Monday, March 03, 2014




Press 1 For Glock, 2, For Ruger, 3 For Smith & Wesson

Channeling The Onion, with everything but the name of the state organization changed to protect the ludicrous:

In an effort its spokesman has described as "outreach to the homos," the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey is leading "Fourteenth Amendment Celebrations," where churches around the state give away condoms as door prizes to lure in nonbelievers in hopes of converting them to Christ.

As many as 1,000 people are expected at the next one, on Thursday at Save Your Soul Baptist Church in Pleasanttown , where they will be given a free vegetarian dinner (or chicken or seafood, diners' choice) and the chance to win one of 25 condoms, diaphragms, and intrauterine devices.

The goal is to "point people to Christ," the church says in a flier. Joshua Templeton, an ex-pastor, master storyteller and former Lifetime Channel Convention's team leader for evangelism, said 1,678 men and women made "professions of faith" at about 50 such events last year, most of them in Kentucky.

In Newark, he said, more than 500 people showed up on a snowy January day for a condom giveaway at High Point Baptist Church, and 61 made decisions to seek salvation.

Templeton's boss, Matthew Walters, the New Jersey ABC's executive director, said such results speak for themselves. "It's been very effective," he said in an interview.

That's all made up, yet this isn't:

In an effort its spokesman has described as “outreach to rednecks,” the Kentucky Baptist Convention is leading “Second Amendment Celebrations,” where churches around the state give away guns as door prizes to lure in nonbelievers in hopes of converting them to Christ.

As many as 1,000 people are expected at the next one, on Thursday at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah, where they will be given a free steak dinner and the chance to win one of 25 handguns, long guns and shotguns.

The goal is to “point people to Christ,” the church says in a flier. Chuck McAlister, an ex-pastor, master storyteller and former Outdoor Channel hunting show host who presides at the events as the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s team leader for evangelism, said 1,678 men made “professions of faith” at about 50 such events last year, most of them in Kentucky.

In Louisville, he said, more than 500 people showed up on a snowy January day for a gun giveaway at Highview Baptist Church, and 61 made decisions to seek salvation.

McAlister’s boss, Paul Chitwood, the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s executive director, said such results speak for themselves. “It’s been very effective,” he said in an interview.

You might not think conveying upon strangers, sans a police check, a firearm is prudent (as Bush 41 would have put it) .   And it's especially curious given you've already stigmatized your audience with the arguably pejorative, unarguably patronizing "rednecks," analogous with referring to gay people as "homos."  Though same-sex marriage is legal in New Jersey (reflecting the state's cultural liberalism), Baptist churches there would not replace promotion of the gospel to non-believers with aggressive marketing of wedding ceremonies. (Note: The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a group of autonomous Baptist churches.)

One might also question the commitment of individuals who remained unchurched until bribed with a firearm, but never mind.  (Photo below, from Sarah Stewart Holland of the Atlantic, of a terrible December day in 1997 in Paducah, Kentucky.)

The Gannet newspaper which reported this story quoted two of Kentucky's Protestant clergy members who criticized the giveaway, one of them even noting "Can you picture Jesus giving away guns, or toasters or raffle tickets? ... He gave away bread once, but that was as a sign, not a sales pitch.”

Steve M. laments

rural non-college-educated whites really have been screwed by an economy that once offered good union jobs with middle-class wages and benefits, and now offers next to nothing. I don't blame heartland white guys for being upset that those jobs are lost. When I read in today's New York Times about a Democratic county chairman in Michigan who's trying (mostly in vain) to reach out to white men, I think about the fact that Democrats really aren't doing a damn thing to bring good jobs to these guys (or to any women or non-whites in similar economic straits).

"Republicans," he adds, "are still worse" because they "actively want to take even more from workers so the wealthy can get wealthier."  These workers have been primed by the GOP to punch down so as not to notice they could be punching up.  While the customer/converts need to be told this by Democrats, the ecclesiastical organizers should be reminded

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.  Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"









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