justpray
Church of England

The National Secular Society's vacuous and arrogant stance against the Lord's Prayer

 

For decades the Church of England has gained a not entirely undeserved reputation for being a bit wet behind the ears and having all of the subversiveness of a ham and cheese quiche. But now we find its attempted foray into the world of multiplex advertising has led it to join the disreputable company of Zombie Creeping Flesh, Cannabal Holocaust, Deep Throat and Texas Chainsaw Massacre III – all deemed unfit for cinema audiences. There’s only so much sex, violence and recitals of the Lord’s Prayer that our society can handle before it slides into a sordid pit of depravity.

The joyous aspect of this furore is that as with anything we’re told is unsuitable for viewing, notoriety becomes the best form of free advertising – just ask Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Yesterday at 8am when the news of the #justpray video‘s censoring was beginning to arouse interest it had a paltry 531 views on YouTube now little more than 24 hours later it has racked up 203,181 plus further exposure to millions more via the papers and TV news. Yesterday His Grace suggested that the Rev’d Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England, is a communications genius for turning a ‘silly decision’ into a PR opportunity on a grand scale. He may well be right. The icing on the cake would now be for Digital Cinema Media (DCM) to concede that such an advert really isn’t ‘offensive’ after all and allow a few million more to watch it in full, taking a moment to reflect on the force of something truly festive and life changing before that other force in a galaxy far, far away awakens in front of their eyes.

Being made to sit through a series of adverts when we’ve already forked out a chunk of money to watch a film is bordering on offensive in itself, but we all cope with it. Plenty of those ads that DCM will be showing at Odeon, Cineworld and Vue cinemas in the run up to Christmas, will unsurprisingly centre on that very event. If DCM are so concerned that a film encouraging prayer is likely to deeply upset a potentially fictitious minority of cinema goers then surely they ought to be gagging the latest offerings from John Lewis and Marks and Spencer too on the grounds that they celebrate a religious festival that is exclusive to one religion.

Let’s ask a very simple question: Who exactly is going to be offended by so badly by the C of E’s offering that it would spoil their evening out? Even DCM didn’t have a problem with it up until a couple of months ago having previously offered a 55 per cent discount for an ad slot before showings of Star Wars Episode VII. The British Board of Film and the Cinema Advertising Association were happy with it as is Richard Dawkins who told the Guardian yesterday that, “If anybody is ‘offended’ by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.” (Prayer isn’t trivial Richard, but coming from you, we’ll take that as an encouragement). In a welcome moment of solidarity, droves of self-proclaimed atheists came out on Twitter and elsewhere to lend their support for the film. As did the Muslim Council of Britain, explaining to the Mail on Sunday that they were “flabbergasted that anyone would find this prayer offensive to anybody, including people of no particular religious belief”. So who would buck the trend and tell us all that being made to listen to the Lord’s Prayer would be a terribly traumatising experience?

Usually in these situations it’s a toss-up between the British Humanists and the National Secular Society. It looks like the BHA was enjoying a Sabbath day of rest yesterday which left the NSS’s president, Terry Sanderson to vent his fury: “The Church of England is arrogant to imagine it has an automatic right to foist its opinions upon a captive audience who have paid good money for a completely different experience.”

Really? Some of us have unexpectedly had to sit through trailers for Alvin and the Chipmunks and managed to survive without any obvious mental scars or a desire to demand a full refund. Perhaps Mr Sanderson needs to calm down just a little bit and get things in perspective. Who exactly is being arrogant here? Where does this vacuous claim come from? He may feel the need as a prominent secularist to promote his cause at every available opportunity, but giving the impression that he’s having a rant for the sake of it doesn’t help his cause. He didn’t do much better last month when he attacked the BBC for having too much religious programming despite it being a teeny, tiny proportion of the corporation’s total output.

Why should the NSS feel it has any greater right to determine what expressions of religion are acceptable? The attempts of secularists like the NSS to remove all traces of religion from public life can only lead to increasing ignorance, division and mistrust in our society. How exactly will that make our lives more joyful and fulfilling? Would DCM have been quite so worried about any offence being caused if people who have no explicit reason to be offended go on about how terrible these things are just to further their cause? If we honestly can’t cope with the Lord’s Prayer – which speaks of hope, grace and forgiveness – being presented in a very mild and thoughtful way then it speaks much more about our own insecurities and fears than anything else.

Prayer is for everyone, but only some of us are brave enough to believe that it can work. So in once sense prayer will inevitably be offensive. Not in the way that DCM have approached it which comes across as little more than naïve foolishness, but for those whose very aim is to dismiss every experience of prayer that leads to comfort, healing or restoration. For when prayer does work, it destroys the very paradigm that they wish to establish as the norm.

According to an ICM poll in 2013, four out of five adults believe in the power of prayer. Why should those who choose to believe otherwise dictate that this should not be a topic fit for sharing largely because they don’t have the guts to admit that they could be wrong?

  • MenAreLikeWine

    If the Ashers Bakery in NI were guilty of unlawful discrimination against a customer because of their protected characteristic then surely the same applies in this instance?

    It is illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their religious belief.

    Can we rustle up a twitter mob for this?

    • William Lewis

      Presumably the Equalities Commission are all over this like a rash.

      • JDale

        Probably laughing their tits off.

        • The Explorer

          Are they all women, then?

        • William Lewis

          I must have missed the joke.

    • sarky

      Does two or three count as a mob?

      • Albert

        It’a about equality and consistency, sarky.

  • JohnMc

    Perhaps the NSS are a bit more worried about Prayer than they like to admit

    • William Lewis

      Quite. How can prayer be offensive if it is pointless?

  • Albert

    I think the CofE is playing this rather intelligently. Here’s the latest:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12010720/Ban-Christmas-ads-if-you-dont-like-religion-Church-tells-cinemas.html

    The key move is that they are talking about suing on the grounds of:

    failing to provide a service to them on grounds of religion or belief.

    To which the cinemas respond:

    DCM’s decision did not constitute direct discrimination, because it was based on the “content of the advert, and not because of the nature of the Archbishops’ Council”.

    …an argument which seems sound enough, but failed in the Ashers Cake scandal.

    Go for it, CofE! Let’s see if everyone is equal under the law.

    • grutchyngfysch

      In my imaginary world where I decide the outcome, the CofE wins its case and then withdraws its request for advertisement with a statement that whilst they would have liked their advert to be played, they believe that businesses should be able to refuse services on the basis of content, and then launch a platform which gets rid of the laws which punish bakers and (potentially) cinemas alike.

