amazon. My husband asked me to order the mini colander and ladle. We’re planning to use them next time my mother visits.

    • March 18, 2016 - 8:55 am | Permalink

      Gave Nessie ladles to my daughter and daughter-in-law for Christmas. Available in both the mother and daughter size.

      • Carol Miro's Gravatar Carol Miro
        March 18, 2016 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

        My daughters gave me one for Christmas!

    • Jim Bimbi's Gravatar Jim Bimbi
      March 18, 2016 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      Love the ladle. And having spent 5 days and nights roaming Iona, I thought Columba was my pick. But Bonhoeffer’s witness speaks so timely to our present day fight for our national identity and soul, he gets my humble admiration as well as my vote.

      • March 18, 2016 - 9:54 am | Permalink

        I, too, had thought Columba would get my vote as Iona is one of my most favorite places to have visited in my lifetime, and the ladle is so very tempting, but I must go with Bonhoeffer today for what Jim said: his “witness speaks so timely to our present day fight for our national identify and soul.” I am also so glad to hear he had “an irresistible and unfailing sense of humor.”

      • Karen H.'s Gravatar Karen H.
        March 18, 2016 - 12:09 pm | Permalink


      • Deacon Carol's Gravatar Deacon Carol
        March 18, 2016 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Hey Jim, glad I recognize at least one fellow Lenten Madness pilgrim! I am for Bonhoeffer, I love a saint with a sense of humour. Now to order some Nessie ladles for John and my sister for Christmas.

  5. Elizabeth Massey's Gravatar Elizabeth Massey
    March 18, 2016 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Columba’s kitsch is the funniest yet; if it were only the kitsch I’d vote for him. But I planned on voting for Dietrich and I’m loyal to him – in this round. His flesh and blood and brain and achievements are all genuine. He stands as a saint and martyr we can relate to. And that means plenty to me, that such people exist today as models of saints and martyrs.

  6. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 18, 2016 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    The Nessie soup ladle is beyond awesome, but for me it’s good bye Columba, willkommen Dietrich.

  7. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    March 18, 2016 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Any kitsch that connects Dr. Who, the Loch Ness Monster soup ladle and an amusement park ride is worthy of a sainted vote. I think Bonhoeffer is a great challenge (I voted for both of these contenders in previous rounds), but his Kitsch is pretty ordinary.
    I doubt that Columba will win, but he gets my vote. I have done quite well up until this round. I won’t be surprised if I am on the losing end of this vote, too.

    • Michelle C's Gravatar Michelle C
      March 18, 2016 - 10:35 am | Permalink

      Sue, those were my thoughts exactly. I’m not a roller coaster fan, so riding Nessie won’t happen but I absolutely love the image the blogger brought to mind.

  8. Kit's Gravatar Kit
    March 18, 2016 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    St Columba for me and the pilgrimage to Iona I’m going on later this year. Also a shout out to my friends at St Columba Conference and Retreat Center in Memphis, TN, a place of beauty and spiritual retreat.

  9. John's Gravatar John
    March 18, 2016 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Way better kitsch for Columba (what, no dove-oriented items?), but I’ll vote for standing up to the Nazis over converting sea monsters any day.

  10. Katherine's Gravatar Katherine
    March 18, 2016 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    If I voted strictly on kitsch…it would have to be for COLUMBA with Bessie AND Dr Who??? But I have to vote for Bonhoeffer.

  11. Jean's Gravatar Jean
    March 18, 2016 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Really hard decision for me. It was the Nessie/Dr. Who reference that got me to go with Columba. Also, like our MugShot champ Oliver, I think anyone who gets kicked out and gets their own island is pretty cool.

  12. Char's Gravatar Char
    March 18, 2016 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Columba because of Nessie. I have ridden the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens and this past Christmas received the Nessie ladle as a gift–my daughter Vanessa received two as gifts!

  13. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 18, 2016 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    The last paragraph of Beth Lewis’s write up clinched it for me, if I wasn’t already convinced – Bonhoeffer all the way to the Halo!

