There's been a predictable Christian outcry against the theme of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute ball – the Met Gala – last night. Guests were invited to dress Catholic.
The singer Rihanna went as the pope. Katy Perry wore angels' wings. Kim Kardashian wore a slinky gold number with a cross on her hip. After that I lost the will to live.
The objections to the whole thing revolved around the inappropriateness of the fashion industry colonising other people's religion in the name of entertainment. The present pope is revered in a rather different way from Rihanna. As someone who's very publicly turned her back on her childhood faith, Katy Perry is a bit of a fallen angel. And to place a cross deliberately to draw the eye to the groinal area is just, well, tacky.
And that's the real objection to this nonsense. It's not particularly blasphemous, or offensive, or anti-Christian or anti-Catholic. It's not anything, really. It takes Christian symbols and uses them as props, devoid of context or respect. In the eyes of the Met, they're just shapes, and if Catholics get upset about their use in this way, all the better: controversy sells.
In fact, for reasons that will remain eternally opaque, the Catholic Church has actually co-operated with the Met in all this. According to the Independent, the Vatican 'gave permission' for the theme (it's hard to see how it could have stopped it, actually) and provided clothes and other items for an accompanying exhibition. There was, therefore, no 'official' disapproval. Someone at the Vatican is fine with religion as fashion statement.
Personally I can't, to be honest, get all that excited about cultural appropriation in general. I felt rather sorry for Keziah Daum, who wore a Chinese dress to a high school prom and was accordingly pilloried by social media warriors. As an Englishman, let me assure them that if any of them want to dress up as Morris dancers, they're welcome to do so; their crime would be against good taste and common sense, rather than political correctness.
I can't get excited about this, either, for the same reason. The Met Gala's partygoers are guilty of the same. If all this was designed to shock, it shocked the easily shockable. A better response is slightly pained boredom – and, perhaps, an increased appreciation of what the cross really means, when it isn't distorted by Kardashian curves.
Follow Mark Woods on Twitter: @RevMarkWoods