Friday, June 1, 2012

Separation of Church and Renovate

We all grew up learning that our nations founding fathers believed in the separation of church and state.  Some will argue that they wanted to protect the nations governance from the influence of the churches and others may believe that they wanted to keep faith and spirituality from being tainted by the dirtiness of politics.

In Step 4 - Pull Out the Valuables, I described how I go through the things left behind in the house.  Bibles might be placed into a third category; things I save and then give away.  I never throw away a Bible.  After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, I traveled down to Pass Christian, Mississippi as part of a construction relief team.  Along with a weeks worth of clothes and some of my hand tools, I remembered to pack the stack of Bibles I'd collected from my various projects.  I enjoyed the week of volunteer work and it felt good to pass along the sacred books to those who'd lost theirs in the historic storm.  

With that said, I'd like to advise you to be wary of people who use religion to try to get your business.  This is another lesson I've learned the hard way. 

Some businesses include religious symbolism in their marketing and advertising.  This is a less than subtle effort to send a message to prospective clients that's something like:  Hey, we're religious and spiritual businesspeople.  You can trust me.  Hire our company and we'll demonstrate the values that our houses of worship stand for.  These are high standards and the people who use religion to get business are frequently not able to measure up to the level they're aligning themselves with.  They should leave faith out of their marketing approach, but they don't because they need this tactic to get business and simply put, it works.     

I don't like pointing this out, but I've been on the frustrated end of this relationship too many times to count.  Plainly put, those people usually don't perform very well.  They aren't overly concerned about deadlines, they oftentimes come up short on their part of verbal commitments, and more times than not they do their business in ways that run contradictory to what they're being taught during worship.  It's bad for their business and more significantly harms the faith, church, synagogue, or denomination they claim membership with.  

So be mindful of this and be careful.  Good contractors don't have to use their faith to get work.  If your tradespeople are rock solid spiritually, you'll likely figure it out by their actions without them making an effort to tell you.  In my eyes, reputable business people don't need to use religious symbolism on their advertisements or business cards and they don't need to have it hanging from a chain on their neck on your first meeting.  If a prospective trades-person wants to bring-up religion from the get-go, let them give you a quote, but recognize this red flag, get some more prices, and think hard of going ahead without them.  You'll be glad you did.               


  1. This is fascinating. I've seen those kind of businesses that use the faith card right over the sign of their business, and I often wonder if that's a good idea. There is one business in my town that actually calls themselves "Christian Karate" - LOL! I know why they do it -- the area is heavy on Christians so they think this will get them more business.

    In the long run, though, I agree that this is not a good idea, and I'm always wary of the ones who do this. I hire people based on referrals if possible!

  2. I sure don't want to make you or anyone else jaded about religion, but it's tough out there and you have to be careful about people who really might not be what they seem.