  14. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 18, 2016 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Kolumba’s kitsch was kool, but since DB came up with term, I went with him. Seriously, wait, not seriously, I loved the bib, and seriously–this time I mean it, DB is a saint for our modern world.

  15. March 18, 2016 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’m shocked that people are more impressed by the Columba kitsch! Half of it is Nessie kitsch with really no connection to Columba at all! (I must get a couple of those Nessie ladles!) But Bonhoeffer! Take another look at those Lewis Williams icons, ladies and gentlemen! That is kitsch! And frankly, Mr. Bonhoeffer has it all over Columba in the saintly department. Columba, you’re going down! (Figuratively speaking. of course. I’m sure he’ll still be up in Heaven downing a Guiness or three with St. Brigid, no matter what happens to him here in Lentmadnessville.)

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      March 18, 2016 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Dear Richard, Thank you for your light touch! Very clever and fun comment! I’m voting for Columba .

  16. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    March 18, 2016 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Coffee! Any good Brethren will tell you the additional sacrament (or ordinance as we would more likely use) is the most holy and sacred ice cream social. Followed closely by the carry-in dinner.

  17. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 18, 2016 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    My vote was a kudos to our celebrity bloggers, and it was oh…so…close! I voted for Dietrich who admittedly found himself in a very non kitschy state of affairs, and handled it in a way that establishes a legacy for all time, but how creative to somehow crown him the king of kitsch!! Tough competition coming up in the faithful 4, but DB might just add a golden halo to that crown.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 18, 2016 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for striking a blow for righteousness by using “kudos” as a singular noun. I can’t count the times I’ve yelled, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A KUDO!”, or wanted to.

      • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
        March 19, 2016 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Egad, Davis, I have learned something from you yet again!

  18. Rev. Dr. Regina Christianson's Gravatar Rev. Dr. Regina Christianson
    March 18, 2016 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    For me, Jesus’ message and life was one of non-violence, no matter the cost. Columba chose violence, saw the carnage for what it was, repented, and sought then to live in peace. Exile on an island as fragile exposed as Iona was form of dying to self to live for God. Bonhoeffer, as astute and prophetic as he was, chose violence (plot of kill Hitler), thinking it was the only answer. As honest and compelling as choice was at that time, it recapitulated the exact thinking that the Sanhedrin (supposedly) had, that it was better for one man to die than for the whole nation. Deciding to kill someone else to solve a problem rarely, if ever, solves the problem.

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 18, 2016 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Bonhoeffer didn’t participate in any assassination attempt, even though he had been introduced to a group that wanted to kill Hitler. He was arrested and “charged with conspiring to rescue Jews, using official travel for other interests, and abusing his intelligence position to keep Confessing Church pastors out of the military.”

      His association with the would-be assassins was just an innocent circumstance that the Nazis used as an excuse to kill him.

  19. Lindsay's Gravatar Lindsay
    March 18, 2016 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    Outstanding kitsch komments….kelebrity bloggers, you make my day!

    • Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
      March 18, 2016 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      I to believe that violence is never a solution. An overthrow would not necessarily have ended in death of Hilter.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 18, 2016 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Dumping over tables and stalls in the temple was not violence?

        • Slugger's Gravatar Slugger
          March 18, 2016 - 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Exactly what I was thinking.

        • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
          March 18, 2016 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Jesus did turn over tables in the Temple (if that can be termed “violence”), but that was against things, not people. And as for his whip of cords, he used that to drive the sheep and cattle from the Temple. He didn’t use it on human beings.

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 18, 2016 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Whatever is whipping and “turning over” angrily if not violence?

          • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
            March 18, 2016 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

            Well, you may be right, Donna.
            But the issue being discussed was violence against people. I feel that the example of Jesus in the Temple is not a valid justification of violence towards human beings.
            I’m not sure you were even saying that.

  20. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    March 18, 2016 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    First, since confession is good for the soul – I was thoroughly swayed by the Loch Ness Monster Ladle. It looks so good and it just rolls off the tongue!
    Second, I do like a good Celtic Mystic who advocates reading.

