Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Regarding Marriage and Family Vs. Singles and Childless / Child Free)
There is a site that sells postcards, banners, and other bric-a-brak to churches. I perused their postcard section, of which they must have one billion post card designs. About 90% of those designs pertain to marriage, sex, and children/parenting. You can see samples of some of their postcards though out this post.
To the right: “Making Marriage Work” and “Fireproofing Your Marriage.” Based on stats I keep seeing in books and on different sites around the internet, upwards of 44% (or more) of the American population over the age of 18 are un-married. They don’t have a marriage that “needs work” or “needs fireproofing.”
Where is the post card that says “Making Singlehood Work?” I didn’t see them on that site that sells these things, and I looked through many, many of their postcards.
To the left there, you will see a postcard of a back car window with a sticker family, with a Dad, Mom, and three kids, with “Families” in big letters. Nothing says “Singles, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you” quite like a direct mail piece to people that doesn’t show a lone stick figure – a stick lady standing alone – but only a traditional family of married couple with kids.
It may be that churches who mail these sorts of cards out have fancy marketing information so that only married couples with kids in their vicinity get these marriage and family postcards, but some churches do not have a lot of income for stuff like this and would probably indiscriminately mail the identical post card out to every one in ten, twenty, whatever mile radius around their church, regardless of their marital status.
Meaning, I would not be surprised if some elderly widow with no kids gets these sorts of “family” postcards, or if middle- aged, never- married people get one, too.
This is a postcard (pictured at right) that shows an optional back printing – you can get a map to your church printed on the back of postcards with the phrase “Bring the Family This Weekend!” on it.
(No, I will not tell anyone where this card or any of the other products in this post can be purchased. If this site I found these cards on sold cards which read, “Un-married people welcome to our church! We here at XYZ church do NOT idolize families and marriage,” I would, however, tell you where you could purchase those sorts of cards.)
Then there is the assumption that most everyone these days has children, or even wants to have children. Some Christians, due to infertility, cannot have children, while others have no interest in having children, even if they could physically have them. Do churches give a rat about this? Nope. They continue to act like it’s 1954 and every one either has a baby, or everyone wants a baby.
And don’t forget sex. Churches have to market sex. They assume that all (single) Christians are fornicating, when some of us have remained virgins into our 30s, 40s, and older.
Why do these churches not instead have huge banners that say, “VIRGINITY – Let’s Talk About it”?
Contrary to the emergents of the Christian world, virginity is not “idolized” among churches. Virginity rarely gets a mention anymore, and certainly next to no support among Christians.
If virginity (or sexual purity and celibacy) is brought up by preachers, they usually say it is unrealistic, unfair, or mean to ask anyone past the age of 25 to refrain from sex. Preachers keep stressing that God can and will forgive sexual sin – which may be true to a point, but it is not a terribly supportive mindset of sexual purity.
Why are there no postcards or banners for churches to buy that say, “CELIBACY: it’s for all singles, males and females, no matter how hard you find it at times”?
What is with all the Christianized or Church-i-fied sex talk, sex marketing, and sex brik-a-brak?
If Churches valued virginity and celibacy, and made sexual purity into idols, as much as emergent Christians and Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans(*) and her blog readers assumed (and they do assume this), would we not see postcards for sale that say “VIRGINTIY is great!,” or “CELIBACY ROCKS! Sermon about Celibacy this next Sunday, please attend!”
We do not, however, see such materials about sexual purity for sale to churches: instead, we see postcards that shout about… sex. And often in big, bold letters, like this: SEX!!!!!. And with photos of apparently nude couples lounging about in bed.
*(An aside: I think that Rachel Held Evans is a nice person, I like her, and I usually enjoy her blog, but I do on occasion disagree with a few of her view points. My comments in this posting and in one or two others on my blog are nothing personal, and nothing against her, just a difference of opinion.)
I am at a loss to understand this post card (pictured to the left). It has a Female Symbol, a Male Symbol, the multiplication symbol, and “equals” and a symbol of a heart with an arrow through it (suggesting love, or romantic love).
Below the original post card, I created a variation to show how this postcard might come across to someone (specifically a single female).
Their post card seems to suggest the stereotype that it takes one woman, plus one man, (plus God?) to equal a full or complete person or relationship, or, to put it conversely, that a single woman plus (or times) God does not equal love.
Almost anyway you interpret it, the original post card design (which is on the top) can imply that an un-married person is not loved, cannot be loved, etc. That may not be the intent of the postcard design, but that is what it looks like to me, a never-married person.
Churches and/or the people who design these direct mail and other printed materials need to re-think things. They are harping way too much on babies, marriage, motherhood, and nuclear families. In some of their material, they seem to suggest that you are a nobody -even with God in your life- unless you have a romantic partner.
If I got a post card like any of the ones pictured in this post, I would probably stay far, far away from that church because it’s clear they don’t give a hoot about never-married adults who are past the age of 30. They are also sending a message they don’t care about anyone who doesn’t have babies, toddlers, pre teens or teens still living at home. I would avoid any family- or kid-centric church like the plague.
I would be pleasantly surprised if I got a postcard showing a picture of a woman alone, or just a photo of a tree or sunset or something, with text saying, “All welcome at our church! We love singles, the divorced, the never married, the child free, the childless. We promise not to make every other sermon about “marriage” or parenting.” A church who advertises itself that way might get my attention.
Below to the right: the same site sells various Mother’s Day materials, which are pictured here.
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