Recently my boyfriend returned home from work with a pamphlet that made me immediately laugh and wonder how they thought such a childish looking pamphlet would appeal to any adult. The multi-coloured question marks and word art don’t exactly exude ‘professional’ or ‘smart’.
The pamphlet is a test – it asks some simple questions, and if you answer yes to any of them, then guess what? Yep. You’re going to hell. But never fear! The church has a CD (free, they can’t scam you publicly) that explains exactly how good you need to be to get into heaven. Great! Thanks! But aren’t I already going to hell now that I’ve said yes and you explain that God is a hardcore judge? Wait.
Okay, enough joking. Time to be serious. If you’re a member of a church and you give out these kinds of pamphlets in an attempt to attract new-comers, here are some reasons why for the majority of people, they don’t work.
- Don’t use the sort of layout / font / colour / pictures that a child would pick. It just doesn’t send the message that you’re mature, smart, computer-savvy (I.e. up to date with the modern world / able to learn new things) or serious. You look like you had silly fun matching the colours and choosing a ‘zany’ header font.
- Don’t insult me. Oh, I see! I’m a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer-at-heart now I answered yes to those questions? Thanks… Sounds like you guys are going to be really open-minded, accepting, reasonable people who I’d love to hang out with.
- Don’t pick questions for your ‘good’ test that almost everybody will answer yes to. “Have you ever lied?” Um, no. “Have you ever stolen anything?” I never, ever took candy from my mum’s purse, uh-uh. “Have you ever used God’s Holy name as a filth word to express disgust?” Jesus Christ, man, quit judging me!
- Don’t offer answers through products. Shouldn’t we be coming to a service to become good people, not taking material things from you?
- Don’t poke fun at other beliefs right there in print. Your insistence that evolution is ‘stupid’ makes you look bratty and petty. It makes anybody reading who thought evolution seemed an alright theory feel stupid themselves.
- There is no need to use more than 1 exclamation point. It makes you seem a bit ‘full-on’. Calm down.
- Just, look, don’t say shit like ‘dinosaurs and man coexisted’ straight away. Just don’t.
- Don’t say ‘the truth will set you free’ then contradict yourself by saying that really, to find out about our own Salvation we have to actually come to the church and accept your DVDs and CD’s.
Actually, perhaps it is a good idea for the pamphlets to be created in the light of the maker. If the person making the pamphlet chooses childish colours, is unprofessional in the wording and pokes fun at others through insults, then maybe they should keep it this way. I’d hate to read a pamphlet that looks and sounds wonderful, mature and intelligent only to get there and realise it was a sham made by arseholes designed to get me to come.
If you’re a member of a church, please don’t be offended. I’m just trying to say that if you’re guilty of a similar pamphlet, you haven’t made a very good impression. Sometimes I think to myself, “hey, maybe there IS a God, and heaven….” But then I receive something dark, insulting, immature and plain dumb like this like this, that claims “we have the answers, not them, us” and all I can do is laugh and say “okay, nah they really are just bullshitting.”