Christian Radio Station Asks for Money in a Dirty Way

99point1FMad

A friend of mine from college who lives in New Jersey saw this on her parents’ kitchen table a couple of weeks ago and sent this picture my way. She says it’s a post card advertisement for Star 99.1 FM, a Christian radio station in New Jersey. I really don’t have a problem with this radio station existing, or with them asking for donations from their listeners. I do, however, have a serious issue with what they’re implying through their word choice in this ad. It says:

“I was without a job for over a year and that was a very difficult time for our family of 4.

We really didn’t have extra to give, but God was tugging at our hearts to support Star 99.1 . Just two weeks later I found the job of my dreams.

God is good, faithful, and He keeps His promises. Thank you Star 99.1 for doing His work and for being His voice, hands and feet in the community.”

-Ivan

Look familiar? It reminds me an awful lot of something John Oliver talked about in his video on televangelists and their tendency to go after desperate people for monetary gain. Here’s that video in case you’re curious.

This is really despicable. I’m currently doing mundane temp work to make ends meet (in other words, not default on my student loans) and someone else in my position or a worse one might read this and think, well, I’m struggling financially but how about I make that worse by donating money! Clearly donating to the right place will get me the job I need.

I mentioned this to my mother, who’s a devout Catholic and a fan of our local Christian radio station, and even she thought this was making an inappropriate suggestion. Donating to a Christian radio station is NOT the same as looking for a job. It’s not the same as filling out applications and networking and revamping your resume and writing cover letters galore. I sincerely hope that no one, upon seeing this ad, thought “Well, I’ll have to skip dinner a few times but maybe God will fix my financial woes if I donate money!”

I know that’s not what the station means for its mail recipients to get from this ad. I also realize that the person making the statement in the ad about finding his dream job is supposed to be a listener, not a representative of the radio station. However, I’m also positive that someone who works for the station still had to look at the ad and approve it. Someone affiliated with them saw this and thought, “Yep. In today’s job market and economy, this is an appropriate way to ask for money.” That’s not OK.

If this had been an organization that wasn’t religious, I don’t think anyone would just stand by and consider this normal. But for too many people, this makes total sense. Of course God is waiting for you to donate to His radio station before giving you that dream job you’re looking for!

Have any of you seen similar examples of religious organizations appealing to desperate people for monetary gain? Feel free to leave a comment. All opinions are welcome. Just be respectful and think things through before posting.

Happy thinking!

Nancy

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5 thoughts on “Christian Radio Station Asks for Money in a Dirty Way

  1. Pingback: Christian Radio Station Asks for Money in a Dirty Way | The Atheist

  2. This sort of emotional manipulation is disturbing. Imagine the scenario of someone who is moved by this and and gives money they can’t afford, what will their reaction be when they are not similarly blessed?

    If ‘God’ was really acting on people’s hearts there would be no need to advertise. The fact that Christians organisations solicit money in this way is further proof that it is just psychological manipulation.

    If Christian organisations really trusted ‘God’ they would just pray and not tell anyone of their need.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a Christian and a huge fan of radio in general. I’ve seen pledge drives from dozens of stations across the country, including Star 99.1.

    While many stations include in their fundraisers emotional manipulation to an extent, there are a handful of stations that imply such promises on behalf of God. You make an excellent point about televangelists. I think most of us can agree that folks like Joel Osteen appear to have motivations outside of Biblical grounds.

    Star 99.1 has fallen short on their $10m budget (about $3m from listeners, the rest from questionable advertisers such as “the Christian mortgage”) for the past several years, which seems to be driving them to desperation. I can’t imagine what their lawyers think… I had been listening to the dj’s on air during their pledge drive some and they hardly stopped short of saying “If you give us money, God will give you money.”

    There are many Christian stations with more respectable pledge drives. Those who appear genuine about the purpose of evangelism. Unfortunately, within any group — religious or otherwise — there will be some bad apples. If you feel the need to prey on people, pray for yourself.

    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Bob, thanks for your comment. It’s good to hear from someone who’s familiar with the station. You’re right, there are plenty of stations with reasonable requests for donations. Heck, it’s a common practice for lots of organizations, religious and nonreligious alike (Wikipedia comes to mind). Knowing that the people at this station are a bit desperate definitely helps explain the motive, so thanks for making that point.

      Like

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