I now live in a place where, after asking what you do for a living, the next question is, "what church do you go to?" Not, "do you go to church," but the assumption is that you buy into a particular religious doctrine that is under the Christian umbrella.
|Pickleope Angels prefer whiskey, Whiskey: It's Heaven on Earth (call me Jack Daniels)|
Maybe the internet will change this, widen the perspective of the next generation, but this is what they know. It's not bigoted or malicious, it's a friendly question based on a repetition of interaction. They're certainly friendly enough to not recoil in horror when I tell them my religious beliefs...Pardon me, I think there's an angry posse at my door.
The majority's overt promotion of a particular dogma isn't necessarily bad, it's just new to me. I grew up and have since lived in places where religion was something deeply personal and wasn't really discussed that often. Certainly not something you outright asked someone within two minutes of learning his/her name.
But living with this insular idea of common ideology leads overt acts of righteous indignation. Thus I've seen some...jarring things.
Let's start with the most threatening church sign I've ever seen:
|Censored to protect the guy named Dwight.|
Also, this isn't just a one-week message, this sign has been unchanged for at least the month I've lived here.
Let me help you, Pastor Dwight. Because I am nothing if not helpful, here are some alternative messages you can try:
- "Step back, kiss myself, Huh, Good God, y'all," a good James Brown quote will bring in more parishioners
- "Are you a Soul Man? You can be." This is a reference to the Sam and Dave song, not the 80's movie with C. Thomas Howell but I guess either would work, and you wouldn't have to change the entire sign.
- "Jesus isn't just something you say when you stub your toe." Simple, classic.
- "Beauty is only skin deep, let's make your soul sexy." A little provocative, but this is what generates
- "We won't judge your singing voice, just your soul." Maybe a little closer to your scare tactics but with less of an assault-y feel.
- "Are you ready to transmogrify? You can be." Boom, even less work if you're inclined to the whole "slothful" approach to your sign.
- "Got spirits? Call the Holy Ghost Busters." Nope, scratch that one, I just wanted to make a Ghostbusters reference.
- "You can't DVR this show, so you better show up on Sunday!" Now they know when to show up.
Then there are extroverted acts of devotion like this monument to contradiciton
|In case you can't read it, the caption says "God Bless America"|
But that's easily fixed, neighbors! A skilled hand can easily change that into a pilgrim. I don't think this statue as-is helps the resale value of their estate.
The message, I guess, is: It's okay to be religious, but don't let it cloud your general empathy of humanity or recognition of the terrestrial world around you.