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Diatribe: Religious Billboards Are Money Ill-Spent.

01/19/2014

InTheBeginningI get so frustrated by churches that spend tons of money on foolish things.  Years ago, churches had money in their budgets earmarked for “evangelism”.  This money was, usually, spent in the community running soup kitchens, open pantries, assisting the elderly and infirm all while introducing the church and its congregation to non-members who might find solace and comfort with a new church family.  The focus of evangelism was to welcome the lost sheep into the flock.

It seems that, sometime in the last thirty years or so, evangelism has become a membership drive whereby churches increase their numbers, their coffers and their political clout.

… and it disgusts me.

The amount of money that is wasted in the name of religion doing unreligious things is preposterous.  Megachurches with “campuses” that stretch for miles and have their own cafeterias and Starbucks locations are not, in my opinion, using their finances in a religiously productive manner.

Yesterday, I saw a billboard along the side of the interstate near my home that read “In the beginning God created …”, referenced Genesis 1:1 and featured a graphic that indicated disapproval of evolution.  It made me think to myself …

“I wonder how many hot meals could have been purchased for people at the homeless shelter with the money spent on that billboard.”

“The several hundred dollars that it costs to rent that billboard each month could buy dozens of pairs of shoes for children that need them.”

“That billboard money could’ve paid the electric bill at an orphanage for a month.”

“That billboard money could’ve paid for suicide prevention counseling.”

“That billboard money could’ve made a big different at a battered woman’s shelter.”

But instead of spending that money in a loving and productive manner while spreading the love of God, someone decided that it was a better idea to use it to make a statement.  I find it distasteful.  I sure wish we could make religion and faith a personal pursuit once again.

What do you think of billboards like this?

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17 Comments
  1. Barneysday permalink

    The problem with organized religion is the organizations. Religions of all ilks have lost their focus, and have become clubs of sorts, with membership drives, as you noted, and entrance exams and contests, where “mine is better than yours.” I agree with your point of view, and in a time when we can really use some open arms and reach outs from religions, we are faced with the trappings of retailism and exclusions of those who need help the most.

    Good post

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    At coffee hour some of our fellow Unitarians were standing around talking about following some of the various churches around here (Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses) and go door to door and ask to talk to the folks about Unitarianism. WTH?!! After that we had some kind of minor scandal of having a real witch speak in the sactuary and banning all the little children from dressing up as *Hallmark* witches. Finally we had to have a mediator come in and sooth ruffled feathers because our minister wanted to wear robes.
    Lesson learned – people, and their politics, can mess up a really good thing.
    And we said good-bye to organized religion after that.

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  3. I agree 100% with this. Helping others is what Jesus would want us to do. Not blast nonsense on a billboard, especially the example you use which tries to belittle science.

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    • btg -5885 –

      Darwinism has been used over the years as anthropological justification for cultural genocide. Much of the dogma has nothing to do with science at all and the actual evidence for it is paltry at best.

      Much of its teachings should have been discarded decades ago rather than continuing to be taught, stifling and blocking further and legitimate scientific inquiry and dumbing down our future generations.

      The educational, humanistic and relativistic establishments have a vested interest in the perpetuation Darwinian theory to the exclusion of other theories that are more tenable simply because that’s where the dollar are not necessarily the truth of the matter. This archaic sham parades itself as science but this ethos is actually taught as a dogma or religion and has been responsible for more death and destruction in this past century than all religious history combined.

      The billboard you are referencing does not belittle science. What it does it simply bring to light what is far more likely than nothing exploding and creating everything by chance and then millions of mutations becoming beneficial when we know for a fact that most mutation destroy life and don’t make it better.

      What the billboard actually belittles is the scientific impossibility that many people have been fooled or tricked into placing their faith in: The Religion of Darwinian Evolution and the expansion of manifest destiny and overt eugenics.

      Pond scum’s only intrinsic value is that it contains nutrients but it has no dignity.

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  4. I find these billboards to be in bad taste. I would guess that the money spent on billboards could be spent in their organization a whole lot better. Just my opinion tho.

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    • My point, exactly. Not only do I find it to be in poor taste, but it strikes me as extraordinarily hypocritical and self-serving for a church to advertise itself along the side of a highway.

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  5. II tend to agree that the money could be better spent in SOME of instances. However, as long as the churches are doing the other things like preaching the gospel to and helping the poor, why not?

    Personally, I do like the billboard you posted. Far from belittling science, it exposes a sham. Social Darwinism and moral relativism is killing our civilization. It killing the young people and setting them up for hopelessness and despair. That sign It should give open minded people a pause to think about how society that has sold itself out to a theory that has enough holes in it to drive a truck through.

    There are other billboards that I like as well; Some that I have seen that deal which deal with human issues such as marital abuse and abortion, and runaways are really good. These are vitally important messages sent out to hurting people. If the folks who sell alcohol and cigarettes and advertise strip clubs can use the billboard medium, why not the people who are looking to save lives not exploit or end them? That makes sense to me even if the other commenters can’t understand that.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with advertising a church along the highway. Nothing at all. If the folks there feel they are doing a good service for the community and they would like for more folks and come and see what they are about, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

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    • I agree with some of what you’re saying. Using billboards as advertising for goods or services can be a productive use of money be it selling alcohol and cigarettes, filling seats in strip clubs or filling pews in churches. Every successful business hoping to increase sales/attendance must advertise. I agree when you say there is nothing wrong with advertising a church along the highway inviting passersby to attend, feel welcome and noting the times of services, etc.

