Easter Propoganda: Jesus Is Risen
I have been interested in the marketing campaigns of religion for ages – especially the posters you get outside of a church, for example:
CH_ _ CH Whats Missing?
There are countless examples and I will try and remember to start photographing to put up here.
This one at a local city church round the corner from me, particularly caught my eye as the wording of it can be completely mis-interpreted. To my eye, it is stating that Jesus will ACTUALLY be risen from the dead, at THIS church at both 11am and 6.30pm on Easter Sunday.
Now – if a promise like that is not going to make you go to church, I don’t know what will!
Now, round the corner from my house – I noticed another poster in someone’s window portraying a similar message:
This time, no promises of actually rising Christ, but a declaration that it is Holy week and He is risen.
Religion fascinates me, I am curious about what draws people to it, what gains they receive from it, the power that religion can have over people (also the benefits it can brign to individuals). But most of all, I have always been interested in why people who have ‘faith’ are so keen to try and convert others to their way of thinking.
Whilst studying for my degree, I did a project called ‘Dismount Your Donkey at the Summit’. It was the start of an investigation into religion (churches in particular) and how they fit in the modern community. It was also a way of me working through my thoughts and feelings about religion.
Years ago, I was a die hard Atheist and would veirmentally argue againt God as much as someone ‘with faith’ would argue for God. However, as I got more interested in Theological debate, I decided that my extreme views were a bit nieve and probably more a tool for getting a good argument or being controversial than necercarily based on fact.
So, I decided I was more a reluctant Agnostic. Now – many people would say that is sitting on the fence, but that is why I would brand myself as reluctant!
- Reluctant because I do not really like the pigeon holing of most things – let alone something as complication as the theories of life!
- Reluctant because whilst I accept I do not know what the answers are or whether there is a 100% certainty there is no God, I do not believe a God exists in the form portrayed by most organised religions.
- Reluctant because the term Agnostic would suggest the wrong impression to most people.
I would describe my views more as having absolutely no idea and not really caring. I am INTERESTED in different theories, but not really bothered about subscribing to one! I completely accept and enjoy the fact when I die, either something will happen that will give me enlightenment, or nothing will happen! My heart of heart’s says nothing will happen, but who can really say for sure until they die?
Anyway – I am diverting from my original point.
These posters made me think of two things,
- Why do you never see posters in peoples windows declaring that others should not believe in Christ? Why is having faith in an organised belief system hold more weight in society that the opposite?
- It always makes me think about what this country has inherited from our religious past. Its a fact that a small percentage of people still go to regular church services. But compare that to the number of people who, when asked, state that they are religious or assign themselves to a particular religion and the numbers are much greater. There is a discrepancy between people actually practising a faith and bringing themselves to admit they don’t have one.
To most poeple – I guess the inheritance of our religious past is the fact we all get to enjoy a 4 day weekend at certain points of the year and endulge in family and feasts. Those who practice a religion I guess feel they should remind others why they get those 4 days off.
Perhaps I will re-start my project on church and religion and certainly try to post some more co-herant thoughts about ths subject on the blog, rather than this rather quick stream of thought!