  21. Harold Walker's Gravatar Harold Walker
    March 18, 2016 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Dietrich is the man today:
    “Jesus Christ is not is not bound by space, but is present in all places at the same time . . .He is the same who is intercessor . . .and who is himself the end of the old world and the beginning of the new world of God.” (Christ The Center)

  22. Laura B's Gravatar Laura B
    March 18, 2016 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Oh…..SEC, you vex me. I followed my original intention to vote for Bonhoeffer; but you made it difficult with your Columba kitsch. I just bought that Nessie ladle this week after eyeing it for several months; and I’m a huge Doctor Who fan! However, the saintly German won my vote and is probably my top choice for the Golden Halo. Onward and upward!

  23. tonip1's Gravatar tonip1
    March 18, 2016 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    went with Bonhoeffer although the Nessie ladle almost clinched it for me.

  24. theblackdog's Gravatar theblackdog
    March 18, 2016 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t sure until they suggested the Loch Ness roller coaster at Busch Gardens for Columba. I love roller coasters and I have ridden this one!

  25. Eileen C. Fisher's Gravatar Eileen C. Fisher
    March 18, 2016 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Bonhoeffer hat die viele Heiligkeit. Stimmen fuer Bonhoeffer! Bitte! Er verdient den goldene Glorienschein! Tausend Dank.

  26. Christy's Gravatar Christy
    March 18, 2016 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    One of the BEST parts of the Kitsch round are all the wonderful Christmas gift ideas that bubble to the surface. Makes the choice between these two even tougher

  27. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    March 18, 2016 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Kitsch Komments are so clever. Bonhoeffer gets my vote today. Though Columba had the best kitsch, I thought, I could not honestly vote because of a clever plastic ladle, but had to choose Bonhoeffer’s stand against Nazi-ism. Great writing, celebrity bloggers!

  28. SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
    March 18, 2016 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    I think the SEC needs to add a “translate text” button to our comments section! You’re beyond me, Eileen!!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 18, 2016 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      Bonhoeffer has great holiness. Vote for Bonhoeffer. Please. He is worthy of the golden halo. Thousand thanks.

    • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
      March 18, 2016 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I used Google Translate to read her post:

      Admittedly, the translation isn’t perfect, but it’s close: “Bonhoeffer has many holiness. Votes for Bonhoeffer! You’re welcome! He deserves the golden halo! Thank you so much.”


      • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
        March 18, 2016 - 5:26 pm | Permalink

        “Mama, what watch?”
        “Ten watch.”
        “Ach, such watch!”
        Yah, Bonhoeffer has many holiness. True that.

        • Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
          March 18, 2016 - 8:26 pm | Permalink


  29. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 18, 2016 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    Because of Columba’s works, my ancestors became Christians. His witness has always spoken to me — and of course the visit to Iona helped.

  30. SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
    March 18, 2016 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Oops, hit “reply” too soon. I LOVED the kitsch today, and think the Nessie items were totally fair game for this round of the competition. Great job, bloggers! But, gotta go with my man from seminary, Dietrich!

  31. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 18, 2016 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Iona has such appeal and Columba was such an awesome person. Bonhoeffer should have stayed in the U.S. but he made a tough choice. Today I have a tough choice too.

  32. Michi's Gravatar Michi
    March 18, 2016 - 10:09 am | Permalink

    A visit to Iona remains one of my most memorable spiritual moments. So Columba wins today. This however was such a rough one.

  33. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 18, 2016 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Not fair…two of ny favorites facing off. Sigh. Why I both love and hate Lent Madness! Today I will go with Bonhoeffer for his truly qualifying to be a saint.

  34. NJ's Gravatar NJ
    March 18, 2016 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Bonhoeffer. His wisdom is needed in this time.

  35. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 18, 2016 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Seriously, truly, Bonhoeffer is the saint for these times! He gets my vote!

  36. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 18, 2016 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    Gotta get the Nessie ladle. Gotta go to Iona. Had to vote for Bonhoeffer.