      The billboards that I find offensive are the ones that you refer to as those dealing with “human issues”. Even more offensive? This …

      Social Darwinism and moral relativism is killing our civilization. It killing the young people and setting them up for hopelessness and despair. That sign It should give open minded people a pause to think about how society that has sold itself out to a theory that has enough holes in it to drive a truck through.

      There are plenty of holes in religion, too, but “faith” and “science” are not mutually exclusive.

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      • All due respects Diatribes, what I posted is a fact.

        I agree with you that faith and science are not mutually exclusive.

        However, it will not be until you can show me how a quack scientific justification for racism (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life – is the full title of Darwin’s book) and the elimination of any types of moral absolutes contributes to the advancement of any civilization, that I will stand to be corrected on this point.

        So if the above statement of mine which you quoted offends you, maybe you need to be offended. At least that way you begin actually thinking about opposing viewpoints and where they come from and their legitimacy rather than just reacting out of emotion and personal offense.

        By the way, you do good work here. I read your articles all the time.

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  6. What? I’m not looking to argue, and as clearly and as intelligently you usually communicate, you know exactly as to what facts I spoke to. However I’ll play since I have a little lunch-time left and you seem to want to pretend to somehow to have either missed or did not understand what I clearly posted – I will restate.

    Fact – Billboards are better used by organizations that are actually helping hurting people (churches and other legitimate and socially responsible organization) rather than by organizations and corporations who are set on killing and or exploiting them (Cigarette and alcohols corps and strip clubs).

    Fact – science and religion are not mutually exclusive. I don’t have a particular religious brand, but I certainly don’t worship or deify science either.

    Fact – Darwin’s theory of evolution has enough holes in it to drive a Boeing 747 through and the billboard you posted, far from belittling science, it exposes a sham. The unproven theory is not taught as scientific theory but as dogma and it has attached itself to society like a blood sucking leech.

    Fact – Social Darwinism is a quack anthropological, philosophical, political excuse for of racism and exploitation of other people. It even says so in the title of the book.

    Fact – Ethical and moral relativism is killing our young people. Acceptance of this dangerous philosophy breeds hopelessness, despair, violence and death. By teaching this morally bankrupt propaganda to our children we now have more suicides, more mass shooting, more abortions, more murders, and more problems. No civilization that practices that can survive long term. It is KILLING our civilization.

    Fact – If anything I previously posted offends you, maybe you need to be offended. At least that way you can begin actually thinking about opposing viewpoints and where they come from and their legitimacy rather than just reacting out of emotion and personal offense.

    Those facts. It that more clear?

    I think it’s great that you allow different points of view on you website. Not every does that. There is nothing worse than a web-site where people who have legitimate points of view are shut down because they are not parroting what everyone else is saying. Those web sites are deplorable.
    Now, all that being said, I think it would be a good idea if before you respond when someone has a difference of opinion, that maybe you should ask the respondent some questions first before going off on an actual diatribe. : )

    I believe that doing so would help you to actually consider the potential veracity of the other’s view point more thoroughly before a knee jerk based more on emotion than logic.

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    • I don’t like other websites that shut down opposing points of view either. What’s the point, really, of comments and discussion if everyone is in complete agreement? Perhaps there are many who would challenge the facts you’ve gathered as more opinions than truth.

      Moral relativism has been debated for centuries. I choose to see mankind’s evolution into a global society/culture as progress rather than the killing of our civilization.

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      • I’m open to legitimate challenge on any one of those items or all of them. You got me feeling feisty now. Thanks for that. Adrenaline is good when focused properly.

        BTW – our growth into a global society/culture has nothing to do with biological evolution and everything to do with having a higher purpose than survival; A purpose in which many instances has been severely hindered or circumvented by moral relativism.

        That’s part of Mr. Darwin’s short-sightedness and superiority complex that feeds right into his contribution to the justification of exploitation, oppression, and mass genocide of non-Europeans and non-Americans. It’s a historical blight that is well documented for the entire world to see if they take the time to investigate and read.

        When people can’t decide what is right or wrong, don’t believe in the concept of right or wrong, or have no desire to reach for objective truth, that people devolves the civilization and leads ultimately to death not progress. Nothing civilized about dying like that.

        Truth is never relative. Truth is truth. We simply have to understand that it exists and that it is possible to be grasped and lived by even in the midst of a morally bankrupt and depraved civilization.

        “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”

        William Penn

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        • If you’re not a professor of philosophy, you should be! So much to think about …

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          • Thank you DiatribesAndOvations. I appreciate you giving us a platform where we can discuss such things openly. Honest and sincere communication is the best way to foster understanding even when there is a chance that you may be misunderstood.

            Like

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