A friend sent me some photos of a local "church battle" that developed in a Missouri town this summer. The local Catholic Church began the battle of the church signs with the first sign. What followed is downright humorous, though the Presbyterians revealed their usual lack of humor as the battle developed.


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  1. Bill Kinnon September 6, 2009 at 9:01 am

    ‘Tis truly funny but ’tis also Photoshopped – as the backgrounds never change.

  2. Wes Wetherell September 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Your friend (intentionally or otherwise) is misleading. These signs were created at a website that allows one to insert text into church signs. Please see http://www.says-it.com/churchsigns/ and note “Design 1” and “Design 11”.
    I think these things are funny, but I’ve seen them used periodically… most though as evidence of the “Presbyterians reveal[ing] their usual lack of humor” – or other slaps at reformed folks or others who take a position on doctrinal issues.
    I don’t think that’s too funny!

  3. RJS September 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    It is funny, but it appears to be a prank (computer generated):

  4. ColtsFan September 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I am unclear from reading this post, ………but are your readers aware that this is fake?
    The pictures are fictional. Notice the background – leaves, grass, cars. Nothing changes – not even the angle of the camera.
    This fictional “church war” is easy to re-create. Just go here:
    One commentator said the following:
    1.Just want to point out that these pictures are fake. Look at the cars in the catholic sign pics-they never move. The light, the landscaping, the angle of the pics never changes-total fakery. I called the Beulah CP church and verified-their church is white frame. Why? I’m a Cumberland Presbyterian pastor and want to be sure everyone who sees this knows it isn’t true, nor does it represent Cumberland Presbyterian or Roman Catholic theology.

  5. ColtsFan September 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Again, I was unclear if the blog author knew this was fake or not. But I thought it would be worthwhile for readers to know that this “local church battle that developed in a Missouri town this summer” was 100% fiction.
    February 28
    Fictional Church Sign Wars
    Lately the Internet has been abuzz with battling church signs between Our Lady of Martyrs Catholic Church and Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church over whether or not dogs have souls.
    If you Google Our Lady of Martyrs you’re going to be overwhelmed with places to go and responses to the eternal question about animal salvation. You’re also going to be hit square between the eyes by a number of very bitter lapsed Catholics.
    The only problem is there never was a battling signboard war between an Our Lady of Martyrs and a Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
    It was all a prank.
    The national Cumberland Presbyterian Church was finally forced to put up a page on its website from Pat White, editor of The Cumberland Presbyterian, telling all and sundry, that it was a prank and telling everyone who went to the site to check it out at http://www.churchsigngenerator.com to see how the prankster carried it out.
    Sorry folks. There is no Our Lady of Martyrs across the street from a Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church. There is no war over dogs having souls. It is all a joke. But it was on the Internet so it must have been true or so a large number of very naïve people thought.
    I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I was initially snookered into the game. There was something so delightfully innocent about the exchange between the two churches that I wanted to believe in it. Then the more I thought about it I just couldn’t believe that a cassocked Roman Catholic priest and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister – black suit and all – could take time out of their day to dash back and forth writing messages about dogs and souls on their respective signboards. Surely even they had more to occupy their time than that! If not the Parish Council should make an appointment with the bishop and the Presbyterian governing body should sit down with the pastor and discuss more effective use of his time.
    Anyway the more I thought about it the wording of the exchange seemed more like the wording high school students would use and less like theologically trained adults, even given the limits of space on a signboard. So I decided to go to the Internet and try to research the problem in a little more depth.
    When I looked up Our Lady of Martyrs I discovered that I could find nothing except references to the sign controversy and a great number of responses about the relative merits of animals over human beings. I am not getting into this one except to say that I have noticed that dogs are extremely fond of the people who feed them to the exclusion of most other people. I do not consider this to show their moral superiority to the human race though I do like dogs even though they do not contribute to the American Red Cross.
    I only began to find cracks, as it were, in the story when I began to search Beulah Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It seems the Cumberland Presbyterians feel that they have a far greater vested interest in protecting their image to the world at large than do the Roman Catholics. The Cumberland Presbyterians immediately pointed me to the error of my ways in ever believing this foolish signboard story and did it in a kind and gentle way.

  6. Joe Miller September 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Too funny! Is this for real though, or a photoshop stunt?

  7. Anthony September 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you for the good (and perhaps mildly tragic) laugh. I have to say that though I probably align with Presbyterians on more issues theologically than Catholics, I would probably choose to go to the Catholic church in this town. Humor matters, and my guess is that it is a reality deeply embedded in the dynamic that exists between joy and love.

  8. John H. Armstrong September 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    OK, it was apparently photo-shopped. It is funny regardless. If you take this too seriously you likely take yourself much too seriously. Come on folks, laugh now and then. It is good for you.

  9. Anthony September 6, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Whoever spotted that this was photoshopped certainly has a good eye for detail. However, I must say it was easy for me to believe that this exchange took place because such attitudes do, unfortunately, still exist among Xians of various denominations and traditions. And, in the end, fiction or not, this was funny.

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