Monday, August 23, 2004

reductionist stupidity

ah friends. just a small sampling of bumper sticker / t-shirt / marquee sightings from the past week or so. read at your own risk.

marquee -- we are a for-prophet organization (get it?)
another marquee -- your soul is our goal in 2004 (i'm not kidding - my guess is the pastor is a reformed carny barker. in other newsm this church quotes
yoda on their marquee this week. yes, that yoda.)
honorable mention marquee -- jesus, don't leave earth without him.
at least the summer has been cool so we haven't had the rash of "you think it's hot here" marquees

moving on

bumper sticker -- imagine a little darwin fish being swallowed by a giant piranha-looking Jesus fish with big teeth and a cross tattoo. the text? "survival of the forgiven!" -- sigh
just to prove that christians aren't the only ones with really bad bumper sticker judgement, here's one - "my kid has more chromosomes than your honor student" -- it's for the oklahoma down's syndrome children's society. not sure why that one bothers me so much, but it just seems wrong.

and now for the pièce de résistance (international, huh?) - this t-shirt for sale a your local "christian" junk dealer - "there are two questions you never want to ask 1. where am i going? 2. why am i in the handbasket?" (i literaly stood in shock and stared at this)

i know i go off on this stuff all the time. why does it bother me so much? i was thinking about that and here are at least a couple of thoughts.

1. it further reinforces all of the negative things our culture already thinks about christianity (self-righteous, exclusive, mean, arrogant, stupid, corny, irrelevant, . . .)
2. so much of it is rude or mean or hateful. telling people they are going to hell is not effective evangelism in our culture. in fact, it might encourage them in that direction because at least there they won;t have to put up with church marquees and t-shirts (or will they?). people tell me that Jesus got in people's faces when it was necessary. that's true. those people were either demon possessed or self-righteous over-religious prigs who had missed the point of all of their ritual observance and cultural "faith". hmmmmm.
3. that kind of stuff is completely self-serving. it's "christianity's" way of getting its licks in at no personal cost. (well, except for the $20 dropped down for a t-shirt) you don't have to defend anything or dialogue with anyone when you zip by them at 45 in a school zone.
4. it's pointless. honestly. will a staunch darwinian atheist change his mind when the piranha fish eats the leggy darwin fish? has anyone ever pulled over on i-40 east of OKC and found faith over the "go to hell" billboard?

note -- to those who maintain that this direction of ranting is also pointless, i would like to point out that releasing keeps me out of therapy. so there is a small point.


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