"But what about the Christian pop music, and the hat with IHS on it? Are these things bad now? So that we have to beg God's forgiveness for this "rot"?"
A fair question, and one difficult - or rather impossible - to answer directly. I'm certainly not interested in even beginning to say "Well, you shouldn't listen to this, but I think it's okay to listen to that..." or "wearing Christian symbols on clothing is a compromise with the consumer culture, and is therefore bad". Everything depends on the individual's determination (or lack of same) to live a life radically committed to the Gospel.
It comes down to a matter of perspective. Is our faith just "part of a well-rounded life", or is it the organizing principle that gives meaning to everything else? The question might be framed this way; if not for the ICTHUS emblem on the car, or the IHS hat, or the bible verse t-shirt, how would your neighbors, your friends, your community recognize your lifestyle as especially Christian? If these things didn't exist, what is it about you that would make people know you were a committed follower of Christ?
Keep in mind that in saying "God forgive us" for these kinds of things, I am praying mostly for myself, having been in a position to contribute to the mess by designing Christian T-shirts and other knick-knacks for several years. The horror, for me, would be that anyone could truly say, "You can always tell a Christian becasuse they have little bible verses on their knick-knacks".
Yes, I do think we need to ask God's forgiveness for the extent of the compromises we have made with the prevailing consumer culture (mostly without even thinking), and we need to look hard at our relationship to the wider culture, but much of the responsibility lies with Christian artisans of every stripe to dig deeper, reach higher and not settle for mediocrity by merely putting a Christian spin on a material culture. This might mean having to work a lot harder, it might mean walking away from a job opportunity. It might mean lots of things.
Catholic artisans in particular have a rich and ancient tradition of excellence to build on... we should ask ourselves, where is today's Pieta? Chartres Cathedral? Mass in C minor? Crucifixion of St. Peter? If we don't create the masterpieces of our age, who will? (...and again, I'm mainly talking to myself, here)
I don't want to be guilty of making the perfect the enemy of the good, but from my perspective it looks much more likely in our culture that the good has been seriously undermined by the "good enough". Am I being a little hard-assed about it? Yeah, maybe.
I was once much more involved in Christian Retail, which meant getting a good look behind the scenes at how Christian products are developed for the mass market (a process which, like the making of laws and sausages, one might not really want to see). Part of this involved attending a massive Christian products convention in Dallas one year. I have to say, the reality of the sheer amount of money flying around, the slick marketing, the celebrity culture, opportunism, etc... I found disturbing. I heard a reliable report that one Captain of Christian Industry took some visiting manufacturers (atheist foreigners, which is not their fault) out to a strip club. Why? Because they would like him, they would feel like they were buddies, they would be impressed, they would be easier to work with.
But for every lap dance proffered at such a gathering , there are a hundred very expensive steak dinners, rental limos, pricey gift bags and the like. It is (I believe) fundamentally a culture of materialism, with a Christian gloss. This is not to say it is this way in every single case, only to say that I found a disturbing materialist atmosphere prevalent in that Christian marketplace. Were there good points, as well? Sure, and I could name some for which I was grateful. But the overall tenor of the thing was... creepy.
I tried to imagine Jesus walking the aisles of the cavernous convention floor, and decided pretty quickly that had he been there in person, he would have slipped out quietly and would likely as not have been talking to the homeless guy at the roadside who we passed on the way in. I, myself, couldn't leave without breaking a lot of commitments. I consider that I "left" that place over the next several years.