Is the toy an apt representation of the holy Trinity or is it heresy?
I’m not Catholic, and much of my exposure to Catholicism begins and ends with pat, film-length characterizations of the religion. I had a vague idea of what the holy Trinity meant, and represented, but after days spent researching, it seems there isn’t much clarity. Even for people who’ve spent their whole lives steeped in the faith. “My grandparents never explained it in a satisfactory way,” one lapsed Catholic acquaintance recounted, “like, ‘three but one.’” Another added, “My mom told me the reason Catholics liked the Trinity so much was because they respected women. She later admitted she was lying.” A third asked, “Is this about fidget spinners?”
The unknowability of the holy Trinity is intentional: It’s one of the central mysteries of the Catholic faith. God is the father, the son, and the holy spirit, but exists as a single divine nature. It’s commonly expressed visually through a diagram known as the Shield of the Trinity, which illustrates that while the son, holy spirit, and the father are all God, they are distinct from one another. Different interpretations and methods of teaching the Trinity flirt with polytheism and heresy, but that hasn’t stopped a new trend from emerging in more progressive swathes of the faith: trying to teach kids about the holy Trinity using fidget spinners, the new, ubiquitous, and seemingly inventor-less toy that has seen recent explosive popularity.