Thursday, June 19

BANNED: The Christian Discount

Despite my NO SOLICITORS sign, somebody left a copy of a telephone directory (you remember, those quaint paper books of a bygone era -- before the Internet). This one - "The Shepherd's Guide" - is a bit different as it proclaims that the bulk (all?) of the advertisers are guaranteed to be Christian. Advertisers must affirm that they are "born again" and clients must be treated with respect and integrity. Translation: hold onto your wallet.

If you go to their website, you'll find the publisher has been at this since 1980, although the Dallas version is only vintage 1992. The local edition has a Roanoke, Texas return address - about 30 miles west of me.

Before I pitched it in the recycle container, I thumbed through it (for amusement sake). On page 11 of the Greater Dallas County edition, there's a full page which warns against asking for The Christian Discount:

The reason that The Shepherd's Guide has worked so well is because it has provided a means for honest and reputable business and professional Christians to advertise their services to other Christians. Please do not expect any of them to provide their service free or at a reduced rate unless they feel led by God to do so, and not because you have pressured them for the discount.

Stop and think about it this way — Would you want to pay a business more because they felt that you, as a Christian customer, should feel compelled to help other Christians by paying them more for their services?

We feel that God wants us to treat each other in love and esteem. The advertiser's purpose in this guide is to do their best at a fair price. They deserve the opportunity to serve you and to be paid for their services.

Metrics:
  • 115 pages
  • Approximately 6x9 inches
  • non-revenue pages: a LOT (including about 30 White pages for churches; ministries; Christian schools)
  • most amusing concepts: Christian lawyers; Christian plumbers; Christian pest control
At least it didn't contain any toxic chemicals - my recycler will like that.

Deep thought: I wonder if there are directories for other religions: Jewish; Muslim; Catholic (as John Hagee reminds us: Catholics ain't Christian). Me, I'll probably stick to my favorite secular online directory: superpages.com.

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