      It is surely possible to draft a law that tackles deliberate discrimination against a person on grounds of their identity or beliefs, without impinging on the ability of adults to reasonably enjoy freedom of association and freedom of conscience along with the necessary offence that we must all endure from time to time as part of living in a free society.

      • Albert

        I couldn’t agree more.

  • Sir Walter Tyrell

    The Royal Marines direct adverts to paying (not captive) audiences of young people to try to persuade them to join the armed forces. I have never heard pacifists getting offended by this, though perhaps I haven’t been listening hard enough.
    I’m not a pacifist. I think our armed forces do a good job and we need them but isn’t encouraging young men to sign up to risk their lives in the wars a tad more serious than suggesting that they might pray?

    • Albert

      This is a good point. The cinema’s position rests on the common, but ultimately dim assumption, that there is some kind of value free secular sphere. Arguably, such Marines ads also contravene their policy since they necessarily advocate a moral position.

    • carl jacobs

      The point of DCMs policy is to restrict partisan advocacy. Recruiting for the Royal Marines would not fall into that category. Since the vast majority of the population will not see recruitment as a partisan issue, it wouldn’t fall under the restriction on political speech. It’s true that a pacifist would object. But that only triggers the question I mentioned yesterday: “Does it matter if you offend pacifists?” The answer depends upon how many pacifists are in your market. If 80% of your tickets are sold to pacifists, you probably wouldn’t want to show the ad.

      The point is not to create a value-free sphere for all but a controversy-free sphere for the vast majority of the audience.. There will of course be outliers who cannot be satisfied. It’s not that their opinions don’t matter, but that their opinions can be ignored.

      • Albert

        The trouble Carl, is that, rightly or wrong, equality legislation does not allow them to make those distinctions – or it appears not, at least.

        • carl jacobs

          The DCM policy (posted on the other thread yesterday as a PDF) seemed quite even-handed. I would be very much surprised if that policy was illegal.

          • Albert

            But then, we were all surprised that not baking cakes promoting SSM in a country where SSM was illegal was illegal.

          • carl jacobs

            Not the same. It isn’t illegal to advocate for a change in the law. The baker was trying to screen the messages he would create according to his own partisan viewpoint. CDM is simply screening all partisan viewpoints.

            Now, I think the baker should have that right. But it is within the legitimate authority of the state to compel his conscience in this matter.

          • Albert

            I think your first paragraph is confusing because you use the word “screen”. In the context of a cinema, this is unclear.

            But it is within the legitimate authority of the state to compel his conscience in this matter.

            No. It is never within the legitimate authority of the state to compel someone to act against his conscience. Moreover, it is always wrong to compel someone to act against God’s law. An unjust law, as Augustine tells us, is no law at all. Thus there is a disparity here, but in the opposite direction you are taking it.

          • carl jacobs

            It is never within the legitimate authority of the state to compel someone to act against his conscience.

            Yes, it is. States do it all the time.

            ****

            Muslim: “I think it is perfectly acceptable to marry two women at the same time.”

            State: “We will put you in jail for bigamy.”

            ****

            Woman: “I am going to take my child to a faith healer for her cancer.”

            State: “We will remove you as an unfit mother and treat the child.”

            ****

            Pacifist: “I will not fight.”

            State: “Then you will be imprisoned.”

            etc etc etc.

            ***

            Law is by definition a coercion of the conscience. It bnds the conscience against the will.

          • Albert

            Yes, it is. States do it all the time.

            The fact that they do, doesn’t make it right.

            Only the last of your examples contradicts mine. I stated clearly that the state cannot compel someone to act contrary to their conscience. Stopping someone doing what their conscience requires is another matter. Your last example is simply an example of the state over-stepping the mark. If the state puts a pacifist in prison for that, then all those who facilitate that imprisonment sin.

          • carl jacobs

            Albert

            The law does not just restrict behavior. It also compels behavior. I must pay my taxes. I must stop at a stop sign. I must support my children. My conscience matters not a tinker’s dam in such cases. Do you think a citizen can withhold taxes over moral objections to military spending? It’s been tried. It doesn’t work.work. That isn’t sin. It’s the lawful exercise of state authority.

            My second example also involves compulsion BTW. That example begins with the state saying “Get treatment for your child.”. And the state does not overstep its authority in compelling service. That service is an obligation of citizenship.

          • Albert

            I must stop at a stop sign.

            That’s not a counter example.

            I must support my children.

            If a parent gives up their child to adoption they can no longer be compelled to care for them as their parents.

            I must pay my taxes.

            Certainly, but taxes are an interesting case. Firstly, it is very unlikely that the payment of taxes is directly and specifically funding something that is wicked as opposed to going into a pot, some of which is wicked but some good. Secondly, it would be morally right to withhold payment of taxes in certain situations – such as those just mentioned.

            You seem to have an astonishing devotion to such a worldly thing as the state. What is the moral basis for all your claims?

          • carl jacobs

            That’s not a counter example.

            If so, then we are arguing at cross purposes. Why exactly is this clear example of state coercion not a counter-example to the premise that the state cannot coerce the conscience? I am not limiting myself to a Christian conscience, you understand.

            If a parent gives up their child to adoption they can no longer be compelled to care for them as their parents.

            That is utterly irrelevant as any prosecution for neglect can attest.

            Secondly, it would be morally right to withhold payment of taxes in certain situations – such as those just mentioned.

            According to whom? Whose image was on the coin?

          • Albert

            The state can coerce someone to stop doing something against their conscience (e.g. to prevent them harming someone else), but not to force them to act against their conscience. Thus the STOP sign is not a counter example.

            I am not limiting myself to a Christian conscience, you understand.

            Nor am I.

            That is utterly irrelevant as any prosecution for neglect can attest.

            I’m not so sure, because I doubt that the state does coerce people to look after their children. If parents neglect their children, we take the children away and punish the parents. There is no coercion of the parents.

            According to whom? Whose image was on the coin?

            Isn’t the point of Jesus’ teaching there rather cleverer than the rather flat footed, but ultimately necessary division into Church and state? Who’s image? God’s, in whose image, Caesar is made.

            Now are you saying that there is no amount of money beyond which taxes are illegitimate, or that there are no taxes which are inherently illegitimate?

          • Albert

            As a matter of interest, how do you justify the US breaking from Britain? “No taxation without representation”? Do you believe in that?

