Two Can Play at That: What Komen Can Teach Us about Boycotts (Updated)

20120206.an.kome

Breast Cancer vs. Abortion The last week was one of the most eventful, and yet most uneventful weeks in recent pro-life history. Here's the condensed version:On Tuesday, January 31, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation announced that they would no longer give grants to Planned Parenthood. Pro-life advocates cheered, donated money to Komen, and sent them messages of encouragement. Pro-choice advocates booed, donated money to Planned Parenthood, and sent Komen messages of dis … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: What the Christian Message Says to the Masses

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Branding strategy is all about precise target definition with custom messaging developed to reach that particular group of people. It works. That’s why most brands, companies, and organizations do it. But there is a danger in becoming ultra-focused on the specific preferences of the target while disregarding the preferences of the market at large.Case in point: Burger King.Seth S … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Do You Care What Others Think about You?

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.A running theme in my column last year was the various ways in which the church has wrongly adopted vicious and self-interested discourses and rhetoric which are so popular in our country. Charity is seen as people-pleasing or being "PC." Complex issues are reduced to simplistic caricatures and fiercely defended. Opponents are mocked. Giving o … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: What’s in a Name?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Naming a child is perhaps one of the most personal and one of the most challenging decisions that parents face. There are a number of factors to consider—tradition and novelty, spelling and pronunciation, familial and ethnic heritage, relationship to surname and sibling names, and meanings. Then there is the reality that while name changes are possible, most of us keep … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Why John Piper is Wrong and Why Racism Still Matters

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.Last Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day when we offer a gesture towards admitting to our country's horrible history of racism and acknowledging the courage of MLK to oppose it. As nice as that is, I can't help but think about the way many Christians still think about race and racism. Things I've heard, read, thought, or said in the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Pink, Blue, and Shades of Gray

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.For weeks now, we’ve been preparing my daughter for the impending arrival of her sibling (circa June, though I optimistically like to tell people late May). We talk about things that babies do and potential names for her little brother or sister. This time around, we’re hoping to find out the baby’s sex, in part to help prepare my daughter with the official name and lan … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: Can Tattoo Parlors Help the Church Reach Out?

One of my friends sent me this article on a Michigan pastor who opened a tattoo shop in his church. I hate to disappoint, but my response to this is not going to be about whether or not it is okay to get a tattoo. Rather, I thought that this pastor's rationale for opening a tattoo parlor is far more interesting than the parlor itself. According to the article, the pastor is "doing everything he can to reach out to people who have never felt comfortable at a traditional house of worship." Think … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Special K's Lose-Gain Philosophy

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.According to the latest NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll, almost one-third of those surveyed made losing weight a New Year’s goal. Plenty of marketing platforms take advantage of these New Year’s hopes and dreams by escalating promotions for their weight-loss solutions between Christmas and New Year's Day.Special K cereal launched their What Will You Gain? campaign with an intera … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: What I Learned about Memes in 2011

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.Memes are strange, sporadic, and unpredictable. Some Internet uploads go viral while others don’t, often without much good explanation as to why. But if you stare down the dark well of Internet memes long enough, your eyes eventually adjust to the light. In looking at the weird world of meme in 2011, certain patterns became apparent as to what makes me … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Loving Nature and Our Neighbors

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Our local library is developing a new outdoor playspace for children; their goal is to integrate the design of the play space into the natural landscape. It's already one of my daughter's favorite places to play indoors (thanks to a lot of books and a delightful children's librarian); outdoors, there's a duck pond surrounded by sloping hills, a flowerbed, and a small … [Read more...]


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