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God vs. Best Buy

August 19, 2010

What happens if you take it upon yourself to take a well-known corporate logo, and tweak it to fit your needs? You might just get sued for trademark infringement…

A Wisconsin priest created a “God Squad” logo out of the easily recognizable “Geek Squad” logo that falls under Best Buy’s corporate umbrella. When asked why he created the logo, he responded that “he uses the logo as a creative way to spur discussions and bring his faith to the community.” (emphasis mine).

Altering someone else’s creativity doesn’t make you creative. It makes you a barnacle.

This is a problem that I have with a lot of church marketing and Christian merchandise- it’s not creative. For the most part, Christian products are cheap knock-offs of secular ideas. For example, take a look at a google image search for “Christian t-shirt.” How many of the shirt logos are knockoffs of company logos?

I don’t mean to go all “wistful yet crotchety old man” on you here, but what happened to the days when people of faith led the way when it comes to the arts or creativity? Five hundred years ago Christian art was cutting edge, risky, the best of the best. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo used to give us creative Christian pieces. Now we’re stuck with Thomas Kinkade, painter of light and public urination enthusiast.

Going back to the “God Squad” story, I think we can all learn one valuable lesson from all of this…

Christian “persecution” is alive and well.

(rolls eyes)

Original Story Link

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 1:42 pm

    It’s the “Christian persecution” thing that sticks with me. We feel “persecuted” over the stupidest things. If Best Buy had dragged him out of his car and someone from the Geek Squad had stoned him to death then I would call him a martyr. But I think the problem we have here in the States is that we think we have the right to do whatever we want to do as Christians and if anybody tells us “no” then they are obviously persecuting us.

  2. Wes permalink*
    August 19, 2010 1:56 pm

    That was my point as well.

    I don’t want to put words in this guy’s mouth… he didn’t actually say that he was being persecuted for his faith. This is the sort of thing that we label as persecution, though. I imagine the early church leaders would kick us right in the junk for that.

    One thing I’d like to have a dialogue about is the way Christian art/culture mimics instead of creates. I think this could be applied to art, music, books, movies, jewelry….almost everything.

  3. August 19, 2010 2:03 pm

    I actually enjoy putting words in other people’s mouths. It allows you to portray them however you wish. Just ask Manny.

    You’re right though, he definitely didn’t claim persecution, but we as a church are too often all too quickly to call it that.

  4. August 19, 2010 4:47 pm

    We actually had a sermon a couple of months ago that talked about how the church is unstoppable when we are creative. Seems a weird idea at first but we talked about how the church has settled for ripping off creative ideas and are happy existing as “barnacles”. We are not a fan of putting Christian lyrics to a secular song. If the song is good enough on it’s own, we will play it in our church no matter what publisher put it out. Christian, Secular, whatever.

    I was with you till the persecution surprise at the end. I read the article and it didn’t seem like he was claiming to be persecuted, although I do know of Christian folks think it is original to steal a piece of pop culture and “redeem” it and can’t understand why the original creator would have a problem with it.

  5. Wes permalink
    August 19, 2010 5:06 pm

    I didn’t get the feeling he was claiming persecution either. That was just a tongue in cheek line regarding potential reactions to the story, and not what the guy in the story did.

    I couldn’t agree more about finding beauty and meaning in the “secular.” It seems that a product of postmodernity may be a blurring of the line between sacred and secular.

  6. Josh permalink
    August 20, 2010 12:58 pm

    “Five hundred years ago Christian art was cutting edge, risky, the best of the best.” Uh, my Tommy Hellfighter shirt was still the best of the best when I bought one at my church in 1998.

    I think creativity is from God no matter the form it takes, and I wish people would just leave it at that instead of trying to divide things up into religious and secular creativity. We can debate about whether certain art is actually creative, but if people are using their talent to make something creative then that’s holy enough for me.

  7. Cristyn permalink
    March 22, 2011 10:49 pm

    the best book i’ve ever read about christianity and art is “Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’engle. it’s beautiful.

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