Christians, especially evangelical Christians, are often portrayed as boorish hucksters in the view of the liberal media. Books like “Losing Our Religion” and others chronicle the low esteem and mocking suffered by Christians and Christianity at the hands of secularists and progressives.
Do Christian authors and media evangelists do some things to help earn their reputation? Sometimes. One thing they do is juxtapose their smiling, carefree face with their message of coming poverty, destruction, and mayhem. There is a disconnect between their serious and dire message, and their personna as represented in their photos promoted by their publicists.
Here are several examples:
Their messages do not warrant a smile.
Each of these men represent the most visible aspects of evangelical Christianity. Look at the titles of each of their recent books and the major themes of their messages. They are all writing on subjects that are supposed to be serious, life threatening, or life changing events - cataclysmic events where thousands if not millions of people are starved, destitute, or killed. Yet on each of their publications resides a smiling face. The above photos are replicas of what appears on their books.
Now I know their message is ultimately about the salvation of the Christian and their arrival at their ultimate destination through all the trauma and drama. They will claim they have reason to smile.
But getting there is going to be hell for a lot of people. Wouldn’t we take their message more seriously if their photos looked serious? It isn’t rational to smile when writing about economic Armageddon, the world’s end, a coming war, or economic collapse. It appears these men don’t really believe what their books claim – their smiles betray their message. There is a definite disconnect between their message and the mug shots.
But what about Glenn Beck’s books? He portrays himself as a clown on the cover of many of his books. Most covers, Broke, and An Inconvenient Book, for example, show him doing silly things to emphasize the topic of the book. But at least he appears engaged in the topic amidst his silliness. The other writers discussed above don’t pretend humor, yet are smiling as if their message is irrelevant.
These flip photos may be one small reason why secularists can’t take them seriously – they don’t appear to take themselves seriously.