Thursday, December 02, 2004

Where is the rage?!?!

The "liberal media" has stopped the United Christian Church from airing it's newest ad campaign on network television because of it's controversial ad that has two burly bouncers at the front of the church keeping certain folks away. Among those kept out are two men, who appear to be a couple. Also kept out are a black male, a latino female and a man in a wheelchair. After those people are kept out, the words "Jesus didn't turn people away." followed by "Neither do we." Then a big diverse crowd is shown and with some text telling people to visit the UCC website with the quote "God is still speaking."

NBC, ABC, and CBS have all turned down the advert. ABC because "we do not generally accept paid advertising that espouses a particular religious doctrine." CBS rejected the ad because "was against our policy of accepting advocacy advertising." While NBC said, "It went against our long-standing policy of not accepting ads that deal with issues of public controversy." Those sound all benign, but UCC, a 6,000 member church organization with a history going back to the Puritans, quotes CBS as saying that the ad was rejected "because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples ... and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Josh Marshall over at has some interesting discussion of the reasons and the fallacy behind the policies here, here and here. Josh is very insightful and I agree with his points. He doesn't take it from a Christian perspecitve, but a political one. I link because I like him, but he might not be your cup of tea.

However, my outrage comes from the idea that the networks are censoring a church. They don't have to run every ad put to them, but this ad campaign, even if you disagree with the gay couple part, is a valuable one for America. Doesn't the Church want people to get into the church? Shouldn't we remind people that even though Jerry Falwell speaks as a Christian, he doesn't speak FOR all Christians. Can anyone inside the Church object to an ad campaign that tries to get people into church? Shouldn't we be united on this? Isn't this where the Body of Christ helps each part out? I think so.

I don't think the government should mandate that the networks air all ads, but us Christians can hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook. You can use UCC's page to register your complaint or write to ABC, NBC, and CBS and let them know that if they can broadcast smut and controversial ads for politicians, they can broadcast this ad for the UCC. Say that if they don't allow this ad then you will make an effort to avoid watching their shows and/or purchasing products from their sponsors. Let's show the world the power of a unified Church!

ps. Don't ever tell me that the networks are part of the "liberal spin machine" again. The key triumvirate of the liberal media not playing an ad because it shows a gay couple and because it might cross paths with the socially-conservative executive branch? Yeah, sounds pretty liberal to me.