After Church Shames Bar Customers for Needing Designated Drivers, Bar Owner Comes Up with a Creative Response

Nick Simon owns a bar/night club/dance club called Paradise Bar in Leesville, Louisiana. Like any bar, there are times when his customers are in no condition to drive home, so they get a designated driver to take them back. In the process, though, their cars remain in his parking lot overnight until they can sober up and get them the following day.

Nick doesn’t mind that. It’s definitely better than the alternative. Hell, you could argue that it’s responsible to know yourself well enough not to go behind the wheel when you’re feeling tipsy and Nick doesn’t want to punish them for that.

Recently, though, a local church has caught wind of this. Now, whenever they see a car sitting in Nick’s parking lot overnight, they put letters and pamphlets under the windshield wipers informing the drivers that they need to sober up and find Jesus.

Nick compiled some of the examples for me:

Instead of starting a fight with the church about bothering his customers, Nick has figured out a great way to handle the situation.

Bring us the pamphlet you found on your car and you get a free drink card.

The paper we collect from this will be turned into a recycling center.

All the more reason for you to not drive that car home!

Nick found a way to turn whine into wine :) Love it!

He told me that after he posted that Facebook status a couple of weeks ago, the church stopped putting the pamphlets on cars… but only temporarily. They’re right back at it now.

Hopefully, customers will take Nick up on his offer.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • baal

    Way to have negative pushback against being responsible. Now, not getting sloshed ahead of timewould be best but the evening doesn’t always go that way. This church is tone deaf as some of the trolls here.

    • WallofSleep

      “Now, not getting sloshed ahead of time would be best…”

      What language is this? I mean it looks like english, but I simply can not understand what it means. ;)

      • Michael

        I think it’s a confused fellow English person forgetting that most of the world doesn’t expect you to be done drinking by 23:00.

        Getting sloshed in the wee small hours is just normal behaviour for most of the world.

    • Spuddie

      Its all marketing for the churches. They don’t care if you or someone else dies from drunk driving. They get the chance to perform funeral services for the dead person.

      • Intelligent Donkey

        It’s Christianity. It’s a death cult. They live for death, it’s much more important than life. There’s nothing bad about death, either the righteous Christian gets to finally meet Jeebus, or the nasty sinner is deservedly punished for eternity.

        Life is just a bump in the road on the way to Jesus.

  • Kelly J Youngblood

    That is awesome.

  • Sven2547

    The second picture is a Chick Tract! Yegads!

    • starskeptic

      Chick-lets have no expiration date! They just keep on giving…

  • TnkAgn

    Hope they don’t have dancing at the Paradise Bar, that would be yet another reason to go to hell, according to those churchies in L.A.

  • Ryan Hite

    That is so awesome!! I hate those pamphlets

  • closetatheist

    That comic strip in the pamphlet…is just so weird. This is the kind of stuff you tell a four year olds they’ll get in trouble for.

    *gasp* “You said, ‘I hate you’?! GOTO YOUR ROOM, YOUNG LADY!”

    Who literally worships Lucifer anyway? Angsty teens? Any polygamy is not something the Bible condemns in any sense, so why is that even in there as a bad thing? Do the people handing this stuff out even take it seriously? They are so out of touch with what real society is actually like that its pathetic.

    • Michael W Busch

      Jack Chick’s writings have never been burdened by facts.

      e.g. if his piece on DnD had any basis in reality, I’d be paying archons to teleport me to Seoul in six seconds rather than spending twelve hours on an airplane.

      • Mark Edward

        You have to wonder if the people passing them out have never stepped outside of their homes before. I just can’t comprehend the mindset that people must have to genuinely think those tracts represent the real world.

      • LesterBallard

        And all of the “bad guys” look Nazi Jewish caricatures from the Thirties. Even the Native Americans look like evil Jews.

        • LesterBallard

          And I know not all Christians are like Miano, but they’re the ones I concentrate on.

        • Jim Jones

          Ironic, because in cowboy movies the Indians were all played by Italians.

      • Bear Millotts

        Dark Dungeons was awesome. Do a (your preferred search engine) search on MST3K Dark Dungeons and you’ll see a hilarious review of that Chick tract ala the MST3K crew. Very funny.

