The Research Is In: Americans Love McDonald’s More Than Jesus


[An expansion on Wired’s excellent article theorizing about the biggest business partnership since Johnson & Johnson…]

As Phil Cooke put it, there’s no question that McDonald’s restaurants have enormous influence in our culture. Some sources indicate that Ronald McDonald is the most widely recognized name among small children, and when the sign says “billions served” you can count on it. That kind of influence in the culture is the Holy Grail for business leaders.

While we’re talking about Holy Grails:

Any American who has traveled more than 10 miles from their home has seen the ubiquity of McDonalds outposts with their own eyes. If ever asked to opine on the matter, I would suggest that in the U.S.,  there are few institutions with greater reach than Ronald McDonald.

And I would have been very, very wrong. There is a statistic provided by The Barna Group that is startling, and has sparked a fascinating theological debate (yes: Jesus and Ronald are at it again…)

According to the Barna Group research:
For every McDonald’s in America, there are roughly 19 churches.

McD-v-God_pieChartQuoting David Kinnaman of Barna Group:

“Think about that for a moment: If there are 19 churches for every one McDonalds, why does the church today have so little influence in our culture?  Obviously its not just a numbers game, but when it comes to “presence” the church should have a much greater influence.

“The comparison was very striking to me. What about you? Why does the church have so many “offices in the field,” but has so little influence in the culture?”

This is wandering deep into apples-and-oranges territory, but if we put aside our own beliefs and biases we can ponder a profound question: what does all this say about the United States and what we’ve  become?


Discuss. Then a quick poll question…


Next slide, please:


Exhibit A:

Studies Show American Kids Recognize Ronald McDonald More Than Jesus



Exhibit C:

Report Says Americans Love One Brand More Than All Others:

Did you guess ‘McDonalds’?



I VOTED: And I Made The Sticker. But Would Anyone on the Right Wear It?


I VOTED (for Obama, because Pro-Life isn't just Pro-Birth)

No matter where you stand politically, this fact is not subject to debate: when people have access to health care and medical services, they live longer, better and more productive lives. When it isn’t available or the cost is prohibitive, mortality rates are higher; people don’t live as long; and the quality of those lives, particularly for young children, is far from ideal.

This is not a theory: it is a reality for about one in six of your fellow American citizens right now, here in the richest and most powerful nation this planet has ever known.

This is not like the epic droughts that decimated Ethiopia’s population in the 1980s: the withholding, rationing and politicizing of access to medicine in the United States is a 100% man-made catastrophe. And every ‘Obamacare’ protester who pretends they are champions against the rise of Socialism?

If those protesters are successful and America continues to be the only Industrialized nation in the modern world without a national health system protecting the lives of its citizens, their ‘victory’ will rob them of both moral standing and the ability to proclaim certain affiliations tied to what are supposed to be deeply-held beliefs.

It’s as simple as this:

  1. If you want to outlaw all abortions on the grounds that life is a gift from God, you should be more than willing to pay higher taxes to ensure that the Lord’s generous offerings are fed, educated, safe and given whatever care required to ensure the longest, healthiest life possible.If that’s out of the question, guess what? You are not ‘Pro-Life’: You’re ‘Pro-Birth’.
  2. If you believe without exception in the sanctity of life (and it being a gift from our Creator, no less) but insist that ‘Obamacare’ is a Socialist program that costs more than we can afford: I’ll leave it to others to debate whether God considers low taxation and personal accumulation of material wealth a greater virtue than extending to all His children the riches of health, longevity, brotherhood among all and so forth.But I will tell you this: being against healthcare for all means you are not ‘Pro-Life’, and being passionate about the sanctity of your net worth means little here or in the Hereafter, for that matter.
  3. Socialism. If you think the Affordable Care Act has brought the scourge of socialism upon America, and as we speak is irreparably shredding the fabric of our capitalist system: let’s just table this one until you have a chance to do a little research on the following topics:
    • The difference between a Socialist philosophy of governance and a government social policy
    • How our nation’s military has served us despite operating, top to bottom, according to mostly socialist principles of communal society and without any democratic system of representation for the majority who comprise our armed services
    • Finally: this may take some consultation with your priest or pastor. Heaven has been described for over 2,000 years in many ways by many people: an eternity without suffering; the joy of reuniting with deceased family; gleaming mansions for all have been cited as well.What I have never found is any reference to ‘earning one’s keep’ or the virtue (once in heaven) of ‘pulling oneself up by the bootstraps’, as we are extolled to do here on Earth; never a mention about the existence of a free and vibrant afterlife press, whose right-leaning editorial pages would certainly have taken Jesus to task for his socialist miracle healings. (And while we’re on the topic of Jesus and socialism, why not a whimper in Heaven or on Earth about Christ’s bailout of a wedding where the hosts failed to plan ahead when ordering wine for the festivities and ran out mid-shindig? Was Jesus wrong in determining the party was ‘too big to fail’, requiring an immediate emergency wine-from-water stimulus? Who thinks his infusion of those free goods from a limitless supply put the region’s wine merchants in peril? Were there any complaints against Christ’s act of generosity by those ‘job creator’ vintners, who couldn’t possibly compete with His zero overhead?)

      But back to Heaven: no jobs. No money. No system of elected government. One all-powerful ruler calling all the shots. All in heaven have every need attended to without consideration of rank, station in life or effort.

      If you actually do the research into socialism (and are expecting to receive your eternal reward on the right side of those pearly gates), you might want to reconsider what Socialism entails or prepare yourself for a very, very long and miserable Commie afterlife.