Friday, April 13, 2012

Unintended Meaning

Driving to Florida and back for vacation, I spied a billboard, and there are no shortage of those on I95 outside of Maryland. Ugly things, billboards. Another reason to be glad to live in Maryland. A very limited number of billboards along highways.

Anyway, somewhere in the south, where it's de rigur to try to convert anyone you run across to Christianity, there's a billboard that says "Angry, Confused, (something else I can't remember). Jesus is the Answer".

I'm sure the billboard poster is going for the idea that Jesus is the answer to any problem a person might have. Pray and Jesus will provide an answer. That sort of thing.

First off, I'm always amused by the idea that God or Jesus is going to provide answers. How do you know? If you claim that God or Jesus is actually aurally speaking to you, people think you're nuts. So you have to claim that some more indirect thing that happens is God or Jesus showing you the way, telling you what to do, providing opportunity. Whatever. Why is it that something that's omnipotent and omniscient has to be so indirect in operating with the people it supposedly loves so much? God has communication issues. God is seriously flawed. God needs counseling.

Second, and far more amusingly, if the billboard is read literally, it's saying that Jesus is the reason you're angry and confused. Seriously. It asks if you're angry and confused and tells you that Jesus is the answer. If I'm angry and confused, I want to know why I'm angry and confused. This billboard is telling me that Jesus is why I'm angry and confused. Ah, sweet irony.

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