Ridin' Dirty

What does this pastor think she is accomplishing with this sign? This is why church marketing sucks. This “riding dirty” sign breaks so many rules; it is equally laughable and saddening. Joel, of Crummy Church Signs, lists several things that should be on a church sign: Service times, church news, involvement in the community, relevant Bible verses, and non-snarky sermon titles. The HoP&R got the service times, but nothing else. Riding dirty does not meet the criteria of a first-rate church sign; hip does not equal relevant.

Does the pastor even know what it means to be riding dirty? Or, does she listen to too much radio. This sign comes across as a deplorable attempt to lure in ganstas and thugs. Before I get too carried away, maybe we should define “riding dirty.” The gist of riding dirty is driving with contraband in your vehicle. The actual definition varies from illicit narcotics, to illegal firearms. From a thug’s point of view, this sign is more of a threat than a welcoming invitation. Who else do they not want to catch them riding dirty? The police. Warning a bunch of young urban kids about the dangers of Jesus catching them riding dirty puts Jesus on the same level as cops, whose authority many youth either fear, reject, or despise.

Is she a real pastor, or a pretend pastor? Even the theology used in this sign is shaky, easily refuted by the most devout of pagans. How can you preach that Jesus (being the Son of God) is omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent if he has to catch you sinning? Trust me, if you’re riding dirty, God knows – He doesn’t have to catch you.

Despite the philosophical and theological miscalculations in this sign’s intent, there is also psychological effect – cognitive recognition. The term has been popularized across suburban America, thanks to the Grammy winning song “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire. The song’s hook is so recognizable, that even emo kids know the chorus. The popularity of urban radio is growing, and catchy songs like “Ridin’” are songs that churches should avoid using for marketing purposes. As kids drive by and read the HoP&R sign, what are they supposed to think? The natural inclination is an instant correlation to Chamillionaire’s hit single. Then they’ll have the song stuck in their head. By the time they’ve driven past the church, they’ve forgotten about Jesus. Meanwhile, they’re singing to themselves “See me rollin’ - They hatin’ Patrolling, they tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty.”

This church sign is memorable for all of the wrong reasons. Maybe that’s a lesson that Rick Currie’s opponents should learn. Currie is a Kootenai County commissioner up for reelection.

These signs are all over Coeur d’Alene. Everyday on my way home from work, I drive by one attached to a truck parked in the empty field near the intersection of Ramsey and Kathleen. Currie’s opponents are failing because of cognitive recognition. (Grammatical errors, misspellings, and the tendency to be attached to run down hillbilly pickups don’t help either.) Currie’s campaign signs all say “vote for Rick Currie.” His opponent’s signs all say “vote out Rick Currie.” To this day, I have no idea who is running against Rick Currie. On election day, the only name on the ballot that I’ll recognize is Rick Currie. I may or may not like the guy, but at least I know who he is.

Religion and politics, two signs with the same short comings. One sign, I’ll forget about Jesus and start singing along with Chamillionaire. The other sign, I’ll forget to vote out, and end up voting for Rick Currie.


  1. Hey,
    Can I cross post that on CCS? I'll include proper linkage.

  2. I never heard of riding dirty before. Weird that a church would put that on their sign.

  3. Andrew Clarke12:12 AM

    I agree that silly attempts are made to try and make Jesus and Christianity 'relevant' by trying to put Christian comments in 'hip' terms. Besides, to come to Christ, people need to meet Him, not make Him seem like something of theirs.

  4. Not to spoil it for anyone, but the sign is not real. Note the web site at the bottom of the picture as www.churchsigngenerator.com. You can put in any message you like. That said, I find it laughable that people view God as the "Great Seeker of all who do wrong." Perhaps we need to get back to the greatest commandment as spoken by Jesus. Love God first and foremost, and then liken unto it, love your neighbor as yourself. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is forgiving, and love is many things that describe how we should treat others, but we find no definitions of love as being the "big tattle-tale" always catching us doing wrong.