Archive for July 23, 2008

Not the puppets you think they are...

Not the puppets you think they are...

Wall Watchers everywhere, pay close attention to this post because guess what? Whether you know it or not, cop to it or not, care or not… you are PAYING for this sinister comment to make it on the airwaves. Congratulations!

That’s right, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) – a national syndicate network paid for through Congress by you, Mr. and Missus Taxpayer – will air “The Bible’s Buried Secrets” on November 18. Glad you made that investment, eh?

Thanks to your hard-earned dollar, the same network that brought us “Sesame Street”, “The Electric Company” and countless Yanni concerts has decided to take the place of theologian and archaeologist by tracing Jesus’ steps and deciding those hallowed footprints in the sand where just made by a pair of hand-me-down Birkenstocks and some cat dragging along a camel.

Included in this twaddling documentary are:

  • The Old Testament was written in the sixth century BC and hundreds of authors contributed.
  • Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn’t exist.
  • There is no archaeological evidence of the Exodus.
  • Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
  • The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
  • The Israelites believed that God had a wife.

And then, there’s this unbelievably loaded and skewed quote:

Producer Paula Apsell said: “…It’s (The Bible’s Buried Secrets) designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind. …it will give intelligent people who want to read the Bible in a modern way a chance. If we insist on reading the Bible literally, in 25 years, nobody will read it any longer.”

Um, is anyone listening out there? You are forced to pay for this thanks to Congress and I wonder if the Church has the temerity to do anything about this? Your elected officials give millions of dollars to PBS annually. Now that they have left the children’s broadcasting to roadkill, I believe the same fate should happen to them. If PBS wants to broadcast this poppycock, then do it on your own coin!

The American Family Association is creating a petition that I could be swayed into signing, but you can do something too. Sign your own fueled e-mail to whomever is your designated Representative or Senator. This is shameful, Wall Watchers. So send this post EVERYWHERE. Get the word out, because if you don’t, PBS will.

We don’t have an ACLU to fight FOR the Church. We have to do it ourselves, and the fact that a publicly-funded network is flushing anti-religious jibberish in the sewers of society is irresponsible, unbelievable and nearly illegal. There’s not something the FCC can chalk up? Anything Congress can do to put a cap on those funds?

The choice is yours to declare what’s true and what’s made for TV.

Founder and president of “Focus on the Family,” Dr. James Dobson has been the news recently for calling out Barack Obama for “biblical revisionism.” In short, Dobson believed (and he was right) that Obama was liquidating the veracity of the scriptures so as not to tweak any of his potential voters, but still romancing the Church.

Well, now AS IF you would expect a conservative Evangelical to do anything less, Dr. Dobson has come out to say he may vote for McCain. And this gets headlines?

“I never thought I would hear myself saying this,” Dobson said in a radio broadcast to air Monday. “… While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.”

Talk about your ringing endorsements. Hey Johnny Boy, you had some issues with notable clergy supporting you, right? I would swoop this one up. It sounds like a winner.

Let’s continue with Dr. Dobson and his ubiquitous “focus”:

“There’s nothing dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her positions, especially in a constantly changing political context,” Dobson said in a statement to the AP. “Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain.”

I love the first sentence because he simply echoes the sentiment of the Church (even though for him it was just jocking for position and to save face). Most evangelicals are considering a.) WHO to vote for or b.) WHETHER to vote at all.

What is the most historic presidential election ever is turning out to be the difference between getting the left leg or right leg amputated. Do I have to choose? Really? It’s gonna hurt like H-E-double hockey sticks either way.

Let’s get to praying folks. One of these guys has to be the better choice. Find the issues and digest them. When you burp, that’ll be the one you go to the polls with. Happy hunting.

If Darwin was the chief marketing officer of today’s Christian bookstore and for-profit organization, your community would look like “Planet of the Apes.” You know, ape breath all in your face and the kids would go crazy looking for action figures with that real half-eaten banana odor too.