          • carl jacobs

            I have said many times on this weblog that I don’t know a good justification for the American Revolution since I don’t believe the British Gov’t exceeded its authority.

          • Albert

            Interesting!

          • The Explorer

            Not true in Britain as regards the Muslim. If said Muslim has children by second wife, second wife is treated a single mother with same welfare rights etc. as a standard unmarried mum.

            Not certain of my facts, so open to correction, but there seems to be an interesting social issue looming. The future plan is not to support parents on welfare who have children beyond the second one. (So you don’t have five kids to get a bigger house.) So what about a Muslim with six kids by three different wives? Is it one family of ten (with four kids not eligible for welfare) or three families of four, (with all the kids eligible for welfare.)?

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t intend those examples to be specific to any particular state. I simply wanted to list examples of legitimate state coercion.

          • carl jacobs

            My understanding is that the Baker had no policy against political message cakes, but simply refused to make a cake with that particular message. In my personal opinion, he should be free to do that. But the law does not allow for that decision. If you think that the baker was asked to do something immoral according to God’s law, then you have to answer the questions I posed back when that issue was current on the blog.

          • Albert

            If you think that the baker was asked to do something immoral according to God’s law, then you have to answer the questions I posed back when that issue was current on the blog.

            I don’t know what they were.

            But the law does not allow for that decision.

            Then it is no law and cannot justly be imposed.

          • Anton

            Excellently put!

  • john in cheshire

    NSS, is that the Nazi Secular Society?

    • sarky

      COE, is that ‘crumble on everything’?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        Broccoli and Stilton Crumble — now that might have got the Presidential Bush family to appreciate that much-maligned vegetable.

        • sarky

          Sacrilege!!!! Crumble can only be Apple or rhubarb!!!!

          • The Explorer

            I’ve had delicious almond and apricot crumble.

          • William Lewis

            Indeed I had a delicious apricot crumble only yesterday! Sarky needs to expand his horizons a bit more.

          • CliveM

            Cherry – yummy.

          • William Lewis

            Interesting. Will have to try that.

          • carl jacobs

            The cherry is nature’s most perfect fruit.

          • Anton

            A loud raspberry to you!

          • sarky

            Gotta be the strawberry!!!!

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … no. Anton was much closer with the raspberry.

          • CliveM

            Tasteless mush.

          • CliveM

            Completely agree.

          • sarky

            Bleughhhhhh!

          • The Explorer

            The French have discovered ‘Le Crumble’, and do all sorts of lovely things with it. Grapes in with the apple.

          • sarky

            Just plain wrong!

          • CliveM

            They will have ponified the crumble.

          • carl jacobs

            Crumble is what?

          • CliveM

            A pudding, when done well delicious.

            Puts hairs on your chest!

          • carl jacobs

            What is “pudding” in standard English? I’m pretty sure Americans have a different use for that word.

          • CliveM

            You might say desert, but it wouldn’t do it justice. Pudding is sweet, heavy, calorific, plenty of carbohydrates and definitely not subtle and delicate.

            It should be served with custard.

          • carl jacobs

            Ah. I suspect you mean Cobbler. Anyways, that is what my “British to English” translator is putting out.

          • William Lewis

            “British to English”?? That is certainly cobblers.

          • carl jacobs

            You know.

            British: Bisquit. English: Cookie.
            British: Boot. English: Trunk

            etc,etc

          • William Lewis

            Just because we let you borrow our language (very considerate given the strife you put us through) doesn’t mean it’s yours to bastardise. And you seem to be confusing English, which is spoken in England (clue’s in the name) by the Queen no less, with your quaint, off-shoot mixture of archaic jetsam combined with occasional lazy, facile flotsam which you’ve barely managed to salvage together into some kind of “new” dialect.

          • carl jacobs

            Well … actually we have assumed formal ownership. By Act of Congress. It was necessary. The Language needed modernization. All those improper uses of z’s, and calling ‘z’ “zed”, and those excess u’s. It’s the 21st Century after all.

          • William Lewis

            Mmmm. I’m beginning to think that the French model of having a centralised language authority isn’t such a bad idea. In England of course.

          • carl jacobs

            Do you understand why we had to take control? Now you are openly talking about following the French lead. If we hadn’t intervened, there would have been a crisis.

          • William Lewis

            Do you understand why we had to take control?

            Yes. You are still at heart rebellious colonial saboteurs unwilling to show due deference to the mother tongue that made you what you are today. Where would Americans be without the English language? Speaking French, that’s where! Vive l’Angleterre, I say.

          • carl jacobs

            It was falling into disrepair from neglect and disregard. What else were we to do? And anyways. The French threat had long since been removed when Webster began the process of Reformation and Renewal.

          • CliveM

            Not quite the same, see links. Crumble is I think less stodgy.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumble

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobbler_%28food%29

          • Anton

            I think you mean “dessert” rather than “desert”?

          • CliveM

            Blast!

          • William Lewis

            Rude!

          • The Explorer

            Undiscerning.

          • William Lewis

            Undeserving.

    • Dreadnaught

      More like Not So Smart – there are decent people there who would feel deeply insulted by your cheap misdirected shot.

  • Dreadnaught

    It’s a ridiculous, weak kneed moan to say that this advert may offend someone and the CoE should sue, as presumably they made the ad on the understanding that it would be shown. It does not preach at anyone; object to other faiths or non at all.
    After watching it I though it was extremely well done and coming up to Christmas entirely valid. It is inclusive and humanity focused, a sentiment that anyone can relate to whether they believe in prayer or not.
    I don’t ; but I can relate to the sense it portrays of inner thoughts, occasionally humility and sensitivity, as being desirable in us all and a reminder of sense of belonging to a society in which Christianity underpinned law and politics for a very long time and made this Country what it is/was. The universal human sentiments and values evoked in this short film are no different to many basic Humanist, and other religious tenets they all share in common; just that some share them without a belief in gods.

    I say good on the CoE; for once making a stand for what it and many silent ‘christians’ believe in: it should capitalise on this injustice long and loud.

    • Coniston

      I applaud the CofE, but thought they were a little naive to think, in this secular world, that their advert would be accepted.

      • Dreadnaught

        Not naive if they had negotiated to have it shown before they made it. If they made it for the modern media then as an after thought approached the Cinemas – well maybe.

    • Moley

      A simple Google search for ‘preach’ results in the following definitions.

      1. To deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church.

      2. To publicly proclaim or teach (a religious message or belief).

      3. To earnestly advocate (a belief or course of action).

      Unless you’re going to argue that a prayer isn’t religious (I’m not sure who you’d be praying to if it isn’t) then yeah, it kind of does preach.

