Monday, April 11, 2011

Let the products sell themselves - without Jesus, preferably.

One of the more absurd local trends is the need for branding, of a sort: the self-identification of business owners as Christians, whether by putting those idiotic fishies on their storefronts or just as often by tossing a verse number onto their marquees.  Or there are stories like this one, where some mouth-breather wonders how his own foot tastes and reveals what sort of person and businessman he really is.

Thing is, we get it.  It's bloody South Carolina.  We know you're there.  It's like telling people you inhale and exhale...only what you're really saying is that you'd prefer not to breathe the same air as those of us who disagree with your crazy bullshit.  So, good on ya, I guess: sure, you scoop up the business of your fellow god-botherers, but it also turns off others.  Intentionally so...but there is a statistical confluence between belief and education level, and the more educated *do* tend to make -- and therefore have the potential to spend -- more money.  So, there's that.

But really, the point here is to build up a little compendium of all the businesses who take this quietly cynical tack of flaunting their religion to make a quick buck.  The one I keep encountering of late is Certified Cars on Highway 378, who spits Psalm 103 & Matthew 1:20 at the rest of us.  The funny thing is that their ignorance appears to be of Biblical proportions as well. Matthew 1:21 is the "thou shalt call his name JESUS~!", which is probably the intended quote they wanted to share, and yet they screwed it up, instead selecting a verse that seems to insinuate it's OK to marry a woman who's already got kids.  Not that I disagree with that message on any level, per se, but I doubt it was Certified's intent.  Good job!

Psalm 103 is a real juicy bugger, too.  My favorite - and possibly Christopher Hitchens' as well, if reminded of it - is in verse 11:
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
It points out what I'd argue is the most crucial aspect of religious thinking: the child-like need to simultaneously love and fear an imaginary friend.  You could go on all day about what's fucked in the head about that: the re-imagining of the parent/child relationship on a cosmic scale; the "perpetual North Korea" aspect that Hitchens has outlined in many of his debates; and the desperate quest for willing servility to any number of things, whether they be demagogues on a pulpit, social mores that are decidedly immoral, or, most perversely, a slew of outmoded mindsets that deliberately excise rationality from the human mind.  That's probably more than Certified wants anyone to dwell on; they just want them to think that you should buy a Jesus Car.  What clowns.

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