November 5, 2009

Jesus. All About Life And Big Macs

Last month, a national campaign was launched in Australia called Jesus. All about Life.  

Founded by The Bible Society and supported by the major denominations, JAAL is an attempt by Christian churches across the board 'to bring Christianity back into people’s consciousness'.                                                         

The campaign (aimed largely at country towns) involves prime time advertising, including billboards, radio and television, and according to JAAL's marketing company, the idea is 'to link Jesus to ordinary events and objects such as sandwiches, beaches and beer'. God help us all. 

Now I am not a religious person and I hardly ever watch free to air television, so I am trying to figure out why I find the whole thing so repugnant... Let’s start with the logo. 

I have spent a fair bit of time in Texas, (the evangelical capital of the world), and I am no stranger to religious billboards.  But the last time I checked the bible, Jesus was the son of God and not a scrumptious cheeseburger meal. And while this type of imbedded messaging may have a home in Texas, Australian's don't take kindly to being force fed. 

So why is it that when I look at the JAAL logo, with its Pepsi coloured font, I get a massive attack of the munchies? Clever marketing perhaps....even the promo begins with a still shot of a drive through, but do they literally want us to eat Jesus? 

Take a stroll around the JAAL website and you will find an array of links pertaining to JAAL's  hip and happening events. Here are a few of my favourites. The Hope Market, The Kids Church, The Rhythm and Pews Jazz Band,  and .... Jesus Walks Into a Bar. 

Under the details for Jesus Walks Into a Bar it reads: 
Have a beer and read the bible and ask questions you have each Sunday night in November at the Croydon Park  Hotel. 
(Obviously the talented people at JAAL could not be bothered to hire an editor). 

Now I am sorry if I am offending any right- wing Christians out there, but if by chance, you are a right- wing Christian then you should probably find another blog.

I mean is this really where we are going now - after 2000 years of covert brainwashing must we now have it shoved straight down our throats? Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with false ideals about how we should look and what we should buy, and now we are being told who we should worship. 
Clearly this is a spectacular attempt by organised religion to regain influence over the younger demographic. 

But here's a thought - leave the children alone. 
Do not corrupt another generation with your fear mongering and your creationism theories. As the famous atheist, Issac Asimov once said, "creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night". 

Can you imagine if the Muslim religions got together and started the Islamic equivalent, Allah. All About Life? Or the Buddhists? Or the Scientologists? 
There would be a full scale national outcry. In fact it would not be okay for any other faith based organisation to worm their way into our homes. Lets face it, JAAL is just another example of a corporate dollar- driven industry trying to make a buck. 

In the age of consumer driven advertising, JAAL has plans to infiltrate the market by aligning its brand with everything from hamburgers to beer. At the end of the day this is false advertising - and that's enough to make you wish you had ordered the salad. 


rae stanton said...

this is a particularly interesting topic for me ... one that is quite close to home. my sister's kids changed their fb profile pic to the Jesus logo!

whilst i truly feel that everybody has a right to believe whatever they want to believe, i wholeheartedly agree that if a similar campaign was to be delievered by another religion, there would indeed be national outcry.

but is it really any different to mcdonalds advertising? i have pretty strong negative feelings about mcdonalds and its advertising ... in fact, i have a bit of a problem with a lot of advertising.

but i hate to tell you this ... they got you. according to my brother (also a big fan of jesus) the sole purpose of the JAAL campaign is to get people talking about jesus again. and here we are ...! i just hope i don't go and eat a fillet of fish later.

Pam said...

I don't know what to think... I'm kinda in shock.. but then I'm tired tonight...
At a very deep level, though, I personally believe everyone comes to God in their own way and that is a two way street.... (God also comes to us)... and when/if it is a TRUE experience... we KNOW it...and I believe we all will eventually come to know it...
so I don't worry about this kind of stuff too much... It's just toooooo stupid to consider or take seriously...
How could they think anyone would take it seriously???
Or is that your point? :)

mishaloula said...

Pam, my point is that I am not religious and while I have respect for other people's opinions, I don't like the way religion is shoved down people's throats. I get to choose what I believe in, sure, but this seductive marketing campaign being used by big religion is directly aimed at a teenagers / young adults, and that kind of makes me want to vomit in my hand. Thanks for your comment.

mishaloula said...

Rae, while I agree with you about the Mcdonalds advertising, at least they have come to the party in terms of the healthy choice menu. But where is the healthy choice option when it comes to JAAL? In my opinion, any form of organised religion is unhealthy. Having said that, like most people in our secular society, I respect the views and beliefs of religious followers, and rightly so, but shouldn't I - a non believer - be entitled to the same respect?

x davinia x said...

Nice post! I do not agree with the 'Jesus' signs..this is the first I have heard of it as in England I haven't come across any signs on the road like that! If Christianity is to promote Jesus using signs on the road then other religions should be allowed to put signs up too ... the irony is that the sign is put up above a Mc'd sign... hmm maybe Mc'd paid for the Jesus sign! ...anyway yes I agree with you that there would be an outcry if other religions where to do the same. I think people should be left to make their minds up about religion and it shouldn't be 'forced' upon people...I know the signs are not forcing people but isn't it almost commercializing religion?

Mr Spooky said...

Thank you!!! I thought it was just me!!! I just wrote on my blog about the whole Jesus thing and decided to do a search to see if I was the only one..... I felt like I was!!
Our blogs are similar.... I don't feel like such a non- jesus all about life freak now lol

aquariusmish said...

Yes it is commercialising religion! Advertising religion like that... advertising at religion at all... is really tacky. The bible says that Jesus was a humble man... having his name on a billboard above a burger ad screams the opposite and is just absurd.

Anonymous said...

if these christians really want to promote their product (any god that is a product must surely be a dead god), shouldn't they follow the example of, say, the salvos? i.e. no broo haha, just helping the needy.


Anonymous said...

i reallise this prob has enough comments... but i wanted to bring up one point, as any type of evangelism really sh%#&ts me.

The face book update-what-your-thinking is something of a potential billboard. There feels to me something automaton-ish about some of my own friends who constantly use updates to say uplifting cliches (usually new age type). Does anyone see a similarity?

mishaloula said...


I hate the Salvo's. They are a corporation and they A. had a lot to do with the stole generation, B. charge exorbadent prices for items in their stores (that were donated fee), C. when my house burnt down and I was homeless with 2 kids they would not even give me a kettle!!!!! And D. they preach about no alcohol and then come into bars and ask for donations!! Hate them. Re the facebook thing, I dunno man.... its not in the same ballpark to me but then I don't know what your friends write do I?....

Soldier of Kurios said...

Your post confuses me. As amusing as your posts are, sadly, this time around, you have really failed to scratch the surface here.

I've been a follower of Jesus for 5 years now. The funny thing is, I used to say the same things as you wrote about in this post. You obviously haven't, as I hadn't as well, done any research into Christianity, or any other religion for that matter.

I don't see the problem with any group from any ideology or belief talking about, or putting forward their point of view - I guess like you do on this blog.

The real problem is when people are too lazy, or scared to look into life and ask the big questions, like, why are we here or where are we going? And then proceed to ignorantly throw comments about a particular belief. As I said, that was me in the past, but I encourage you all, why not actually pick up the bible and have a read. Do some research into the text and the historical reliability of it. Then, intelligently interact with those who believe with your objections.

I am more than happy to field any criticisms or questions at