Evangelism Smack Down

The description of this youtube clip reads, “Brother Bernard brings his Marine Corps style to tract distribution. A “Smack Down” is a fun way to distribute a lot of tracts in a little time – and get some good exercise as a bonus.”

Anytime you combine the ideas of evangelism and the military, you’ve got a problem:

(via Stuff Fundies Like)

During my “dues paying” days, I was a security guard at a site that included a public parking ramp. These kinds of mass pamphletings were not uncommon. Of course, you were as likely to get a “work at home for big $$$” or a “lose weight now” scam pamphlets as a Christian pamphlet, which should probably have made the evangelists pause.

Problem is, the ramp was publicly owned, and there was a policy that government buildings could not allow solicitors of any sort. One of the most tedious parts of my job was going around and pulling all the pamphlets from windshields and doors. If there was a church or business name and phone number, we’d always try to impress on them that these pamphlets were against policy and were almost never seen by the drivers before we trashed them.

This worked on the Chinese restaurants that distributed menus, who were usually helpful and apologetic. It didn’t work on the scam pamphlets. And it didn’t work on the evangelists. Draw your own conclusions from that.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Hmm. Filming this, and then putting it on Youtube for the whole planet to see, sure looks to me like the sort of “public piety” that Jesus explicitly forbid his followers to engage in (see Mt 6:1 et al). Hmm. Curious they’d be doing something their own Jesus told them not to do.

  • vasaroti

    Isn’t this littering? Invariably, some of those flyers end up blowing around the parking lot. If we just enforced our littering laws, cigarette butts could end state budget deficits.

    • Michael

      And millions of smokers would go bankrupt.

      There are better ways to raise revenue.

      • Sunny Day

        You’re saying millions of smokers would rather pay a fine instead of disposing of their cigarettes in the proper receptacles?
        Sense, you make none.

        • Custador

          I dunno. Smokers can be pretty insensitive to anything that screws with their habit. The UK spot fines £70 for dropping cigarette butts (it’s littering), but streets are still full of cigarette butts. Similarly, the signs outside every entrance to my hospital which say “This is a smoke free Trust – Smoking is not permitted anywhere on this site” serve to supply convenient leaning posts for people smoking cigarettes. I think Michael’s point (and he’s right) was that for a smoker, their priority is always their addiction. And there are stronger examples still: I work in respiratory medicine, and have told more patients than I can count that if they don’t quit smoking they’ll be dead inside three years. To my knowledge, not one of them has quit smoking based on that advice. Addicts. Pure and simple.

        • vasaroti

          How about this? Instead of fining them, we super- glue a tin can to the side of their car so they have someplace to toss the butt, since they obviously don’t own ashtrays.

          Can you tell I’m a bit frustrated by smokers? They even think it’s ok to smoke in the presence of infants.

      • http://travelingtxn.blogspot.com Traveling Texn

        millions of smokers would go bankrupt if they chose to litter (worse than littering really). However fewer people would lose their homes to wildfires and grass fires, fewer state and county dollars would be spent putting out grass fires on the side of highways (reducing wrecks as well), and fewer ranchers would loose grass needed for raising their cattle and horses to fires started by people tossing still lit cigarette butts out their windows on the high ways. Seems like a GREAT way to raise revenue to me. Being from South central Texas, I’ve had a bit of experience at what happens when people toss their butts out the windows, I’ve also gotten a few to the face while ridding my motorcycle. I have zero sympathy for people who can’t properly dispose of their cigarettes.

        Getting the people who leave pamphlets on cars like this for littering isn’t a bad idea at all.

  • Kodie

    It used to be my job where I had to flyer cars, in the spring, this seemed to constitute 25% of my “marketing assistant” duties, and to wrangle juvenile delinquents serving community service where I worked to come with. We were told before we went out to do it until someone came out and told us to stop. Flyer cars in streets, in parking lots outside of an event, etc. We would also flyer up doors of houses and lobbies of apartments that say no trespassing and no soliciting, and that thing where you can’t put the flyer in the mailbox, so you can put them in the newspaper box. The law doesn’t usually seem to come after this effort, in any case, even if some of those working with me had already broken a law, unless you’re “tampering” with the U.S. Mail, which is why my boss was very specific about that.

  • dfghdfgh

    What a complete and thorough waste of paper, time and effort.

    Of course “comments disabled” on the video itself. They don’t care to hear what people think. Too busy talking to listen.

  • Zeggman

    I assume they’re in Florida, because that’s where I recall seeing “Publix”. Someone who lives there might have fun “flyering up” the parking lot of their church with a few pamphlets summarizing “The God Delusion”.

  • J-Rex

    Has anyone ever been converted by a pamphlet? Ever??

  • EldoonFeeb

    Exercises like this are mostly to pump up the ones doing the exercise. It’s to make them feel like they’re doing work for God, to make them feel needed and important, to make them feel pious. It’s to pump up morale. “Yahoo! We’re out spreading God’s word, trying to bring souls to Jesus! We might even save someone! God is awesome!”

  • drax

    I once got a DVD put under my windshield wiper at a mall. It was of a sermon at a local church. So I thought it would be nice to make some copies of a GWAR DVD I had and distribute it in the parking lot of their church on Sunday. I forget what I wrote on them, but I’m hoping that at least a few people watched them and got the shock of their life.

    • vasaroti