      • Dreadnaught

        Look Moley- I am free to preach evolution by natural selection if I wanted to. I feel free to preach about the consequences of accelerated climate change. I could ‘preach’ about anything including atheism if I was so motivated. Reciting the Lord’s Prayer was a daily event at school it was just what schools did at morning assembly and no one was forced to in the recitation; it wasn’t what I would call preaching. I don’t need you to tell me how to use a dictionary either.

        • Moley

          Based on your confusion as to what is and isn’t preaching, I beg to differ.

      • William Lewis

        Your definition is so broad, particularly item (3), that it can safely be said that ALL advertising is preaching.

  • dannybhoy

    It got good coverage on LBC’s Nick Ferrari show this morning too.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Well said Gillan. The histrionics of the BHA and NSS are thankfully helping to drive people to JustPray.uk. It’s not often i find myself applauding the CofE these days, but I do applaud them for setting up that site. Pity that the coverage got overshadowed a bit by Doubting Welby’s comments, but there we are.

    “…the subversiveness of a ham and cheese quiche”??????

  • Albert

    I haven’t felt this excited about something the CofE has done from time!

  • Anna

    Dawkins seems to have mellowed over time. Hope he finds God (or God finds him) one of these days.

  • ZX10

    Speaking as a committed atheist I can say to the NSS ‘not in my name’ you want to pick theses piddling small victory’s over nothing and no one then claiming you have done something useful with your time , there are some truly real horrors being committed in the name of some religions so hows about getting off your cosseted behinds and doing something to win the real battles?

    • Dreadnaught

      The NSS has done itself no favours with this petty tantrum. Glad I’m out of it.

  • carl jacobs

    So all the arguments I made yesterday about DCM don’t apply to the NSS. Here you have an organization deliberately trying to establish its right to not be confronted with religious speech. The argument made by Giles Fraser would apply to them. They do want to censor.

    This post very helpfully illustrates that critical distinction.

  • HedgehogFive

    While watching television, the way they trotted out Keith Porteous Wood reminded me of the way they trotted out Iqbal Sacranie (Muslim Council of Britain) after Robert Kilroy-Silk said something dismissive of the contributions of the Arabs to world civilization.

  • CliveM

    Not long ago a baker in NI was dragged to Court to face trial got refusing to sell a cake with a message he disapproved of.

    And we were quite rightly (IMO) outraged at this. Surely people had a right to refuse to sell goods or services in support of a message they disapproved of.

    So here we have the Cinemas doing just that. Perhaps their reasoning is perverse, but shouldn’t we, lest we be accused of hypocrisy, be supporting their right to do so?

    • The Explorer

      Only if the baker also has the right of refusal. If the baker doesn’t, neither does the cinema.

      • CliveM

        My point is how do we respond. We can’t argue one way when it suits us and another when it doesn’t. Yes both parties need to be treated the same, but how do we want them to be treated?

        • William Lewis

          More interesting to me is how the Equalities Commission responds. Will they be consistent in their prosecutions for equal rights? Perhaps our role will be to highlight any “inequality” in their approach.

          • CliveM

            Yes it will be interesting. I wonder how they will respond?

          • Moley

            Oh please let the CofE go to the courts, citing the Equality Act. The news has had a distinct lack of hilarity in recent months and that would more than make up for it.

    • carl jacobs

      The Baker said “I won’t create that particular cake because I disagree with that particular message.” DCM is saying I won’t take any ad with either a political or religious message, and then gives a reasonable definition of both ‘political’ and ‘religious.’

      The situations aren’t the same.

      • Dreadnaught

        I suppose that ‘Merry Christmas to our patrons’ is also a no-no. In which case Paxo to them all.

      • William Lewis

        You seem to be saying that the baker’s objection wasn’t general enough. So if the baker had said “I won’t bake any cake with any kind of non heteronormative message” then presumably that would have been equivalent.

        • carl jacobs

          Rather “I won’t make any cake with a political message.” But yes. The bakers problem was that his restriction was too particular.

      • CliveM

        They are different but the same. Effectively both businesses are expressing the belief that they should be allowed to sell their goods and services to the clients of their choice. Both don’t want to be used to promote a belief/value. We are saying in one instance that’s right, but in another it’s wrong.

        Are we not at risk of being accused of special pleading?

        • carl jacobs

          DCM set a general rule that applies to all. The baker set a specific rule that applied in a specific case.

          • CliveM

            Understood however i think that simply makes the baker more culpable and doesn’t help in our consistency of response.

          • carl jacobs

            What people are seeing is one tree in the middle of the forest. They see a secularist in a movie audience who wants to shut down all public religious expression. They see the cinema indulging that attitude. What they don’t see is that this is just one instance of a much broader problem that the cinema is trying to avoid. And it perfectly illustrates their problem. The attitude of the secularist results in blame being put upon the cinema. They don’t want to be caught in the middle. They just want to show movies. And btw. If there is a popular Christian movie out there that will make them money they will show it. But someone in the Christian community has to learn how to make a good film first. With good plot, and good writing, and characters that aren’t so cardboard that the plot can’t contain a rainstorm.

            So, yes, I think this response is inconsistent. I think that Christians are principally reacting to the idea that religion is now alien and controversial to the mainstream instead of settled and assumed. It’s supposed to be as familiar and omnipresent as the air we breathe. But here it is being shoved into the closet with politicians. We don’t like the association. That’s understandable.

            But that is where we are.

          • CliveM

            I agree that there is a broader question about religion and the freedom to express faith, in the public sphere.

            I think we need to be clever and consistent in our argument.

            One of the things we need to avoid is the appearence of hypocrisy. I agree the bakers should have been allowed to refuse the order. Therefore so should the cinema.

            However that also means as a freedom we have the right to proclaim our beliefs in the public place, including the political sphere. We are then being consistent.

  • Moley

    “According to an ICM poll in 2013, four out of five adults believe in the power of prayer. Why should those who choose to believe otherwise dictate that this should not be a topic fit for sharing largely because they don’t have the guts to admit that they could be wrong?”

    According to your link, the question asked in the poll was: “Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?” so to make this ‘4 out of 5 believe in the power of prayer’ claim is pretty disingenuous to say the least. You may as well claim anyone who so much as answers “If you had a money tree, what would you buy first?” believes in the existence of money trees.

