Recently, my boyfriend returned home from work with a certain pamphlet. I couldn’t help but immediately laugh at the childish looking pamphlet attempting to appeal to non-religious adults. The multi-coloured question marks and word art didn’t exactly exude ‘professional’ or ‘smart dude up-to-date with the modern world’.
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 have taken the time to explain that God is a hardcore judge who won’t take my sins lightly? 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 they may not 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 (as in, up to date with the modern world and thus able to learn new things and in touch with today’s society) 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? I don’t need a CD outlining the reasons evolution is fake.
- 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 who want to tell me I’m going to hell.
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 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” as I toss the WordArt-ed pamphlet into the trash.
I bet that’s a sin, too.