Selling Nice Cars to Flawed People

I am a compulsive reader. At breakfast I’ll read the backs of cereal boxes. I can’t not read a sign I pass, or even the warnings on the back of a car’s visor about le sac gonflable. That’s why I read the tag on the back of the new car:

SMITHSON’S MOTORS

NICE CARS FOR GOOD PEOPLE

In between was a fish symbol, just to make sure you got their message: hey, we’re Christians, and we want to sell to Christians because they’re good people.

Let’s slide past using religion as a tool to sell, much less sell cars, a profession that consistently is ranked at the bottom in terms of honesty. It’s the “…for good people” part that makes me grind my teeth so hard that I have to wipe enamel dust from my lips.

People aren’t simply good or bad, as if they pick an alignment off of a D&D table and never deviate from it. People are good or bad in the context of what’s going on, both in the world around them and inside their heads. Moreover, a person who’s a Christian is still a person. It’s not as if all of their flaws vanish, never to reappear. Even the ones who are trying their hardest to embody the best ideals of Christianity are going to slip up.

The idea that Christians are automatically good is poisonous. It flies in the face of everything we know about people, and is a yardstick that no one will measure up to, not always. It leaves no room for people to be human. It is an ideal that brooks no deviation, and grinds people flat. If you’re not a Christian, you’ll look at us Christians and say, huh, they say they’re good, but look at all the times when they aren’t. It doesn’t help that Christians have the bad habit of taking the already-flawed logical proposition and incorrectly reversing it, deciding that non-Christians can’t be good.

You want to sell nice cars to good people? Fine. Just don’t tie it to Christianity in an attempt to move more product.

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4 Comments

  1. Lisa
    on June 12, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Amen!

  2. on June 12, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Separation of Church and SUV. So say we all! 🙂

  3. on June 12, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, people that try to use their faith to appeal to me for my business? Those people don’t get my business.

  4. on June 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I can totally relate. The subdivision my parents and grandma live in is sort of hard to get in and out of because the entrance/exit is on a busy street and it can take a while before you can make a turn. For years, my now 82 year old grandmother says (everytime it takes longer than 60 seconds to make a turn), “Maybe a good, Christian person will let us have a turn.” Like that has anything to do with one’s driving habits. Just because someone ISN’T a Christian doesn’t mean they won’t “let you have a turn” and just because someone IS a Christian doesn’t mean they will. It’s interesting to me how ideas form and get stuck in peoples’ heads or the different tactics used just to get people to buy something.