I guess things have gotten a bit boring in Baptist-land because they seem to have taken out the stick of homophobia and are using it to once more whap at the hornet's nest of public sentiment.

"What's right is not always popular
We support biblical marriage."

First of all, which biblical marriage model would that be? The "one man/many wives" model? There are a few of those. How about "one man/several wives/several more concubines"? That was pretty popular, too. Or "one man/virgin bride", with any non-virgin brides being put to death? One man and his brother's widow? One man and his sister? It may be "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve", but who did Cain and Abel marry, exactly?

Second of all, we're in Massachusetts. Whinging about same-sex marriage is so last decade.
On topic, but still somewhat strange, it reads "Give your heart to Jesus." Driving by this, naturally my thoughts when straight to Aztec human sacrifice.

I realize that I'm not their target demographic (being a progressive feminist woman and all), but I'm thinking that any Christian church whose religious message can be distilled into a billboard slogan more appropriate for Huitzilopochtli than Jesus Christ probably needs to take a step back and think about what it's doing.

However, given the church in question and the glorious history of their billboard slogans, I should probably be grateful they at least kept the subject fixed firmly on religion.
Even though I was late for an appointment yesterday and thus driving at some speed through the Square, I was still rolling by just slowly enough to note the new sign up outside the Baptist church. After a comfortably long time just posting up bible verses or exhorting passersby to develop a relationship with God, they eventually decided to take out their little stick of self-righteousness and take a whap at the town's beehive of liberal sentiment. Because they just can't leave well enough alone.

"Save the whales,
Hug the trees,
Abort the children?"

My eyes rolled so hard when I saw it that I almost veered out of my lane. Must we go through this again, people? Apparently we must. Children are not aborted; pregnancies are aborted. And anyway, at that stage of development, they're hardly children. "Embryo" or "fetus" would be more accurate, but no matter what you call it, it is definitely not worth more than the life of the person who is currently incubating it.

Also, last time I checked, many whale species were endangered, and trees were sort of necessary to transform carbon dioxide into oxygen so that us oxygen-breathing types can continue to respirate. Humans, on the other hand, are both overpopulated and a menace to every other life form on this planet. The fewer of us, the better.

And if any one wants to quote scripture at me about being fruitful, I'm just going to fire back with how that verse also mentions something about replenishing the earth, and I don't see humans doing a whole lot of that. Unless by "replenish", you mean squander or poison.

Now that they've shown a willingness to reenter the fray of social commentary with a quick bash at liberals, environmentalists and people who trust women to make their own reproductive decisions, what next? Another bash at women, or perhaps some homophobia?

Stay tuned.
I realize church billboards don't offer a lot of space for text, which inevitably leads to ambiguity (somewhat like Twitter, actually), but today's was particularly aggrieving:

"Feb. is the month of love.
Do you love Jesus
Or your spouse?"

I don't know how comfortable I am with the word "or" in that sentence. I'd like to think that's one of those situations that can be a both/and rather than an either/or, but they said "or" so I'm going to have to assume that they mean it. Which brings me to my broader point:

If you call yourself a Christian and you love God to the exclusion of everyone else, you've missed the point of pretty much everything Jesus had to say.
Last year's epic War on Women must have blown out my outrage sensors, because this one only merited a mild but disapproving eyebrow-raise and some disgruntled muttering from me.

"Don't abort your baby.
We adopt."

In the first place, pregnancies are aborted, not babies.

In the second, adoption is not an alternative to abortion; it's an alternative to raising the child yourself. Adoption does nothing for women who either can't or vehemently don't want to continue the pregnancy.

In the third, I honestly believe that obliteration before pain can be felt is infinitely more merciful than sentencing a child to be raised by the kinds of vile, sanctimonious, ignorant bigots who think it's okay to bombard random passers-by with nonsensical messages like "Why do state-sponsored schools teach the religion of evolution?" and hateful ones like "Homosexuality, like all sin, is ungodly and unhealthy."
I was going at some speed, but it looks like this week's billboard says something like "If alcoholism is a disease, why is it sold for profit?"

All I could think was, alcoholism is for sale? And someone is making a profit?

I can't possibly have read that correctly. I need to go back and check.

In related news, this church left a Chick tract wedged in my door yesterday, while we were out watching Of Dolls and Murder.



Update: The billboard actually says: "If alcoholism is a disease, why is it legal to sell it for a profit."

Yeah. I think my original comments still stand.
After almost two years of bland inoffensiveness and entirely appropriate and on-topic bible verses, the local downtown baptist church has once more decided to proudly display their bigotry for anyone passing through the downtown core to see. And since the downtown core has gotten exponentially more crowded with people detouring to avoid the bridge closures, anyone passing through gets to come away with the impression that everyone in town supports this shit.

Today's billboard reads:

"Homosexuality: a sinful choice - The Bible"


Last time this happened, City Hall and the Human Rights Commission had to put some pressure on them to get them to knock it off with the homophobia already. We can only hope that will happen again.
Apparently the dust hasn't quite settled from the recent controversy, because the billboard today reads:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire


If I wasn't convinced they were the kind of people who'd cheefully use the collected works of JK Rowling, Charles Darwin, and Richard Dawkins as kindling, I might be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they meant this honestly and unironically.

As it stands, however, it looks a little more like passive-aggressive whining because the forces for tolerance in the community have found themselves unable to tolerate intolerance.
I don't drive through that part of town often so apparently I missed it, but there was a bit of an uproar involving the Baptist church signs that led to two letters to the editor and, from what I can gather, no small number of angry calls to the mayor's office and the local Human Rights Commission. From what I can gather, it went a little something like this:

Church puts up typically offensive billboard, reading "Homosexuality, like all sin, is ungodly and unhealthy."

This being a relatively liberal and tolerant community, the predictable outrage ensues, and the church is forced to take down their billboard. It is then replaced with one reading "Creation promotes the sanctity of life. Evolution degrades it." Never mind that reason and science are celebrations of that which makes human beings different from the non-reasoning animals. Since when has reality ever played into these people's belief systems?

It's hard to say for sure, but I suspect that this may have gone down shortly before the "You have a problem with God & the Bible, not the church" billboard. It certainly would explain its defensive, hostile tone in a way that really nothing else would.

Kudos to my community for standing up against bigotry.
"You have a problem with God & the Bible,
not the church."

Yes. Thanks for reminding me that there's no place for me in Christianity as a whole, and that it's not just that your bigoted little church has no place for me, or others who think like me. As if I could ever forget.

It's sentiments like this that make me want to back away slowly from those who claim to be Christian.
My wording is probably not exact, but it goes a little something like:

"No church and state?
So why do state-sponsored schools
teach the religion of evolution?"

I can't quite figure out what aggravates me the most about this particular billboard. Is it the smug-yet-ignorant gotcha-ness of the "So..."? Or is it the fact that - just as one might surmise from their constant, repeated efforts at smuggling "creation science" and/or "intelligent design" into school curricula - that these people have no idea whatsoever of the actual difference between religion and science.

*sigh*
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