Bible Study Curriculum


Current Issue


The Significance of Holy Week
What is Advocacy--and Why
    Should We Care?
Chaplains Help Others Grieve,
    and Learn to Grieve

Baptists Today news journal contains original content found nowhere else. Subscribe now.


Search Baptists Today



Baptists Today Video





« Flower power | Main | Old dogs and new tricks »

Gullible's travels

First it was the cheap electric heaters in little wooden cabinets supposedly built by real Amish craftsmen, then a less successful "ArticPro" air conditioner, and a couple of other gimmicky products that weren't as successful in conning consumers.

Now the "Universal Media Syndicate" is back with yet another completely misleading full-page newspaper ad that's disguised as a news article and designed to separate unwary readers from their money -- this time for "Free TV."

Of course, local TV is always free to anyone who has a television and an antenna, and there's nothing new about a flat bowtie antenna designed to pick up the digital signals being broadcast since analog TV went the way of the dodo bird.

You wouldn't know it, however, from the headline: "Consumers dump cable and satellite for invention that pulls in free TV with no bills." The subhead declares "Slick little $47 invention pulls in up to 953 free TV shows with crystal clear digital picture and no monthly bills." A large picture suggests that workers are furiously shipping the product in order to keep up with raging demand.

Each ad is tailored to a local area, printing zip codes where consumers are lucky enough to have "free TV" -- which includes anyone within range of a local TV station. The ads are clearly designed to mislead consumers into thinking that the "amazing razor-thin invention" will allow them to bypass cable and get all the same shows for free, but that's completely bogus.

The "slick little $47 invention" (which started at $38 before the price went up) won't get you ESPN, or HBO, or the FOOD Network, or any of the other subscription channels that we pay the cable or satellite companies for.

It's just a cheap antenna, mostly plastic, which in tests performs no better than several versions you can buy at any discount store for $7.95 or less.

So, if you want to bypass all the cable/satellite channels and settle for local broadcasts only, you can spend eight bucks at Walmart, or be one of the first to call the toll-free number (within the next 48 hours!) and shell out $47 for an antenna that's no better, plus $10 shipping and handling, plus a sales pitch to purchase a two-year warranty for another $5 (according to a consumer organization called Stop the Cap!).

Is there anyone out there who thinks this is a good deal?

Of course not -- but misleading advertising and gullible people are a potent combination, and the money is rolling in, along with consumer complaints.

False or misleading advertising is serious business. We'll see tons and tons of it in the upcoming political campaigns, and it's shameful. The rampant nature of obviously deceptive commercials can't help but contribute to an increasingly distrustful society. 

We'd like to think that churches should be beacons of a better way, but I wonder if this thought should cause some congregations pause. How often have you seen church signs declaring "All are welcome," "Sinners welcome," or "Everyone is welcome"?

And how often is it really true?


Reader Comments (3)

I don't know why you are asking the question when you quite obviously know the answer. Of course not everyone is "Welcome" just replace the word homosexual with the word "everyone" in your blog article. The truth is everyone is Welcome to enter, but not everyone is free to stay. Of course if you are divorced, that won't make any difference, you'll still be asked to join the Ladies Aid, no problem.

And you will go week after week while you continue to be in a divorced state. Nobody will tell you to repent and go back to your husband because "hat God has joined together no one should put asunder." Your pastor and the elders will not make home visits encouraging you to repent, repent, repent, and to go back to your ex. You won't get a letter stating that if you do not repent and turn away from your divorced state and reunite with your ex that the church will put you out. That won't happe to you.

But if you are a homosexual and you have no intention of ever being celibate and or heterosexual, woe is you babe. Sure you are welcome to "enter" but watch out, they'll be looking at you. If you are a non repentant homosexual, it won't take all that long until the pastor and elders start visiting and sending letters. Although you can enter, just don't ever expect that you will be allowed to stay.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStraightGrandmother

If truly "all" are welcome then just put a Rainbow Flag on your Churches Home Page and fly a Rainbow Flag on your churches flagpole. If you do that it will separate out the men from the boys and you will see what your congregation "really" feels about sexual minorities. That right there will bring on the discussion and tell you what your congregants really want in their church.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStraightGrandmother

Why Young People Leave The Church?

When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was

For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

That is the first thought that comes into my mind as well if doing a word association,
Christian = Anti-Gay
The top religions in my mind for this word association? First and foremost is the word Catholic, followed immediately by Baptist. Especially Southern Baptists, if you asked me to do a word association for Southern Baptist I would have to say "evil"
And I AM a Christian. I no longer attend church regularly instead I follow Christ.

To understand what it is like to be a sexual minority or a supporter, like I am, you HAVE to regularly read the gay websites. JoeMyGod is good but also read every day, read it every day
Just read them.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStraightGrandmother

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>