Lisu Other Tribes

JESUS is the judge of the world!

Northern Thailand is a beautiful place. Rolling mountains, serene villages, lush greens that don't come in the Crayola box of 64 colors--it's just a very pretty place.

One thing that makes it so nice to look at is that for long stretches of backroads, there are no advertisements. Well, almost no advertisements, because wherever you go in Northern Thailand, you see these tacky yellow signs that advertise for the biggest pressure sell in Northern Thailand, none other than Jesus Christ.

I mean, why do they do it? Why do some missionaries who already employ morally questionable practices that border on coercion have to also engage in aesthetically horrible tactics as well? Don't they care about anyone else besides themselves? Even if one is using the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) rule of thumb for determining one's actions, you have to really wonder would Jesus actually put up loud, hideous yellow signs like this one proclaiming he is the judge of the world? Insofar as what I learned about Jesus from my years in church, I doubt it. Not the Jesus I know, at least.

The prevailing opinion towards these signs like this one which is on the road to Ban Jalae, seems to be much like the view towards missionaries themselves. Most locals don't like them, but removing them would be far more trouble than they are worth (they put these signs 10 meters up in palm trees). This sign has had a rock thrown through it (I didn't throw it, I promise), but no serious effort to remove it. As a result of their tolerance, locals have to endure billboards that scream in Thai that "Only Jesus can lift your sins!" and "Those who will be saved must love Jesus!"

I just don't understand how missionaries rationalize their behavior with being "good Christians." I guess I missed the part in Sunday School that said if you love Jesus you must become a self-centered, Christianity-promoting jerk.