      • Baby_Raptor

        I wish his tracks had some basis in fact. I could use regular trips to New York…Haven’t seen Dear Boyfriend since September.

      • Roger Peritone

        Oh man…speaking of being unburdened by facts:

        I like their page on how to use their tracts: They have a list of tracts to use at funerals!

      • Houndentenor

        I was remembering a tract today from about 1980 that claimed Ronald Reagan was the antichrist (something about being sworn in on facing the obelisk that is the Washington monument and of course that his three names each have six letters). It’s funny but was that a Chick tract or something else? I’m sure it’s not still in print. Does anyone else remember this one?

        • JenellYB

          There were countless churches and religious groups and evangelical ‘ministries’ that took up the Chick tract idea and produced their own versions, some so hideously bad and poorly written they might be laughable, but believe me, the ‘dedication’ of those caught up in that kind of religious-culture was/is anything but amusing. My mother got caught up in such stuff when she fell into following radio preacher when I was around age 8 to 10, and for the res her life, until dementia made her unable to continue, she spent money buying (“donations to the work of the Lord”) an endless supply of boxes full of tracts that she went about handing then out and putting any public place she could leave them and even leaving them laid about homes of people we visited, as well as borrowed taped ‘sermons’ played endlessly in our home whenever my dad was not home…he would not tolerate them. My sister and I were left with some pretty rough baggage to deal with over our lifetimes for having experienced that.

    • Mitch

      They’re fantastic. In college, a couple friends and I collected them (someone would put a stack on tables in the library).

    • Chreiya

      I don’t worship him, but I do consider him to be my friend~

  • Richard Wade

    I approve of what Nick is doing, and I approve of what that church is doing.

    Nick is helping to promote public safety. The church is helping to promote the self-inflicted ongoing demise of Christianity in America. Keep up the good work. I think it very unlikely that this kind of anonymous, prudish, and presumptuous shaming causes someone who is marginally religious to become more religious. Someone finding this crap on their car is far more likely to think, “Oh go fuck off,” and they will move more in the direction of rejecting religion entirely.

    Every time a minister lives up to a B-movie cliche´ of the moralizing prig, a dozen more fence-sitters get down and walk away.

    • wmdkitty

      So it’s a win-win all round, yeah?

      • Tina B

        Or a wine-wine situation, if you prefer.

    • Randay

      I am happy to learn that I got a “get out of jail free” card. I didn’t remember Acts 16:31. As my mother is a devout Christian, her household is saved too. That includes me! Oh, Happy Day! Most of the drinkers at the bar probably also have a believer in their families, so they don’t have to worry either. Nick may have a good advertizing slogan there.

    • Len

      I guess the church-goers who use the bar now have to park round the corner.

  • LesterBallard

    Chick Tracts! People who become Christians because of Chick Tracts shouldn’t be allowed to vote or procreate.

    • Jim Jones

      > “People who become Christians because of Chick Tracts shouldn’t be allowed to vote or procreate.”

      Has anyone, ever, in the history of the world, become a ‘Christian’ because of Chick Tracts? Aren’t they a way for those who spread them to feel superior? A form of bullying? And sneering?

      • LesterBallard

        If they’re fucked up enough to hand them out, they were probably fucked up enough to be converted, or at least swayed, by them.

      • JenellYB

        Jim, I think you may be onto the right track there. I have personally known a few of those people that got into that kind of religion, and whether the Chick tracts or obsessively handing out some other brand of similar tracts, those with the harsh judging condemning warning you better get right or else its hell for you tone, and they were all 1) very angry, bitter, resentful people, that seemed to really hate and despise people, expressed disgust at other people, even while at the same time wallowing in a sort of “and I am/was as disgusting and the worst of sinners (a better than thou at being worse and wormier than thou) but for the grace of god would be as hell bound as thou, sort of stuff. Maybe they really despise themselves as much as everyone else but take pride in how much they despise themselves? Yeah, sounds crazy, I know. But it lets them hound everyone else on how worthless and disgusting and sorry they thing they are, but it’s GOD saying it, not ME, so you can’t argue or get mad at ME for telling you how disgusting I think you are. and 2) these same people are generally NOT openly assertive, usually won’t engage in any confrontational argument or discussion about the stuff in the tracts they are handing out, they just shove them on others and leave. Try to engage them in discussion, they evade, purse their lips, declare you aren’t willing to hear the truth anyway, and storm away. After throwing a handful of tracts at you, of course. Its a way of telling you they think you are disgusting without actually saying it to your face? Or owning up to it is THEM saying it to you, by pointing to the tracts, its GOD saying it to you? My mother was into those things, and her usual modus operandi in public places where she left them was usually sneaky, instead of openly asking say a clerk or attendant if she could leave them, she’d just slip around laying them about and then scurry out, lol. Or leave them in bathrooms, or on bus stop benches, where she thought people would just ‘find’ them. Consistently, to avoid actually confronting anyone, asking permission, or telling them what she was doing, or ask someone if they’d like to have one. And she really did have a low view of most people, of people in general, actually, and was really bad at assuming the worse in most any situation of most anyone, not giving people a chance to even be asked to explain something that she might have thought they did ‘wrong.’ All of that has seemed to be there in those I’ve known that was into handing those tracts like that out.

