July 17th, 2005

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11:34 am - on worshipun...

Prayer Conditioned
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Does God have a sense of humor? I have to assume he must, because so many churches make (or attempt to make) jokes on their chyrons? I remember when it was kinda funny that the Simpson's church did that because they were making fun of the calls to worship that real churches used, but lately I've seen a lot of real churches that use puns that are just as bad, if not worse.

I'm not particularly religious, but I gotta figure that some of you are. Does anyone (religious or not) actually like the cutesy little joke slogans that are en vogue on church billboards these days? Is anyone offended by them? If you were an outsider driving through a quaint little town with 1:10 church per capita ratio, like Pittsburgh, on a Sunday morning just looking for a place to worship, would a sign like this entice you to step into that particular house of God, or would you run the other way looking for a nice traditional stain glass, fire and brimstone kinda place.

Or would you maybe just go across the street to Legends or the Italian Club (yes, mickgambino, there is a bar around the corner from my house called the Italian Club. I am astounded that you don't already hang out there) or any of the other many bars in the area, as Pittsburgh also has a 1:5 bar per capita ratio?

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[User Picture]From: avocado_tom Date: July 17th, 2005 - 03:55 pm (Link)
I was driving to work through Finlayville a couple months ago and saw the sign:

"Smoke Free Bong"

(I believe it had originally said "Smoke Free Bingo")

Hey, at least we're not in the "Bible Belt" - Pittsburgh's got nothin' on their Church per capita ratio, which I expect is something like 1:2.


Aside: The origins of establishments like the "Italian Club" often date back to the days before Social Security, Disability, Medicare, etc. Ethnic groups would have a "Club" which in addition to providing a gathering place for members of that ethnicity (and you did generally have to be a member), it was also used to buy insurance (medical, home, otherwise) and provide buying power in a day when "Benefits" from a job were unheard of. So you joined the Polish Club, paid your dues, and could get in on health care which you could actually (sorta) afford. It's kinda like how any professional groups you might be a member of keep offering you "AIChE Term Life Insurance".

So, it wasn't just about all the Italians hanging out and poo-pooing the Croats. (Not that they didn't do that too!)

Caveat: all of the above is based on the Pittsburgh region, but I suspect it has some truth elsewhere.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2005 - 04:33 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:30 pm (Link)
what's NEPA?
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:39 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:46 pm (Link)
Ok, I had actually guessed that that might be it. But I wanted to make sure it wasn't the acronym for some club or something that I was unaware of.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:30 pm (Link)
I thought I had read somewhere that pittsburgh was actually pretty dense in the person to church ratio. But I don't remember where I read that, or how it compared to other specific places. *shrug*

The bible belt can't compete with our bridges though, dammit!
From: genericman Date: July 17th, 2005 - 04:12 pm (Link)

They're funny. I grew up Jewish and no synagogue ever Godvertised like churches do.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:34 pm (Link)
This one is my favorite, I think. God being the big football fan that he is.

I like the buzzword godvertising. I don't think I've heard it before. The interesting thing about the site is that I haven't been able to figure out yet whether they think that godvertising is a good thing or if they are goofing on it. I guess that's the mark of a truly great website. You can enjoy it from either side of the issue.

[User Picture]From: beststephi Date: July 17th, 2005 - 04:20 pm (Link)
I have to admit I enjoy the punsy CsTW and usually go out of my way to read them. Of course, the double-entendres are a higher breed than the mere puns. Clearly God has more omni-presence in those churches.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:39 pm (Link)
it took me forever to figure out what CsTW was. Did you make that acronym up yourself, or is it a standard?

Did I ever tell you about the WRCT God Promo (or have you heard it yourself)?

"Hello, this is God. Whenever I'm in Pittsburgh--which is all the time, sinceI'm omnipresent--I listen to all the radio stations at once, including WRCT."

I wonder if anyone has that on mp3.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2005 - 06:44 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:40 pm (Link)
teehee... soul purpose...

ok, seriously, I'm gonna need a copy of that book. seriously.
[User Picture]From: lacechenault Date: July 17th, 2005 - 07:12 pm (Link)
I am not Christian or anything near it.

But I do pay attention to the signs. And all they do for me is make me laugh. I think they are just trying too hard to get the younger generation to like god.

...cause god is cool...like the simpsons.....
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:44 pm (Link)
I heard a commercial on the radio out here for church services on Saturday nights that was trying to sound like the cool alternative to going clubbing. It was weird. They were talking about church like it was the best pick up spot in town.

"I'm so sick of all these clubs? Where can I go to meet good christian girls, hear good christian music and rejoice in God's word on a Saturday night? Oh, look they're having service for young people at St. Lukes. Man, that ought to be fly. I'm down."

Or something like that. Really, I'm not even exagerating. I kept waiting for the voice actor to say something like "I'm gonna go down and get my worship on."
From: mickgambino Date: July 17th, 2005 - 10:17 pm (Link)
I hate... no... I loathe those slogans with the corny jokes.

If I lived near you, I would go to the Italian Club out there. As I am a member of the Italian Club and the Songs of Italy.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 12:45 pm (Link)
Wow. You're probably the youngest person I've ever known to be a member of such places. Do you go down there often?
From: mickgambino Date: July 18th, 2005 - 03:48 pm (Link)
I visit the Italian Club about once per week, however I usually don't drink. It's more to see people and play those dastardly, insidious slot machines- which I might add are the blackhole to my bank account.

The Sons of Italy is a much more exclusive club than the Italian Club. Due to the fact that, these days, you don't need to be Italian to join the Italian Club. I have not spent that much time there the past few years because those clubs are where I used to go see "people"- if you get my drift. Plus, the food was always good because the ones I went to had dagos who came over from Italy about a year before I became a member and they could cook one hell of a meal. Anyway, enough babbling. -Mick
[User Picture]From: nowishere Date: July 18th, 2005 - 05:45 pm (Link)
Does anyone (religious or not) actually like the cutesy little joke slogans that are en vogue on church billboards these days?

I like them. I like being amused when/where I least expect it. I like the idea of a group of people (religious ones) that I often find judgmental, exclusive, and rigid coming to have a sense of humor and maybe take themselves or their projected image less seriously.

Of course, it doesn't make me want to go to church.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 18th, 2005 - 07:22 pm (Link)
I think it would be much more amusing if they had clever little saying hanging in front of places that you really don't expect it. Like crack houses or jails or whatever.

Hmmm... so what would make you want to go to church then?
[User Picture]From: nowishere Date: July 25th, 2005 - 04:05 pm (Link)
singing / soul
to be there for someone else (funeral/wedding/etc)
missing Jesus/God
curiosity or loneliness

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