Sunday, August 12, 2007

Which Came First ?

We weren't aware that there was a chicken or egg question hanging over the fateful mischief in the Garden of Eden. Here at the New Webster United Methodist Church (established 1883) on Wadmalaw Island, SC, that question, however, has been answered. Since apples are not grown on the island, we suspect no commercial farming influence in this message. It looks like the Lord's fruit is off the hook and his failed peeps were the problem.

Spreading the word is often Job 1 for the church regardless of denomination. In a sense churches compete not so much with one another, but against sin or the dark side or low living or any number of secular evils. Whatever their target, the Sunday sermon must seem insufficient ammunition against the week's wickedness.

Large, affluent congregations extend their righteous reach with television ads, mass mailings and grand programs which gather the flock in style and on message. Lacking this array of artillery, the small country churches look for more bang for their buck. The illuminated plastic panel roadside sign has become a weapon of choice. It's hard to say when these first began to sprout at the rural roadsides, but they've been used to promote every thing from convenience stores to church revivals, from massage parlors to Maypole dances, from political candidates to specials on toilet paper at the IGA.

They are called "all track panel signs". You can get a nice 8 x 3 foot job designed to withstand up to 120 mph winds made of non-yellowing and impact resistant GE Lexan® sign face with an all aluminum cabinet with welded, reinforced mitered corners, internally illuminated, double-sided 3’ x 8’ cabinet topped off with Graffiti resistant DuPont paint for the case. That's about nineteen hundred bucks.

We are certain that such signage is unacceptable along the high tone commercial avenues of the City of Charleston, but we think that the City might want to try out some of that DuPont Graffiti resistant paint. This brings up another timeless question: Which came first, the vandal (a/k/a "street artist during the Spoleto season) or the spray paint can ?


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