"Last week some Watchtower folk came a knockin' at our door. Apparently, they opened the conversation by asking what we thought about 'all the talk about evolution.' I was too busy being annoyed to join hubby & son who were so nobly weathering the biblical sh**-storm. After the dust settled, my husband handed me a very flashy, full-color booklet addressing the great fallacy that is called (according to the booklet) evolution. I glanced through its glossy, heavily illustrated pages, noted the deliberate misinterpretation of punctuated equilibrium & set the tract down with a perturbed expression.
Hubby looked at me & said with mock enthusiasm, 'No, wait, but it has pretty pictures in it -- it even has a NEMO fish!'
'Is that what they said to you?' I asked, incredulously.
It even has Nemo in it? Did they think they could pull wool over our eyes with Disney reference? Are we supposed to prefer a popular cartoon character to intelligent thought? Do 'pretty pictures' make it worthwhile reading? I shudder to think these tactics might actually warm someone to their opinions. Further, I must wonder about the type of audience they are trying to reach, the type of people they think we are. It's insulting. No, wait, it's disgusting."
I suppose this is just another slice of the 'dumbing-down' pie. I wonder about the people who just opt-in, seeking to follow, rather than seeking to know & understand. Fish in a bowl are always wowed by the castle -- some people are like that. If a church purchased licensing rights to, or received an endorsement from, some well-liked character from popular culture, would it have a positive effect on their membership? I would hope not, but I am not so sure it wouldn't. Overall, it seems a dangerous arrangement to me. Really, arguing against evolution with shiny pictures is one of the more innocuous applications of this kind of don't-think-too-deeply approach. The same smokescreen, distract-the-school-of-fish (flock of sheep, herd of cattle, etc) methods are used by some churches to champion hate. It is disquieting to know that you can give some people a fragment of doctrine (out of context), make it sparkle & they will swallow it hook, line & sinker. Just like Nemo.
Addendum: The above was written yesterday. This morning I was awakened by my husband's Bible-bearing friends. They wanted to know how he liked the publication they gave him. I bit my tongue, but I desperately wanted to say, "You know, he really liked the pretty pictures." They were sorry to miss him & said they would come back to see him later. I guess it is good that we are moving.