  • The Rank organisation (founded by a Methodist) used to allow local ministers at Eastertime to deliver a Christian message to cinema-goers before a showing began. How our nation has changed. Lord, restore us to the fear of Thee.

  • Inspector General

    Sanderson wrote a book. “How to be a happy homosexual”. Or was it “How to live the life of a tragic godless sod and let the world know your misery”.
    It was one or the other.

    When it comes to the unpleasant combination of atheist and practicing homosexual, he’s far from alone. Plenty of them on Pink News comments. Christianity is their usual gripe of choice when it comes to what stops them from grabbing the reins of society. They can’t find it in them to overly condemn Islam, presumably as these people too are a ‘victimised minority’, despite the lethal approach the religion of peace has to their persuasion.

    You’d think that if Christian belief was made illegal, then the inmates would live in a UK paradise, free to sodomise in the streets and parks or outside school gates, if that be their wont. It’s only Christians who oppose that they’d have you believe. Everybody else is ‘so understanding’ – over 75% of the population – and there is poll after poll to prove that apparently, conducted by enthusiastic young types whose chosen victims are fearful of upsetting the pollsters for holding ‘not with it’ views on homosexual ‘rights and privileges’ so tend to give them the answers they want to hear. Same problem that screwed up the general election predictions it would seem…

    • Moley

      “Or was it “How to live the life of a tragic godless sod and let the world know your misery”.”

      Well they can’t all be a bundle of joy like you. You seem ever so nice.

      • The Explorer

        You’ve got yet another admirer, Inspector.

        • Inspector General

          Maybe, that Explorer, maybe not. But one thing is certain through time. Those with sense of purpose are admired, if said purpose is not a threat to those who do the admiring. And in these days of uncertainty, with Islam and the EU, they come to the fore. And if he possess leadership qualities too…

    • bockerglory

      Inspector,

      I am starting a complaints campaign for every advert http://www.dcm.co.uk has done and they have a selection on their website. Complaints to http://www.asa.org.UK .

      I am using liberal left feminism to complain.

      Have asked Sarky to do animal rights/vegan complaints.

      Please could you do liberal left gay complaints.

      I reckon we could do 50 complaints on all those sexist adverts etc and this will tie up DCMs legal dept for a while.

      Blimey I am turning into Peter Tatchell ….

      • Inspector General

        Bock. One wonders if Terry Sanderson and Peter Tatchell would find themselves strangers if they both attended the same function. One similarly wonders if the NSS has been hijacked by the anti Christian gayer mob that now plagues our society and did its very best to queer the established church in the ghastly same sex whatever fiasco.

        If only the accused would come onto Cranmer and enlighten us…

        • The Explorer

          Ever encountered Moley before, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            ‘Wind in the Willows’ ?

      • sarky

        I’ll quite happily write a complaint on the rights of animals to eat vegans.

        • carl jacobs

          Wait now. You aren’t being clear. Are you going to complain about the fact that animals have the right to eat vegans? Or are you going to complain about impositions on the right of animals to eat vegans?

          Because it makes a big difference.

          • sarky

            Animals have the right to eat vegans 🙂

            Although they probably don’t taste nice.

  • bockerglory

    I have been changing my mind on this one. If we allow prayers then we will have to put up with Islamic prayers …

    But … A gay couple sued a bakers in Ireland for discrimination so I think the CofE should sue too. Although any Judge would be able to distinguish the baker’s case on the basis that the gay wedding cake was only being “viewed” by wedding guests who must be happy with gayness as they had accepted an invitation. But as a lawyer Litigation is time consuming and so is a worthy way of being a pain in the neck for this advertiser.

    Additionally we can do what Moslems do – any as promoted by this agency all Christians should find offensive and email ofwatch and eventually they will go bust.

    So come on Christians start moaning now!

    • sarky

      Start moaning now?

      • bockerglory

        OK. Come on everybody let’s compkain about DCM ads that we find offensive!

        See this website http://www.dcm.co.uk/creative it lists recent examples of ads. I am complaining about all of them on liberal left feminist basis. Because most cinema adverts focus on base desire of food (sugary refined unhealthy stuff or booze) and sex.

        It is so fun. I know how it feels to be Peter Tatchell or the pink news.

        To complain see http://www.asa.org.UK .

        Bring back Barbara Whitehouse!

        Sarky, you could cover the animal right/vegan complaints.

        We can do it!

        • Anton

          Gillan has already made the key point: that after paying money to watch a film it is offensive to be forced to watch ads for anything. I’d gladly pay an extra quid not to, and to have my time back instead. All I want to see before the film are trailers for future films.

          • I think before every film starts instead of ads we should have an interactive Lord’s prayer. Those who don’t want to say it can go buy confectionery.

          • sarky

            oh great, would have to face a massive stampede then wait in a huge line, probably missing the start of film, just to blow a months wages on a small bag of pic’n’mix.

          • The Lord’s prayer is not that abhorrent I doubt there would be a stampede, maybe a few huffy atheists like yourself would stomp out.
            It would re-enforce our position as a Christian country.

          • sarky

            Of course it wouldn’t and since when were we a christian country? Certainly not now.

          • Moley

            We’re apparently both a Christian country and oppressing the Christians at the same time. It’s a logical rollercoaster, I know.

    • Inspector General

      It would be interesting what reaction a minute of Islamic prayer advertising would have on the captive audience. Booing, or worse!

    • Dreadnaught

      If Muslims had a prayer as inclusive and well meaning as this one by all means let it be seen – this one doesn’t even mention Christianity or CoE.
      The last thing we want is more censorship ‘in case’ someone gets ‘offended’ – it’s bad enough all ready that we even have such a nonsense as offending against a religion. This whole stupid super sensitive touchy-feely culture needs consigning to the bin as a failed concept.

  • chiefofsinners

    Try to see it from the atheist / humanist point of view.
    The Lord’s prayer is:
    1) sexist – ‘our Father’
    2) unscientific – ‘in heaven’ – a place not compatible with theories of the origin of the universe.
    3) undemocratic – ‘Thy will be done’
    4) a scrounger’s charter – ‘give us this day our daily bread’
    5) crucially, opposed to the advertising industry – ‘lead us not into temptation’.

    They just want to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They don’t want to hear Him challenge their thinking.

    • sarky

      Don’t think there’s much celebrating the birth of jesus anymore, Christmas has just gone back to its pagan feast roots.

      • chiefofsinners

        What is being celebrated? Christmas is like life: without Christ it’s meaningless.

        • sarky

          What is being celebrated? Consumerism.

