Dec 042004

by Hunter on Daily Kos

Sat Dec 4th, 2004 at 02:48:44 EST

By now we have all heard about CBS’ and NBC’s rejection of the God is Still Speaking advertisement produced by the United Church of Christ, on the grounds that the ad is too "controversial". The ad in question shows gruff "bouncers" working the line in front of a church, picking who can and can’t come in.

Fade to second scene, which shows smiling children, minorities, an elderly couple, and (gasp) two women standing next to each other, one with her hand on the other’s shoulder. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here, the narrator intones.

Lots of people have had a lot to say about this, but I’ve got just one thing:

How pathetic is it that not being bigoted is now considered the "controversial" side of the debate?

Lest there be any ambiguity, CBS spelled it out clearly in their rejection notice:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations, and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."

Now, I want to point out something obvious here. Nowhere in the ad does it say thing one about gay marriage. Nothing. It just implies that if you are gay, or black, or Asian, or (possibly worst of all) elderly, you’ll be welcome at this particular church, even if you haven’t been at others. Still, even that’s enough for CBS to read-between-the-lines and consider it contrary to the aims of the White House — and that, in turn, is enough for CBS to refuse to air the material at all.

Where the hell are we, these days, when we don’t run ads on television because they might possibly conflict with the President’s religious notions? This isn’t about gay marriage, or constitutional amendments. This is about a Church that welcomes all comers. That’s it. That’s the "controversial" part of the ad. And apparently, CBS thinks that merely not being bigoted is enough to be "controversial" given the current climate at the White House.

The saddest part is, they’re probably right.

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