Chevrolet, Chevy, and Jesus

Richard S. Chang, for the New York Times, reports that General Motors wrote a memo asking its HQ employees to stop using the term Chevy to refer to its Chevrolet cars. GM was worried about brand consistency. The backlash was immediate; people love Chevys, and apparently love calling them that. GM quickly backed down.

Though the concept of brand consistency is a recent coinage, the idea has been used by religious communities for millennia. At times, desire for religious brand consistency has been quite terrible, but at other times it has been a powerful, creative force.

Writing in the mid-50s (first century), in the Letter to the Galatians Paul called down curses upon anyone who taught his Gentile converts that they needed also to be circumcised. Never mind that Paul was a good Jew, as he reminded his readers in Philippians 3:5, he didn’t want his converts taking on the yoke of the law. He didn’t want the ‘Christ brand’ to be diluted. In the Hebrew Bible, God is portrayed as jealous—extraordinarily possessive of his people. God does not take kindly to his people being drawn to other gods. This is theological branding.

Read full post here.


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