          And you’re right, it’s just a meaningless expense, for adults anyway, the kids still love it.

          • CliveM

            Blimey what a bunch, Christians and Secularists joined in shared misery over Christmas.

            Bah humbug.

            I love it, Christmas I mean, not your shared misery!

          • chiefofsinners

            That was me being cheerful, actually.

        • Badjumbly

          Christmas is like life indeed. You can enjoy it regardless of whether it has meaning.

          • chiefofsinners

            But you enjoy it more if it has meaning.

          • Moley

            Then why are the CofE always complaining?

          • chiefofsinners

            Because it is the Church of England, not the church of Jesus Christ.

      • The Explorer

        C Lewis distinguished between Xmas (the public celebration of the end of the year) and Christmas.(the religious festival).
        Winterval and Christmas might be a useful distinction to introduce. You could observe the first, and I could observe the second.

        • sarky

          Beef over turkey??

          • The Explorer

            ??

          • chiefofsinners

            Russians over Turkey (but not for long)?

  • Jon Sorensen

    Christians are considering legal options, writing angry blogs and angry comments, but they think that NSS President is venting his fury…. psychological projection perhaps?

    Strange how Jesus told not to pray in public (Matthew 6:5). CofE seems to want make praying a public event and even advertise praying to people who don’t want it. Would Jesus approve the cinema praying advertising?

    • IanCad

      “–even advertise praying to people who don’t want it—“

      A lot of other advertisements are directed at people who don’t want the product. Wouldn’t be any otherwise.
      Can’t see Jesus objecting to the ad.
      I do think however, that DCM has the right to make restrictions as it sees fit.
      We are quite free not attend movie theatres.

    • The Explorer

      In the verse you cite Is Christ condemning public prayer, or public ostentation?

      • Jon Sorensen

        It’s hard to separate those two…

        • The Explorer

          You aren’t a politician are you?

        • Moley

          Which is why the CofE were kind enough to cover both by making an expensive preaching advert, which was going to be put into cinemas at another great expense, to ride the coat tails of the latest expensive instalment of one of the most valuable film series in history.

        • magnolia

          No, it isn’t, and if “causing offence” has become the latest “summum bonum” exactly why is it not applied equally? I find every time someone exclaims “Oh my God” or “OMG” without the courtesy of actually referring in reality to God highly offensive, as also the use of Christ or Jesus lightly. I am far from alone but when will films or adverts using such phrases be banned exactly? Why is it apparently OK to use them as blasphemy but not in prayer?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Christian oppression = I find … “OMG” … highly offensive as if Christians own that word or idea.

          • magnolia

            If it is a concept you don’t believe in don’t apply it as if talking to a Being, then: only logical isn’t it? Why cause unnecessary offence to people to whom Jesus is a living being with whom they have a relationship when you don’t believe he is important anyway?

            How logical is it to rely upon a belief and a person you don’t believe still exists to insist upon using said person who you don’t believe exists to emphasise your words unneccesarily whilst causing unnecessary offence to others?

          • Moley

            Mysterious ways.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It’s Oh My God not Oh Your God. My God is not your trinitarian God. I can’t help it if you get offended by thing you don’t believe in. Christians seem to get offended so easily…

            However if you believe we should not “cause unnecessary offence to people” then why try advertise in cinemas, or why don’t you advocate chancing the offensive part of the Bible even you don’t believe in; like slavery or killing gays or name calling non-believers?

          • magnolia

            Which part of the Lord’s Prayer is offensive to you exactly, and so offensive that just hearing it in a cinema causes you real anguish, is it “Our Father in Heaven” , or “Your Kingdom Come” or is it “Give us this day our daily bread”? Is it “Deliver us from Evil” or “For Thine is the Glory”. I reckon you have to try overtime to be offended by the desire for good things for all human beings expressed to a Heavenly Father.

          • Moley

            The fact I’ll have paid money for the “pleasure”.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t find it offensive even when that brainwashing chanting promotes magical thinking. Christian message is just like unwanted spam emails that no matter how many times you unsubscribe or say no-thank-you they keep on pushing it everywhere to the saturation point.

          • magnolia

            You should research what magical thinking is, and compare and contrast it to Christianity. You can easily find those differences which underlie why committed Christians do not combine Christianity with witchcraft but rather avoid it assiduously !!.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Different name same thing. Speaking to existence, using the power of a sacred name, healing objects, able to affect supernatural…. all the same. Do your own study.

          • Moley

            “I am far from alone but when will films or adverts using such phrases be banned exactly?”

            They were, repeatedly, by people like you. For decades.

          • magnolia

            You are again off course anyway. The point was an investigation of the unequal application of the perception of the undesirability of causing offence, and the illogicality involved.

          • Moley

            So the CofE called for media bans for decades because…?

          • magnolia

            One can go off in lots of directions. I prefer to discuss where we are now rather than 1950s arguments. My personal stance is for little censorship, but rather more than there is now, because decent libertarianism should not create victims. If it is significantly less grievous for one party to desist from blasphemy than for the other to hear it, well, you can work out that one for yourself…… and so on….

          • Moley

            1950s? It was abolished, to much uproar from the CofE, in 2008.

          • magnolia

            Well, now you are entirely free to cause massive offence and revulsion to others for no discernible pleasure nor gain to yourself, it seems. I guess that is a sign of a civilised and selfless secular humanism….or not.

          • Moley

            I know, freedom of expression is wonderful isn’t it?

          • magnolia

            Nothing that is selfish or inconsiderate or rude is ever wonderful, (even when I do it!!), but I think you already know that, don’t you?

          • Moley

            Considering the appalling things the CofE have covered up over the decades, I think it best to step off the moral high horse just this one time.

          • magnolia

            I wasn’t even speaking on behalf of any institution at that juncture, so isn’t that a distraction technique? Are you suggesting I, and other Christians here may never have any view on any moral issue ever because some people I/ we have barely if at all known in the Church have sometimes sinned grievously? How does that cohere precisely? And would it apply to atheistic institutions? Do you lose the right to comment because of what Stalin did?

          • Moley

            I’m not the person who questioned the morality of “civilised and selfless secular humanism” on the basis of saying certain words. If you’re not willing to be judged on the results of your belief system, or lack of, don’t do it to others.

          • magnolia

            If secular blasphemers rejoicing in their legal right to offend those of faith do not represent “civilised and selfless secular humanism” that doesn’t mean of necessity that others may not….and some humanists are polite and inoffensive, though that probably doesn’t apply to many of the campaigners….

