Churches in Australia have launched a quirky campaign to turn people’s heads back to religion, thanking Jesus for colourful parrots, white beaches - and hot chips.
In the hope of selling Jesus to the masses, the country’s major Christian churches have got together to produce billboards that will remind everyone that ‘Jesus is all about life’. The large posters will appear outside churches and other prominent places in cities with photos and captions thanking Jesus for the pleasant things in life.
There is an image of someone feeding seagulls, with the caption: ‘Thanks for Hot Chips. Amen’. Another poster shows a small girl wearing angel wings on a beach alongside the words: ‘Hey, thanks for the beach, Jesus’. And there is a parrot with its colourful feathered legs accompanied by the caption: ‘Thank you, Jesus, for birds that look like they’re wearing pants’. As many as 15 Christian denominations have joined together to support the campaign, which will be followed later this month with TV advertising.
‘The whole idea is to persuade people to consider faith and look at Jesus as an option,’ said Mr Daniel Willis, chief executive of the Bible Society and one of the key figures behind the campaign. ‘We looked at something that had the power to change. The name of Jesus has a lot of credibility in the wider community.’ But while many of the advertisements have a cheerfulness about them, some look at the more troubling aspects of life. One ad features a gravestone marked ‘R.I.P. MUM’ accompanied by the caption: ‘Thank you, Jesus, for looking after my mum now that I can’t’.
Sharon Williams, who was involved with the campaign, said: ‘Christian or not, it’s a passionate topic. It’s a huge campaign in its own right and hard to ignore.’