It seems a safe bet that God ranks up there with Coca-Cola and Anheuser Busch for brand market saturation. So many churches, so many customizable flexi-letter signs offering insight and encouragement to passing drivers as they head to the bar or wherever it is they’re going. Sometimes witty, occasionally poignant, often groan-worthy, and always with one goal: Getting people to think about God.
I’m pretty sure that if the pastor at the Westboro Baptist Church had run this sign by God prior to posting, it would not have gotten the thumbs-up. Reasons include (but may not be limited to):
- First, and obvious to anyone with corporate experience: Don’t associate your CEO with abject cruelty to innocent victims as retaliation for the actions of others. (Canceling the free coffee in the break room because one of the salespeople consistently botches his Power Point presentations is no way to build team morale.) Even if God is a killer, you people to think of God vanquishing evil, or at least something annoying like mosquito. Snuffing fuzzy little synonyms for joy isn’t the kind of press God wants.
- Next, there’s the spelling. The word is “masturbate”, and if they’d spelled it correctly, they would have been able to use the saved E to finish the last word of the message. However, I’m willing to forgive this one because it subliminally demonstrates that the folks at this church know so little about self-satisfaction that they don’t even know how to spell it. (Though the cynic on the committee in my brain thinks that exactly what they WANT me to think. Yeah, nice try.)
- Finally, they need an editor, as this seems to imply that people should wait until marriage before masturbating. If you really want people to abstain until marriage, then you need to up the ante on the reward system to include other people’s genitalia. (Though on the other hand, this might stand up as written—they may not know much about auto-eroticism, but they seem to know a thing or two about marriage.)
All in all, the fine folks at the Westboro Baptist Church ought to put a little note in the Sunday bulletin: “Wanted: copywriter. One clever line per week that reflects well on the congregation, the clergy, and God. Immediate opening.”
(This photo came from CNN’s iReport. I prefer to think it wasn’t photoshopped.)