  • Richard Wade

    Funny how you never see Joe Klein offering to be someone’s designated driver.

    • baal

      I’m still getting a laugh out of the Joe Klein meme posts. It’s funny that he’s never next to me offering to share in my mirth.

    • Kimberly Crosby Dutton

      Then who is going to run the bar?

      • Ted Thompson

        Funny how you never see Joe Klein help run the bar.

  • Tainda

    I could start leaving my dreams on the church’s front door ;)

  • Rich Wilson

    I intensely dislike anyone presuming to leave advertisements on my car. I’d be tempted to pursue legal action for littering.

    • C Peterson

      When I was in college (the geekiest of tech schools) and had my car parked outside all the time, all manner of crap would get shoved under the wiper blades I ended up building a nice little shocker; 20,000 volts tends to discourage repeat littering.

  • Loic

    Oh man, I would be torn–on the other hand, free booze! On the other hand, having to relinquish a Jack Chick tract that could be added to my collection of his demented outsider art!

    • rtanen

      All the tracts are online, so you could print them out if you really wanted to.

  • newavocation

    Well maybe after a few free drinks it would be time to go to church!

  • WoodyTanaka

    If they’re doing this on his property, he should swear out a complaint against ghe church, pastor, etc for trespass.

    • Michael Harrison

      Are you saying the church is trespassing against this bar?

      • smrnda

        A business can prohibit any sort of soliciting on its premises, including the parking lot, as far as I know. I know of at least one store that asked people passing out tracts on their premises to leave.

        There can be some situations that are a bit murky – if a business rents, then the actual owner of the premises may have to be the one to do that, and sometimes lots in commercial areas are owned by the city and then covered by other rules.

        • Michael Harrison

          Hey, now. I was just trying to make a bad pun.

  • shuteme

    How about we go to the church on Sunday and put msg under the wipers of cars telling them assholes to mind their own fucking business?

    • Tobias2772

      Why not invite them over for drinks after the service ??

      • ~SoACTing

        Seems like something Jesus would do…lol!

        ~ SoACTing

        • randomfactor

          Wine’s on him!

    • Stev84

      That would be persecution and a violation of their religious freedom

    • JohnnieCanuck

      Better idea. Put a coupon there that’s good for one snack with the first drink purchased (probably illegal to give away alcoholic drinks). Maybe require a church bulletin as well.

    • starmom

      FFRF has some nice “nontracts” I bet the Xians would love those.

    • Baby_Raptor

      The church would complain and have you actioned for trespassing in a split second.

      It’s only okay when they do it.

  • Andy Wulf

    The solution is simple: hire someone to watch the parking lot, then when the pamphleteers come, call the police and have them charged with trespassing. If necessary, detain them in a citizens’ arrest to prevent them from getting away.

    • Compuholic

      Nah I think this approach is a lot better. I prefer public ridicule. Petty enforcement of the law only feeds their persecution complex. If I was a customer of this bar I would get a laugh and a free drink out of it. For added fun the owner could publish the best or create a public pinboard so that more people get to laugh at them.

  • The Rusty Coat Hanger

    I think he needs to send people into that church’s parking lot during Sunday service and leave free drink cards on each and every car.

    As a bonus, give some 50-percent off coupons for abortions as well.

    • Jim Jones

      Or atheist literature?

