Idiot Box

Churches Go Commercial To Spread Their Message
TV Campaigns Bring Denominations to Homes
By Alan Cooperman, Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 11, 2004; Page A01

"What burst into the Cleveland marketing executive's head that night in January 2002, however, was not a message from the Almighty. It was a slogan for a television advertising campaign. Beginning this fall, the United Church of Christ plans to spend $30 million to promote itself using the line that came to Buford in his sleep — 'God is still speaking' — to reflect its willingness to reinterpret the Bible and embrace such innovations as same-sex marriage and openly gay ministers."

I just love this:

The Episcopal Church, for example, has faced an insurrection by conservative parishes since its ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire last year. But marketers see an opportunity.

"Among 20- to 30-year-olds, everybody's heard of the gay bishop. And in focus groups, the words that keep coming up are that we are a 'progressive,' 'open' and 'nonjudgmental' church," said Daniel B. England, the church's director of communication.

Progress requires a goal to be meaningful. An open mind is like an open trap – it's only useful when it closes on something. Nonjudgemental, in this context, really means unwilling to discriminate between right and wrong.