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Best Buy asks 'God Squad' to cease and desist

The electronics giant takes action against a Wisconsin priest who has a VW Beetle with "God Squad" printed on the side.

Is it really wise to antagonize the Good Lord? He has, according to the Scriptures, shown an occasional penchant for large-scale destruction.

So why would anyone, let alone a vast electronics retailer, wish to demand that one of his shepherds change his ways? In the case of Best Buy, it seems that the company decided that this one particular shepherd has a mission that steps onto its own hallowed ground.

Father Luke Strand, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is a man who believes that humor and advertising are vital components in ministering to his flock.

So he decked out his VW Beetle with a logo in black, white, and orange. The logo reads "God Squad."

One can imagine that, in the often-dark and dreary lands of Wisconsin, this car raises both an eyebrow and a laugh. Unfortunately, it affected the eyebrows of the larger wigs at Best Buy.

Will there be divine retribution? CC BSJSB7/Flickr

Father Strand, who is currently ministering at the Holy Family Catholic Community in Fond Du Lac, Wis., was perhaps slightly surprised when Best Buy sent him a cease-and-desist letter, which told him that the company believes he is infringing on its trademark.

True, the God Squad logo does mimic its Geek Squad counterpart rather closely. But there might have been those who would be flattered that God's earthly representative would make reference to a mere retailer of electronic gadgets and the occasional racy DVD. However, Paula Baldwin, who ministers at Best Buy's public relations department, insisted that the company must pursue all trademark infringements, lest it allow its logo to fall into trademark purgatory.

"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 told the Journal Sentinel.

Best Buy is now reportedly working with Father Strand to create something new, but sufficiently removed from the Geek Squad logo. However, some might find it strange that the God Squad Beetle, license plate GODLVYA, wandered around Wisconsin for two years before attracting the attention of Best Buy's legal department.

One can only hope that Father Strand is polishing a new and even more persuasive version of his God and Mammon speech, as this legal contretemps is resolved.