Disciple Shoppe, a Book Store in Emporia, Kansas, has achieved unexpected results by placing a quote by Mark Twain in their shoppe window. A passerby snapped a photo of the quotation written on a chalkboard stone slab beside the “Open” sign and posted it to Facebook. His reaction: “Ummm…I don’t think that quote means what you think it means.”
The quote from author Mark Twain is certainly an unlikely marketing approach!
The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible.
I suppose that is one way to sell Bibles, and Mark Twain would likely get a good laugh from it!
The picture was posted to Reddit, where it generated 523 responses so far and reached the top 100 list. The conversation oddly became derailed onto the subject of John Lennon’s hit song, “Imagine,” the Vietnam war, and Richard Nixon, among other things.
Disciple Shoppe’s Facebook page responded to the attention it was getting for the chalkboard sign:
Yesterday afternoon someone stopped by our window and took a picture. It appeared that he was taking a picture of our chalkboard. We had changed the message by then to a quote from Pontius Pilate. This morning I received a call from Beth representing a newspaper in London. She said someone informed her of the quote in our front window and she asked if this was our store. She also asked if we removed the sign when we recognized that the quote was actually anti-Christian. I said yes and told her that we understood Twain’s original meaning but we felt it wasn’t the only way it could be interpreted.
Another response to a customer:
I think his quote may be interpreted in a way other than what he meant, which was derogatory in nature. Twain believed that Christianity is the disease that the world needs cured of, and the Bible is the serum, taken in carnal doses, that will create the antibodies needed to defeat itself. My view of his quote is not meant to refute his reasoning but rather to look at the meaning from another vantage point. I look at his quote as Christianity being the patient and if you want to cure Christianity by making it well, then reading the Bible is good medicine.
Whatever the interpretation, Mark Twain’s quotes have been a favorite of Atheists, with many memes shared on social media, including those featuring this particular quote. He was known for his criticism of organized religion, though it is disputable that he was actually an atheist himself. He may have actually been a Deist. He spent a decade of his life writing a book about the religious figure, Joan of Arc, of whom he said:
She is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.
What better way to summarize than with a meme posted June 4 to Disciple Shoppe’s Facebook:
Featured image via liveauctioneers.com