        • Royinsouthwest

          No it is not!

          • Jon Sorensen

            It seems to be for CofE and Christian organisations

  • Mike Stallard

    How would you feel is, say, a Muslim muezzin was advertised just before any film?

    • Moley

      You don’t even need hypothetical situations for this one, how did they feel when the Life of Brian was made?

      • William Lewis

        That’s fiction. We are discussing an advertisement inviting people to pray.

        • Moley

          Unless the person ‘mourning’ in this advert wasn’t an actor, in which case I’m highly offended by the Church’s use of a grieving person for advertising, it is as fictitious as anything Monty Python have released.

          • William Lewis

            The advertisement shows real Christians praying. That is not fiction. It happens all of the time. If you want to equate that with the veracity of the Knights that say “ni” then I suggest that your acquaintance with reality may be somewhat of an arms length affair.

          • Moley

            Both this advert and the Life of Brian shows actors, acting and reciting a script, in front of a recording camera. Unless you’re arguing that this person regularly reads one random line of a passage while pretending to grieve when the camera isn’t around.

          • William Lewis

            How do you know they weren’t praying? In any case it doesn’t matter. The advertisement accurately shows a reality that is happening right now, day in and day out. A killer white rabbit is a work of pure fiction. Your comparison is ridiculous.

          • Moley

            Why do you keep ignoring the issue of whether the person in that advert was actually grieving?

            I mean, I know the answer but I’d be amused by your spin of it.

          • The Explorer

            In some films, you see actors cry. How do they do it? Various techniques, but the simplest is to focus on something really sad. (Most people have sad memories.) So if an actor cries by reviving a sad memory, what is the actor doing: acting or grieving anew?

          • Moley

            They’re acting. That was easy enough, wasn’t it?

          • The Explorer

            Simplistic. Remember Stanislovsky. Ever done any acting, as a matter of interest?

          • Moley

            I thought I had when I was an undertaker in a production of Oliver, but apparently for those few weeks I actually was a Victorian undertaker.

          • The Explorer

            Try playing the corpse!

          • Moley

            If they use memories of seeing actual corpses, to determine how to lie there, does that mean they’re playing a role or are they actually dead?

          • The Explorer

            Following the Stanislavsky method through to its conclusion, you’d have to actually BE a corpse. It becomes like the Hindu explanation of the world resting on the back of a tortoise, resting on a … time to change the subject.

          • Dreadnaught

            Do you not think as well as being ‘actors’ they could also be Christians as well? they don’t have to be in a church to pray. I can’t see why you are so engaged to be offended. I am atheist and don’t see anything to fret about or have you forgotten how to live and let live?

          • Moley

            No, if they are actors they are playing a role like the grieving fellow there. Or partaking in fiction, as William argued, making it absolutely no different to the very things the church were oh so happy to censor before 2008. Just like they make a point of telling people what can and can’t be hosted in their facilities.

            I’m not offended by this advert, other than it being a pretty awful, flowery, plea to emotions it’s fairly harmless, I am however offended by the church’s sheer hypocrisy on an issue, once again.

          • William Lewis

            Why do you keep ignoring the issue of whether the person in that advert was actually grieving?

            I’m not ignoring it. It’s just not an issue as far as I am concerned. I suggest that you may just have to live with your “highly offended” overreaction.

            Either the person was depicting mourning being mitigated through prayer or the person was actually receiving solace.

          • Moley

            Of course you don’t see it as an issue, because the alternative is that you have to acknowledge they’re acting and making you wrong.

          • William Lewis

            It seems that you haven’t quite managed to follow my argument which doesn’t rely on there being no acting. Let me try a different tack. Have you ever been turned into a newt?

          • Moley

            I haven’t, maybe you should pray for it to happen to prove me wrong. Let me know when you have and I’ll do my best to use the computer.

            I don’t see how your argument doesn’t rely on there being no acting when it is based on this advert not being fiction because Monty Python were performing roles in their films.

    • William Lewis

      That it’s time to leave, but so what?

    • The Explorer

      There was a case in Oxford a while back where a muezzin requested permission to broadcast prayers through a loudspeaker on the basis that there were church bells. I believe permission was refused. (Just as there are demands for Oxford chapels to double as Muslim prayer rooms.)

      With the cinema, I’d say there are three options.
      1. Refuse all religious adverts.
      2. Privilege C of E adverts because the C of E is the established church.
      3. Allow all religious (and anti-religious) adverts because we are a multi-faith society.

      As far as I’m aware, though, we have become multi-faith de facto, but not de jure. The C of E has never been officially disestablished.

    • Darter Noster

      Tickety boo. Advertising space is freely available for purchase; why shouldn’t they buy it, as long as what they’re advertising isn’t illegal…?

      I doubt half the audience will emerge from the latest Fast and Furious film reciting the Shahada and heading off to join Isis.

    • Dreadnaught

      Fine by me if the film was ‘Fitna’

    • dannybhoy

      Personally I’d hate it, but if it meant the religion of Islam came under more scrutiny (by which I mean the MSM gave it the same degree of interrogation as it does Christianity), I’d go along with it.
      There have been tv programmes and a Hollywood film about Islam. All carefully sanitised for Western consumption. As far as I am aware all failed to make an impact.
      The reality is that it is Judaeo/Christian values which have brought progress and freedom to the world. If ISIL represents pure Islam, no wonder they have to use violence to impose it.

      • Moley

        “by which I mean the MSM gave it the same degree of interrogation as it does Christianity”

        Do you mean like giving it a taxpayer funded timeslot on BBC One for 54 years?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Didn’t Channel 4 plan to broadcast a TV series on the history of Islam by a distinguished scholar last year only to abandon their plans for fear of offending adherents of the Religion of Peace?

        • dannybhoy

          Dunno, but it would be worth investigating. The thing is that it is Christianity which comes under attack or scorn in a way that no other faith does. Granted where churches have harboured, hushed up or protected bent clergy they deserve criticism. Yet the fact remains that no other faith gets examined like Christianity. That in itself is a form of religious discrimination.

          • Moley

            You are beyond parody.

          • dannybhoy

            Is that anywhere near Kansas?
            (Danny frantically clicks red wellingtons)

          • Moley

            You should go and look. Maybe you can find this evidence of Christian interrogation, that you were talking about yesterday, while you’re there.

      • Manfarang

        Do the Jehovah’s Witness represent pure Christianity?

        • dannybhoy

          Nope.

