Bags of Bran

June 20, 2012, 10:17 pm
Filed under: Biography

I pass into a dark cloud every time the LifeWay brochure comes in the mail. We occasionally buy something at one of their Vanity Fair booths, and suddenly we’re lifelong members of the Southern Baptist Convention and lifetime junkmail recipients. If it were up to me, that junk mail would line the bird’s cage and I would feed the little fella prunes.

What’s in the LifeWay brochure, you ask, biting the nether lip and fisting your hands expectantly?

Well, you can deck your children out in Veggie Tales arm flotation thingies, for example. What a powerful testimony to the Cross (or, if you squint, to the Second Advent) it would be for heathen children to see Veggie Tales arm flotation thingies on your children. Think of the mighty wave of religious approximation that would sweep across your back yard! As one (or perhaps several) of their own poets said repeatedly, “the rain would fall, fall on me.”

Oh, and look over here. Paintings. Paintings of rare merit indeed. One could furnish one’s home such paintings and thus confirm the suspicions of all who transgress the threshold that one is not only deeply spiritual, but also a good candidate for the position of head curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Why lookit that painting, sweet thing, I knew Travis was different at the office, and here my suspicions are confirmed. He is a man of rare taste!”

I’m not sure how much overhead capital the blessed pilgrims at the SBC have tied up in the LifeWay franchise, but I’m pretty sure that storefront peddling isn’t the billowing wellspring of revenue that it was ten years ago. In the 90’s, entire institutions were funded through the sales of recorded music, but in this digital age, former LifeWay customers can browse for midbrow scrapple on their phones.

Is Amazon going to spell the end of the corporate denomination? That question was probably a lot more cogent about ten years ago, and brilliant business analysts over at the SBC have long since freshened up their resumes and gat themselves thence. What would the conservatives in the SBC do if they got the keys to LifeWay Christian Stores?


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