Message control and political yard signs

Posted by Morgan, forwarding a message from another list (with permission) because I feel the message needs to get out.

I had a revelation a few days ago as the boys and I were driving through our traditionally Republican community (a misnomer) in West St. Louis County, watching for Kerry-Edwards yard signs and seeing more than we expected. Then I saw a yard that had only green-and-white yard signs that proclaimed simply “JESUS.” And then I thought how the political right has co-opted major cultural symbols like the flag, the Bible, and Jesus? I thought of some Pagan friends in AMER who marched in a demonstration some years ago, wearing 3-piece suits instead of tie-dye and carrying an American flag and a copy of the Constitution, and I remembered the concept of message control and reclaiming one’s symbols.

So I found a little Christian cafe, the Solid Rock Coffeehouse on the main street in Eureka MO, that was selling the Jesus signs, bought a bunch of them, and display one right next to each Kerry-Edwards sign. The other day someone not only slowed down to take a look but even backed up to do a double take! You might say it puts across in symbolic imagery the subliminal message of John Kerry literally having Jesus at or on his side, and maybe a few conscientious Christians might give more thought to whether the Republican party best reflects the values of Jesus, and maybe a few might change their vote. Except for those who are highly visibly, out-of-the-closet Pagans in their neighborhoods, I strongly urge others who support a regime change here also to put up “Jesus” signs next to their Democratic yard signs. I think it has been a big mistake in strategy for Democrats to allow the Republicans to lay exclusive claim to symbols like this one.

How to reconcile one’s personal beliefs with putting up a “Jesus” sign? Personally, even if I don’t consider Jesus my “Lord and Savior” as most Christians do, I still have no problem with his teachings (although I think some right-wing Christians would, if they truly looked into them more deeply) and I could see some Pagans including Jesus in their pantheon. The right-wing Christians don’t have to know that a “Jesus” yard sign doesn’t mean quite the same thing for you as it might mean to them.

Also, I encourage people to volunteer whatever time they can to the Kerry-Edwards campaign. I plan to drive Democratic voters to the polls on election day.


Originally posted to Roland X on Daily Kos on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:00 PM PDT.

9 Responses to “Message control and political yard signs”

  • Avatar Roland:

    Comment from Daily Kos:

    that’s great

    I agree totally, and I noticed the same thing about yellow ribbons and flags.

    Nice work.

    by cargo on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:01:21 PM PDT

    • Avatar Roland:

      Comment from Daily Kos:

      just to chime in…

      I think our local democrats had the same idea.

      Now there’s a shiny new support the troops sign next to our Kerry/Edwards sign in our yard. Hopefully it makes some people think as they drive/walk by.

      by rogue409 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:28:51 PM PDT

  • Avatar Roland:

    Comment from Daily Kos:

    spotted in Durham, NC…

    large signs placed in intersections and other grassy strips where political signs sprout this time of year:

    The Bush Cheney ’04 sign was stolen from this site by COMMUNISTS,
    Stealing signs is a criminal offense.

    I stopped and looked at one of these but could not find any attribution. just this week I’ve seen about 1/2 dozen. can’t tell if this is a local thing or another form of GOoP mind and message control.

    Bush war record: one avoided, two botched.

    by susanp on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:10:48 PM PDT

  • Avatar Roland:

    Comment from Daily Kos:

    just yesterday

    I saw a bumper sticker that said “Christian Democrat: You can be both!”.

    Sad commentary that this would have to be even stated to be appreciated.

    the burden of actual thought is what makes being a liberal so hard

    by cracklins on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:31:55 PM PDT

  • Avatar Roland:

    Comment from Daily Kos:

    What’s next?

    A yard sign that says “Whites for Kerry?” or how about “Heterosexuals for Kerry?” I understand your point, but the Democratic party is supposed to be about inclusion, not exclusion.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Jesus signs beside the Kerry/Edwards signs.

    On the other hand, I love to see the “Support our Troops” bumper sticker above a “Kerry / Edwards” sticker, along with an American Flag.

    by Sanity on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:52:20 PM PDT

  • Avatar Roland:

    Comment from Daily Kos:

    Dicotomy: Beleif vs. Action

    The reason this difference has arisen, namely Jesus, the Flag, etc being right wing symbols is the lefts constant attempts to remove these symbols from our daily life. A group that seeks to remove these symbols and attack them whenever they are used cannot be seen as supportive of them.

    The right, on the other hand, has aligned their actions with their beleifs, thus Jesus, the Flag, and other religous and patriotic symbols are seen as theirs because they seek to protect them, not banish them.

    by Jasper21 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 12:58:09 PM PDT

    • Avatar Roland:

      Comment from Daily Kos:


      And where did you get the idea that the “left” wants to remove the flag from our daily lives? Citations, please.

      Morgan /|\

      by Roland X on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 01:20:23 PM PDT

      • Avatar Roland:

        Comment from Daily Kos:

        California Schools

        The first one that comes to mind is the school in California that would not allow American Flags in highschool photos.

        A more relevant example, however, are the numerous neighborhood covenants who seek to strip a persons right to display a flag or anything patriotic. Here is one example, not only do they wish to strip the right to display a symbol of the flag, but also a monument to the constitution:

        That example is extreme, but another case, i cannot find a link came up a year or so ago. It involved a marine who was not allowed to display a small American flag on a pole attached to his house.

        Cases like these, lead to the impression that the left is unpatriotic and seeks to remove all symbols of patriotism. Conservatives never attempt any of this and therefore are seen as protectors of freedom and patriots in general.

        by Jasper21 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 03:26:25 PM PDT

        • Avatar Roland:

          Comment from Daily Kos:

          Freedom for all

          “Neighborhood associations” does not equal “Democrats.” Many of these are also against clothes lines, the wrong color of plants, flags of any sort (even birthday balloons) and any number of other unrelated things. “School districts” is also not the same thing as “Democrats,” and in fact many school boards are conservative — do you happen to know for a fact the make-up of the one in question? California’s a big state :-).

          As for conservatives never trying to control these things, how about those teachers with the subversive “Protect our Civil Liberties” shirts who got thrown out of a Bush rally (the original link seems to be gone)? Or the soldier who was removed from a Bush rally because he’d (gasp!) invited a lone person who happened to be a Democrat to stand with him, then stood up for the man when he was harassed?

          That flag belongs to all of us, not just people who want to wrap themselves in it.

          by Roland X on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 06:27:03 PM PDT

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