Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tackiness on Holy Ground

In recent months, I have noted some spectacularly tacky messages on hand-lettered church signs in St. Louis. I have started to form a theory that tackiness on holy ground is the Eighth Deadly Sin. If I was a Catholic I would even call it evidence of purgatory--not that those who perpetrate it deserve to burn there, but at least these tacky messages are signs of the "in-breaking" of purgatory into our world.

Here are some of the most egregious examples taken from just 3 churches in St. Louis. You decide whether the ELCA (Ev. Lutheran Church in America) or the LCMS (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) church has the deeper concerns.

DEAL OR NO DEAL? JESUS IS A SAFE BET! (LCMS)
Comment: If there was a dumber show on TV, it would have been on this sign.

THE CHURCH IS A GIFT FROM GOD - ASSEMBLY REQUIRED (ELCA)
Comment: *Rolls eyes*

1. HUG YOUR KIDS 2. PRAY FOR YOUR KIDS 3. REPEAT STEPS 1 & 2 (ELCA)
Comment: "4. Send Your Kids to a Church that Offers More than Trite Tripe & Easy Solutions"

NEW YEAR'S MATH: ADD LOVE, SUBTRACT HATE, MULTIPLY GOOD (ELCA)
Comment: You forgot "Divide spleen by laughter."

YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT, OOH OOH OOH - GOD (ELCA)
Comment: This proves that tackiness can actually cause spiritual pain.

LOVE IS THE BEST DE-ICER (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared after an ice storm that caused $Millions in damage.

GOD: THE POWER SOURCE THAT WON'T GO OUT (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared after a wind storm that knocked out power to thousands of people.

IN THE SUPER BOWL OF LIFE, LET JESUS BE YOUR QUARTERBACK (LCMS)
Comment: I don't have to tell you when this appeared.

THE GIFT OF TIME: IT'S ALWAYS THE RIGHT SIZE (ELCA)
Comment: But not always the right color.

FOR AN EXTREME MAKEOVER, TRY A FAITHLIFT! (ELCA)
Comment: That'th not ath thenthible ath it thounds. Which ith really thaying thomething!

ALUMINUM CAN DRIVE THIS SUNDAY (Roman Catholic Church next to the ELCA church)
Comment: It's a miracle! Could this be a sign of the end?

NO FISH FRY BUT A GREAT MEAL SERVED ON SUNDAYS! (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared right next to a Roman Catholic Church sign saying "Fish Fry Friday 2-7 pm."

10 COMMANDMENTS: NOT A TRAP BUT A MAP (ELCA)
Comment: This suggests a problem going far deeper than bad taste - bad theology.

WARNING: LAUGHTER CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR ILLNESS (ELCA)
Comment: I knew there was a reason I should consider going to this church!

ALL THE FLOWERS OF SPRING PROCLAIM THE RESURRECTION! (ELCA)
Comment: Just what you want on Easter Sunday--a botany lesson!

WE DON'T READ PALMS - WE WAVE THEM HOSANNA! (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared during the week before Palm Sunday.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS IS BAD EXERCISE (ELCA)
Comment: Closing your eyes to avoid seeing this sign is bad driving.

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROWS—AND THE CARDINALS! (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared during the 2006 World Series (Hallelujah for the Cards!).

LOOKING FOR THE SHEPHERD? HE IS LOOKING FOR EWE! (ELCA)
Comment: It can't get much more baaaaaad than this.

THE TOMB IS EMPTY SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE (ELCA)
Comment: So I don't have to be empty? Or so I don't have to be dead?

I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD - AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE! (ELCA)
Comment: This appeared during the week of the fall elections.

Just in case you haven't heard it where you live, “...and I approve this message” was part of the political ads Missourians heard on TV and radio during the months leading up to the election. Example:

ANNOUNCER: Senator Jim Talent is a cannibal who molests children and makes art jewelry out of their vertebrae, plus the ads he runs against the Democratic candidate are vicious and untrue! Vote for Claire McCaskill because Missouri has had enough!

VOICE OF CLAIRE McCASKILL: I’m Claire McCaskill, and I approve this message!

I’m still trying to figure out why this is even necessary. I mean, suppose it went like this:

ANNOUNCER: Here are 10 reasons to vote for Claire McCaskill. (1) Jim Talent is ugly, his breath stinks, and his momma dresses him funny. (2) Claire McCaskill is dressed to kill. (3) It didn’t rain all last summer and the crops failed. (4) Your bus has been late 2 mornings out of 5. (5) They served undercooked pork chops to you at IHOP last week. (6) The world-series-champion Cardinals are going to vote Democrat. (7) She has more letters in her name. (8) The Amish are buying up all the farmland. (9) There will be less car accidents from the day she is elected. (10) If you vote for Talent, God won’t love you anymore. So just you vote for Claire.

VOICE OF CLAIRE McCASKILL: I swear I had nothing to do with this. If you think this ad is persuasive, DON’T VOTE FOR ME!

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by the committee to elect Claire McCaskill.

1 comment:

Sara said...

I'm speechless. But that could be because I can't stop laughing.