  37. Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
    March 18, 2016 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    Columba, probably because of the joy brought to me this morning by reading the Celebrity Blogger’s entreaty. Thank you, Megan.

  38. Brixham Beth's Gravatar Brixham Beth
    March 18, 2016 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Love the ladle! Columba for me.

  39. Edna Marie's Gravatar Edna Marie
    March 18, 2016 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    The Nessie Ladle is great – I’m buying several today but my heart belongs to Deitrich.
    SEC: how about Golden Halo Winnet Bobble Heads?

  40. Edna Marie's Gravatar Edna Marie
    March 18, 2016 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    That’s winners not Winnets

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      March 18, 2016 - 11:13 am | Permalink

      Oh, I wanted to see a Winnet bobble head–it sounds so British.

  41. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    March 18, 2016 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Kitsch, shmitsch! Nessie, Schmessie! Bonhoeffer all the way to the Golden Halo. One reply mentioned that Dietrich advocated killing Hitler but that murder could never be justified..I must disagree. Had the plot to murder that monster BEEN SUCCESSFUL WWII may have ended sooner with much less bloodshed and loss of lives, especially Jewish citizens who died in concentration camps. He paid for the aborted mission and was hanged and his remains never found. A perfect example of CHEAP GRACE. BLOG ON FEARLESS ONES.

  42. Lauren's Gravatar Lauren
    March 18, 2016 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    The Columba kitsch is SO good, but I am ultimately too curious about a Bonhoeffer – Truth match up!

    • Karen H.'s Gravatar Karen H.
      March 18, 2016 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Too terrible to contemplate!

  43. Dawn's Gravatar Dawn
    March 18, 2016 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    Alas, I will likely lose one of the two saints I have voted for through all the rounds so far. I only hope that my last remaining full-vote saint will survive to the Golden Halo!!

  44. Ann B's Gravatar Ann B
    March 18, 2016 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Having faced Nessie both at the Loch and more times than I can count at Williamsburg and having seen my uncle have a religious experience on said coaster I have to go with Columba today.

    • Megan Castellan's Gravatar Megan Castellan
      March 18, 2016 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      I am now very curious about your uncle’s religious experience on the Loch Ness Monster coaster.

  45. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    March 18, 2016 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    I meant the opposite of CHEAP GRACE! What Bonhoeffer meant was the truth about real grace as it pertained to “faith without works”.

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      March 18, 2016 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Aleathia, for the clarification ! I was with you til the GRACE sentence . I voted for Columba.

  46. Aunt Susie's Gravatar Aunt Susie
    March 18, 2016 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    Columba of course needed to be my choice. Not only am I at the mercy of Oliver’s lead, as MacCallum’ s we are direct descendants Columba.

  47. MusicResonator's Gravatar MusicResonator
    March 18, 2016 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    I voted for Columba.

    Sadly, yesterday I did not vote, due to my annual fusion gig, playing Irish music in a Mexican restaurant run by Peruvians. In fact, I never got around to checking email yesterday. So kudos to Julian of Norwich.

  48. Dwight's Gravatar Dwight
    March 18, 2016 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks Dolores & St. Celia for your thoughtful comments each day. You both contribute to the learning process that is Lent Madness.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 18, 2016 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Oh thank you!

    • Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
      March 19, 2016 - 8:56 pm | Permalink


  49. Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
    March 18, 2016 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    For a piece of ultimate kitsch, what is better than the Book of Kells. It was possibly created to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of St. Columba. At the very least, it has strong connections with the monasteries of Saint Columba and of the island of Iona.

    • Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
      March 18, 2016 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

      The Book of Kells is now thought to have been written on Iona and taken to Kells as a result of the Viking raids.

  50. Diane's Gravatar Diane
    March 18, 2016 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    This is truly the hardest of choices for me. I am a Scot and love Bonhoeffer. However, I do own a Nessie ladle, and how could I possibly ignore Dr. Who, Zygons and Nessie, for I am also a Whovian? Columba it is. Also, those Cheap Grace pj’s were rather pricey.

