Just when I thought that modern Christianity couldn't get any sillier than the "Extreme Teen Bible," (Do yourself a favor and read some of the reviews that Amazon.com has posted for that one) along comes C28, a "Christian Lifestyle Retailer."
My wife was at the mall today, and she brought back a brochure for me from this particular store, which just set up shop at the Sun Valley Mall. On the cover are four HARD-CORE dudes! One has his head tilted and he's got tattoos! Another one is looking off to the side (didn't South Park already make fun of this?) Another one has his arms crossed with a look on his face like he's ready to crack skulls for Jesus - and he's BLACK! The other one is Latino, but he's kinda obscured by the other four dudes.
Here are some ads from their site, the first one has two of the guys I described:
Pretty extreme, huh? And you thought that rules about women covering their heads in church were passe! It's all cutting-edge, baby!
In the brochure, they say that the C:28 stands for Colossians 2:8, which states the following: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Of course, they don't use that entire quote in their advertising, because it's all, like, gay and Shakespeare-like or something. They just take "Not of this world!" and turn it into a catch phrase. Isn't that totally cooler? It's like The Transformers or something!
Ugh. Ya know, I have a lot of criticisms of religion in general and Christianity in particular. Still, what I find even sadder is how the religion is being dumbed down. I have Christian friends that can speak a great deal on their beliefs and while I don't see it their way, I can tell that they're thoughtful and informed.
One part of the Christian faith that I find interesting is the idea that their belief is "not of this world". Usually, when Christians talk about this, they're referring to how their beliefs transcend the petty and sometimes divisive issues of the world. (For instance - did you know that there are Christians who don't vote Republican! Wow! Who'da thunk it?)
These assholes though, they've completely bastardized something that's actually positive about the religion by using that as their catchphrase. I mean, look at their marketing - Is it any different than the marketing for the clothes you find at more conventional stores? I mean, just glancing at the stuff, can you even tell that it's got a Jesus-theme to it? It's almost like they're trying to hide it - as though they're ashamed of their own faith!
Oh, and get this, on the brochure they ask for donations. Donations! If these guys get tax-exempt status for their little operation, then I'm gonna crap a steamboat.
One of my favorite Jesus stories is the one where he knocks over the tables of the moneylenders. Quick, somebody hand Jesus his whip - he's gonna need it.