Peter vs. Esther

Congratulations! You’ve stuck with Lent Madness as a Lenten devotion and the field has been whittled down from 32 saints to eight. After a long and winding road, we have made it to the Round of the Elate Eight. There is now light at the end of the Golden Halo and by the end of the week we’ll be down to the Faithful Four.

We begin this round with an epic battle of Biblical proportions as Peter faces Esther. To make it this far, Peter defeated Paul and John the Evangelist while Esther got past Lazarus of Bethany and Michael the Archangel. The remaining matchups in this round are Phocas the Gardener vs. Richard Hooker, Martin de Porres vs. Maria Skobtsova, and Anna Alexander vs. Eglantyne Jebb. One of these eight will win the 2018 Golden Halo.

The Elate Eight is also known as the Saintly Kitsch round. After basic biographies, quotes and quirks, what else could there be? There are always some folks who take offense to this approach — we call them Kitsch Kranks. Tim and Scott discussed this in yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness. This is not to belittle or demean our saintly heroes but to have some fun and gaze in wide wonder at the breadth of devotional practice. So kindly relax and enjoy the spirit of the Madness as we push ever onward to our goal.


St. ItaIn his afterlife, St. Peter is perhaps best known for his important work guarding the gates of heaven. It’s a tough job, and who better than a repentant sinner to welcome the rest of us, in our varying degrees of holiness? Here he is looking down upon St. Ita (left) and (right) singing a duet with popstar Amy Winehouse, who died of a drug overdose in 2011.Amy winehouse and St. Peter




Jokes starring St. Peter often make fun of–or laud–certain professions. Here’s one knocking mine:

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy wearing a leather jacket, and jeans.
Saint Peter asks, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”

The guy replies, “I’m Joe, taxi driver, New York City native.”

St. Peter consults his list, smiles, and says to the taxi driver, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The taxi driver goes into Heaven, and it’s the minister’s turn.
He stands proudly and booms out, “I am Joseph Snow, pastor of Calvary Church.”

St Peter consults his list. “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Just a minute,” says the minister. “That man was a taxi driver, and he gets a silken robe and golden staff? How can this be?!”

“Up here, we work by results,” says Saint Peter. “While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed.”

As a minister myself, if I get in, I expect I’ll be wearing cotton in the kingdom.

Key with St. Peter imageIf you’re worried whether Peter will open the gates for you, try this work around: A key with the Rock of the Church’s saintly image on it. The pendant is sure to function just like a retina scan and send those gates swinging wide! (How much security can there really be up there, anyway?)Oil with St. Peter label

You could also try some ‘Success’ scented essential oils, named after Peter because people pray to him to remove obstacles. But buyer beware: Peter’s version of success involves getting crucified upside down, then fast-tracked to heaven.

Stationary You might also start pleading your case early with this personalized St. Peter stationary. Conversely, if you’re a prankster, you might order the paper printed with Peter’s address and send threatening letters to people who–in your humble opinion–need to shape up in order to pass through the Pearly Gates.


Of course, the veneration of Peter goes well beyond our self-serving concerns about who will be allowed into God’s Kingdom.  People admire him for his good works andPrayer Candle guidance of the early church.  Genuine fans of Peter can purchase saintly statues on Amazon, but again beware of Etsy, where a search for St. Peter might turn up this votive candle featuring the dubiously sainted Evan Peters, star of the show American Horror Story and available for purchase online.

T shirtThe most devout of Peter fans might choose to honor his inverted crucifixion by wearing an upside down cross or this feminine fitted tee that simply screams, “Yes, I have a trim waist and want to show of  my Michelle NecklaceObama arms, but I love me some St. Peter!”


Peter tshirtPersonally, I’ll be buying myself and the Rev. David Sibley matching Sts. Peter and Paul shirts to commemorate this year’s bracket. David, did you want to show off your guns, or shall I buy you the man tee?



-Amber Belldene


EstherThe hard part about being a super-secret, Sydney-Bristow-spy-saint is that the kitsch you have is so secret as to be hard to detect.

However, my Lenten compadres, this should not suggest to you that Queen Esther is without swag. By no means! Just that you need to know where and how to look.

For starters, cast thine eyes upon this figurine of Saint Esther. This is a prop from a play about a Hispanic family in New Mexico, that discovers they are descended from the conversos who fled Spain during the Inquisition. Seen one way, the image of Saint Esther. Flipped upside down, you can see the figures of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea through the parted waters at the hand of Moses—hidden in plain sight.

Esther, please recall, is all about the power of holding onto your God-given identity, even when everything in the world would have you abandon it. This is a powerful message, and speaks to us even today. Yea, and behold, even if humans were silent, the very vegetables would cry aloud this message, for Esther’s tale was retold by the redoubtable bards of Veggie Tales (please ignore the creepiness of their lack of arms or hands, and how they yet manage to manipulate objects.) If you have a spare 40 minutes in your life, it’s all on YouTube.

My personal favorite retelling of Esther’s story, however, is by BimBam, which will having you chanting “GO ESTHER! GO ESTHER!” If you want something more advanced, Joan Collins made a movie about Esther. Yes, THAT Joan Collins, darling. Come for the guys in hats playing bongos, stay for Haman on drugs!

Maybe that is not enough for you, however. Perhaps you need a tangible reminder to be your true, God-given self at all times. In which case, might I direct your gaze upon this selection of tiaras? Indeed, the internet is such a wonderful place that it has given to us a Tiara Town, where one can purchase not only a tiara to remind yourself to always be the self God wants you to be, but matching tiaras for all your pets.

Finally, we all know it takes courage, persistence, and stamina to resist unjust regimes. It is not easy, and it is not a quick fix. So, in all seriousness, I think Esther would be all about the Southern Poverty Law Center right now. With hate crimes seeing a meteoric rise across the country, their work in identifying and stopping hate groups in the United States is more needed than ever. After white supremacists murdered a woman in Charlottesville over the summer, they have redoubled their efforts, releasing this list of ten ways you, like Esther, can fight hatred where you are.

All of us have a role to play—whether we choose to wear a tiara or just to watch that insane Joan Collins movie on repeat. God calls on each one of us to make this a more just and loving world, as Esther tried to.

-Megan Castellan


Peter vs. Esther

  • Esther (51%, 3,495 Votes)
  • Peter (49%, 3,358 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,853

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234 Comments to "Peter vs. Esther"

  1. Debra's Gravatar Debra
    March 20, 2018 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    Peter Peter Peter!!

    • Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
      March 20, 2018 - 8:56 am | Permalink

      Amen! Amen! Amen. This is as gripping as the Pennsylvania Congressional race last week! Except there will be no “losers” here!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 20, 2018 - 9:27 am | Permalink

        But it’s going to be a long night. P

        • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
          March 20, 2018 - 9:28 am | Permalink

          Ignore the “P”. A slip of the pinkie finger.

          • March 20, 2018 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

            Ester for the winnnnn

          • Amy's Gravatar Amy
            March 20, 2018 - 6:58 pm | Permalink

            Go Peter!
            Gotta love the NY cab drivers.
            LOVE the joke!

    • Jimmy Bishop's Gravatar Jimmy Bishop
      March 20, 2018 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      In the southern version of Peter at the pearly Gate, he says, “You boys hop in the back of the pickup and I’ll take you up to the big house!” Going for Esther.

    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 20, 2018 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I so love Peter and Ms. Belldene you did well! It’s nice to laugh during this time. And that was a HOOT! Ms. Castellan you ALWAYS win me over! Esther❤️

  2. Caden's Gravatar Caden
    March 20, 2018 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    Peter protects heaven so he has my vote.

    • Jame's Gravatar Jame
      March 20, 2018 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      …from what, please, does Heaven need protection?…

      • Caden's Gravatar Caden
        March 20, 2018 - 11:28 am | Permalink

        From sinners

        • Jack's Gravatar Jack
          March 20, 2018 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

          From people who vote for Ester.

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 20, 2018 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Snark Snark. Voting for ESTHER is just fine, and I’ll get into Heaven. Probably, you will too.

        • Debra's Gravatar Debra
          March 20, 2018 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Uh-oh. That’s me.

  3. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 20, 2018 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    I went for Peter due to better kitsch~

    • Elaine Chilcote's Gravatar Elaine Chilcote
      March 20, 2018 - 10:55 am | Permalink

      Don’t overlook the Veggie Tales for Esther. I’m voting for Peter, however, maybe to make up for going with Paul and John in previous rounds.

      • Ann's Gravatar Ann
        March 20, 2018 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

        I continue to wish we had a button — your Veggie Tale comment!

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 20, 2018 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

          We do and you foundit — Reply

          • Santa's Gravatar Santa
            March 20, 2018 - 5:08 pm | Permalink


    • nora's Gravatar nora
      March 20, 2018 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I went for Esther for that very reason!

    • Carolyn Brown's Gravatar Carolyn Brown
      March 21, 2018 - 2:12 am | Permalink

      Yes, the El Greco t-shirt convinced me!

  4. Riley91's Gravatar Riley91
    March 20, 2018 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    Esther is awesome and cool and helps people vote esther.

  5. Carol Miro's Gravatar Carol Miro
    March 20, 2018 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    “God calls on each one of us to make this a more just and loving world, as Esther tried to.” Words for today!

  6. Amelia's Gravatar Amelia
    March 20, 2018 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I voted for Esther because of Megan’s write up, even though I’m sure Peter will win this round.

  7. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 20, 2018 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Nothing against Peter but I go for Esther’s courage and faith as a woman who is honored in the Jewish faith tradition…and is one of the few women to get a book of the Bible named for her!!

    • March 20, 2018 - 8:20 am | Permalink

      I agree Debbie. Nothing against the rock, Peter, but I voted for Esther, a rare woman in the canon of scripture.

    • March 20, 2018 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      I figure Peter’s gotten plenty of recognition over the millennia, so my vote also goes to Esther, Debbie. But looking at the count so far, we’ve got a nail-biter. Closest one I’ve seen yet!

  8. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 20, 2018 - 8:15 am | Permalink


  9. Pat Smith-Huntoon's Gravatar Pat Smith-Huntoon
    March 20, 2018 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Queen Esther!

  10. Hill - age 9's Gravatar Hill - age 9
    March 20, 2018 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Peter is amazing. The only reason people wouldn’t vote for him is because he said he didn’t know Jesus. But of course that’s just part of being human, everyone makes mistakes.

    • Pam Sten's Gravatar Pam Sten
      March 20, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      I’m with you, Hill, I’ve made plenty of them in my lifetime! Been voting for both Peter and Esther each round, so I’m still waffling, so I’ll think on it some more before voting.

      • Santa's Gravatar Santa
        March 20, 2018 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

        I agree

  11. Amy Clayton's Gravatar Amy Clayton
    March 20, 2018 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I began by trying to decide who might prevail over Hooker. Chuckled my way through Peter’s kitsch; was sure I would vote for him. The SPLC link reminded me what this is all about and I voted for Esther.

  12. Carol Waller's Gravatar Carol Waller
    March 20, 2018 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Ester!!!! Let’s go Ester!

  13. Sue Goodman's Gravatar Sue Goodman
    March 20, 2018 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Ooohh – close! Peter certainly wins on kitsch, but I think wins on genuine I-can-relate-to-that humanity too, and look where he ended up!

    By the way (pedant alert) Peter might be stationary at the Pearly Gates, but you’d want to write to him on stationery. At least, here in the UK that’s how it goes, apologies if it’s different in the U S of A .
    Have a blessed Lent, everyone.

    • mefster's Gravatar mefster
      March 20, 2018 - 9:01 am | Permalink

      I have noticed several times this Lent Madness that the first draft tends to hit the streets without benefit of a copy editor. I suspect God feels the same way about these things as she does about ties in church…St Peter ain’t checkin’ spelling and attire at the PGs.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 20, 2018 - 9:12 am | Permalink

      It’s the same.

    • Annie B's Gravatar Annie B
      March 20, 2018 - 11:50 am | Permalink
  14. Kitty Lorensen's Gravatar Kitty Lorensen
    March 20, 2018 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Esther all the way. To me, heaven’s gatekeeper is outweighed by this woman of courage, who stood up to evil, risking her own life to save others. Faith without works is a cotton robe.

    • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
      March 20, 2018 - 10:12 am | Permalink

      Amen Kitty!

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      March 20, 2018 - 11:10 am | Permalink

      Peter brings hope to all because of his denials. But through all that, he was the first of the disciples to recognize Jesus as ‘the Christ, the son of the Living God’ and he was charged by Jesus to ‘tend My sheep, feed My sheep’ He made missteps all along the way, but if Jesus chose him to lead the other disciples in working to form the church, he has my vote.

    • sue's Gravatar sue
      March 20, 2018 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

      YES YES YES!!!

  15. Catherine Linberg's Gravatar Catherine Linberg
    March 20, 2018 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Esther for my last bit of bracket not busted.

    • Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
      March 20, 2018 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Ditto – plus she has a HOLIDAY!

  16. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 20, 2018 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    The BimBam video on Esther is well worth 4 minutes of your time.

    • Ellie Tupper's Gravatar Ellie Tupper
      March 20, 2018 - 8:53 am | Permalink


    • March 20, 2018 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the recommendation, Michelle and Ellie, I’ll check it out.

    • Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
      March 20, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      The BimBam episode is entertaining, especially the part about the cookies! I am still (and have been for years) partial to the Veggie Tales version of Esther’s story; and finally, the reversible figure of Esther/Hebrews at the Red Sea is totally cool.

    • MaryFerty's Gravatar MaryFerty
      March 20, 2018 - 11:40 am | Permalink

      Bum Bam video did it for me, too. Go Esther— go Esther — Go Esther!

      • MaryFerry's Gravatar MaryFerry
        March 20, 2018 - 11:41 am | Permalink


        • MaryFerry's Gravatar MaryFerry
          March 20, 2018 - 11:42 am | Permalink

          Third’s. Charm …. “Bim”!!

  17. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    March 20, 2018 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Peter welshed on Jesus, denying him three times, whereas Esther risked her own life for her people. To me, her behavior was Christ-like.

  18. Mary-Theresa Anderson's Gravatar Mary-Theresa Anderson
    March 20, 2018 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Esther stood her ground in an era of madness, not only against a group of people but also of women.

  19. Doris's Gravatar Doris
    March 20, 2018 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Peter had me at singing with Amy Winehouse

  20. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    March 20, 2018 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that’s Jesus looking down at St Ita not St Peter.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 20, 2018 - 11:29 am | Permalink

      You are correct. He definitely has the cross showing in His halo (a honor no one else in iconography is given) and His name in Greek appears by His head (the name of the person shown always appears near them in Greek in correctly written iconography). Additionally Jesus isn’t holding any keys. Maybe the SEC should make sure Amber Belidene sees an optometrist during Eastertide.

  21. JBH's Gravatar JBH
    March 20, 2018 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Jesus’s love for and faith in Peter, the repentant screw-up who says too much at all the inappropriate times, gives me hope.

    • Ann 2's Gravatar Ann 2
      March 20, 2018 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Voted for Peter as well. His willingness to recognize mistakes and turn back to Jesus, a hero!

    • Sharon Kilpatrick's Gravatar Sharon Kilpatrick
      March 20, 2018 - 9:49 am | Permalink

      Peter is my choice for second chances and my vote, but the Esther kitsch is awesome!

  22. Santa's Gravatar Santa
    March 20, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I vote Esther, but I still do not recommend Veggie Tales.

    • March 20, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      I do not like Veggie Tales at all! My OT prof in seminary told us that is she ever heard us mention them to her she would lower our grade as they fail to tell the stories as written in the Bible. Ido indeed vote for Easter for her bravery and love for her people at the risk of her own life.

  23. Gary Lubin's Gravatar Gary Lubin
    March 20, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I go for the underdog just like Ester did. Besides which I like Joan Collins.

  24. Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
    March 20, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Peter reminds me that I can fail to be the type of Christian that I should be, and still be beloved of God. He’s failings give me hope that God has a higher purpose for me. Esther is cool, but Peter gives me hope.

  25. Peter's Gravatar Peter
    March 20, 2018 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Peter, it’s the whole “ eponymous” thing…

  26. March 20, 2018 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I went with Peter, although it was REALLY REALLY REALLY hard.

  27. Rene Thompson's Gravatar Rene Thompson
    March 20, 2018 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Peter is dear but, in this day and time, my heart is with those who stand up against the Hamon’s of the world.

  28. Walter Jaap's Gravatar Walter Jaap
    March 20, 2018 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I am perplexed and fatigued at this point, attributes & kitsch are not reasonating today to make a decision. I had to revert to Excel, Random number generator, saying if the mean and standard deviation of a column of 75 number was even, Ester wins, if odd, Peter.

    Calculation yielded: Mean=0.5139, Standard Deviation=0.2749 Peter takes it.

    Hoping for insiration tomorrow

  29. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    March 20, 2018 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    For one of the loveliest women I know and for my favorite aunt — sister of my grandmother — Go Esther! Storm those pearly gates!

  30. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    March 20, 2018 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    “I yam who I yam,”, said the Lutheran valiantly attempting to learn a little more. Vote Esther!

  31. Glenn Horton-Smith's Gravatar Glenn Horton-Smith
    March 20, 2018 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Love BimBam’s Purim Story!

  32. Timothy J. Mannion's Gravatar Timothy J. Mannion
    March 20, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Much closer at this time than expected… Wow! 546 Esther to Peter’s 531.

    But the ability to turn reality in its head, as in Esther’s statue, with depiction of the parting of the Red Sea won me over completely. (Initially, I was all in for Peter.)

    Esther for the win!

  33. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    March 20, 2018 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    I loved Peter’s kitsch, but would rather have Esther on a coffee mug.

  34. Colleenrose's Gravatar Colleenrose
    March 20, 2018 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    I got sidetracked by the Tiara Town link. Lots of bling there! I had to vote for Peter. His life was a bit messy but through him we can see faith, forgiveness, and grace. That is hope for all of us.

  35. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    March 20, 2018 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Nevertheless, she persisted.

  36. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 20, 2018 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Well, curmudgeons be gone! I love this kitsch! And I’m sticking with Esther.

  37. Judith Golden's Gravatar Judith Golden
    March 20, 2018 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Esther, Esther, Esther! It’s Women’s History Month…vote Esther!

  38. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 20, 2018 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Wow! Tied at 9:13 a.m.!

  39. Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
    March 20, 2018 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Bringing in the SPLC on Esther’s behalf was a sneaky move! I might have voted for her, but I’m more certain that Peter actually existed, and that kinda matters to me.

    • Judi Gustafson's Gravatar Judi Gustafson
      March 20, 2018 - 11:52 am | Permalink

      tha, Elaine. I agree!

  40. Thomas Van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas Van Brunt
    March 20, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    And yet, she asked for an extra day to commit genicide against her enemies

  41. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 20, 2018 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    Peter is my pet rock. The Amy Winehouse duet piece is one stupendous yet oddly touching piece of kitsch.

  42. Patricia OBrien's Gravatar Patricia OBrien
    March 20, 2018 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    I am disappointed with today’s Lenten Madness write up. Peter and Esther deserve a better representation of their good works instead of merchandising and spoofing.