    • SusanLee's Gravatar SusanLee
      March 18, 2016 - 11:24 am | Permalink

      I thought the same thing about the pjs, Diane!

  51. Lisa Rose's Gravatar Lisa Rose
    March 18, 2016 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    WOW… I feel as if I’ve completely misunderstood this round! I’ve been pretty much ignoring all the kitsch … reading it, yes, for entertainment purposes, but giving it no weight and instead turning to Google for my daily dose of more info about the competitors. And insofar as Bonhoeffer is concerned, I’m not surprised that there’s little or no fun or funny kitsch … it would be in appallingly bad taste to make light of the events of his life or his death. The wounds are still too fresh for too many. As they say “Too soon. Too soon!”

  52. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 18, 2016 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    I want to go to Iona, I _love_ the Columba kitsch, but…I’m writing this as I’m listening to Supreme Court nominee wrangling on NPR.
    Gotta go for Bonhoeffer–we need someone like him (without the assassination attempt, though).

  53. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 18, 2016 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve ridden the Loch Ness Monster in Williamsburg – it is a great roller coaster. And I laughed out loud at the Nessie Ladle! I will be headed to Amazon to order one soon. But my vote went to Bonhoeffer today.

  54. Stephanie's Gravatar Stephanie
    March 18, 2016 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    The Nessie handle ladle did it for me! Columba!

  55. Kim Crecca's Gravatar Kim Crecca
    March 18, 2016 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Columba gets my vote…I admit, it was the Dr. Who reference that sealed the deal! If the series had been around back then, I’m sure Columba would have been a fan. Fellow Whovians, I call on you to unite and send Columba to the final four!

  56. Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
    March 18, 2016 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    I must mention, sadly, that I was unable to read any of the inscriptions on the Bonhoeffer items. I don’t know if the fault is that of my aging eyes or my equally aging computer (in computer years the thing must be rivaling Methuselah) but I could not get the pictures to enlarge nor could I zoom in on the script.

    However, this did not influence my vote, although I wish I could have voted for both holy men.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 18, 2016 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

      This is how to do it on an iPad:

      Hold a finger on the image until a list of options, which should include “save image,” appears.
      Tap that option.
      Go to your Photo library, where you should find a copy of the image that you can enlarge, just like your other photos, by spreading it with your thumbs.

      Hopefully other systems have similar processes.

  57. March 18, 2016 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate greatly that Bonhoeffer stood firm as a Christian against the tyranny of Fascism… a voice we clearly need today.

  58. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    March 18, 2016 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I knew this would be a tough one. But in the end, it was the pajamas that got me. Bonhoeffer FTW!!

  59. Kim on the Bayou's Gravatar Kim on the Bayou
    March 18, 2016 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I love all the Columba entries, especially today’s kitsch journey which is brilliant and funny.

    Bonhoeffer won my vote today, though. He remained steadfast in his mission to help the people of Germany, when so many others fled or participated in the madness.

  60. Fran Irvin's Gravatar Fran Irvin
    March 18, 2016 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Let’s remember that both Iona and Loch Ness are in SCOTLAND.

  61. March 18, 2016 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Bonhoeffer mit Kaffee, bitte.

    • Dwight's Gravatar Dwight
      March 18, 2016 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

      To Susan – Ja, danke. Bonhoeffer fur goldene Glorienschein!

  62. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 18, 2016 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Columba won me over.

  63. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    March 18, 2016 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Bonhoeffer rocks!

  64. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 18, 2016 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like this kitsch stuff at all

    • Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
      March 18, 2016 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad someone agrees with me. See below.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 18, 2016 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s optional.

    • March 18, 2016 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

      feel free to skip the Elate 8 round in future.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 18, 2016 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Or hold your nose (or shut your eyes and vote anyway. Pity to disenfranchise oneself over a technical disagreement. Not that you were suggesting that.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 18, 2016 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Why do I always forget the closing parenthesis?

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 18, 2016 - 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps for the same reason that I do. When you find out, please let me know.