But put a [COUGH] “Christian executive” in charge, and it’s more like “Planet of the Dolls” causing store owners to cry “Mama” daily. There’s no thinking outside the box, but rather all marketing & PR efforts stay confined in one.

Jobs are getting cut, product is lessening and interest is waning. Why? Because Jesus Christ just isn’t trendy?! You know, his shelf-life has lasted more than 2,000 years. You would think that’s something to buy stock in, but not so much – at least not according to this story from the Washington Post.

“Christian stores used to be destination stores because . . . they had the dominant selection of product in the marketplace,” said Bill Anderson, president and chief executive of CBA (formerly the Christian Booksellers Association), which hosts the annual show. “And we are teaching them they still must have that, but that alone is not enough. . . . To be a destination store, they have to offer that customer a total shopping experience that is rich and rewarding in and of itself.”

OK, so what’s the difference between a Borders and [enter your niche Christian place name here]?

  • Coffee – Both. Edge: Borders because they taste more like Starbucks and less like you know, coffee.
  • Multi-media – Mostly one-sided. Edge: Borders. Just because you have one set of headphones for folk to listen to CDs doesn’t make you multi-media.
  • Selection – Depends on what you are looking for. Quantity? Edge: Borders. Quality? Edge: Your place, BUT just because “Not of this world” is the trendiest apparel out there, doesn’t mean everything they put out rocks. Some of those shirts would get put back on the rack at a Goodwill store.

You see the problem? There’s no differentiation, so it comes down to sex appeal. What catches my eye immediately? Big box stores have the nice decor, wider selections and even that nice smell marketers use that mysteriously invade your olfactory system the second those doors open. So, what do Christian companies to do support “Your Place” – not much.

Last April, Thomas Nelson cut about 10 percent of its staff, after previously deciding to halve the number of new titles this year. “You don’t talk to any retailers that are saying what we need is more books,” said Michael Hyatt, president and chief executive of Thomas Nelson, which sells about 35 percent of its products through Christian retailers. “What they’re all saying is, ‘We need better books.’ ” Zondervan, another big Christian publisher, owned by HarperCollins, cut five executive positions and a dozen others as a part of an organization streamlining in May.

So instead of offering a plethora of selections that may entice readers, you limit the selections to those raggedy names only seen on TBN and DAYSTAR?! You need “better books,” but the future of Christian writing (and toys, apparel, et cetera) is languishing out there without representation because you are focused on Big Box mentality – quantity, not quality. Better does not always mean “new and improved”. Sometimes, it simply means NEW. More of those folk is not always the path to success. Sometimes you have to MARKET a different path BETTER!

MEMO to Christian Wanna-be Big Box Organizations: Christians do not watch TBN and Daystar exclusively! As a matter of fact, CCM radio may not even be a pre-set on their car radio. They aren’t necessarily compromising, they find a fix that doesn’t put their faith in question. And guess what y’all? You don’t cut it.

“Your Place” typically either looks like a downtrodden, retro 80s convenience store or a condensed version of Wal-Mart, except without you know, the quality. If I am not a fan of ‘Televangelist X’, then having end caps of ONLY those folk will not entice me. Who else is in your store? We have no idea, because you don’t market them effectively.

Oh, by the way, there is more substance to Christian marketers than using a popular brand and placing a cute scripture in it?! MUCH MORE. You should use it sometime.

Ingenious sites like “Church Marketing Sucks” exist for a reason. So, ask yourself Pseudo Jesus-in-a-Big-Box store, why? It’s because of that shelf-life mentioned earlier. Name a brand, ANY brand. None has equaled the market share, recognition and faithfulness among consumers than Jesus! If I sold pools, I would find every way in the world to market my product, from the construction to production, design to differentiation.

But if I followed the “Your Place” business and marcom plan, instead of publicizing pools, I would just end up taking a bath. Wake up, Church! Please?