Saturday, September 11, 2010

I love boobies and book burnings

A few weeks ago as my family sat in Chicago Midway Airport waiting to board our flight home from our wonderful time in the Midwest, I noticed a boy about middle-school age sitting with an escort. He had up and down both arms a good number of those rubber band style bracelets. Every single one of the bands had printed in bold letters, "I love boobies."

I've seen this phrase before on bumper stickers, but this time it really shocked me. I asked my teenage daughter if she notices. Her response, "Dad, almost every boy in school wears those."

Doing remarkable things is a good way to get your message out. People notice you or your organization when you make bold and shocking statements. I have a friend who calls it the man bites dog factor. The I Love Boobies bands are apparently a breast cancer awareness campaign. In my opinion it is a misguided campaign as instead of getting people to look at the need for a cure for a disease that claims many beloved mothers, sisters, daughters and friends, the campaign turns boys to giggling and trivializing the female. It highlights the breast as a sex toy and a joke.

Today I am so happy that Pastor Terry Jones has rescinded his church's plan for burning the Koran. I'm not sure why exactly he and his church thought it was a good idea to plan and make public a Koran burning. I can guess that they are very happy about the fact that fewer than 10 days ago, googling "Pastor Terry Jones" would have returned some pretty plain websites and most certainly no news. I can imagine that the church is happy that this has been a tool for furthering their message, which I would venture they think is the Gospel of Christ. They have become remarkable in the most direct sense of the word. People are remarking about Terry Jones' church.

The problem with building notoriety for planning Koran burnings is the same problem as the I Love Boobies campaign. You get a message out, but it is the wrong message. It is a negative twist on what you are actually trying to say.

If Terry Jones wants to share the message of Christ, he is going to have a lot of repair work to do to demonstrate that Christ is about love. He came to die for those who read and obey the Koran. He gave up his life for those kinds of people. The problem with I Love Boobies bands is that some wearers don't really care much for healing sick breasts, they are just looking for the next pair of healthy boobies.

What are some less obvious ways that Christians send a wrong message about Jesus when they are trying to make the Gospel more remarkable?