Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Banned in UK cinema's: the Lord's Prayer


You can file this one under 'oh, come on now! Seriously?'

Anything goes down at your local multiplex these days - anything except prayer apparently. Not a prayer meeting before the big screen, but as part of an ad up on it, paid for like any other ad. The company in charge of cinema advertising in Britain says it wouldn't want to 'cause offence' and it is their policy to refuse such ads. 

The Church of England wants to encourage prayer. How does one do such a thing in this modern age? Well the good old Cof E thought 'let's do this modern. Let's hit the internet, the social media. Heck, let's splash out on an advertising campaign. Hey, local cinema - how much to run an ad in your fine establishment?'
'A religious ad?' cried they, shrinking away in horror, like a vampire from the light. 'I know we'll promote just about anything we can think on our screens that is contrary to the teachings of your faith. But we have to draw the line somewhere! And anyway, it's against our policy!'

When asked for a copy of the policy, the company couldn't provide one. Apparently it didn't exist. At least not in writing. Not when they refused to carry the ad. Apparently they put something up on their website afterwards. 

An unwritten policy that no one has every heard of until they refuse someone's ad on the basis of it? No, that doesn't sound a bit fishy ...

The British Secular Society said if was arrogant of the Church of England to try and foist their views on a captive cinema audience. Excuse me, but isn't that what advertisers do in cinemas? Pay to put their message out to a particular audience, irrespective of whether the audience cares to see it or not? I certainly don't recall ever being asked about what ads I might care to watch along with my movie when purchasing a ticket!

Silver lining: the controversy over the refusal is garnering more attention for the campaign than the ad ever would have probably. Good to know that the old 'down with this sort of thing' works in reverse. 

But still, if having to sit through a recitation of the Our Father in a country whose culture is rooted in the Christian religion is now considered a danger to 'Those Who Easily Take Offense & Indeed Choose to Take Offense at Every Available Opportunity' (tm) the question is: where next for I will be offended brigade? Banning the Bible from bookshops in case someone should walk by the shelf, or indeed the store, and take offense? 

After all, the Lord's Prayer is in the Bible ...

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