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      March 20, 2018 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s the kitschy round — Peter and Esther have had serious write-ups in the first two rounds, this is the light relief. I think it makes good moments of levity in the long last week of reflection before Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.

  43. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 20, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    So I chose Peter, because without him there would be no Church, no Lent, and therefore no Madness.

    On the other hand, without Esther there might have been no Jews and no Jesus, at least as we know him.

    Maybe that’s why they’re tied.

  44. Dianne's Gravatar Dianne
    March 20, 2018 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Esther’s outrageous courage deserves the golden halo.

  45. rm gens's Gravatar rm gens
    March 20, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Meagan’s description brought the choice of Esther the only way to go in this time of chaos!

  46. March 20, 2018 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    I voted for Peter because that Amy Winehouse cartoon really was perfect, and I appreciated the joke and the description of the T-shirt for women. But bravo to both bloggers!! Those write-ups were wonderful and the armless veggies had me laughing out loud. The kitsch round is so fun!

  47. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 20, 2018 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    I mean, kitsch that includes both St. Peter and Amy Winehouse??? Wins hands down in my book!

  48. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 20, 2018 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    Always Esther.

  49. March 20, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Esther because of that really good write up! Gets an A

  50. Julie C Watt Faqir's Gravatar Julie C Watt Faqir
    March 20, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    HELP! Who won yesterday, March 19?

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 20, 2018 - 9:51 am | Permalink

      There was no Lent Madness yesterday–it being Sunday and all. Weekends are hard!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 20, 2018 - 10:06 am | Permalink

        Oh drat! That’s what happens when I travel. I lost a day!! It was Eglantyne.

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 20, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

        but this is Tuesday so yesterday as Monday, by my reckoning, so there must have been voting. I remember doing it. I think.

  51. Oliver--Ten Years Old's Gravatar Oliver--Ten Years Old
    March 20, 2018 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I voted for Peter because he was the best friend of Jesus and a fisherman (not a Queen). And he said “i am just a stupid man.”

    • Pam Payne's Gravatar Pam Payne
      March 20, 2018 - 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Oliver. I admire Esther, but Peter gives me hope that my mistakes will be overlooked by Jesus when I meet Peter at the pearly gates

  52. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    March 20, 2018 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Queen Esther for Actions!! Download that resource book & do something
    against hate, injustice & corruption. Thank you, Megan for that link to examples
    of modern day Esthers.

  53. March 20, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink


  54. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    March 20, 2018 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Loved all the kitsch, ladies! I’d like to go for that St. Peter key myself, although the aluminum foil-covered one in Abigail Brown’s hilarious essay sounds like fun.

    As for Esther, what about all the loads and loads of Purim kitsch–tambourines, Haman costumes, balloons and graggers, gift baskets of hamanaschen and nuts and kosher wine, masks, wrapping paper and coloring books!

    Voting for Esther! In a moment of Esther-Ecstasy I took her all the way to the Golden Halo on my bracket. Too much kosher wine, I guess?

    • Megan L Castellan's Gravatar Megan L Castellan
      March 20, 2018 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      I intentionally steered clear of Purim items because I don’t want to appropriate what is a very real and sacred religious holiday for our Jewish sisters and brothers for our own Christian use in Lent Madness. It did not seem respectful.

      • Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
        March 20, 2018 - 10:10 am | Permalink

        Well thought out and well done. Perhaps next year there might be a Rabbi-in-Residence for such needs. (see a Twitter discussion:

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 20, 2018 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Megan did very ell all on her own.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 20, 2018 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

          I would love to see Rabbi Danya take a turn as a CB!

          Just for the sake of argument, Megan, it seems to me that Purim is the perfect meeting point of Lent Madness (where are the italics when you need them?) and Judaism. Purim isn’t a solemn, high holy day, but a day of noise and parades and feasting. Rabbi Eliyahu KiTov writes: “If one attains holiness through affliction, and another attains holiness through indulgence, who is the greater of the two? It may be said that the one who attains holiness through indulgence is greater, for the attainment of holiness through indulgence requires an infinitely greater degree of striving and effort.” (Book Of Our Heritage) Celebratory items like tambourines, balloons, and Haman costumes seem like great Esther kitsch to me.

          • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
            March 21, 2018 - 4:22 am | Permalink

            If you want italics you have to include the proper HTML code.

            italic text goes here

          • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
            March 21, 2018 - 4:29 am | Permalink

            Okay it didn’t display the code though I used the code to tell it to do so. Sigh. So you put a < then em then a > and then something you want in italic then you put a < then a / then em then a >. Now if that displays right, what you need to turn text italic will be in bold.

      • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
        March 20, 2018 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Megan, agreed that Purim is an important holiday for our Jewish friends.

        I do wish, though, that the Saintly Scorecard booklets still had recipes as they did for several years. One for hamantaschen would have been a welcome addition!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 20, 2018 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

      me too

  55. Ronnie's Gravatar Ronnie
    March 20, 2018 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Peter was a mess. I can relate. Voted for Peter.

  56. Heather in KY's Gravatar Heather in KY
    March 20, 2018 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Here I was thinking I was going to vote for Peter, but Esther, you had me at Southern Poverty Law Center.

  57. Ronnie's Gravatar Ronnie
    March 20, 2018 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Peter was a mess. I can relate. Peter gets my vote.

  58. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 20, 2018 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Esther is totally mesmerizing but I named my son Peter. So there you are.

  59. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    March 20, 2018 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Though Peter will always give me hope that I too am beloved and of use to God despite my faults and fumblings, it’s Esther for me. Esther, who, though her name is not in all of those begats, is in the direct line of Jesus’ spiritual lineage, and without whom he might not have come to be. Esther, who was emboldened by the living and eternal Word before that Word became flesh in Jesus; who reminds us that salvation history dances through time and space and is more grand and encompassing than any one creed or culture. (Seriously: why isn’t Esther’s story part of the Liturgy of the Word in the Easter Vigil???) Esther, because speaking truth to power is as needful as ever. Go Esther! Go Esther!

  60. Cynthia McChesney's Gravatar Cynthia McChesney
    March 20, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    “The power of holding onto your God-given identity, even when everything in the world would have you abandon it.” What could be more important today than that? Esther!

