Sign On. . . Sign Off

I know better than to talk about religion, yet here I go.

A minister friend once reassured me in my stumbling faith, “Would you really want a God you could understand?” I “got” that.  If we are so sure we know what God thinks, that puts Her/Him on our level and that’s waaaay too scary to contemplate.  God’s gotta be smarter than that.

What I don’t get are people who are so certain they have all the answers that they use their religion as a club.  I mean that both ways, as in, “I’m part of this group and I’m going to beat you upside the head with it.

Now that you know my point of reference, I have to tell you that I am baffled at some of the displays of religious fervor that I see here in the South.  That is saying something, considering that my own first cousin had a neon “Jesus Died Here” sign in her front yard.

For instance, in the soda shop we frequent because it uses my favorite kind of finely crushed ice in its Diet Cokes, hangs a framed dollar bill bearing Jesus’ face instead of George Washington’s, right by the cash register and the tip jar.  What, pray tell, is the message there?

On our ride to the beach, we travel along a street of beautiful old historic homes in one of the small towns on our route.  One has had a very large wooden JESUS LOVES YOU sign in the front yard for years. Does having that sign there help the neighbors feel the love?

Further along the route is a big truck with a sign board on the side.  The top line features a message that Jesus saves and beneath it,  Storage lockers, $1.  It makes for a fascinating mental image if you think about it.

When I was about ten years old,  Congress added “…under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.   I remember feeling confused, not because I didn’t believe in God, but because we were learning about how our forefathers left England in search of religious freedom…including the right to have no religion.  Adding those words to the pledge didn’t make me feel more patriotic or more Christian.  Not then, not now.

Back to our last trip to the beach:

When I couldn’t find a radio station that wasn’t political and/or religious,  I simply stuck in a CD.  The Jesus fish on business ads and company trucks?   I don’t play Go Fish when I need a plumber.  The church sign denouncing Halloween as a day for worshiping Satan?  No surprise there.

It takes a lot to stop me in my tracks, but in a strip mall, between TJMaxx and Lowe’s Foods,  a shop sign hawking nail care, belts, wigs, cosmetics,  jewelry, hair extensions, purses, and more, gobsmacked me.

What th’. . . ?

I had to make a U-turn to look again at their sequential signs:

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The next message featured a pink, sparkly JESUS is the answer, but was too light to photograph.

Next messages announced that they offered GIFT CARDS and Layaway.

Ah, the choices. . . !  Need some place to keep it all?

I know where you can rent a storage locker for a buck.

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6 thoughts on “Sign On. . . Sign Off

  1. Maybe the layaway plan they’re talking about is a deal on burial plots!

    I am definitely on the same page as you on all of this. Seeing the “fish” on business cards and advertising only makes me want to avoid that business. I don’t trust folks who want to make a buck off of their religious affiliation. I know of too many around here who talk up their faith on Sunday and turn around and stab you in the back in a business deal on Monday.

    Yes, Jesus saves…but Moses invests.

  2. dancingwithfrogs

    Speaking (or writing) as an Australian, religion is so much less emphasised here. People go to church of course, but not all that many. We see movies and tv shows from America, particularly from the Bible belt and the South, and to us it’s a very foreign way of showing your faith. Over here, if people are religious, they just go ahead and live the tenets of their faith. No one puts signs up about it.
    So I’m with you. There’s something a little dodgy about a faith if you have to tell everyone how pious you are. People should be able to see for themselves by how you live your life.

  3. Well, that beats all blatant religious signs that I’ve found here! I keep meaning to photograph the sign outside a local resale shop that reads: Jesus is Lord, Big Sale 75% Off.

  4. You are touching on a subject that drives my husband crazy! He’s always asking when he sees a little fish on a business sign, “What? They won’t service Jews? If you’re Muslim don’t shop here?” Check in with my blog on Wednesday…I think you’re going to get a kick out of my post! (Ooooo…and finely crushed ice! The ONLY way to drink a coke!)

  5. Although NYC is considered “God-less” to many, we do have our pockets of religious zealots, and that type of behavior is not confined only to Christians.
    The sad fact is that wars will always continue to be fought on earth when one religion feels they have greater importance than another.

  6. I don’t know why I have been too lazy to come over to visit your “house”. Now I regret it, tremendously. What have I been missing?! I patiently wait. I wait for someone who is Christian themselves to raise their voice questioning this religious fervor that has been intensifying in the past 16 years I spent in this country. Thank you! Esp. heart-warming is the question against the addition of “Under God” and the whole debate and hysteria around it. It was added during the McCarthy era to single out the Communists since they are a “godless” bunch. I don’t understand the strong desire in retaining the term, a relic from an era when the American government lost its way briefly due to one’s man’s obsession, an era I thought most Americans would rather forget. It befuddled me. There are several houses near us that have the sign “Authentic Jesus” on their lawns. I often joke with my children that they (raised as Catholics; I am agnostic/”heathen”) should protest since these people are saying my boys’ Jesus is not as good as these people’s.

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