  65. Jean's Gravatar Jean
    March 18, 2016 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Last time as I recall the Queen of Hawaii beat out Dietrich. Whom is Hawaii going for this year?

  66. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 18, 2016 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    More difficult choices between two people whom I voted for in the first two rounds and whom I admire equally. I’m going with the feisty old Irish monk who had to do penance for having been less than saintly in his early life. (This has nothing to do with this being the day after St Patrick’s Day.)
    I (and Janene above) seem to be among the minority whose decisions are not swayed by the kitsch because I don’t pay any attention to it. I vote for people, not frippery. (Please call me a nasty old curmudgeon. It’s my reputation and my identity. Many of the saints out-curmudgeoned me.)

    • Dawna's Gravatar Dawna
      March 18, 2016 - 2:47 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on all counts. But Iona wins this one for me. My German name aside, my heart is Celtic.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 18, 2016 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry, and I know it’s your right to self-identify; but I just don’t find you a terribly convincing curmudgeon.

  67. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 18, 2016 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Sorely tempted by the Loch Ness ladle (and will end up with one if I’m not careful), but it was the reminder of Bonhoeffer’s sense of curiosity (in Bethge and Barnette, as cited by the inestimable Beth Lewis) that carried the day for me. Theologians, especially German theologians, creep me out, even when they are martyrs (a fate that very few of them suffered), but curiosity shows an awakening of the sense that no facts of this world are so mundane as to be useless as signposts on the way to God. Ps, 42:1f. BCP (1928)

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 18, 2016 - 3:45 pm | Permalink


      Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.

      This is far too beautiful to be either “fact” or “mundane.” I agree with you about curiosity, but the BCP seems to suggest that it is our own heart’s longing that leads, and curiosity attends as a lively companion. Very nice image to contemplate.

      (Or did you simply choose this passage because it had the word “mad” in the title?)

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 18, 2016 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

        St. Celia, you are truly a hoot.

  68. March 18, 2016 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    No man is an island, but one man had an island. Up until this year’s Lenten Madness (my first), I thought Columba was a woman. Even though there’s a St Columba’s Episcopal Church in our diocese, the Lutheran has my vote. For awhile, our lifelines overlapped. I was 5 when Germany surrendered. “Why are there all these sirens, Daddy?” I asked. He said, “The war is half over.” I remember feeling confused, but I couldn’t put it into words. If I could have, I might have said, “What do you mean, ‘half over’? Is a war some kind of game?”

  69. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 18, 2016 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Having twice cashed an anguished vote for Bonhoeffer’s opponent, I’m going to vote for him today notwithstanding the monster ladle. Dietrich too made a surprisingly good showing in the kitsch class, though I thought Columba won it on points.

  70. Katie Stockton's Gravatar Katie Stockton
    March 18, 2016 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Columba’s going DOWN

  71. Dawna's Gravatar Dawna
    March 18, 2016 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I love both so this was hard but Iona is a sacred thin place for me so Columba it is for me. I spent four of the best days of my life on Iona. It makes me peaceful just thinking about it.

  72. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 18, 2016 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I almost cast a vote for Columba solely based on the Dr. Who references but then I came to my senses and once again cast it for Dietrich. 🙂

  73. Richard Asmussen's Gravatar Richard Asmussen
    March 18, 2016 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Both holy men will be in my book of saints, the Holy Spirit, faith, mercy, Bonhoeffers map of spirit and faith, well continue through with cultic Christianity that serves me well in conjunction with Columbia and, the Holy Spirit, my faith, God’s mercy, well continue to be a defender of the faith. My vote Columbia

  74. Marsha Scharnberg's Gravatar Marsha Scharnberg
    March 18, 2016 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Bonhoeffer, but, should a miracle occur and I end up in a Saintly Round of Kitsch in some distant future, I want Megan Castellan to write me up.

  75. March 18, 2016 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Wait. What? I’ve been voting for Detective Columbo, and just saw there’s an “a” there! Doh!

