What You Will

Another Burma Shave billboard on the information superhighway. Random thoughts about arts, faith, culture, music, language, literature, and the shortcomings of the Hegelian dialectic. (OK, just kidding about that last bit.)

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Location: Edmonds, Washington, United States

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Ridiculous Web site of the month, part 7

A while back, Alabama's Decatur Daily reported on the trend of sports teams hosting "Faith Nights" to attract churchgoers — complete with live Christian rock bands, VeggieTales characters, and booths selling your basic evangelical-subculture T-shirts, Moses bobblehead dolls, and Bibles. "Faith Nights" started with Arena Football teams, are moving into big-time sports like Major League Baseball. What particularly caught my eye was the following paragraph:
"It'll be no different than any other group out there," said Derrick Hall, the Diamondbacks' executive vice president. "They will promote it at a much greater level than most groups can. As a result, we'll sell more tickets."
Did you get that? If you thought the Arizona Diamondbacks would put on a "Faith Night" because they were somehow interested in accommodating people of faith, you're sadly mistaken, my friend. It's all about the dollar signs, and at least Mr. Hall is honest enough to admit it. (When Sony Pictures decided to use churches and Christian leaders to shill for The Da Vinci Code, a sophomoric, ill-conceived attack on Christianity, they cleverly spun the campaign as an opportunity for "dialogue." Mr. Hall's remarks are, bracingly, devoid of any such spin.)

It's working, too — at least for the Arena Football teams, which are attracting lots of new fans with the venture. I guess going to a "regular" game, where you might have to sit next to a non-Christian, is just too much for some people to contemplate. I have a friend who publishes Christian music magazines — and on top of going to the standard summer festivals devoted to such music, he also sets up a booth at a few general-market festivals, including the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention. I like to think that this is his way of being the "salt of the earth," of going out into the world at large instead of waiting for it to come to him. Whatever it is, it's the opposite of "Faith Night," even though he covers some of the same cultural territory.

I have just one burning question left: What do you suppose is the effect of "Faith Night" on a stadium's alcohol concession?


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