Go to Church...or Else

Go to church...
"Go to church..." by The Pug Father - Flickr: Go to church.... Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

I love this picture, as it captures something important about how children are indoctrinated into evangelical fundamentalist Christianity in the United States. The message is clear: do something you probably won't enjoy or you will be punished.

According to Wikipedia, the picture was taken in Alabama. That sounds about right, but I think it could be at home throughout much of the U.S. I would not be surprised to see it here in Mississippi, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see it in many of the states I've lived in that are far outside the Bible Belt.

I imagine that the simple message of this billboard is not just for children and that it could be effective for plenty of Christian adults. Many of those driving past it will undoubtedly feel a smug sense of self-satisfaction that they are "saved" while we heathens are headed for the hell they imagine. Others will feel a twinge of guilt as they realize that it has been awhile since they wasted a perfectly good Sunday morning in church.