I sense ATOT's hatred for both religion and Best Buy causing a tear in the space time continuum with this one:
Virus infected your computer? Call the Geek Squad.
Temptation infected your soul? Ring up the God Squad - just don't expect Father Luke Strand
to show up in the same clever little car he's been driving since his days in the seminary.
The young priest's attempt to add a little fun to his ministry has apparently run afoul of some corporate lawyers who care more about strictly enforcing trademarks than eternal salvation.
Best Buy, the Minnesota-based electronics retailing giant, recently sent Strand a cease-and-desist letter concerning his car. The black Volkswagen Beetle has oval door stickers that read "God Squad" in a logo very similar to the black, white and orange logos on black-and-white Geek Squad Beetles driven by the computer and electronics trouble-shooters.
The car has been around for at least two years, when it was featured in a photo of Strand and his then-colleagues at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. The car has a white square on the hood, to mimic a priest's collar, and the license plate reads, GODLVYA.
Strand, since ordained, now works at Holy Family Catholic Community in Fond du Lac. He declined to talk with a reporter about Best Buy's concerns.
But Father Dan Janasik, who was in the photo with Strand, recalled the car.
"There was never any kind of formal God Squad group or organization. Father Luke and some friends simply decided to design a car that would act as a cool and fun way to bring our faith into the public. It's just a conversation starter," Janasik said in an e-mail.
"It's obviously not a Best Buy vehicle. When people see the car in public they usually laugh, and then it leads into lots of great conversations with strangers about faith and God."
Paula Baldwin, senior manager for public relations at Best Buy, said the company aggressively defends its trademarks
and notified Strand "because of the unfortunate similarities between their logo and ours."
"This was a really difficult thing for us to do because we appreciate what Father Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission. But at the end of the day, it's bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others," she said in an e-mail.
Baldwin said Best Buy is working with Strand to alter the God Squad logo in a way that it will still work for him without infringing on the Geek Squad trademark.
"We're confident that together we'll come up with a good (dare we say heavenly?) solution for everyone," she said.