Like a big slobbery puppy love kiss, the global economic recession has been coming for a while and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. But like that canine salival baptism, there’s an upside too. As consumers frugally decide where to spend their hard earned McDonald’s vouchers, the savvier businesses are benefitting by learning to distinguish themselves from the pack.
Most notable amongst them is the new marketing campaign by several Christian churches, featuring the slogan “Poverty! You’ll have nothing to lose!” Explaining the incongruously upbeat message, Anglican pastor Bill Jacobs commented that “we feel it will be more useful if we can get our flocks excited about depression. And by ‘useful’ I mean ‘happy’. For Jesus.”
Initially the coalition had focused on recruiting new members with concepts like hope and faith, but they soon found out that Americans are not moved intangible nouns. “We saw how impassive people were when we bandied around words like ‘justice’, ‘morality’ and ‘morbid obesity’, so we thought we’d try something a little more real.”
Poverty, for example, is very tangible. “It tastes a bit like salty concrete,” explained the pastor, brushing gravel from his beard.
Some critics have however suggested that, far from a departure from the more usual “Jesus loves you” and “God hates fags” billboards, the new ones actually employ a tack already used by many churches. “It’s the idea of succumbing to a greater being,” noted billboard enthusiast, Jake White. “All they’ve done is replace God with poverty.”
Pastor Jacobs has also received criticism for what some call double standards, namely the installation of new carpeting and under floor heating in his rectory. Addressing his followers, the Pastor explained “it’s not for everyone. The poverty, that is. Parishioners are free to use the new carpet whenever they like.”
One commentator has however suggested that the billboards are likely to be ineffective. Noting that they merely capitalize on the defeatism of those lacking the imagination to improve their plight, advertizing expert Mary Fields argues that “embracing poverty is wholly passive and merely uses the same amount of energy as praying. Unless you’re a Baptist,” she added. “Due to the high calorie consumption involved in Baptist worship, we expect many of them to be slimming down over the coming months.”
In other news, this economic climate may seem like an odd choice in which to raise tithing fees, but that is precisely what Frodology has done. Frodo’s Head Minion on Earth (Fro’Moe) likened the brave move to the trailblazing bank which bucks the penny-pinching trend by lending money to risky creditors. Flinching both the question and shoe of a critical reporter at a recent press conference, the Head Fro’Moe explained that it was important that tax exempt institutions reap the benefit of higher incomes so that followers can benefit from the principle of trickle down the leg wealth distribution.
"In any case," asked the Fro'Moe, "is it really poverty when you're so rich in spirit?"