  61. aleathia nicholson's Gravatar aleathia nicholson
    March 20, 2018 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Well, today’s writers have discovered a treasure trove of kitsch that outdoes any I’ve seen in the past. I was almost tempted to shell out some big bucks but remembered that I should be gathering ducats for my church pledge, not t-shirts or candles or CDs. Although Esther is indeed a role model for women and for those in danger of losing their lives, it was Peter who denied Christ three times. If the the truth be known, many of us are guilty of this grievous sin and must repent ad infinitum. Yet Peter is the rock as we who observe Holy Week seek to be more like him and love and serve our Lord as he faces the Cross where he will shortly in pain and agony. Lord, have mercy on us sinners.

  62. March 20, 2018 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Goodness, this was the hardest yet for me! I love both these saints, but ultimately went with Esther because she stood up to power at great personal risk (plus I liked the bim bam video and simply have to find that Joan Collins movie!). I hope that I could show as much courage as Esther if I needed to, but fear I’d behave as Peter did instead. The will toward self-preservation is strong…

  63. Tim Trussell-Smith's Gravatar Tim Trussell-Smith
    March 20, 2018 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Wow! A dead hear so far (10 am ET). How exciting!!!

  64. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 20, 2018 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Courage, Persistence, Stamina: A Saint we need to emulate in these times. Vote Esther!

  65. Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
    March 20, 2018 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    I love me some Veggie Tales, but Esther’s episode was, in my opinion, the worst. The Silly Song made me cringe! It is because of that cringing that I couldn’t vote for her. If that video hadn’t been referenced, I would have been an Esther champ…sorry!

  66. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    March 20, 2018 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Oh my! Who says your vote doesnt matter. I momentarily broke the tie! I loved the Esther video ( Go Esther, Go Esther) and the tiara shop links, but my heart was so touched by Amy and Peter rockin it at the Pearly Gates. As a person in recovery from addiction myself, and having lost friends and family to that awful disease, I cannot help but be drawn to the picture of mercy exhibited by the gates of heaven being opened to one of my own tribe. Such a surprising “icon” to ponder today. I need a copy of this for myself. Blessings

  67. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    March 20, 2018 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who is just kinda tired of Peter? Peter this. Peter that. Peter here. Peter there. Peter, Peter, everywhere. For God’s sake, give somebody else a chance for a change. Go Esther!

  68. Other Esther's Gravatar Other Esther
    March 20, 2018 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    C’mon, Esther!!! I have always loved my namesake for her incredible courage and love of her family and people. And I’m a wee bit sad that her kitsch didn’t include the many awesome Esther halloween costumes out there. ESTHER FOR GOLDEN HALO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    March 20, 2018 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    I do love the Peter and Amy icon, though. Go Amy! Go Esther!

  70. Sister Janet's Gravatar Sister Janet
    March 20, 2018 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    I’ve always gotten a kick out of the classic image of Peter like a cosmic bouncer, standing outside the gate of heaven to decide who gets in. Because if you read the description in Revelation 21, there are 11 more gates, all standing wide open! I imagine some people might get there and be surprised at all the people who have managed to get in through one of those side doors, without even standing in line and having their credentials checked! All you have to do is leave behind your dirty laundry and falsehood…

  71. Heather C's Gravatar Heather C
    March 20, 2018 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Peter has his Basilica and the keys to Heaven – he doesn’t need the golden halo too! Esther all the way for me, because she’s inspired peoples of two faiths to courage.

  72. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 20, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    The vote is still tied and I am still undecided.
    But I think it will be Esther for me. For her courage. Sorry Rocky, you know I love you.

  73. Karen Sculley's Gravatar Karen Sculley
    March 20, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    tough choice today – both are names we gave our kids! I love both of them (yes, my kids, but also both the saints) . . . even though Queen Esther is my very favorite Veggie Tales episode (I often said to my Esther – “my little queenie-poo can visit me whenever she wants to!”), I voted for Peter because he blew it so royally that everyone since has known the intimate details of his mess-ups, and yet was forgiven by Jesus, forgave himself, stepped out in faith again and again, and has been ever since an inspiration for all of us who have foot-in-mouth disease 🙂 Whether or not he sings duets with us at the pearly gates remains to be seen, but what fun that would be!

  74. Barb's Gravatar Barb
    March 20, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    I was all Team Peter before reading that last paragraph on Esther. Well done, Megan Castellan!

  75. Diane MC's Gravatar Diane MC
    March 20, 2018 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Esther gets my vote. I actually really liked that figurine.

  76. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 20, 2018 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    Peter has better merch but Esther and her bravery in saving her unfairly targeted people wins the day with me.

  77. Jesus's Gravatar Jesus
    March 20, 2018 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I like Peter because he guards my heavens. But, this is all pointless because in the end, they are both important. I like both stories. Keep up the good work.

  78. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    March 20, 2018 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    Correction: while Amy Winehouse battled with drug addition, she died of alcohol poisoning.
    I can picture Amy & Esther belting out the tunes in heaven.

    • Verdery D. Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery D. Kassebaum
      March 20, 2018 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

      “…belting out the tunes in heaven…” in harmony, of course.
      OK, it’s Esther.

  79. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    March 20, 2018 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    Gotta go with someone who promotes the use of natural, breathable fiber. Woe to those who use polyester vestments.

  80. Carolyn Markson's Gravatar Carolyn Markson
    March 20, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Especially impressed with Esther’s link to Southern Poverty Law Center, thank you!!!

  81. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 20, 2018 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Saint Peter all the way!

  82. Valeria's Gravatar Valeria
    March 20, 2018 - 11:11 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Esther!
    (I was disappointed to see the Southern Poverty Law Center touted as a go-to place to find ideas on how to fight hatred.) Too political for me, especially in this context….

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 20, 2018 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      They have been fighting hatred for decades. They help majorly defund the Klan in the very early 1980s. If you think they are too political, you might want to reflect on why you feel that way.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        March 20, 2018 - 11:58 am | Permalink

        Our rector recently reminded us that Jesus IS political. It’s politics that saves us humans from ourselves, and SPLC is a terrific guard dog. Their mission is “Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, and Seeking Justice.” That sounds pretty biblical to me.

        • March 20, 2018 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Amen, Susan!

          • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
            March 20, 2018 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

            Agree. Totally agree.

        • Karen R's Gravatar Karen R
          March 20, 2018 - 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Amen, Miss Susan. Voted for Esther, noting that from here on to the Halo, every candidate is worthy and I voted for all of them in the first round.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 20, 2018 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Politics does weave in and out of (our beloved optional) Lent Madness (which I would never attempt to reinvent). With all due respect to all bloggers, commenters, and saints, I do think Jesus has the best list of ways to combat hatred:1) love God first and foremost, and 2) love your neighbor as yourself. He even explains how to recognize a neighbor.

