Isolation vs. Assimilation When It Comes to Religious Marketing

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There’s a fascinating post over at Church Marketing Sucks about why it’s offensive and unethical for religious institutions to rip of whatever’s the latest technological craze:

Recently, I came across Godwitter.com via the xpirimental blog. My palms became sweaty, my heart sped up, my stomach twisted and my mind went back to the service formerly known as GodTube.GodWitter.jpg

Then I thought of the 68 threads with “copyright” in their title in the Church Marketing Lab. Next was the 44% of churches who don’t give a rip about copyright. After that, the proliferation of iGod series, Survivor retreats and logo ripoffs. Lastly was Joshua Blankenship’s post from a few years ago with a hefty focus on creativity.

We do this under the guise of “redeeming our culture” or “being relevant.” And I have nothing wrong with either of those things. But seriously, a Christian version of Twitter? 28.3 million search results for Christian social network?

We are the jealous friend. We see something that seems cool, and we have to have it. But rather than take the unthinkable risk of corruption or dirtying ourselves with those less holy than ourselves, we created a walled garden. In this walled garden, we can have all the “good stuff” of the world, but we can pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

There’s less of this in the Jewish world than in the Christian world, certainly, but I think mainly by nature of the Jewish community being smaller than the observant Christian community. I do see Jewish orgs and synagogues ripping off various tech trends and copyrighted images all the time. It has never bothered me in the past, but now that I think about it, it is pretty abhorrent.

Posted on May 19, 2009

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