American Greetings Nun: Anything Fun Is Sinful


I’m always interested in popular culture’s portrayal of nuns, which often bends to the cheapest stereotypes of grumpy, wrinkly, ruler-wielding disciplinarians (none of whom I’ve ever met), so I couldn’t help but pause and review this American Greetings birthday card on my way to the grocery store check-out.

From the “Inventions” line of American Greetings, the musical card features a rapping, habit-wearing nun named Sister Mary Margaret Mayhem, whose birthday rap goes:

I hear it’s your birthday.

That’s the word in the ‘hood.

You might want to celebrate, but you better be good.

I’d tell you want not to do, but where would I begin?

Just assume that if it’s FUN it’s a SIN!

Oh, yeah…word to your mother…superior!

Wanna bet this card was written by someone who isn’t Catholic? Someone who has never met an actual nun?

What do you make of this card? Do you find it amusing or offensive? 

If you’d like to express your discontent, you can contact American Greetings at or 1-800-777-4891. And while you’re at it, why not offer an idea for a positive angle on Catholicism? You can do that here.




Further reading

Hats off to The New York Times Magazine for presenting a much more honest picture of religious life earlier this year by bringing us Sister Mary Kate, who is now joined by the vivacious former CatholicMatch member Meris. Quite a contrast between these beautiful, wrinkle-free young women and Sister Mary Margaret Mayhem, huh?



  1. Michelle E. November 19, 2014 Reply

    …I don’t know. I take my Catholic faith very seriously and all of the nuns I’ve ever met have been sweet, lovely people. I’m actually somewhat considering moving in that direction. That being said, when I saw this card in a store, I thought it was hilarious. This isn’t the typical portrayal of nuns as stiff and serious–this is a rapping nun with big gold chains and the word “Mayhem” in her name. That, I thought, undid any seriousness and made it sound like the nun herself was joking around. It felt more like a Catholic joke than a joke on Catholics. I think we can take our faith seriously and still be able to giggle at silly portrayals of it. But maybe it’s just me….

  2. Jessica-556183 November 30, 2011 Reply

    It makes me sad to see the portrayal of all aspects of the Catholic Faith used disrespectfully. It reminds me of President Obama pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey, this year. Did you see it? He made the Sign of the Cross over the turkey and laughed. The media laughed, too. Why do they misappropriate our rituals and traditions and make fun of them?

    • Donna-184869 November 30, 2011 Reply

      I am the only Catholic at work and everyone I work with know I attend Mass every morning, and I have a picture of Jesus in my office. When ever they say something wrong about my faith or question my faith. I don’t take offence, I just smile and tell them I pray for them. After doing this for over a month, I now have some fellow employees come to my office or call me and ask me to pray either for themselves or a family member. I like to think I’m reaching them a little at a time.

Post a comment