Church Postcards That Would Keep Me Away From Church (Re Marriage and Family Vs Singles and Childless / Childfree )

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.

Church postcards: Making Marriage Work, Fireproofing Your Marriage

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.

churchFamilies

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.

Bring the Family This Weekend - postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes. Won't make singles feel wanted, that's for sure
Bring the Family This Weekend – postcard sold to churches for marketing purposes.

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.)

Church postcard with photo of babies that asks "Got Kids?" - About half of the USA population is single these days, and about 80% do not have children at home. Churches remain oblivious to these facts.
Church postcard with photo of babies that asks “Got Kids?” – About half of the U.S.A. population is single these days, and about 80% do not have children at home. Churches remain oblivious to these facts.

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.

Pure Sex - postcard marketed to churches to send out to people around their churches. Couple in bed are apparently nude and had sex.
Pure Sex – postcard marketed to churches to send out to people around their churches. Couple in bed are apparently nude and had sex.
Banners and matching Postcard being sold to churches: “Porn Sunday, let’s talk about it.” Yeah… and what about all the sexually pure Christians in the congregation who are NOT viewing porn or who are not fornicating? Do you have any idea how demotivating, irrelevant, and totally lame this banner/ postcard and sermon series is?

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.)

Postcard being sold to churches: Female and Male Symbols Plus God Equals Love
Postcard being sold to churches: Female and Male Symbols Plus God Equals Love

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.

Various Mother's Day material for churches to buy and mail to people or to display in church
Various Mother’s Day material for churches to buy and mail to people or to display in church

—Related posts this blog:—

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Motherhood Does Not Necessarily Make Women More Mature, Selfless, Responsible, Or Spiritual

(Link): Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

(Link): The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

(Link): Article from The Atlantic: Not Wanting Kids is Normal

(Link): The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible

(Link): Christians and Churches Discriminate Against Unmarried People / Singles

(Link): Christian Stereotype and teaching: An Unmarried Person is not Wholly in the Image of God; it takes one woman married to one man to be a full human and fully reflect God

(Link): A Critique of the Family-Integrated Church Movement by Brian Borgman – Christians turning the family into an idol

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents