JustPray 2
Church of England

Lord's Prayer advert banned by cinemas

 

Cinemas are private establishments, and so are free to advertise whatever they like and decline to advertise whatever they don’t like. Pearl & Dean dominated cinema advertising in the 1950s-70s, but multiple mergers and takeovers gradually depleted their market share, and their cheesy theme tune is now just one among a myriad of agencies competing for your money. The best ads, of course, are the memorable ones: they tend to play on fear, sex, thrills or journeys. If the advertisers want to target young teenage males, for example, they’ll inject the erotic, masculine imagery of adventure and aspiration. The more human and intuitively feeling the ad is, the more successful the brand campaign tends to be.

The Church of England produced an advert promoting their new website JustPray.uk, which seeks to create a digital place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray. The site also provides a ‘live prayer’ feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine. The promotional 60-second advert features Christians from all walks of life praying one line of the Lord’s Prayer, and includes weight lifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, school children, a mourner at a graveside, a festival goer and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was to have been shown in cinemas from 18th December as part of the ad reel before ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Why not harness the Force for the power of the Lord’s Prayer?

But despite receiving clearance from both the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification (a ‘U’ certification, no less), the country’s three largest cinema chains, Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – who together control 80% of cinema screens around the country – have refused to show the advert because they believe it “carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences”. Which is a bit odd, when you think how many films they screen which carry the same or greater risk.

The Church of England has said it is “bewildered” by this “plain silly” decision. The Rev’d Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England, has issued a statement:

“The prospect of a multi-generational cultural event offered by the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on 18th December – a week before Christmas Day – was too good an opportunity to miss and we are bewildered by the decision of the cinemas.

“The Lord’s Prayer is prayed by billions of people across the globe every day and in this country has been part of everyday life for centuries. Prayer permeates every aspect of our culture from pop songs and requiems to daily assemblies and national commemorations. For millions of people in the United Kingdom, prayer is a constant part of their lives whether as part thanksgiving and praise, or as a companion through their darkest hours.

“In one way the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly but the fact that they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech. There is still time for the cinemas to change their mind and we would certainly welcome that.

“In the meantime people should visit the site, see the film themselves and make up their own minds as to whether they are upset or offended by it.”

As a result of this ban, the Force of the Lord’s Prayer has reached the airwaves of the BBC and the pages of the Mail on Sunday, which is now calling for the ban to be overturned.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is said to have “reacted with fury”, telling the Mail: “I find it extraordinary that cinemas rule that it is inappropriate for an advert on prayer to be shown in the week before Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Billions of people across the world pray this prayer on a daily basis. I think they would be astonished and deeply saddened by this decision, especially in the light of the terrorist attack in Paris where many people have found comfort and solace in prayer. This advert is about as ‘offensive’ as a carol service or church service on Christmas Day.”

Well, quite. This isn’t about prohibition on the expression of ‘personal beliefs’ or the thresholds of advertising political views: it is about religious censorship. Cinemas are not subject to the same statutory restrictions as the public broadcast media: they are free to promote political parties and propagate religious beliefs provided that the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification are both satisfied.

But as the Church of England ponders its legal options and assess whether it’s worth casting Pearl & Dean before swine, we might consider how many more millions might now hear of the ‘Just Pray’ campaign and experience the Lord’s Prayer – perhaps for the first time – courtesy of the BBC, Mail Online and the dozens of other news media outlets which will now pick up on this “plain silly” decision and broadcast it round the globe. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.‘ Perhaps the Rev’d Arun Arora is actually a communications genius.

  • sarky

    Before we get the usual ‘attack on christianity’ comments, what they have actually done is ban ALL political and religious adverts.
    Personally, I don’t really care, as I usually go and get my overpriced nachos and cheese and bucket of coke when the adverts are on.

    • IanCad

      Yes; That’s what the agency’s statement said. Might be interesting to view past adverts to see if that policy is consistent.

      • sarky

        Its only recent, following the backlash theyhad from showing pro and against adverts for the Scottish referendum. Any viewing of past adverts is irrelevant.

        • IanCad

          After listening for a little longer I heard that as well.

        • Sam

          Dude

          It went downhill from the time when they ditched playing the national anthem in cinemas….

    • bmudmai

      I imagine the Cinemas showed the stonewall rainbow laces adverts…

      Just like public transport showed the ‘Some are gay get over it’ ad but couldn’t show the alternative version of the ad ‘Some are post-gay ex gay etc. Get over it’ Whatever the ad said.

      I imagine the consistency of this proposed ban is about as consistent as a random number generator.

      • sarky

        See my reply to iancad.

    • Sam

      Dude

      The last time I went to the cinema , other than Jurassic world, was to watch Jupiter Ascending (tuppence middleton making it worth the watch) , doubtless will have to mix with the great unwashed when star wars comes out, but the adverts went on forever . Then the ads for other films. Thankfully there’s movies for men and CBS action on freeview. Plus the asylum releases high quality intelligent movies direct, with such classics as mega shark verses crocosaurus and the sharknado series. And such quality watched all on the comfort of one’s own sofa and t.v. : who needs the cinema?

  • Martin

    Seems a bit tedious to me. No indication of why people pray, no indication of the meaning or of who the prayer is for and not for. After all, if God is not your Father you cannot pray it.

    • sarky

      Think it is about making people think (a quality you obviously don’t possess)

      • Martin

        Sarky

        I wasn’t aware you knew the meaning of the word ‘think’, since you rarely show any evidence of having done it.

        • Little Black Censored

          Don’t pick on the poor chap, when he has written something sensible.

  • John Waller

    Encouraging unsaved folks to pray is as useful as exhorting your dog to recite Shakespeare. As usual the C of E missed the Gospel bit out.

    Still trying to figure out what Justin Welby “reacted with fury” must have looked like though.

    • sarky

      Its a 1 minute advert?

      • John Waller

        Horses must come before carts

        • sarky

          Think you’ll find the horses have bolted.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Nah, the horse is still there, trying to figure out what they think they’re doing.

    • Martin

      John

      So busy not offending that they forgot the gospel is offensive to those dead in their sins like sarky.

      • sarky

        I dont find it offensive, just irrelevant.

        • Martin

          Sarky

          Your posts demonstrate otherwise.

    • IanCad

      “Encouraging unsaved folks to pray is —“

      What??!!

      So now you are judge and dispenser of the will of God?

      You have the power to see into a living soul? To discount the workings of the Holy Spirit? To deny that still small voice?

      I’m sorry John, but we worship the King of Kings, the God of love and mercy, His law, our obedience, His love manifest in us – if we have any. His way not ours.

      I am content to be judged by God; Not man speaking for Him.

      • Martin

        Ian

        That prayer is for the child of God, not for those unsaved. The prayer for those is a plea for mercy.

        • IanCad

          And from that prayer, upon those who hear, the Holy Spirit may alight.

          • Martin

            Ian

            It would be better to preach the gospel, to tell of the sinful heart and the Saviour.

    • Albert

      Is it not possible that someone might be “saved” might be evangelised by being given the prayer to say? That’s what happens with children.

    • john in cheshire

      Justin Welsby, the Archbishop of Cant?

    • dannybhoy

      Hard to imagine, ain’t it? There’s nothing wrong with Godly anger. It’s something sadly missing from our Christian communities.

  • Jon Sorensen

    For 1700 years in power Christians supported blasphemy laws and made sure nobody is allowed to criticize them. Now they are suddenly upset and “reacted with fury” about “censorship” and that their message is blocked. Can’t these people think straight?

    • Martin

      Jon

      Actually it was only the CoE & before them the church of Rome, not Christians.

      • Jon Sorensen

        It’s always funny to hear The True Christian™ argument. Especially from Protestants who came 1500 years late to the party…

        • Martin

          Jon

          I can’t help your ignorance when you are determined not to be taught.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So little faith from The True Christian™

          • Martin

            Jon
            Faith? why would I have faith in you?

          • Er …. Jack believes he meant faith in the Holy Spirit to convert, once the soil has been prepared and made ready. That’s the issue, Martin. You throw biblical stones at unbelievers and those you judge not to be Christian, rather than demonstrate charity in your posts.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You may believe he means that, I have my doubts.

            And is it not love to warn those who think themselves safe that their faith is in a falsehood? Did Christ not warn such?

          • Well, why not ask him what he meant?
            Jesus, as Jack recalls, warned the ostentatious religious groups and ate and drank with the sinner and common man and healed the sick of body and soul. He taught in parables, rather than threaten hell fire and damnation more directly. He prepared the soil, Martin, for the Holy Spirit to His work.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Actually Jesus did threaten hell fire.

            You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, You fool! will be liable to the hell of fire.
            (Matthew 5:21-22 [ESV])

            And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 [ESV]

            And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
            (Matthew 18:9 [ESV])

            You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:33 [ESV]

            And Jesus taught i parables so that the people would not understand.

            He healed the sick and raised the dead as a demonstration of His power and of who He was, not that He didn’t care but He didn’t heal all.

            When He spoke to sinners He left them in no doubt of their sin and told them to leave it.

            Fact is, Jon is only here to mock and rarely gives a straight answer.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin,
            God bless you.

    • Albert

      For 1700 years in power Christians supported blasphemy laws and made sure nobody is allowed to criticize them.

      I thought we’d all moved on from there. Apparently not.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Apparently you haven’t changed your Bible yet. It seems to be against the free speech you so much desire…

        • Albert

          I’m wondering which passages you mean. But it makes little difference, no one has to read the Bible.

  • Albert

    So let’s just get this clear: cinemas which routinely show sex and extreme violence won’t show this advert because they think it may offend their audiences.

    • carl jacobs

      The patron chooses the movie. He doesn’t choose the advertisements. It makes a difference.

      • Albert

        Offended? By the Lord’s Prayer? What about the ads that I find offensive in UK cinemas?

        • carl jacobs

          Which ads are those?

          • Albert

            Ads can be offensive in two ways, either by what they advertise (e.g. condoms) or by the presentation (e.g. over-sexualised).

          • carl jacobs

            So then the question becomes “Is this offense broadly felt?” Or will the offense be isolated to a small pocket of the audience? And also “How much do i care about offending that market segment?” A business knows its market. Remember, this isn’t about the offensive nature of the ad. It’s about the reaction of the market against the business because of the ad.

            A Catholic patron complains about an ad for condoms prior to a R-Rated action movie. The business will listen but probably won’t be too concerned. But place that same ad prior to a viewing of “Frozen” and the manager is going to flee out the back door to avoid being lynched by angry parents. That’s predictable. The thing about religious/political ads is that they are unpredictable. You know that large segments of the market will react, but you don’t know how to protect yourself. So you just ban them all.

            As long as they are even-handed in what they refuse, there is no problem.

          • Albert

            So what you’ve done there is use the market to secularise our cinemas. Good move.

            What if the film is a Christian film? This policy means they still can’t have Christian ads.

          • carl jacobs

            Albert

            I haven’t made a move. I have described reality. A cinema is secular. By definition. It has a market. It responds to that market or it goes out of business.

            What if the film is a Christian film?

            Then it is probably unwatchable. They tend to be awful. But to your point. A cinema could make a decision to receive niche ads for niche markets. But it’s a heck of a lot easier to just restrict them. In my (admittedly American) experience, movie ads tend to be for safe non-controversual products like soft drinks and cars. Businesses don’t like offending patrons. Any patrons. So a cinema will generally stay well within one sigma of public taste.

          • Albert

            I can’t express the point better than Giles Fraser. The inconsistencies of cinemas cashing in on Christmas but then not running a 60 ad of the Lord’s Prayer are breath-taking. More to the point, we are always being told by the secularists that “secular” does not mean banishing religion, yet here we are.

          • carl jacobs

            I can’t express the point better than Giles Fraser.

            Darn it! My Incongruous Argument Sensor just blew itself up again. Those things are expensive.

            cashing in on Christmas

            How exactly? Christmas in secular culture.has long since been removed from its religious roots. It’s about family and tradition and a warm sense of place, It’s not about the Incarnation any longer.

            we are always being told by the secularists that “secular” does not mean banishing religion

            This is a private business, Albert. It’s not the public square. It’s no different from a business refusing to carry political ads. The refusal doesn’t make a value judgment about the ad. It makes a business judgment about customer expectations. “My customers think this is neither the time nor the place” is a perfectly reasonable judgment.

          • Albert

            I forgot the link:

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/22/banning-lords-prayer-cinema-star-wars-christianity

            The irony of Giles Fraser expressing a good point is not lost on me! What I would add though is that the CofE is playing this well. They’ve found the cinema won’t run their ad, so they’ve decided to give it the publicity anyway!

          • carl jacobs

            Fraser’s argument is that …

            in a free society peaceful religious speech should not be banned from public spaces.

            But this policy does not uniquely burden religious speech. It burdens the more general speech of partisan advocacy. That is not the same thing. Assume I go shopping during a Presidential Election. If I approach Target [a major box store] and see a sign in the window that says “Hillary for President!”, I am going to go somewhere else. I am not going to think “Oh, the Democrats paid for that.” I am going to blame the business for its partisan advocacy and punish it by withholding my business.

            The manager of the store knows this. He wants business from both Democrats and Republicans. He doesn’t want to offend either so he creates a “politics-free zone.” Does that mean there is something wrong with campaigning for Hillary? (Well, OK, yes, there is, but we are speaking theoretically). No, it just means he doesn’t want to be associated with any particular side.

            This decision isn’t personal.

          • Albert

            No one is suggesting the cinemas don’t have the right to refuse to show this ad. The issue is will an audience be offended by having this ad showing the Lord’s Prayer? Fraser has it right when he says If you are offended by the Lord’s Prayer you are too easily offended. It’s a 60-second ad, for goodness sake. There’s no parity with ads that might cause genuine upset (like those featuring Hillary Clinton!).

          • carl jacobs

            There’s no parity with ads that might cause genuine upset

            By what authority do you make that statement? You could just as easily say that political ads should not cause easy offense. Politics is simply the immanent version of religion.

            The issue is will an audience be offended by having this ad showing the Lord’s Prayer?

            The issue is that the cinema has no reason to take the risk. This isn’t about the audience. It’s about the cinema.

          • Albert

            What authority do you use to make the distinction between “market” ads and religious ones? Isn’t everything religious in the end? It all comes down to what man takes to be most important in his life. Politics is simply the immanent version of religion. No it isn’t. It’s shopping (and I don’t say that flippantly).

            The issue is that the cinema has no reason to take the risk. This isn’t about the audience. It’s about the cinema.

            I agree. But what a sad state of affairs.

          • carl jacobs

            The distinction is that a market ad sells a product or service while religion/politics advocates a point of view. Politics and religion both directly involve worldview and therefore impact closely held views of right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehood. People take those things very seriously. There is no upside for a business to bring up those topics in the context of a broad general audience. You don’t know how the patron will react. I would not be bothered by an ad for (say) a Mosque. But if I saw something like “Support Prosecution of the Israelis for War Crimes in Gaza” I would go hunting for the manager with a (metaphorical) gun. And I would never forget that ad. It would taint my impression of that business for a long time. It doesn’t take much to lose public good will.

          • Albert

            The distinction is that a market ad sells a product or service while religion/politics advocates a point of view.

            But you can’t sell just any product (or advertise it). All these things takes place within a particular moral framework. Therefore, the distinction doesn’t really work.

          • carl jacobs

            OK … but what’s your point? That illegal products and services can’t be advertised? I agree. There are in fact many legal products that won’t be advertised in a cinema. And ads will be carefully targeted to the expected demographic for the audience of a given movie. That doesn’t change the fundamental distinction between product and point of view.

            You could argue that this ad wouldn’t be controversial if only the surrounding culture was different. That’s also true, but it’s irrelevant to the cinema. The business has to deal with the world as it is, and not the world as you desire it to be. In fact, if the ad wasn’t controversial, then it wouldn’t be needed.

            The cinema is saying “I will sell advertising for a product that does not negatively impact the public good will I have earned. I will not sell any advertising for advocacy.” The dicey question involves non-sectarian charitable groups. Do they cross the line? That’s where this policy is likely to lead to implicit if disguised sectarian distinctions.

          • Albert

            That illegal products and services can’t be advertised? I agree.

            And what makes some products illegal or legal? Some kind of moral framework. Now this discussion would be easier if one knew exactly what has been advertised in cinemas and what has not. You’re right. The cinema thinks only of money and the market, so some things are acceptable and some are not. That’s the way it is. But let’s not pretend that they are right to do so.

          • I think the thing you are forgetting Carl is that we are still – nominally at least – a culturally Christian country with a state Church. I’d venture to say that even amongst our highly secularised masses, The Lords’ prayer will still be familiar to a significant minority (if not a small majority) of cinema goers. It will not cause anyone except the most militant of secularists any offence what-so-ever. It is still said in our Parliament, before many council meetings, in a huge proportions of our primary schools, at important state occasions (Royal weddings, Remembrance day, state funerals etc). It will be as offensive to most people as seeing an advert featuring a muslim call to prayer in a Malaysian cinema before Ramadan.

            This is actually one of those “perceived offences” that white, middle-class liberals like to take on behalf of others but actually bother no-one. Most people wouldn’t be offended, upset or annoyed by the Lord’s prayer. They would have a reaction that is probably more dangerous – complete indifference.

          • carl jacobs

            You are looking at it from the point of view of the offended party. That isn’t the same viewpoint as that of the cinema. It has a much broader scope and much more general agenda.

          • Sputum Flange

            The distinction is that a market ad sells a product or service while religion/politics advocates a point of view.

            Possibly – but the point of view expressed by many adverts is about the creation of a hole in your life that you didn’t know you had and that can only be filled by the product. Thus the advert is less about the product and more about the myth that things will satisfy. That is untrue.

  • bmudmai

    I wonder which religions the Lord’s prayer actually offends. I imagine Muslims aren’t offended as Jesus is a prophet to them. I imagine Sikhs and Hindus won’t be offended because they commonly have ‘respect’ for all gods and again have respect for Jesus as someone special.

    • Albert

      The assumption of having a relationship with God whereby we can call God “Father” is not one routinely accepted by other religions. I don’t think it always works that way in Islam, for example.

      • The Explorer

        I recall a book by a Muslim convert to Christianity entitled ‘I Dared to call Him “Father”‘.

      • It’s no longer accepted by many so called Christian feminist theologians.

        • The Explorer

          Muslims don’t call God “Father” either, but for different reasons. The day Muslim theologians and feminist theologians are in accord, the world will be ending.

        • Albert

          Was the “so-called” a warning about “Christian” “feminist” or “theologians”?!

          • In Jack’s mind, to deny the revelation of God as Our Father and claim it reflects primitive, patriarchal and repressive culture, renders one neither Christian nor a theologian.

          • Albert

            I would add that it might also render one not a historian either. Patriarchal societies have been filled with female deities (and priestesses for that matter).

    • HansMartinMezger

      Come off it. You know exactly who is the most likely to be offended. It’s the same religion that gets offended by cartoons and the slightest criticism, the same one that claims victimhood when non-believers are slaughtered in European cities.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        I’m not certain that Muslims would take much offence at this advert, simply because they have the militant atheists to do that for them. I suspect it is such people that the cinemas are worried about lest they stay at home and wait for the DVD to come out

        • dannybhoy

          Correction, they have the PC Brigade to do that for them. The self haters, the Anti British, the anti Christian people who project their own discomfort onto others..

    • Nick Walsh

      Atheists – the most easily offended religion on earth (followed closely by Scientology)

      • DanJ0

        Really? I’m a-theist and I couldn’t give a toss about it other than to treat it as an opportunity to crack a joke or two.

        Speaking of offence, I haven’t seen any articles about Winterval replacing Christmas this year. I miss those! 🙁

        • The Explorer

          Done your Winterval shopping yet, DanJ0?

        • Inspector General

          The EDL has threatened to come after any council announcing Winterville. If it happens to be Birmingham, the Inspector will march along with them…

        • Phil R

          My guess is that there won’t be.

          Threats have a great power to focus the mind.

          People are a bit more fearful. It would go down badly. I think everyone at Fabian HQ is aware of that

          • DanJ0

            I doubt anyone believes it anymore. I think it was built on the American thing about ‘Happy Holidays’. Who doesn’t like a good Christmas carol?

  • The Explorer

    I have vague memories of the National Anthem being played in cinemas: beginning or end, I forget which. Then it went.
    This is a C of E advert; although you’d only know that from the Archbishop at the start of it, and if you paid careful attention (and who, apart from those with a grievance, does that?) to the details about the website. It’s very inclusive of age, race, gender, class, occupation etc. (Hope I haven’t missed anyone out who might take offence at the omission.)
    Does the C of E have privileged status as the established religion, or is it trumped these days by multi faith; so that it has no more right to be there than the National Anthem does?
    If multi faith prevails, then either none of them gets a look in, or all of them do. In which case, why not the British Humanists, Scientology, the Watchtower, Muslims etc (an illustrative list, merely: no offence intended to any faith omitted) all of who seek converts?

    • Phil R

      British Forces cinemas still play the National Anthem at the start.

      You are expected to stand regardless of your nationality.

  • The Explorer

    “May the Force be with you.” That’s a religious statement. The Star Wars franchise has a religious view of the world. It’s a form of Pantheism, and has spawned the religion of the Jedi Knights: who put that down as their belief system on census forms.

    So I suppose that this is an appropriate film for a religious advert to precede it. It’s more appropriate than it would have been for, say, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ or something starring Bruce Willis.

    • Star Wars is a real hotchpotch of influences. To Jack it appears to be Manichaeism in outlook wrapped-up in various other mythologies, philosophies and religions.

      • carl jacobs

        The metaphysic of Star Wars was deliberately constructed as a synthesis of major religions.

        • A one world religion then?
          Far better to watch the “Lord of the Rings” and the “Hobbit” trilogies, though these have had many key themes and scenes removed.

      • dannybhoy

        Not ‘alf!

  • CliveM

    I think the Cinema chains knew that they would get less grief by offending the CofE then they would offending professional secularists.

    Can you not imagine the campaigning, the on line petitions, the faux outrage of Guardian headline writers, possibly the pre meditated walk outs.

    You can see therefore that in the businesses mind, this was all to much hassle. Why bother.

    • William Lewis

      A highly plausible explanation, Clive.

      I think they be questioning their decision somewhat now.

      • CliveM

        Martin

        I don’t know, this will all blow over in 24hrs.

        • William Lewis

          Colin,

          I’m not so sure. Even the BBC are running with it.

          • CliveM

            Aaasrrrgggghhh. Blimey I’m stupid. I was actually thinking William as I typed, don’t know what I was doing.

            Apologies.

          • William Lewis

            Think nothing of it, mon ami. 🙂

          • CliveM

            Thanks!

            I still think this will all blow over very quickly however……..

          • William Lewis

            It seems that the ball is in the CoE’s court so you may be right.

          • CliveM

            Time will tell!

          • dannybhoy

            Clive,
            everything blows over very quickly these days. It has to, in order to make room for the next news sensation.

          • CliveM

            True.

  • carl jacobs

    So I can understand this decision. It’s about context. People go to the cinema to be entertained. They want to escape conflict for the duration And these kinds of ads directly bring up subjects of right & wrong, truth & falsehood. They are guaranteed to incite at least an emotional reaction in some customets. As a patron. I’m already annoyed that they are showing me commercials in the first place. I’m a captive audience and advertisers have trouble finding those anymore. So I already feel I am being afflicted. I don’t want to watch any commercials. And then they show me a commercial that challenges my concepts of truth and falsehood. I’m paying to be proseltyzed?

    Any time I see Hillary’s face on an advertisement, the only thing that saves my TV from being impaled by a large heavy object is a judicious application of the mute button. I don’t want to hear it. I really wouldn’t want to hear it as a captive audience. And I really really wouldn’t want to hear it if I am a captive audience that is paying for the privilege. So the cinema thinks “We will get blamed for this.”. It doesn’t want an angry line of customers saying “Why are you showing me this sh*t.” So it bans them all.

    The captive context makes a cinema a bad place to show religious ads. We aren’t offended by this ad. But it wouldn’t take much to come up with religious /political ads that would offend. And we will take it out on the business the next time we make a choice to how to spend leisure dollars. We will remember the offense and perhaps go somewhere else.

    I understand the cinema’s position and I cannot fault it.

  • Inspector General

    At one time, if you wanted to see a film on television, you would have to wait a lengthy 5 years after release. Then it was down to 2 years. Today, one understands, a film can be released to cinema in the spring, and you can watch it in Christmas week the same year on TV.

    By the mid 1980s in the UK, cinema was dying. They had to save themselves. They decided to market their product as an ‘experience’ and the target audience would be the younger end. Cinema’s in the UK were one of the first interests to ban smoking.

    Cinema was saved. It thrived, after a time, and it was extremely careful what it showed in the way of adverts. Out went public information films about life’s dangers, swimming in disused quarries, for example. Out went boring stuff like bank adverts to save your money instead of spending it on cinema tickets. And of course, out went stuff mummy and daddy (if there was a daddy) might pay attention to like religion.

    So, it’s nothing personal, Welby.

    • Andre´Kristian

      Sporting gauntlet! It does become Your noble spirit and commendable ambition. Excellent choice, sir!
      With all conceivable sincerity and devotion from a frank and candid heart.
      Yours respectfully, this day and always, Andreas.

      • Inspector General

        Good evening to you, Andre, dear boy. Yes, it’s the insignia of a famous and successful British army formation raised during the 39 45 war. The 6th Armoured division, no less.

        A counter to the ISIS black flag, it would be somewhat marvellous if the allied forces adopt this insignia, with it’s distant reminder of previous crusades, as they mount the present one…

        • chiefofsinners

          What are those dots in the middle? Jack will be thrilled if you have received the stigmata.

          • Inspector General

            Crushed bone, by the look of it…

          • chiefofsinners

            Fingernails need a trim maybe.

          • CliveM

            Brilliant LOL.

        • DanJ0

          Phew. I was aghast for a moment there, instinctively crossing my legs.

          • Inspector General

            Penny’s just dropped. You are thinking about something referred to as ‘fisting’, you naughty bugger…

            Have you no shame : – >

          • carl jacobs

            Gaah. There’s no reason for mentioning that.

          • Inspector General

            Cue DanJ0

            ♫ “I am, what I am, what I am”

    • CliveM

      IG

      Your Avatar had turned all martial. I shall miss the old one.

      • Inspector General

        It’s the present state of emergency the cities of Europe find themselves in. For the duration, old chap, for the duration…

        • CliveM

          We’ll the way our Govts are faffing around, this is going to be nearer the 100 years war.

  • Once again Mr M. has the measure of it.

    “The words above are the concluding part of the long waffle triggered by Francis inability to simply say to the woman that she must convert to the Catholic Church.

    Francis here is clearly talking out of his whim, as he always does. This, at the same time, guarantees that these improvised observations reflect, in a way, the way he thinks.

    The words of the man are confused, because he is confused. They sound hollow and stupid …”

    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/che-without-the-guts/

    And as he says in an earlier post, the only possible answer is: “You must convert to the Catholic Church”. If you want to participate worthily in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass (on the Altar, not a table) and receive the Body and Blood of Christ, then: “The only way is conversion.”

    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/easy-words-that-were-too-difficult-for-francis/

    • CliveM

      Ahh but I have the original!

    • carl jacobs

      Too late! I saw it. And I was offended by your display of exclusivist Cathocentrism.

      • Carl, Jack hasn’t been able to keep up with The Premiership of late. Tell him, how are the two Manchester teams doing at the moment.

        • carl jacobs

          Eh? I haven’t paid attention to the EPL in two months. It’s Football season. The NFL. The CFP. The EPL season really starts in February. I’ll have to check. Maybe at halftime…

          Note: CFP means College Football Playoffs

          • The Explorer

            AS to Grasshopper, you’d have to have watched British TV adverts of about thirty years ago.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s a reference from a 70s American TV show called “Kung Fu.” The hero was raised as an orphan in a Temple in China. His wise Master nicknamed the hero “Grasshopper.” Jack started calling me “Grasshopper” when he decided to “instruct” me on the ways of irony. Jack is the Master. I am the novitiate. It was a reflection of his (condescending, patronizing, arrogant) British assumption that Americans are perpetually 16 compared to the British and must be closely watched lest they wreck the family car.

            But it is Jack who will find he is mistaken. About a great many things.

            [Evil imperial laugh]

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. I thought you were questioning the reference to Grasshopper. There was an advert involving two Buddhists, one the Master, and the other a novice called Grasshopper. It never made any sense to me, but now you have provided the context.

        • carl jacobs

          Hrmmmm …. there seems to be a temporary if minor disturbance in the Force.

          Why do I suddenly doubt the sincerity of Jack’s question?

          • 27 chalked up and only 24 to go.
            Do you recant?

          • carl jacobs

            Of course not! Why would you even ask such a thing?

            And I see that you weren’t very sincere.

          • The two sentences, in and of themselves, are okay. Besides, Jack thought you would be up to date with the results. How would he know different?

          • carl jacobs

            So you are going to tell me that you asked that question with a straight face? That you weren’t cackling with evil and spiteful intent even as you typed it?

          • Jack confesses he did have joy in his heart as he asked the question. This is not the same as malice. He has been watching recordings of both matches today.
            51 points are achievable by the New Year, Carl. This is your final opportunity to recant.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, Jack, Jack

            My schemes have schemes within schemes. I have no need to recant. Everything is proceeding just as I have foreseen.

          • Umm ….

          • carl jacobs

            I’m looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master.

          • Yes, Grasshopper.

    • William Lewis

      Yes. It did seem a rather tenuous link to your pet subject. 😉

    • The Explorer

      Jack, wishing you recovery. I’m sure Tutanekai does too. (Since he hasn’t appeared on this thread, I’m doing so on his behalf.)

      • William Lewis

        Has HJ been unwell? Nothing serious I hope!

        • The Explorer

          I noticed references on the previous thread. I have no idea as to details.

        • carl jacobs

          Jack is afflicted with a severe case of Catholicism. Doctors of Theology are concerned and are considering a Romectomy. The procedure has a very high success rate.

          😀

          • The Explorer

            So this ailment of Jack’s is mental/spiritual, not physical?

          • To end all speculation and please no further discussion on the matter, I am being treated for cancer to my mouth, throat and neck. I attend hospital 5 days a week in Edinburgh for radiotherapy and chemotherapy and have home leave at weekends whilst I am fit enough. The good news is my prognosis is positive. The treatment lasts a total of six weeks and I am about to start the fourth week.

          • DanJ0

            Best wishes for your recovery.

          • Thank you DanJo – that means a great deal to me.
            May God Bless you.

          • DanJ0

            I’m actually in Edinburgh at the moment. I could pop in with a bunch of grapes 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            ROFL!

          • DanJ0

            I wasn’t joking about being in Edinburgh, just about the grapes. 🙂

          • chiefofsinners

            Bunch of gripes, maybe.

          • DanJo and Jack have had our differences down the years but he is a man with a good heart.

          • William Lewis

            Danj0 is lovely. We know this because he has told us often enough and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

            Though he did once call me a skip rat! 🙂

          • DanJ0

            I am lovely! I have great taste in home furnishings too. I never smile when I write that either.

          • William Lewis

            Between you and me, and not wishing to blow my own trumpet, I definitely have a better eye for internal decor than Mrs. L.

          • Lol …. perhaps you deserved it! ;o)

            If the Catholic Church still appointed a “Promoter of the Faith”, commonly known as “The Devil’s Advocate”, to test and argue against the canonisation of a candidate for Sainthood, then DanJo would be suitable appointment.

            And, just to be clear on this, Jack intends no insult by this comment.

          • carl jacobs

            I figured as much. 🙂

          • Western General – Ward 4. Why not? What could possibly go wrong? A cool lollipop is Jack’s preference. Ask for Peter D.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, there is no such thing as a “cool” lollipop.

          • True …. just needs to be cold and non citrus in nature.

            Edit – Jack meant ice lolly.

          • Pubcrawler

            Have you never seen Kojak?

          • carl jacobs

            Well, sure. But Kojak was scheduled on Sunday night against the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie (i.e. Columbo) so I never watched it.

          • Pubcrawler

            OK, Columbo trumps Kojak.

          • sarky

            Hi Jack, thinking of you 🙂

          • Thanks, Sarky.

          • William Lewis

            Understood, and will be praying for you.

          • Thank you, William.

          • The Explorer

            Understood. Prayers.

          • Thanks, Explorer.

          • James60498 .

            Best wishes to you Jack. And prayers.

          • Thank you, James.

          • chiaramonti

            We shall pray for your recovery. Would not be the same without you!

          • Why thank you, Chiaramonti.

          • Inspector General

            Marvellous treatments for cancer these days Jack. The Inspector’s mother had it at aged 70. Still going strong today at 84, tinyish women that she is.

            Will light a candle for you at Gloucester Cathedral next week. Of course, it will mean a longer lunch break, and having to stay at work longer that day to make up the time. But don’t let that inconvenience bother you one bit. Let it bother the Inspector. Bother that it will be…

          • Why God Bless you, Inspector. Jack will reciprocate by praying for you too.

          • Inspector General

            One’s dowager is in such good form for 84, that she has been short listed to be selected to ‘Moan for England’. Seniors section.

          • At 84 years of age one is entitled to grumble. You must accept this with docility and nod in agreement. Then give her a warm hug, kiss and tell her you love her.
            Do you take after your father or mother, Inspector? ;o)

          • Inspector General

            One takes after God. Thought that was obvious…

          • One follows God and, through co-operation with His grace, seeks to conform oneself to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
            Good night and God Bless, Inspector. Jack’s off to bed now.

          • Pubcrawler

            I think my grandmother won that one year.

          • Hi Jack

            A prayer for you :

            May the One who blessed our ancestors, the
            Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
            The Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah
            bless and heal the one who is ill, Jack

            May the Holy Blessed One
            overflow with compassion upon Jack
            to restore him,
            to heal him
            to strengthen him,
            to enliven him.

            That the One will send him, speedily,
            a complete healing:
            A healing of the soul and healing of the body
            along with all the ill,
            among the people of Israel and all mankind,
            soon,
            speedily,
            without delay,
            and let us all say: Amen.

          • May God Bless you for your thoughtfulness and compassion, Hannah. Thank you.

          • Pubcrawler

            You have good prayers

            Amen

          • michaelkx

            Amen

          • Pubcrawler

            Late to this, but what everyone has said.

            That’s three candles I have to light tomorrow. Or will three in one work, in a trinitarian sort of way?

          • Lol …. it’s the vigil and prayer that reaches God.

          • Anna

            May God heal your body and renew your spirit.

            A prayer

            Lord of Heaven,
            I rest underneath your mighty wings of love.
            I dwell within your gentle heart.
            I know there is healing in your touch.
            Through the sufferings of Christ I can ask for restoration
            And trust in your goodness.
            You are my Lord, my Saviour,
            My healer and my friend.
            I dwell within your gentle embrace.
            Amen.

            (a short Christian prayer for healing from http://www.lords-prayer-words.com)

          • Good one, Thank you, Anton.

          • Andre´Kristian

            Dear sir, I bemoan these woeful tidings regarding Your present health condition. These therapies are a tenebrous thraldom to submit and resign to. I have been through several cancer treatments and surgeries myself. I have not forgotten. However, I am very glad to read the word POSITIVE in Your comment. You shall overbear and conquer the fiendish foe! (And all tedious questions from well-meaning friends 😉
            Ex animo, Andreas

          • Thank you Andre.

          • William Lewis

            Fortunately, Jack never tried to hide his Catholicism on this site. Admitting that one has that condition has to be the first stage of any recovery.

  • Terry

    Completely agree that in principle cinemas should be free to show/refuse adverts as they think fit (me being a Christian who would support these adverts).
    BUT…in these happy days where you can’t discriminate in the field of commerce on the grounds of religion etc, the cinemas are acting completely illegally and the would-be advertisers (the C of E) would be within their rights to sue them.
    Should we have a society like this? Not in my view, but it’s the flip side of protecting the usual suspects who normally argue the non-discrimination line.

  • The Explorer

    Speaking of adverts, and now DanJ0’s introduced Winterval into the thread, anyone other than me think the John Lewis TV Winterval advert this year is rather dodgy? An old bloke looking at a little girl through a telescope: I’m amazed the Thought Police haven’t jumped on it, even if the bloke in question is on the Moon..

    • CliveM

      Tsk the minds of some people :0)

      • The Explorer

        I’m just reacting as the Thought Police have taught me.

        • CliveM

          Yes, I wonder if a study has been done to see if the requirements are effective?

          • The Explorer

            As I recall, many parents declined to undergo the investigation: not because they were paedophiles, but because they objected to the invasion of their privacy. Easier just to abolish the inter-school matches. Good thing, from a Labour point of view. Bad news, school sport: encourages kids to be competitive.

          • CliveM

            I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to help with youth work. Every time I see the form I lose enthusiasm.

    • dannybhoy

      My wife doesn’t like that ad. Personally I am fed up with tv ads starring brattish or precocious kids trying to sell something.
      Enough already!