          JW’s are regarded as a cult by mainstream Christianity. The movement was founded by one Charles Taze Russell in the 1870’s. Very interesting. You can read about it here…

          http://www.challies.com/articles/the-false-teachers-charles-taze-russell

          • Manfarang

            How pure is mainstream Christianity? After all Jesus was a Jew. He set out to reform religion, not start a new one.

          • dannybhoy

            When I talk about mainstream Christianity I mean all denominations, house church movements etc. that acknowledge Jesus Christ as eternal Son of God and provider and sustainer of our salvation.
            That as St John’s gospel says,
            “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes (and dedicates themselves to Him) shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
            That’s basically all that matters. That churches and people fail, we know. That Christians worship differently doesn’t matter. It’s your relationship ti God the Father through Christ Jesus that matters.

          • Manfarang

            And the Catholics in Ireland that call Protestants heathens, what of them?

          • dannybhoy

            Same applies. If they first and foremost love the Lord Jesus Christ, look to Him for salvation and the Holy Spirit for sanctification, they’re Christians. Happy Jack is an example.

            Finally, all Christians would agree that only God knows the heart of man

            “‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,
            to reward each person according to their conduct,
            according to what their deeds deserve.’

            Jeremiah 17:10
            Mind you if they are really Christians they would apply the same criteria to Protestants! :0)

          • Manfarang

            The history of Christianity is anything but brotherly love as the fate of Cranmer himself is a good example.

          • dannybhoy

            You’re right of course. Once Christianity became the religion of the Empire it took on all the trappings of Empire -thanks in part to Constantine. We cannot reconcile some of the actions of the Church with the teachings of the New Testament. There are arguments for why the Church had to wage war on heretics and dissidents, but they can only be justified by appealing to the divine authority bestowed upon the Church.
            I can’t remember whether or not you said you’re a Christian, but I am halfway through a book entitled “The Triumph of Christianity” by Rodney Stark.
            (I got it very cheap through Amazon’s ‘seconds’)
            It’s very interesting, being written from a sociological/historical perspective.
            Well worth a read of you’re interested in the early years of Christianity.
            Although I agree with your statement, I also believe that each person gives an account of what they did in their life on earth, including Christians.
            In our generation we each have an opportunity to be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus our Lord; and by submitting our lives to Him become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

  • Badjumbly

    Hearing Christian prayer promoted in a cinema wouldn’t offend or upset me. It would just irritate me. Though an atheist, I had to join in reciting Christian prayers every day of my schooling and still resent the time wasted, which I could have spent learning something useful. I’m glad the people who run these cinemas have decided to spare me further unwanted evangelisation.

    • magnolia

      And precisely how do you know it was “wasted”? I take it you are keen on the “scientific method” as your “proof”. Trouble is you cannot compare your life with those prayers to your life without them, nor know what might have befallen you without the prayers of those around you for general wellbeing and defence from evil and disaster. So at best, assuming you take that method as your way of judgement all you can write- to be logical and consistent- is “I resent the time I think I wasted”, but you missed out the ” I think” which seems odd.

      • Moley

        No, it was definitely wasted. It is school not a church. If you went to church on a Sunday and they kept you around an extra hour for a lecture on photosynthesis prior to the sermon you’d have similar views.

        • magnolia

          No, you are not answering the argument. I am asking for consistent terminology and argumentation from his own premises.

          (You are just changing the grounds of the argument and attempting in passing to contend that Christianity and education are two separate entities (!!), for which there is no evidence whatsoever, and for which you only provided one irrelevant assertion and false analogy as attempted proof, whilst conveniently ignoring the clear fact that the church instituted education in this country.)

      • Badjumbly

        Are those who pray to Hindu gods wasting their time? If every day of your schooling you had gone through the charade of pretending to pray to Hindu gods in which you have no belief, just because that was the done thing, would you consider that time wasted?

  • Satanic_Panic

    Didn’t jesus command you christians to pray in secret?

    • David

      Sorry, can’t say, that’s classified information.

    • Moley

      I just dropped him an email and he said he’d get back to me.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Jesus criticised people who pray in public for the purpose of creating an impression that they are righteous. Most prayer is private prayer. St Paul said Christians should “pray without ceasing.” That would not be literally possible but if anyone prays very frequently then most of the prayer would be in secret. However Paul’s command or recommendation, whatever you want to call it, was not a secret. He wanted people to know his views on prayer, just as Jesus did, and the Church of England does.

    • chiefofsinners

      No, He commanded everyone to.

    • bugalugs2

      He told `Christians to go out and spread the good news to the whole world. Sounds like He might have had you in mind, you sound as though you need it.

      • Satanic_Panic

        Why? Because I reject your silly fairy tales?

  • David

    Officially and constitutionally the Church of England is the UK’s established Church, the Queen reigns as Head of State, as a protestant Christian, and in terms of social precedence and formal etiquette, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the third most important person in the realm. So why then is a commercial organisation declining to run, as a paid for advert., The Lord’s Prayer ? How can this be ?

    Well this is because, despite what I’ve said above, the status and position of, not just the C of E, but Christianity as a whole, has been so chipped away at, whittled down, by a thousand or more changes in legislation, culture and social habits since at least as early as 1950, that for all effective purposes the C of E has already been disestablished.

    Christians of all stripes have long been aware that they now compete within a cultural market place of ideas that includes any, all and no religions. Given how mutually antagonistic many of these faiths, ideas and lifestyles are, it is unsurprising that commercial organisations take the easy route and declare all religious advert’s as unacceptable. So although I do not criticise the C of E for trying to “market” the main Christian prayer into cinemas at Christmas time, I am surprised that that they are, portrayed anyway by the media, as being surprised by this purely commercial decision. In making such a decision, any firm that uses Christmas as a marketing strategy, in any shape or form, does expose itself to the accusation of hypocrisy. But I suppose they’d retort, with a commercial logic at least, that one doesn’t have to believe in something to profit from it ?

  • Manfarang

    ” celebrate a religious festival that is exclusive to one religion.”
    The Yule is pagan.

  • Manfarang

    Years ago kids went to Sunday school. Trying to advertise at a cinema is a sign of decline.

  • bugalugs2

    The NSS and Sanderson are not ‘secularists’, they are ‘anti-clericals’. Secularists want the state to remain neutral on the issue of religion taking neither side, anti-clericals like Sanderson want the state to take their side actively and ban religion from the public sphere, thereby imposing their own ersatz ‘faith’ on everyone else. Not the same thing at all.