  • Rain

    He told me that after he posted that Facebook status a couple of weeks ago, the church stopped putting the pamphlets on cars… but only temporarily. They’re right back at it now.

    Sounds like they had a prayer session and Jesus told them a deeply wise booze parable or something.

  • Rain

    He told me that after he posted that Facebook status a couple of weeks ago, the church stopped putting the pamphlets on cars… but only temporarily. They’re right back at it now.

    They must have had a theological “bull” session. It’s a tricky theological question for sure. Spam people and get them free booze, or not spam people and the people pay for the booze. Tough choice since their religion is a religion of spam.

  • Greg G.

    Leave coupons on the windshields at the church – “Buy one Virgin Mary, get a Bloody Mary free.”

    • Ryan

      Yeah, how about a double Bloody Mary free? That is the same as a buy one get one free deal.

  • Mario Strada

    Well, the least those lucky winners should do is leave a Thank you Card on the windshield of every parishioner during Sunday services.

    “Dear Christian, I am very grateful to you and your church for the free drinks I was able to get by submitting the marketing material you left on my car. While the product you were selling was not exciting at all (I suggest more focus groups), the free drinks allowed me and my friends to party well past the point we normally would have, and for that we felt the need to thank you.

    We will be looking forward for more of your marketing material.

    best regards”

    • LutherW

      How about a coupon for wine with body, rather than body wine.

  • Beth

    ‘Here’s the church here’s the steeple, open the doors, where’s all the people? Go downtown, to the bar, open the doors, and there they are’ :) my grandma taught me that version on the finger play.

  • Baby_Raptor

    That church is lucky that the owner of the bar is a good man. I’d have had them arrested for trespassing and harassing if the bar belonged to me.

    • Intelligent Donkey


    • godlessveteran

      Trespassing AND littering.

  • Robster

    Isn’t the church competition for the bar? The church has a whole two things on its menu and one of them is an alcoholic beverage, that’s 50% of their product offering. I bet the bar’s food offerings would be at least equal that. The cleric at the church should respond with an offer that if they bring his slip of paper back, they’ll get a serving of wine and wafers for nothing! What an offer, hope it fails.

    • allein

      My church didn’t even have that. We got grape juice.

  • Ferule Bezel

    Am I the only one who found it funny that they got the bible citation wrong?

    • midnight rambler

      ROTFL! And just about the most famously cited gospel verse as well!

  • Cyrus Palmer

    Fking judgemental hypocritical xtian assholes. Always looking down on us poor sinners.

  • nemo

    HE should start putting flyers for his bar under their wipers while they’re at church. 1 free drink with flyer when you admit church membership.

    • allein

      Interesting spin on the “discount with church bulletin” promo :)

  • Houndentenor

    What’s interesting here is that these people think that the pointless shame and guilt that keeps them in their “faith” is going to convert people they are harassing with these flyers.

  • NerdAlert

    They can’t even quote the right verse; it’s John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that…,” yadayadayada.

  • Shaye Ogloff

    Holy shit I haven’t seen a Jack Chick tract in years. Those church fucks really must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one.

  • Robyn

    I think they are just sticking their self-righteous church nose nose into other people’s business. Don’t think that “holy” book said you can’t have a drink and the law says you can’t drink and drive, so the bar owner and customers are overwhelmingly in the right. Condone rape, forgive murder, condone genocide, but don’t get over the limit. Yep, sounds like religious fanatics.

  • JaneGalt

    Nice move! At least it prevents the angry patrons from throwing the paper litter all over the parking lot. He SHOULD post a sign in the parking lot telling them about the offer.

    If he hadn’t indicated that he takes the tracts in for recycling, I was going to suggest putting them in the bathroom as an alternative to toilet paper!

  • ChanaM

    This is great!

  • Candace Weiss

    If the church wasn’t printing up those flyers in the first place, there would be a lot more trees and a lot less paper needing to be recycled!

