Religion: Spots for God

The scene is a cocktail party. The host cuts through the chatter to suggest that everyone play a word-association game.

Leader. Money.

Guests: Bills. Evil. Las Vegas.

Leader: Freeway.

Guests: Death. Ticket. Hurry.

Leader: God.

Guests: (Silence).

The end of this 60-second playlet makes the point: most people do not know what to say about God any more, and perhaps they ought to know. The soft-sell message is a TV commercial, one of 50 religious spots sponsored by the Franciscan Fathers of Los Angeles' St. Francis Productions. The friars may be the most visible practitioners of this new missionary technique—their spots have been distributed to more than 700...

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