First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Mixed Signals. Oink.

October 18, 2016

    I have never tried to put lipstick on a pig. Not sure why I would ever attempt this feat. I suppose the saying has had a life all its own and rarely has anyone followed through with fire engine red on a swine snout. Then again, I have been wrong in the past. The saying simply means one trying to make something that is hideous seem less so.

    Occasionally, while I am driving, I will see signs that are humorous at best and terribly misleading at worst. Like this past weekend in a town not far from home I saw this, "Vape For a Cure." I'm no expert on vaping or smoking by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, I can't help but think this well intended campaign sponsored by a vape shop seems off course. I am in full support of finding a cure for cancer. Everyone has been affected at some level by the painful demise of loved ones from cancers of all kinds. 

    Vaping, smoking, and inhaling any kind of foreign content into one's lungs can never be fully safe. It seems bad enough we have to inhale pollutants lingering in our everyday air. Why then would a smoke shop (vaping shop) promote an obviously good campaign against cancer when it's quite likely they sell materials that could contribute to cancer?  I must be missing something.

    My confusion crosses another level when I consider breweries and manufacturers of alcohol telling their consumers to "drink responsibly." Alcohol by nature tends to lower inhibitions and relax the consumer. With relaxation comes a false sense of control. Drinking responsibly for many is an oxymoron. 

    Same weekend and further up the road I saw this sign, Yards: "Brew unto others..." I tried to process the logic of this brewery that would take Holy scripture and drop it into their marketing strategy. You know, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31, NIV)  Me thinks they are dancing too close to the devil. 

        "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,who put darkness for light and light for darkness,who put

        bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own

        sight." (Isaiah 5:20-21, NIV)

I probably sound like a prude here as I mildly rant against things I know little about, but these two signs and the people behind them really perplex me. On the surface, one sign seems sincere and perhaps the vape shop owner has lost loved ones to cancer and the other seems to be ultra cool as they glibly deface God's word. I believe they are both off base. When one attempts to put lipstick on a pig several things occur. 

1. The pig wrestler get messy and smelly.

2. The lipstick gets damaged and smelly.

3. The pig enjoys the attempts to capture and hold them still. (Actually they don't)

    So what? That is your question. What do we do with these misalignments of judgment? Are they harmless (misguided)? Should we be up in arms? In my faith and in my denomination of United Methodism, we understand that injustices abound and need to be addressed. These two misguided attempts need to be addressed. Surely, first amendment rights are at the core of the latter sign. The argument would rest on some vague form of personal expression. Um, no! Go ahead and skew scripture and blaspheme God. You will be answerable to the Lord one day. Oink.

    The former sign and motives behind it don't work in the real world of lung cancer and the pain and suffering that comes with it. Perhaps a better approach from the vape shop owner would sound like this, "Stop vaping for a cure." Than again, that would take money out of the vape shop. Oink.

                                         (https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=vaping&FORM=HDRSC2)

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