Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Weather Never Changes in Hell…

…This Church is Prayer Conditioned.

Let that one sink in for a little bit. This is my new life.

Despite the heat in Greeley lately, and despite some people probably describing Greeley as hell, I cannot make a claim to this tag line. Instead, a local Baptist church is to blame. I pass this sign on the way to my old man’s office and I think it is making me angrier every time I pass it. The first time, my brother pointed it out and I laughed. Now, when I drive by, I shake my head in disgust.

On a good day, I might be described as agnostic. But that’s when I’m feeling generous, because when it comes down to it, I don’t believe in God. Or god. Obviously, that clouds my judgment. Part of my disgust with the sign is the pretentious all-knowing undertones. You know, basically the same style I use in my writing. But who are we kidding, the pretentiousness is nothing compared to the ridiculous of the statement itself. Not the weather never changing in hell, but the prayer conditioned.

My brother claims that puns are the lowest form of comedy. My brother makes this claim when I utter a pun of my own. My brother is right. I’m not sure what the church is trying to accomplish. I’d like to think there aren’t actually people who go around worrying that hell will be too hot. I’d like to think there aren’t actually people who go around thinking that prayer conditioned is funny. I’d also like to think that churches not need to stoop to the lowest form of comedy to get people through their doors.

I think I’m wrong. I guess I forgot just what an influence religion has on everyday life here. Especially in Greeley. I could care less if you believe in God. That’s your prerogative. Your belief. Your faith. But don’t be an ass about it. And don’t make bad jokes about it.

Welcome to the US. And bad church signs.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden


  1. Those crazy church signs always has my jaw drop. Very strange.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more.

  3. It's all part of the entertainment culture. Some churches feel like they have to be clever and entertaining - the dumb signs are part of their marketing. I think it's kind of sad...when it's not stupid & annoying.

    If you weren't writing about a Baptist church, I might say they were just trying to be funny and not necessarily alluding to hell. I'll concede that you've probably drawn the right conclusion. But why do you care if (they think) you're going to hell? You don't believe in hell. Or do you? I know it's kind of arrogant of them, but who cares? I mean, you probably don't think they're going to heaven. They might think that's kind of arrogant of you. Or are you just mad that you can't put up a stupid sign about it? I think you should. You'll feel better.

  4. I very wise blog. I'd be equally infuriated :-) The funniest thing was that underneath your post, I got a banner ad with this text: "I Receive Jesus As My Saviour. I Want To Become A God's Children." Now at least your church sign made grammatical sense ...

  5. When I lived in NZ there was a most annoying radio and TV ad for a shop called the Warehouse: "the Warehouse - where everyone gets a bargain". I think you see where this is going... Because when I visited Invercargill way down south I had dinner across from a church with the sign "The Prayer house - where everyone gets a pardon". They'd even used the same font on the sign. Odd.

  6. Ahhh. haha. And see, that just makes me homesick in some bazaar way. Have you ever waited tables in the states? Yeah a couple times a week your tip gets wrapped in a church flier and they give it you like "here honey, read this. We think you need it." My favorite one on the front said "Did you realize that when you tied your shoes this morning....(open it) That you could get hit by a bus, and DIE AND GO TO HELL???" Lovely, thanks for that tip. I hope you enjoyed your lunch.

  7. There's a church by my house whose sign says "Behold, I come quickly!" - Jesus

    I crack up every single time. :D

  8. Where is your church Cassandra?? It sounds more interesting than the churches I used to go to as a child in Rome. Anyway I've heard so many silly things coming from that balcony in the Vatican that nothing surprises me anymore. This one lacks of style but at least is not a nasty remark. Mar

  9. I visit your blog first time. It is so nice and lovely. I like your idea of blog.

  10. To a Swede, church signs is something... well maybe not exotic, but it's something you only seen on TV, like on "The Simpsons" or "True Blood" or something like that. Of course we know they exist for real over there, but in my mind it's like fiction. Those things don't exist here (as far as i know), it would be extremely weird. Well of course there are signs, but just ordinary roadsigns with the name of the church, no "tag lines" or other messages. But well...we are not a very religious people.

  11. @Ewa – they constantly fascinate me.

    @tedore – thanks.

    @E – I guess I would just like to think that the kind of marketing a church should be doing should not be focusing on those kinds of gimmicks.

    And in terms of caring, I think I care because it is just so ridiculous. I also think I romanticize those peaceful faithful people who go about their daily lives without pushing their beliefs on others. Unfortunately, those people seem to be few and far between.

    And finally, I am jealous. I want to make my own damn sign. I just don’t think I am creative enough to come up with something worthy of the weather never changing in hell.

    @Anke – sometimes google gets confused. And when it comes to god, he does not judge. Or at least he doesn’t judge your grammar.

    @terander – well now that’s not even creative. Its mostly just copycatting. And god doesn’t like copycats.

    @m8 – clearly your waitressing style was to reminiscent of satan. The closest thing I ever got to a note while working was while I was a janitor at a health club. An older man who liked a very clean gym would hide pieces of paper around the gym and then go back a couple of days later to make sure they had been removed. You know, to make sure we had done our jobs.

    @Cassandra – please take pictures. Seriously. That is amazing.

    @Mar – good point.

    @Pervaiz – thanks.

    @Ylva – very true, its quite a difference. And I think the reference to the Simpsons was spot on. They nail some of those church signs.

  12. I just realized that I totally didn't read the title of your post before I commented. I'm not very smart. You've probably already realized that, but it was pretty gracious of you not to point it out. If I were you, I'd be pretty cranky about now (acclimating and all) double kudos.

    Regarding the peaceful faithful people, I don't think they're so few and far between in America. I know loads of people like that. It's just that they don't feel the need to "save" you, so they don't beat you with their faith.

  13. maybe thats the problem, the ones that yell the loudest get the attention. like those who beat me with their faith.