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Ford Dealership to Atheists: “Shut Up”

John on May 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm

An independent Ford dealership in California (this one) is letting atheists have it via the airwaves:

Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?

But did you know that 86 per cent of Americans say they believe in God? Since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians, who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t tell the other 14 per cent to sit down and shut up.

I guess I just offended 14 per cent of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech.

None of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford is afraid to speak out. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond, if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.”

Atheists who’ve called to complain have been told that Kieffe & Sons Ford, as an independent dealership, handles its own advertising. Ford does not approve it or pay for it.

This raises some interesting questions. Because one of the things I’ve come to appreciate writing this blog is that there are all kinds of atheists. The pushy, obnoxious ones grab up plenty of media attention but a lot of atheists are content to simply disbelieve and let their fellow citizens make up their own minds. That’s not to suggest they’ve taken Kieffe & Sons advice. They’ll defend their views like anyone else. They just don’t feel the need to accost passers-by with their views.

And, let’s face it, the ad is pretty in your face. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no where near the sort of rhetoric the more voluble atheist bloggers, authors and speakers unleash on a daily basis. Still, I think this sort of message really plays into the hands of people like Richard Dawkins. He’d love nothing better than for his fellow atheists to  become radicalized and declare an unremitting secular jihad on religious folks. Why make it easier for him?

Of course the real problem with this ad is that it makes faith into a popularity contest and, on top of that, a power trip. Again, I have no doubt that if Richard Dawkins had 84% of the populace on his side, he’d be saying far worse. But that’s no excuse.

If Kieffe & Sons wanted to associate themselves with Christ, it should have been for something better than this angry, defensive ad. How about $200 given to a Christian aid charity for every car purchased? I think if they were really clever, the ad would have gone more like this:

Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?

But did you know that 86 per cent of Americans say they believe in God? Since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians, who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford recognize that the other 14% must be feeling left out, like the kid who got picked last in gym class.

Well, if that is the case then we’d like to show our fellow Americas in the 14% the meaning of grace. Grace means unmerited favor. It’s what God shows to us and so all month long that’s what we’re offering you. Come on in and receive $500 of grace off the Ford of your choice. No reason, just unmerited favor from us to you.

And, hey, if you’re part of the 86%, well, you know you’re always welcome for a little grace too.

Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond. If we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.”

I’m still not sure what the hell has any of this to do with selling cars, but if you have to go there how about making it sound a bit more like the Jesus and a bit less like Chris Hitchens.

[HT: Pearcey Report]

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Category: Religion & Faith |

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