      • Karen Sculley's Gravatar Karen Sculley
        March 20, 2018 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Well put, Peg!

        • andrea's Gravatar andrea
          March 20, 2018 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

          I agree-very well put!

  83. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 20, 2018 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve always had a problem with Peter and his conflict with Paul regarding Gentiles & the Mosaic Law.
    However, I’ve always admired Queen Esther and her courage. No waffling from her, no denials to save her skin. Yes, Peter redeemed himself after his initial triple denial, and I understand those who see him as the Saint of Second Chances. But Esther never needed a second chance! If we are saved not only by works but by faith, isn’t Esther a better example of faith?
    This selection is an easy one for me: Queen Esther!

    • March 20, 2018 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      Holding onto your G0d-given identity and working to overthrow injustice. I love Peter and his work with the Gentiles. I love his imperfectness – I relate. And he died for Christ, no question that is a super big deal. But I have always loved Esther, and she has my heart.

  84. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 20, 2018 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Still traumatised by my one exposure to veggie tales, I vote for Peter. Also slightly troubled by the linking of Esther to fighting for justice, when her book records the retaliation that saw over 75,000 killed when those who had been persecuted turned on their oppressors.

  85. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 20, 2018 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Amber and Megan, who both did a killer job finding kitsch for this round. Special kudos for the Esther figurine and for the wry reference to trim waists and Michelle Obama arms, a difficult combination for mortals to achieve. I’m going to fast track myself to a cup of coffee.

  86. Deacon Victoria Rebeck's Gravatar Deacon Victoria Rebeck
    March 20, 2018 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    This is going to be a tight race! I more or less tossed a coin on this one.

  87. March 20, 2018 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    The “contest” is about saints and the life of faith. The canonical book of Esther never in fact mentions God — though the additions to Esther in the Apocrypha specifically add in prayers by her… so I find it kind of surprising that the voting is so close. Are we in such an ‘angry’ time… that fighting and retribution are really the criteria we’re advocating? Gives me pause as we come up on Holy Week…. when Jesus told Peter specifically to put down his sword when he was going to go after their opponents in the garden….

  88. Betsy in Reston VA's Gravatar Betsy in Reston VA
    March 20, 2018 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    I voted for Megan—I mean Esther. It was the tiaras that did it. That and the 10 ways to fight hatred where you are.

  89. March 20, 2018 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Would that all of you had the touch of Baptist theology that sees Christ’s death as Gods way of allowing all of us who believe in Jesus to enter heaven. Peter just holds the gates open.

    • March 20, 2018 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Faith, Thank you for joining the conversation, and for sharing your faith.

      Did you vote? Hope so!

      In Christ,

  90. March 20, 2018 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t care about kitsch or jokes. Esther is my choice!

  91. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 20, 2018 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    In round one I posted a collect I wrote in early2017 that Esther inspired. And one of my favorite lines in the Bible is found in II Peter 3:16. And I love the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (been there, recommend a visit, you’ll find it one block uphill from King Memorial Dexter Avenue Baptist Church [yes re-named for their former pastor, MLK] in Montgomery, Alabama). And I was born the day after the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul for whom our National Cathedral is named and yes, I like it when my birthday falls on a Monday. 😉

    Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    Guess I’ll go with Esther since Amber mistook Jesus for Peter in the Icon of Saint Ita.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 20, 2018 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I missed that collect first time around. Beautiful!

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 20, 2018 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Susan.

  92. Beverly A Duncan's Gravatar Beverly A Duncan
    March 20, 2018 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

    An impossible choice! However, since this is kitsch day Veggie Tales wins my vote. Esther it is and probably would have been even without the veggies – we do indeed need her spunk and courage to counter all the prejudice and hate that are so rampant today.

  93. David's Gravatar David
    March 20, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    The CEO of a medical insurance company was pleased when Saint Peter met him at the Pearly Gates and let him in. However , as he walked through the gate, Saint Peter said,” Your stay has been approved for three days.”
    I voted for Esther.

  94. Gail Adams's Gravatar Gail Adams
    March 20, 2018 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    With Esther asking the king for a second day of slaughter, I can’t vote for her. Besides, Peter stands for all of us who have fallen short, yet have been forgiven and gone on to do better.

  95. March 20, 2018 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    That cartoon of Peter crooning with Amy Winehouse in heaven almost changed my mind…but, no, I’m sticking with good Queen Ester, who has always been one of my top biblical role models.

    Her story….wow! Exiled from her culture, her people, her family, her home, living among strangers who despised her tribe, no doubt in a harem of the Persian King’s other wives or concubines. And, yet, having the fortitude to remain silent, hidden, until the day her people really needed her. And, then, coming forward to risk the wrath of her murderous tyrant of a “husband.” Just “wow!”

  96. Laura N's Gravatar Laura N
    March 20, 2018 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Me thinks we’re in for a close one today! Esther for me and I don’t know how this fine gem missed the kitsch line-up:

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 20, 2018 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Worth the click! lol

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 20, 2018 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

        yes indeed — thanks

        • JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
          March 20, 2018 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

          OK… I confess that you had me at the tiaras! Esther, it is for me, today!

  97. Terie H's Gravatar Terie H
    March 20, 2018 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Esther put her neck on the line, so to speak, to save her people. That is pretty awe-inspiring. However PETER was martyred for the faith. I have to vote for Peter, who was more “real” in his lifetime, with his boundless enthusiasm and zeal mixed with doubt and fear. And in death, he felt he wasn’t worthy to die in the exact same manner as Jesus….

  98. March 20, 2018 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Both of these kitsch columns had me laughing hysterically, so it was really hard to choose. In the end, I went with Esther, because of who she was and what she did. Also, girl power!!

  99. Marie Jones (Mama J)'s Gravatar Marie Jones (Mama J)
    March 20, 2018 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Megan’s write-up swayed me as did Dianne’s reference to ‘outrageous courage.’ Would we were all so courageous in the presence of God-less challenges!

  100. Yet another margaret's Gravatar Yet another margaret
    March 20, 2018 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Esther, today. But I am dismayed by the silliness.

  101. Christine Parkhurst's Gravatar Christine Parkhurst
    March 20, 2018 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Invoking the SPLC did it for me, too. They would prevent a present-day Esther from slaughtering her enemies. Continuing the vendetta leads nowhere. Therefore, go Esther.

  102. Joan Reyes's Gravatar Joan Reyes
    March 20, 2018 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Esther! Esther! Esther! But it looks like it might be a squeaker!