      • john in cheshire

        I agree with your wife. I’d also question why recent ads have a whiney female singer. There’s this one, singing an Oasis song which introduced the Royle Family comedy show and was appropriate. Now this woman sounds as if she’s about to slit her wrists. There’s another one using Black’s song, Wonderful Life. The song, sung by him is a celebration of living but the woman they’re currently using sounds like a whiney socialist who’d probably be more at home on the bbc.

  • chiefofsinners

    This is a commercial decision, just like the decision to release the film at Christmas in order to make some cash on the back of Christ’s birth.
    If the CoE empire feels like striking back, why not change the date of Christmas? Let’s have it in July next year. That would shaft the commercial parasites. They are like the money changers in the temple – they deserve a bit of righteous anger.

    • Anton

      Let’s have it during the Festival of Tabernacles when it most likely happened.

  • dannybhoy

    “Perhaps the Rev’d Arun Arora is actually a communications genius.”

    Indeed, whether by accident or design.

    • dannybhoy

      Just to raise the temperature a little more I want to link this thread with the previous one regarding Nissar Hussein and his family. I found this website

      “Tell Mama” which has an article on this poor man suffering for his faith in a way many of us Christians have not yet experienced.

      http://tellmamauk.org/tag/nissar-hussein/

      What I think connects these two articles can be found in the list of partners.
      Oh that the Church of England had such support!

  • David

    Throughout what we broadly call the western world, those who are honest and think about it, can see that our successes and failures have been built upon a Judaeo-Christian culture plus the advances of The Enlightenment.
    But politically, and in the media and academia, it has become normal to ignore our heritage and push moral and cultural relativism as the new normal. The entertainment industry, in the broadest sense, promotes this relativism, and politicians pass laws that enforce it. Then the all too easily brainwashed people start accepting this new normal.
    All this is very familiar to many of His Grace’s electronic congregation of course. So it should come as no surprise that commercial organisations like cinemas, peddling the products of Holllywood, which is a notoriously “right on”, PC industry, refuse permission for the advert. Indeed I am surprised that the C of E is itself surprised by a “no”. However as noted already this refusal may have resulted in even more publicity for Christianity than if the advert. had been accepted and paid for from the collection plates.

  • Redrose82

    Well, I could consider boycotting cinemas except the last time I went to one was, I think, to watch “High Society”. Then again I could have sold my shares in Cineworld except I did so about three weeks ago – at a handsome profit I might add. Think I’ll just let it ride.

  • Boycott the film. Boycott the cinemas.

    • CliveM

      Which film?

      • All of them ….

        • CliveM

          Oh dear and there’s me going to see the new James Bond!!

          • The Explorer

            It’s not very good.

          • CliveM

            Hmm, got to be better then a Star Wars yawn fest though ?

          • William Lewis

            Agreed. I quite enjoyed The Martian though.

          • CliveM

            That’s not a bad idea.

        • chiefofsinners

          If you went to the cinema, would you want to sit through adverts for every fake religion under the sun? If that happened I’d never go back.
          I think we have the best of both worlds here. Massive publicity for JustPray but no chance of adverts for ‘JustMeditate’, ‘JustKneelTowardsMecca’, ‘JustInvokeTheNineGurus’ etc.

  • Mike Peatman

    It’s clearly stated in point 2.1.3 of the Digital Cinema Media policy. If things had been researched better, they would have known. http://www.dcm.co.uk/uploads/documents/1.FINAL_20847121_3_Digital_Cinema_Media_Limited_s_Advertising_Policy.pdf

  • Arden Forester

    Humbug in the secular world today would be something that even Ebeneezer Scrooge would not recognise as such, it being so devious and malign.

  • Peasant Farmer

    “….assess whether it’s worth casting Pearl & Dean before swine’

    *applauds*

  • IanCad

    Off topic I know, but a truly remarkable Radio 4 program hosted by Edward Stourton has just finished.
    He interviews four UK Muslim journalists. Very enlightening. Available online now. A must listen.

  • Perhaps Rev’d Arora is. ITV Sunday evening News has also now just done good piece on this with some public opinions too

  • grutchyngfysch

    To be fair, nobody has banned them – a business owner has simply refused to serve a customer based on their objection to the content of the material they are being asked to display.

    I mean, it’s not like that sort of thing should land you in court…

    Oh wait.

    • DanJ0

      That’s a good point about the sales of goods and services. At least the principle of it anyway.

      • grutchyngfysch

        I don’t think that the cinemas should be regarded as having done anything wrong. I think that providing the service or good requested is rejected on the basis of its content (rather than any characteristic of the requester) a business should be entitled to refuse custom. I’d be happy extending that into situations where someone might, for instance, refuse to print leaflets for my church on the basis of their religious content.

        I’m pondering writing to the Equality Commission, because looking through the Ashers Bakery judgment, prevailing opinion seems to be that if you can draw a strong connection between the content of the person’s request and the reasonable presumption of that person’s protected characteristic, it constitutes direct discrimination. I’ll make it clear I’m not indicating my offence, but I’d be very interested to see how vigorously they would pursue this. On the face of it, a blanket prohibition of religious content in commercial advertising (where such content is otherwise legal) could be construed as offering lesser status to religious people.

        Blooming daft, but that’s par for the course with such legislation, and as plenty of rulings have made clear, good intentions or otherwise don’t matter diddly squat.

        • DanJ0

          I thought the Asher ruling was daft, and wrong, and I’m a bum bandit!