I do not support gay marriage. Marriage is a religious sacrament that is set aside by God for one man and one woman. I do support civil unions for gay couples, with all the normal property and legal rights accorded married couples. We live in a democracy...not a theocracy. In a democracy, there is a huge difference between legal and one religion's moral. In a theocracy, they are the same. The US is not a theocracy. Yet.
OK..I went to the United Church of Christ website and viewed the ad. From a conservative evangelical viewpoint, it's offensive. It's offensive, because it's true...and the truth hurts, in this situation. Ever see a openly, unabashedly gay man at an evangelical church? Well, I have. He's about as popular as a stumbling drunk at a Mormon picnic. As popular as a New York Yankee at Boston's Fenway Park. As popular as George Bush at the Democratic Convention. We're talking the plague.
Yes, pastors may speak with him. And a few brave souls will welcome him to church. But don't be his close friend. A least, not unless everyone knows you're somehow trying to convert him to straight. Or you, too, will be the plague.
I have to concede that pastors are caught in a bind. If an openly gay couple attends church together, it looks as if the church condones their partnership. And evangelical churches do not condone gay partnerships. Even if a pastor wanted to include gays in services...knowing that we are all sinners; that we all sin of something; that we all need to repent.....it would cause the congregation too much discomfort. And congregation equals contributions. Revenue. Salaries. The well-meaning pastor is caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. It's a no go.
The rejected ad spot shows beefy bodyguards sorting out who can and can't enter church services, rather like the midnight line at an exclusive LA or NY nightclub. It's overdramatic, but it makes a point. Gay couples are welcome at the United Church of Christ. Gay couples must therefore not be welcome at unnamed other churches.
It's overdramatic, but it's the unvarnished truth. The ad spot tugs at heartstrings about exclusionary practices by churches other than the United Church of Christ. The ad is touching and quite effective.
OK...NBC and CBS rejected this 30-second spot because it was too "controversial." hahahahahaha.
Controversial? Too gay for NBC, the network home of Will and Grace? The network that owns Bravo channel, with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and a gay version of The Bachelor? hahahahahaha.
OK...stifling my giggles here. (Did network publicists say this with a straight face?)
Too controversial for CBS, broadcast host to David Letterman, the over-the-top controversial talk show host? The guy that bites every hand that ever fed him? Too controversial for CBS, which is owned by Viacom, also owner of MTV? hahahahahaha
Then again, this is secular Hollywood. Maybe it's too Christian. But too Christian for CBS, home of ratings-winner Joan of Arcadia, a teenage girl who talks directly to God? hahahahahaha
Too controversial for the TV networks that endlessly aired the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth vicious smear ads?
Seriously, is this a joke? Because it's really funny.
This ad spot might, indeed, be too controversial. But the controversy is not about gayness or Christianity or general rabble-rousing. That's obvious. Overdramatic or controversial content is a ratings draw.....not a ratings detractor. And content is all and only about ratings, my friends.
It's well known that Disney distanced itself from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 film, despite knowing that the political docudrama would earn the big bucks. Disney...notoriously greedy Disney.... distanced itself from a film that grossed over $200 million. When it's starved for a hit film. Story circulating the rounds is that Disney had lucrative Florida tax credits that it didn't want to jeopardize. Not worth it to upset the President's applecart. Not a good corporate tax move to be associated with a film that vilifies the Bush family.
The logical explanation for CBS's and NBC's rejection of this ad spot is that General Electric, owner of NBC, and Viacom, owner of CBS, consider it unwise to broadcast a stance in clear opposition to that of the President. Unwise for their corporate financial statements and tax returns, which are submitted to the Securities & Exchange Commission quarterly and Secretary of the Treasury annually for review.
And if, like Disney, that is the reason for CBS's and NBC's otherwise inexplicable reluctance to run this innocuous ad spot...that, my friends, is scary, scary censorship of the media by the present administration.
By the way, the United Church of Christ's "controversial" ad spot will run soon on the Black Entertainment cable channel, ABC Family, Discovery, TBS, TNT and Fox, which collectively don't have as many viewers as either CBS or NBC. (ABC Family? But what about family values.......hahahahahaha)
It's about ratings, not values. Except that financial statements and tax returns will always trump ratings.
Food for thought...does this mean that the state has selected a single religion? And that other religions are being squelched? Whatever happened to freedom of religion? Hmmmm.....maybe the US is now a theocracy under George Bush.