  76. March 18, 2016 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Columba! He was missional before that was a thing. He’s pretty much the guy who created monasteries that were for the purpose of equipping people to share the good news. His monks didn’t just stay behind the Abbey walls, they studied and worked there and then went out to the rest of the british mainland to serve the gospel by serving the people.
    Not to mention that repenting of violence and seeking a way of peace is a BRILLIANT example to the rest of us…

    Come on, Columba! You and your holy island can do it!

  77. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 18, 2016 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Columba’s legacy lives on in Scotland, and through the modern day Iona Community whose rule of life includes a commitment to the renewal of worship and to work for justice peace and the integrity of creation. Columba chose well when he chose the beautiful island of Iona. How could I not vote for Columba? (I enjoyed the Columba kitsch especially, but was disappointed to see no saltire beanie hats with Nessie emerging from the hat in sinuous loops. No Scotland match would be the same without numerous examples proudly on display.)

  78. March 18, 2016 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Oliver, I have been to Iona and it is a wonderful trip. It is Columba all the way for me.

  79. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 18, 2016 - 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Have been to Iona…attended services in the Abbey…it is truly a holy place…barren, rocky, and really not physically a very inviting place but it speaks of the presence of Columba and the Holy Spirit. Bonhoeffer however speaks to us in our time…his “discipleship” is not for the demands all… And that is what he gave it. Something very Christlike about him. he has my vote.

    • March 18, 2016 - 7:55 pm | Permalink

      ooh, I don’t think of it as barren. rolling green pastures, white sand beaches, sheep, highland cattle, lovely people…rocky in places, and bog in places, and everything in between. 🙂 Perfect place for a missionary training ground (which is what Columba started, essentially–a home base from which monks could go out).

      • March 18, 2016 - 9:41 pm | Permalink

        I quite agree. Iona is one of the special “Thin Places” of my life. I go there every year and get lost [sometimes literally!] in the magnificence and beauty of the place. And the oyster catchers. Mustn’t forget them!

  80. March 18, 2016 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    So disappointed that my hero, Columba, is not doing so well this round. I’ll be on Iona for his feast day this year and will say a quick prayer of forgiveness for all who eschewed this giant of Celtic spirituality and faith!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 18, 2016 - 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Excuse me — ask forgiveness for yourself when you want to or should. You do not have the privilege or permission of obligation to ask forgiveness for me or anyone else for what you perceive as sins either of omission or commission.

      • March 18, 2016 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Umm. Joke. Laughter. Tongue in cheek? Just like Lent Madness. Deep breath now….

  81. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 18, 2016 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Columba. Abbey at Iona and the Nessie soup ladle.

  82. Barbara MacR's Gravatar Barbara MacR
    March 18, 2016 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

    No matter who wins this time–as someone commented in a previous round, the world really, really needs “Columba the Movie”!

  83. Jen E. Ochsner's Gravatar Jen E. Ochsner
    March 18, 2016 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    The Nessie soup ladle got to me!

  84. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    March 18, 2016 - 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Dwight…many thanks for your compliment. LENT MADNESS has become an important part of my spiritual life…also fun-learning-keeping my temper when my favorites lose….but above all, learning about the saints and not-so-saintly who have influenced my life and the lives of others…like Oliver-8 years old who is one wise youngun’ !

  85. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    March 19, 2016 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Tough choice. I tend to go in big for both martyrs and missionaries, and here we’re pitting one against the other. Decided to go with Bonhoeffer, who decided to minister in Nazi Germany instead of getting out while he could. And FYI, you can NOT beat the Bonhoeffer bib.

  86. March 19, 2016 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Columba kitsch was fabulous and almost had me; however Bonhoeffer deserves a golden halo and the prospect of never being subjected to the kitsch round again (tho’ Beth Lewis made a valiant effort). All four in the next round are exemplary, but I am rooting for Team Bonhoeffer!

  87. Geoff McLarney's Gravatar Geoff McLarney
    March 19, 2016 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    In fairness to them, for Lutherans the third sacrament is absolution!

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