The CBS and NBC television networks are refusing to run a 30-second television ad from the United Church of Christ because its all-inclusive welcome has been deemed “too controversial.” The debut 30-second commercial features two muscle-bound “bouncers” standing guard outside a symbolic, picturesque church and selecting which persons are permitted to attend Sunday services. Written text interrupts the scene, announcing, “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.” A narrator then proclaims the United Church of Christ’s commitment to Jesus’ extravagant welcome: “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
View the commerical here (and what a great tagline: ‘God is still speaking’).
Footnote as always: remember that this is corporate censorship – not plain ol’ state-sponsored flavor. The networks have a right not to air commercials they don’t agree with – and weigh that against media merger legislation and the inability to get out a message of tolerance and inclusiveness.
Update: You know what I think they should have done? I wish the ad agency had worked with the networks to edit down the commercial until it was acceptable for broadcast. Then there’s a story! People go online to view both versions and you get tons of hits and attention and show the networks for being intolerant assholes.
Update 2: I’m guessing, thinking and predicting that this gradual wearing down of broadcast openness will eventually lead to a complete blackout in war coverage. It will all be reduced to the familiar night-vision green and talking heads from military hardware companies.
I’m just full of solutions this week!