  103. john w miller's Gravatar john w miller
    March 20, 2018 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I have been the victim of feminine wiles in my day, so Peter gets my vote almost by default. Besides, he was the inspiration for one of the most dramatic piece of church architecture–Rome’s St. Peter’s–that always brings wonder and joy to me.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 21, 2018 - 12:46 am | Permalink

      I’ve been a victim of masculine wiles…..that never once entered into my feelings towards Peter…..Esther is a hero in her own right. Are you really that fragile that a bad relationship will sour you on the most noble woman of God who saved her people by her courage???

  104. Jackie Murphy's Gravatar Jackie Murphy
    March 20, 2018 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Pete’s a beast. Yayayayayayaya!!

  105. Dianne's Gravatar Dianne
    March 20, 2018 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Esther Rocks! She had extraordinary courage and passion for her people.

  106. Ruth Anne's Gravatar Ruth Anne
    March 20, 2018 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Esther is my girl today. we are certainly in an era where it ‘takes courage, persistence, and stamina to resist in unjust regime (administration). So…I’ll take my tiara to remind me to strive to be the person God calls me to be along with Esther. P.S. I’m a bit jealous of Peter’s cache of trinkets!)

  107. Belle's Gravatar Belle
    March 20, 2018 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I love all the kitsch! Bring it on! For fun, here’s a page from a multicultural costuming website about how to look like Esther. Go, Queen Esther!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 20, 2018 - 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Oh, that one is fabulous! Love the peacock feather fan! I want!

  108. Story's Gravatar Story
    March 20, 2018 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Esther, but I was sure this was going to be her last gasp. I can’t believe the race is neck and neck! Yay!

  109. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 20, 2018 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised Peter is trailing by a slim margin (as of 11:53 MDT). I’ve always been rather fond of the guy who always said the wrong thing at the wrong time and ended up being the rock on which blahblahblah anyway.

    By the way (BTW in cyperspeak), I always sleep through the kitsch rounds. The last thing I need in my life is kitsch.

    • Santa's Gravatar Santa
      March 20, 2018 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the “(BTW in cyperspeak)”. That made my day.

  110. Belle's Gravatar Belle
    March 20, 2018 - 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why this is so close. Peter gave up everything to follow, whereas it took Uncle Mordi reminding Esther that she could lose everything if she didn’t take action. Esther did stand up to a king, but Peter stood up to an Empire. Esther put her life on the line, but Peter gave his life. Esther saved a race, but Peter saved not just the Jews but the Gentiles too. Nothing against Esther, but she doesn’t compare to Peter in my mind.

    • Santa's Gravatar Santa
      March 20, 2018 - 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Guy who denied Jesus vs. Esther. Not so hard to understand to me…… no offense by the way.

      • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
        March 20, 2018 - 7:52 pm | Permalink

        And who hasn’t denied Jesus one way or another ?

      • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
        March 21, 2018 - 12:48 am | Permalink

        Sister Mary Winifred, Agreed!!!!

  111. Carol Tyrrell's Gravatar Carol Tyrrell
    March 20, 2018 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Peter because he reminds me that I can be human and a bit stupid at times and still be a good friend to Jesus.

    • Santa's Gravatar Santa
      March 20, 2018 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Nicely put.

  112. Kris's Gravatar Kris
    March 20, 2018 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps for a time such as this you were born…

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 20, 2018 - 3:05 pm | Permalink


  113. Jennifer Sabroe's Gravatar Jennifer Sabroe
    March 20, 2018 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    This is my first from-the-first-day Lent Madness experience and I was happily surprised with this kitsch round. (It helped that I watched yesterday’s Monday Madness so I was prepared for the silliness.) What fun to read! Celebrity Bloggers, you rock!
    Go Esther!

  114. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    March 20, 2018 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    The BimBam video convinced me to go with Esther-“always stand up for what you believe in!”

  115. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 20, 2018 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I was ready to go for Esther, but earlier comments lead me to actually read her entire Book, and wow – that aftermath of turn-about slaughter is seriously disturbing.

    It reminds me of the scene in “Becket” where Thomas Becket and a young Saxon monk are in the cathedral knowing death is on its way:
    Brother John – “I don’t much care if I am just a grain of sand in a machine. Because I know by putting more and more grains of sand in a machine, one day it’ll come grinding to a stop.”
    Becket – “And on that day, what then?”
    Brother John – “Well, we’ll have a fine, new, well-oiled machine in place of the old one. And this time we’ll put the Normans into it instead. That’s what justice means, doesn’t it?”

    It’s not even clear from the text whether the Jews went after people who *had* hurt them or who just *might* have hurt them given the opportunity. Then there’s this: “And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.” What does THAT remind you of?

    Peter for me!

    But GREAT kitsch for both, bloggers!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      March 20, 2018 - 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Good reference with Becket. Sadly, much harm has been done in the name of Peter and his successors as well.

  116. Melanie Mitchell's Gravatar Melanie Mitchell
    March 20, 2018 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Is Peter going to demand a recount?

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 20, 2018 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

      It ain’t over till the cock crows thrice.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 20, 2018 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

        And then the fat lady sings.

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          March 20, 2018 - 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Mary Magdalene was not fat! 😀
          (Lest anyone misunderstand, that was a joke!)

  117. Dani Hutchins Mollenkamp's Gravatar Dani Hutchins Mollenkamp
    March 20, 2018 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m still bummed Paul was a “one and done” this year! 🙂

  118. Jack's Gravatar Jack
    March 20, 2018 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Peter. And this should not be close.

  119. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 20, 2018 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Still had to go for Peter, but a huge shoutout to Megan Castellan for the SPLC link!

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 21, 2018 - 12:49 am | Permalink

      Uh huh!

  120. March 20, 2018 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    A I was wading through the kitsch in the midafternoon today (I came late to the Madness), it gradually grew on me that there’s a lot of unfinished business here on earth, for which Esther is a great inspiration. Peter can support us in our journey, but Esther rolls up her sleeves and works alongside her. That tipped the scale in my mind by little more than a(n ordinary) feather’s weight. Esther, go up higher!

  121. Julia Miller's Gravatar Julia Miller
    March 20, 2018 - 5:38 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite books ever is Behold Your Queen by Gladys Malvern. After I finished it my mother told me this wonderful story came from the Bible. I’ve read it there but I still love Gladys’ version.

  122. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    March 20, 2018 - 5:56 pm | Permalink

    It is hard to vote against Esther, especially with the backing of the Veggie Tales, but Peter will always be my man.

