Wednesday 14 January 2009

Small ad gods

When I'm doing my weekly shopping in Sainsbury's I often browse the display of customers' adverts. I don't buy or sell things that way - if I want to declutter I'm more likely to use Freecycle - but supermarkets' free noticeboards offer a fascinating insight into what people in the area are up to.

Until quite recently the notices were mostly people selling their old stuff, looking for part-time work or offering small business services. Now the God Squad has got in on the act.

It seems strange to me to see God on offer among the secondhand cars, slightly stained sofa beds and men with vans for whom no job is too small.

For pagans, there are many deities or spirits associated with the domestic and workday aspects of life, but most of the religious small ads in Sainsbury's are, unsurprisingly, Christian. The noticeboard I photographed above contained four messages urging shoppers to seek salvation, get God before groceries, go to church after the checkout and, as shown, look at every day as a gift from God.

Pagans don't normally feel the need to advertise their religion - a spiritual path is a personal matter and it is considered bad manners to try to interfere - although I did smile at the new-agey message, "Hug a tree, it worked 4 me".

I don't really mind those evangelising postcards. I can choose to read them or not of my own free will. I don't have to pay any more attention to them than I would a claim that a rusty old banger for sale, with one careful lady owner, "must be seen".

I get more irritated when a member of the God Squad tries to stop me in the street, usually when I am in a hurry and not in the mood to discuss religion with someone who is unlikely to be sympathetic if I tell them I am a witch. But, when they ask me: "Do you believe in God?" I do get a little mischievous pleasure at their baffled expression when I reply: "Yes, hundreds of them, and goddesses too."



Anonymous said...

Good for you--always good to baffle them a bit.

Tempest said...

'Spreading the word' a little thin, it seems, if they've resorted to putting their god in the want ads at the local grocery store.

Your answer to being asked whether or not you believe in god is similar to my response in such situations (I say 'probably more than you,' and just keep walking) :-)

Badwitch said...

"Probably more than you" is an excellent reply. I think I'll follow your example in future.