No one does visual rhetoric quite like the Seventh-day Adventists!
I got some hilarious mail yesterday. Behold the insanity that is Seventh-day Adventist eschatology!:
(Seriously, go read that link. Seventh-day Adventist eschatology is mind-bogglingly insane. It’s quite fascinating, really.)
I get these “Prophecy Seminar” pamphlets about once a year and they always bring me many laughs. I’m also rather intrigued by their use of visual rhetoric. The horribly tacky graphics are obviously intended to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. What’s odd is how quickly they vacillate between images that are intended to frighten and images that are intended to seem friendly and welcoming. The idea here is something along the lines of: “We’re all doomed in every possible way! The end is nigh! However, if you join our church, you’ll get to live with Jesus on the New Earth instead of being annihilated alongside Satan. Eternal life sounds awesome, doesn’t it? You’d rather hang out with Jesus than Satan, right? Alrighty then!” Silly, to say the least. And, although I can’t imagine doing anything other than laughing at it, the tactic must work on some people.
In other words: many religions prey on the vulnerable and fearful, but only the Seventh-day Adventists do it in such a bizarre and amusing fashion.
& Oh, speaking of their rhetorical style: their “Prophecy Seminar” pamphlets never mention Seventh-day Adventism. Ever. I wonder why? (I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way: I really am curious about it.)
Anyway, let’s take a look inside. First we have keynote speaker Richard Halversen and his winged lion friend. Nothing spectacularly interesting here, I know, but check out Halversen’s bio. That is some seriously horrible writing. Painfully awkward, confusing, and choppy. It makes me twitchy. Must fight impulse to deface hilarious pamphlet with red pen…
Next, we come to Jesus, who would like to tell you all about how awesome Armageddon is going to be. He’s really stoked about New Earth, and he hopes that you’ll come to one or more of these Jesus-Endorsed seminar sessions:
Finally, it’s time for the pièce de résistance of this pamphlet. It’s quite possibly the least subtle and nuanced piece of visual rhetoric that has ever existed in all of eternity:
And, as if the “Scary Signs that the end is Nigh!!” and the “These guys are probably the Antichrist. Be afraid!” visuals weren’t insane/funny enough, we have the additional lolziness of little kids who are apparently SUPER STOKED about all of this, and just can’t wait to go to the Prophecy Seminar, get a free Bible, and talk about the Lake of Fire and home foreclosures. Thumbs-up, kids. Thumbs-up!
Thanks for the insane lolz, Seventh-day Adventists! Thumbs-up!