  123. Mariclaire's Gravatar Mariclaire
    March 20, 2018 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I can’t bring myself to vote for Peter-he just seems so goofy to me.

    • Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
      March 20, 2018 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Y’all who are voting for Esther are being very cavalier about the saint who will be meeting you at the Pearly Gates. Hope he’s in a good mood that day!

      • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
        March 20, 2018 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

        As I understand the set-up after death, it’s not Pete who makes and or enforces the rules.

  124. Corinna Mayer's Gravatar Corinna Mayer
    March 20, 2018 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if celebrity blogger Amber Belldene deliberately sabotaged Peter in this battle (I wouldn’t blame her if she did)!

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 20, 2018 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

      What a really strange and awful thing to say!

  125. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 20, 2018 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read more comments for this bracket than any other, and I’m
    impressed by everyone’s thoughts. While it hasn’t made me regret
    my original vote (“Queen Esther!!!), I have a deeper
    understanding and respect for both of Esther & Peter.
    Btw, Lent Madness has opened my heart & mind to St. Dymphna. I’d never
    heard of her prior to LM, but I’ve become a huge fan.
    That is the beauty of Lent Madness: in the midst of wit and silliness,
    we learn about inspirational people and our spiritual lives are greatly
    enriched as a result. I love Lent Madness!
    Oh, for the still undecided: Vote for Esther!

  126. March 20, 2018 - 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hey, you guys missed an important piece of Esther kitsch: the 1970s musical “Beauty and the Feast,” which I first saw performed by a youth group when I was about five years old. Someone made me a cassette copy of the soundtrack, and I listened to it on repeat for several years.

    Included in it is the gem of a lyric, “Oh, she was liberated/ Had a mind of her own/ She knew she’d never make it/ If she did it alone.” And also … “The moral that emerges/ When the tale is finally told/ Is ‘Liberate your mind but dedicate your soul.'”

    Check it out here:

    • Lynelle Osburn's Gravatar Lynelle Osburn
      March 20, 2018 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Love this. Yep liberate the mind and dedicate the soul. Doing it now!

  127. Rhee's Gravatar Rhee
    March 20, 2018 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I love Esther, but how can I vote against St. Peter??

  128. March 20, 2018 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Have to repeat this thought: Are we in such an ‘angry’ time… that fighting and retribution are really the criteria we’re advocating? Gives me pause as we come up on Holy Week…. when Jesus told Peter specifically to put down his sword when he was going to go after their opponents in the garden….
    The Esther route is a short term solution… I’m pretty sure that it’s not where the gospel goes.

  129. March 20, 2018 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I’ve studied and written about Bible women for ten years. But I voted for Peter. In the Book of Esther, God is not even mentioned (except for the Greek Apocrypha version). That’s a big selling point for me Peter: that God is a part of the story, above board, and Peter certainly got that. Also — I don’t remember Esther being crucified head down. Certainly that counts for something. The man was fallible, impulsive, gregarious, but couragerous, faithful, and lionhearted. Peter!

  130. March 20, 2018 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ve studied and written about Bible women for ten years–but I voted for Peter. In the Book of Esther, God is not even mentioned. Peter is a wonderful disciple: fallible, impulsive, gregarious, and lionhearted. And, he was crucified head down. Surely all that must count for something.

  131. Lynda Moses's Gravatar Lynda Moses
    March 20, 2018 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    The link to how to stand up to hatred was what threw my vote to Esther. I identify with Peter, always putting his foot in his mouth, but Esther effected changes while her life was in danger.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 21, 2018 - 5:41 am | Permalink

      And Peter didn’t?

  132. CherylK's Gravatar CherylK
    March 20, 2018 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    The Esther “kitsch” should have included one of my favorite childhood books, “Behold Your Queen” by Gladys Malvern. Thinking of it today, and the fact that it was important to my childhood understanding of faith, and also family loyalty.
    Peter is the greater saint, without a doubt – so why does he need Lent Madness to remind us of his importance? Putting a “big dog” like Peter in the game ruins the fun.

  133. March 20, 2018 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this is a close one. I voted for Esther in all previous rounds, but this is actually the first time I’m voting for Peter. Just can’t *not* vote for a leader among the Apostles and writer of two books of the Bible.

    I feel compelled to point out that the picture of the statue in Peter’s write-up is that of St. Expeditus, not St. Peter.

  134. Lynelle Osburn's Gravatar Lynelle Osburn
    March 20, 2018 - 11:30 pm | Permalink

    The ten ways, like Ester that we can fight hatred had me. Bless you Megan. I would like you to now put on your tiara.

  135. Richard Adams's Gravatar Richard Adams
    March 20, 2018 - 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Peter had a mother-in-law, a home, and I guess there was a Mrs Simon as well. One cannot underestimate the price he and his family paid in his decision to follow Jesus. Esther not only had courage but also considerable position, which she used wisely to save lives. When she encountered injustice she refused to be passive, a great lesson for all of us. Both are admirable. Both risked their neck. The difference is that Peter paid a heavier price.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 21, 2018 - 12:33 am | Permalink

      Peter paid a heavier price and had a massive impact. Esther is cool. Love that she was the spa queen.

  136. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 20, 2018 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Esther. For her courage. Liked the figurine and the story of the play, also the BimBam video, and the SPLC. Go Esther!

  137. Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
    March 21, 2018 - 12:33 am | Permalink

    Peter paid a heavier price and had a massive impact. Esther is cool. Love that she was the spa queen.

  138. Yvonne Telep's Gravatar Yvonne Telep
    March 21, 2018 - 12:39 am | Permalink

    Kudos to both bloggers today! What a great beginning to the kitsch round. I could hardly decide!!!

  139. Bill Loring's Gravatar Bill Loring
    March 21, 2018 - 12:49 am | Permalink

    I voted for Esther anyway, but linking her to SPLC — once a fine organization, but rapidly becoming a hate-group itself — almost changed my mind. (Good people may disagree with me, but most would recognize that it is divisive, and I don’t see a need for that here.)

  140. Laura Burgess's Gravatar Laura Burgess
    March 21, 2018 - 7:51 am | Permalink

    Dang it! I love Esther. She’s one of my top favorites. But as a faithful member of St Peter’s church, I gotta stick with the team :/

  141. Jennifer of Sol's Gravatar Jennifer of Sol
    March 21, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Esther but couldn’t vote against Peter. I hemmed, hawed, and fell asleep before casting a ballot. Laodicea’d the heck out of that one alright.

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