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.
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.