  • Kate Morgan

    Paradise Bar is one of the few bastions of decency in an otherwise terrible area of the country to live. I should know. My ex was stationed at Fort Polk for four long years. The bartenders are all awesome, and even though I got one of these pamphlets on my car the night I decided to leave my hypocritical Baptist husband and already believed I was going to hell anyway–I know that Jesus still sees the real me and what actually happened–and loves me anyway. Nick made me a flower out of a cocktail napkin that night, and Fred made sure I got home okay. Took better care of me than any of the local churches did. :shrug:

  • Kristen

    Ummm… not to parse words, but the church in this story isn’t shaming anyone for leaving their car. I read through the letter, and even though it seems a little strange, it doesn’t in anyway tell people they are going to burn in hell for using a designated driver. You would probably have more success spreading your perspective if you stuck to facts. But then again, maybe not. After all, defaming Christians, whether with fact or with fiction, is all the rage these days.

    • 3lemenope

      The implication is that anyone who is drunk enough to have to leave their car is likely to “need saving”, otherwise why pamphlet specifically those cars?

      • Kristen

        I get the implication. But what is wrong with that? People whose beliefs differ from mine at some level also believe I need to be “saved” or converted to what they believe is true… that’s kind of human nature. But it’s not offensive or shaming to me when that happens. I don’t get why people get so offended the moment a Christian whispers anything about their beliefs.

        Anyway. Anything to make Christians look bad. I get it. Carry on.

        • 3lemenope

          I get the implication.

          So you now understand how a person might legitimately take offense. Mission accomplished!

          …But what is wrong with that?

          I spoke too soon.

          Look, if you get the implication, you already know “what is wrong with that”. It’s one thing for people who hold different opinions to think that others are wrong, even badly and dangerously so for their own well-being. It’s another thing entirely to act on that belief by expressing your disapproval of their lives and your sincere hope that they’ll change so their lives will please you better.

          Only Christians can make Christians look bad. If they weren’t taking it upon themselves to passive-aggressively pass judgment on their peers, there’d be very little to complain about.

          I don’t get why people get so offended the moment a Christian whispers anything about their beliefs.

          I’ve had many an edifying and pleasant conversation about Christian beliefs with Christians. Only, they weren’t trying to tell me how I was living my life wrong, so it went better than how it goes for people who just can’t help themselves.

  • BrotherRog

    Sigh. Another adventure in the continuing saga of “Christians getting it Wrong.”
    I’m not sure why they didn’t consider volunteering to serve as designated drivers for those people and simply handing those customers a simple card saying “We love you and so does God. Here’s the address of our church if you’d ever like to check us out.” Apparently shaming people comes more readily than providing tangible ministry to people in need and offering unconditional love and radical hospitality.

    Roger Wolsey, author, “Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity”

  • StevefromOz

    Nice reaction.
    I thought he was going to put pamphlets in the church car park, but this is way better.
    The church would be better off encouraging its members to hang out in the bar and get to know the other patrons (Notice I said hangout, not preach).
    - btw I am a Christian (who sometimes hangs out in bars!)

  • val

    A local atheist (aka, sane person) should regularly gather up all the church’s propaganda, rip it up, bag it, and give it back to the church.

  • Melanie N. Lee

    I posted this beneath the Paradise Bar post:
    I’m from Queens, NY, and I found out about you through an article link shared by Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity, on Facebook. As a somewhat liberal Christian, I’m of two minds about this. Jesus drank, and turned water into wine, and said others accused him of being a glutton and a drunkard. I for one don’t like Chick Tracts; they’re too judgmental. I also like your sense of humor in addressing the pamphlets on the cars. I like your designated driver program. On the other hand, the letter featured in the article said nothing about drinking. Maybe the church people don’t mean to shame your patrons, but they may feel that people too drunk to drive home really need Jesus to help them. (I assume some drink this much occasionallyi and others do it habitually.) Anyway, this is an interesting war of words, and I hope that you all come to an amicable solution. Maybe, as another poster suggested, some Christians will offer to drive the drunk patrons home!

  • Gus Snarp

    One of the worst binge drinking alcoholics I ever knew, who routinely drove drunk and luckily hadn’t killed anyone yet, was an evangelical, fundamentalist Christian. The customers at the average bar are probably pretty similar in religious makeup to the rest of the area, absent perhaps some sects that are hard core teetotalers. So I guess that church thinks non-Christians are more likely to be responsible enough to get a ride home than Christians?

  • stop2wonder

    Or how about putting up some NO TRESPASSING AFTERHOURS signs, along with a security camera, and have some church goers arrested?

  • Xuuths

    These are quite funny!