We seldom stop and think about how much we assume and how much our world assumes of us. In this blog article, I do a detailed analysis of such a situation working form the following display. I’m not pointing to anything being “right” or “wrong” here – just doing a very detailed analysis, similar to the one I did for this blog article about a makeup advertisement.
The sign, found on the Internet taken in a Chick-fil-A, reads: Please take a solider home and place it somewhere that will remind you to pray for those who serve our country. The sign is resting in a dark blue box surrounded by light-green and grass-green toy soldiers. The box has a red, white, and blue bow-flag around it.
These twenty-one words, plus the display collectively, are overflowing with assumptions when you stop and think about it. Assumptions embodied in this display include (there are many more!) the following:
- That you have able-bodied vision (with or without corrective lenses).
- That you will notice the display.
- That you can read and understand printed English.
- That you agree / will follow its request.
- That you are unaware of semiotics.
- That you accept shaped green pieces of plastic as an appropriate representation of soldiers.
- That you are okay with all soldiers and all of their bodies and differences being represented by one or two models. (What about these disabled in the army?)
- That you understand figurative language.
- That you have a home.
- That you need to be reminded about soldiers (and the nation’s many wars).
- That you pray.
- That prayer is effective and necessary.
- That you are Christian. (This one is implied.)
- That you accept Christian Nationalism.
- That you accept United States Nationalism and see it as ethical.
- That only active soldiers serve the United States. (What about doctors and professors and janitors and mothers?)
- That active soldiers serve the United States alone.
- That only currently-serving soldiers need attention. (Tense and history matter.)
- That you are a United States citizen.
- That spending money/participating in capitalism is necessary to support soldiers.
- That you won’t critically analyze that which you encounter.
Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda