Monday, June 18, 2007

Barn roof religion

While driving through the Ontario countryside on the weekend one particular farm attracted my attention. It wasn’t the obvious pride the owners took in their home and property, or the pastoral scene of cattle in the field and a couple of horses in the paddock. That was all very pleasant of course, but what caught my eye were the messages, painted white, in 6’ high (at least) block letters on the roof of his barn. On the one side of the roof was written: “JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS”, and on the other side: “JESUS SAID YE WILL BE BORN AGAIN”.

Now while I would never paint such messages on the roof of my garage, it is his barn and he can put whatever he wants up there. And as far as marketing techniques go, it’s pretty effective as his messages are eye-catching, crisp, and direct. They will catch the attention of virtually every motorist passing by, which is more than can be said of most road-side billboards.

As anyone who has driven through rural Ontario can attest, this farmer is not alone, “JESUS SAVES” and “REPENT NOW” are also relatively common barn roof messages. But consider for a minute, why do we only ever see Christian religious messages on barn roofs? Surely there must be some Buddhist farmer out there who would be inclined to paint “THE ENLIGHTENED ONE IS LIBERATED THROUGH NOT CLINGING” on his roof. Of course it would have to be a much larger barn, or smaller font, but it’s just as valid a message. And I know there are lots of Sikh farms scattered around Ontario, but I’ve never seen “GOD IS ONE” painted on a barn roof. Nor, for that matter, have I ever seen an “ALLAHU AKHBAR” or expressions of faith by any other major religion.

Nope – only Christian messages. Curious.

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