I love the (old?) title of Matthew Paul Turner’s blog, “Jesus Needs New PR.” It’s so true. Sorry, folks, but in my opinion, those Testamints on your coffee table are less likely to turn people on to the gospel than they are to turn people off to all things Christian. Testamints want to be a cute way of sharing a message about God’s love for all. Instead, the message I’m afraid they send is, “Christians are crazy! Come join us in our massive cult! Here, have some Kool-Aid! And a mint!”
But Testamints are nothing compared to the Crazy Sign People.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The protesting folks with the megaphones and the giant crazy signs (I’m not saying that the people are crazy, but the signs definitely are) that so easily become emblematic of everything people hate about (what they think is) Christianity.
You know, like this:
Oh man. There it is, the gospel encapsulated. Just one question: WHY DO YOU (HEART) THAT FONT?
Now, when I see an image like this, there’s one part of me that wants to have a serious theological conversation about what it does and doesn’t symbolize, the intended message versus the conveyed message, and why this damages Christianity’s credibility. Unfortunately, it’s hard for me to hear what that part of me is saying when the rest of me is giggling madly.
So if you’re hoping for an insightful and thought-provoking analysis, you might want to skip this post. This one is for those of you who giggle in church and at all the wrong times. That’s right, it’s this week’s edition of “Analyze My Crazy Sign!”
This sign does have a lot to teach us. It’s the kind of divine message that wouldn’t fit on a church flyer or even on two stone tablets; it takes nothing less than a vinyl skyscraper. I know a message this impactful can be overwhelming, so let’s start at the very beginning. (A very good place to start.)
The diatribe begins by asking us, “Why do you (heart) the devil?” Now, before scrolling down, I thought this was some kind of ad campaign, like “Why do YOU love Hamburger Helper?”, to be followed by a list of reasons to heart the devil. Apparently not. I now realize the truth, that these people—or the things they own—heart the devil. And while those devil-hearting people might complain that the apostrophes on this sign are “unnecessary” or “wrong,” that’s only because they love details, and as we all know, the devil is in the details.
Besides, you can tell that the sign-maker is a good Christian because of his generosity in giving out apostrophes to so many words—words that didn’t have any apostrophes at all until he graciously shared his with them! He’s literally bestowed his generosity upon every plural word ending in S on the entire sign. Every one. Well, except “Druggies.” The druggies don’t get an apostrophe. (They probably did get one, but they misplaced it. You know how they are.)
But the core of this message isn’t about grammar. It’s that the sign-maker cares so much about so many different types of people that he’s willing to ask them all why they heart the devil instead of jumping to conclusions. And it’s really thoughtful of him not to leave anyone out. Some of my favorites:
HOMO’S – Homo Sapiens, Homo Erectus, Homosexuals, Homeowners—no one gets left out here. Why do you heart the devil, homeowners? Shouldn’t your treasure be in heaven, not in a mortgage?
GANGSTER’S – Like Al Capone!
EMO’S – Like Emo Philips!
BAHI’S – Here it might be tempting to think that he means Bahá’ís, but I’m pretty sure this is a reference to the sound sheep make when they try to say hello: “Baaaahi.” As everyone knows, sheep love the devil—and hate Serta mattresses.
WIFEBEATER’S – Yes! Yes! Yes! Please don’t wear these in public. If you do, you love the devil. Also, could we all start calling them tank tops, please? Thanks. (Side note: While this sign is ridiculous, there is absolutely nothing funny about spousal abuse.</disclaimer>)
NEW AGER’S – Only Old Agers get into heaven.
ENVIRONMENTALIST’S – That’s right: when you hug that tree, you might as well be hugging the devil. The devil loves hanging out in trees, you know; remember Eden? (The garden. Not Barbara.)
GOVERNMENT RECIPIENT’S – So true. Don’t receive any government, y’all. If the fire department tries to put out the flames when your non-environmentalist-approved trash fire spreads, just say, “Get thee behind me, government!” and shoo them away. (This also works for police, IRS agents, and political robocalls.)
LOUD MOUTH WOMEN – You’re forgiven if this one confused you at first (why no loud mouth men or large mouth bass?), but I’m pretty sure he’s thinking of when you accidentally have your GPS turned up too loud, and it keeps shouting at you to make a left. Of course she wants you to go left; that’s all part of the devil’s plan.
EFFEMINATE MEN – Yikes, men! Put down that vacuum and go turn on some football!
SPORT’S NUT’S – …or not. And hey! There’s the missing apostrophe from the Druggies! The sports nuts are hogging them! Oh, you crazy sports nuts. (Planters nuts, by the way, love God. And peanuts… aren’t nuts.)
HIGH FULLUTENT – You guys, no lie, the first time I read this, I was sure it said High(ly) Flatulent. And yes, I’m pretty sure that’s of the devil.
FREELOADER’S – This one was a subtle message to his live-at-home adult son.
P.K’S – I wasn’t sure at first if this meant “Promise Keepers” or “Preachers’ Kids” (both of whom clearly love the devil), but then it hit me. PKS actually means Proper Kapitalization and Spelling, which is something the devil definitely LOVES. Stay out of skool, kid’s.
SOPHISTICATED SWINE – It’s true. God likes the dumb pigs. Dumb pigs only, you guys. None of those highly flatulent sophisticates like Emo Philips.
Well, folks, that’s it for this week’s edition of “Analyze My Crazy Sign”! Tune in next time when we try to determine whether that church down the road meant for its inspirational message to be a double entendre!