Saturday, April 12, 2008

God is my parole officer

Driving to campus the other day, I saw this sign on a freeway overpass:

WANTED BY THE LAW?
River Christian Fellowship

As far as I can tell, there's no pun or joke or deeper meaning here--it would be kind of groovy, at least insofar as Flavia knows groovy, if it were intended as some sort of Pilgrim's Progress-y, "yes! you are convicted under the law [of Moses]! but you are redeemed by Christ!"

As it is, I'm left thinking it's just a stupid and/or desperate attempt to drum up church membership. And maybe not the best way to welcome visitors to a depressed, post-industrial city with a non-negligable crime rate.

6 comments:

Jack said...

Oh dear. When you said you'd seen a strange sign on a freeway overpass I thought maybe you meant the "Ugly Disco" banner. Guess not. Ugly Disco is, sadly, a better way to welcome visitors to a depressed, post-industrial city with a non-negligible crime rate. And by sadly i mean really sadly.

What Now? said...

Maybe they're starting some sort of radical sanctuary program and missed the part where that info is supposed to be circulated quietly to interested parties rather than broadcast!

Flavia said...

WN: I did wonder about that, and so went to their website--where I saw absolutely nothing about persons wanted by the law, or prison outreach, or anything. So I'm actually quite flummoxed!

And Jack: don't think I don't notice the timestamp on your comment.

Jack said...

Yes, but from a respectably Sunday afternoon type perspective I can honestly say: doesn't make it any less true.

Daniel said...

I think the sign did have a slightly subtle meaning (though this would rather spoil the joke). One of the many meanings of "logos" is to be a law, or a standard. Those familiar with the opening of the Gospel of John might remember that according to it Jesus is the logos.

So there's not a very subtle pun here - there's the obvious meaning, and the question read as asking whether the addressee is wanted by Jesus.

For what it's worth, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos
talks about a useage among Roman Catholics of using "logos" to talk about the moral law. But even if the church you saw wasn't Catholic, identifying Jesus as "logos" isn't a distinctively Catholic thing. It looks like the pun was a little too obscure for their target audience (if people on an academic blog don't get it, probably people just passing on the highway won't either). But for what it's worth the meaning I've described above jumped out at me, and I'm not even a Christian.

aurora said...

At the risk of sounding startlingly literal-minded, having run across the corresponding advertisement en espaƱol across town, I must report that this group of civic-minded worshipers wishes to assist the wretched in the gracious act of renouncing sin and embracing the justice system.