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A Church's WelcomeDecember 3, 2004

So let me get this the hell straight (so to speak). The United Church of Christ has this ad. It shows two bouncers standing at the door of a church, letting some people in, keeping others (a gay couple, a black boy and girl) out. Then it says, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we." It's an open invitation to worship with them. It's a lovely ad. See it HERE.

ABC, CBS, and NBC won't air it, stating it's too controversial with today's heightened focus on "moral values."

Here's what kills me. CBS actually announced this: "Because the 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."

So because the Bush administration wants marriage to be only a union between a man and woman, because they're trying to write hate into the Constitution (for the first time ever making the Constitution exclusionary), the media outlets can now officially discriminate against people of color and people like me. Wouldn't want to offend the moral majority, now. Soon, I'm sure, NBC won't show "Will and Grace," because there might be gay people on it. No, that MAKES money for the network, doesn't it? So that's all right.

Fabulous. My stomach hurts.

Write them. Do it. I hate writing letters like this; it never seems to feel like we're making a difference. But maybe we will.

Here you go:
nbcshows@nbc.com
netaudr@abc.com
www.cbs.com  (click on feedback on the bottom and the e-mail form will pop up)

Enjoy your weekend, all.

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» Is Tolerance "Too Hot" for TV? from MadeByMark
Outside a church stand two bouncers in black t-shirts, guarding the entrance. For straight, white people, the velvet ropes are lifted. When certain people approach, they are told "No way!" and shoved out of line. That's what you see when... [Read More]

Comments

CBS' statement left me gaping. Um, I'm sorry, but did that ad have anything to do with gay marriage? No, it had to do with acceptance. Maybe that is one step too close to gay marriage for network television. And NBC, the home of Will & Grace finds this ad controversial? Huh?

Interestingly, I heard someone from the United Church of Christ today on Al Franken's show say that ABC network has a blanket policy of never running ads for religious organizations, however they are showing it on ABC cable channels like ABC Family.

I had heard about the refusal to play the ad before you posted this, and I have already sent a letter. I cannot believe what this country is coming to, and how it thinks these political actions show appropriate morals or values. I'm very afraid of what is happening in the US. There was really good coverage on this story on CNN's Chris Matthew's HardBall. He had a speaker in support and a speaker against, and he asked great questions, stumped the speaker against the ad completely and really made him look foolish. I only wish that would help.

Thanks for posting this with the email addys. It's ridiculous (their stance) and reeks of the kind of censorship and propagandism this administration should by now be famous for.

Hey girl, I linked to your post from my blog - I hope that's ok. lemme know if you'd rather not.

Thank you for posting the ad, I think it's a thruthful advertising and people can't look bad on tv, right? They can't show it as so many like to bring up the church in public debates.

High praises to this ad to ever being made though, I think the people who thought it up are great!!! :)

I read about this on my friend's blog. Her husband wrote a letter that she quoted, as do I:

"Perhaps CBS as a corporate body really believes homosexuality is evil. This is unlikely, since CBS cares only about making money. More likely, CBS is worried that it has been perceived as "too liberal" because of Dan Rather's liberal reputation and the suprise appearance of Janet Jackson's nipple at the 2004 Super Bowl. I wonder if there's an email at CBS somewhere that reads, "Hey, if people think that we hate gays, then they won't think we're liberal!" If this doesn't work for you, consider programming entitled, "Misunderstood Nazis", "Why Can't the Coloreds Just Keep Quiet", and "CBS REALLY loves Jesus!"

CBS, please tell me, just how good does right-wing conservate ass taste? Personally, I haven't kissed it myself."

Whoa...why not just say that "we here at CBS love to kiss W's butt".
How can such a compassionate public proclimation of inclusion be seen as too radical for the network that brings us such gems as Survivor where gays are allowed to be loud and proud (Richard Hatch) and who brought us Big Brother with such wonderful open people such as Will, Marsalis and I can't remember the other man's name, wasn't it Bunky?.
Then again perhaps they are mysoginist too...I've yet to see any lesbians out on any of these programs....ok I'll stop I'm rambling now....

Debbie in Ontario, Canada where even our gov't sponsored public service announcements on spouse abuse and family issues address the gay/lesbian community in a tasteful and accepting way

NPR aired a segment about this earlier this week. It's clear that the network media is bowing to the neocons. While I will write a letter to the networks, I plan to take things a step further and write the the companies that advertise on these networks too. My voice may be a drop in the bucket, but even if I'm the only one, I can't support what is happening in this country. If you haven't already, read Kirsten at this site: http://homegrowndaisy.us/

You're a star, Rachael. Have you read any George Lakoff? Reframing drip by drip.

I wrote, but clearly, the poster above who made the show suggestons really ought to send letters for all of us!

And, this current Survivor, has at least 2 lesbians.

I love my country, in general, but I am so sick of it right now, and the current mindset of so many.

La Brainy said it best:
church.state. separation.
I'm just too flabbergasted for words.
What century is this, anyway?
Off to write a LETTER.
xoxoxox

That is outrageous. Thanks for linking to the ad, since it's a U.S. thing, and a good ad. Your country is completely insane.

The US is just so fucked up sometimes it makes me crazy! I just don't get how people can be such bigots.

Come back to New Zealand. Your heritage is calling to you!

OOHHHH it makes me mad. When they call 911 do you check to see if they're a bigot before you send help? I think not. Yeah, I sent them feedback, the weasles.

Steaming, hopping, foot-stomping mad. The thing that they're killing is not gay marriage, it's compassion, it's human decency, it's tolerance. I hate that things that are meant to be sacred - the right of people to worship, the union of souls - are being made a mockery of by politics. It frightens me. What is this country coming to?

Rachael, is there anything I could write that you think might be heard? I'm a Canadian viewer.

Last night I was watching ABC Family with the little one (a marathon of the old Rankin/Bass Christmas specials), and they showed the commercial. I practically cheered: it gave me the opportunity to explain it to my child, and I hoped (and hoped some more) that parents across the country were explaining it in a positive way to their children.

That ad is really wonderful,and though I'm not a church-goer, I'd go to the UCC.

I was already disgusted when CBS buckled to the RNCs outcry against the TV movie "The Reagans".
I wrote them a letter about that too.
I only watch CSI (the original one) and am getting ready to stop watching it.
I can always Netflix it and see the episodes on DVD with NO COMMERCIALS.
If you want to make even more of an impact with your letters, pick an advertiser that runs during primetime (8pm-11pm). This is the money making ad time with 30 second ads costing up to $95,000.
Yep. You heard right. 95 Big for 30 seconds.
Anyway, write a letter to CBS and a primetime advertiser. Copy the letter to each of them telling them what you think about their not running the UCC ads and you hope that the advertiser doesn't share CBS's opinions.
: )

Carrieoke and I were talking about this very subject the other day. It makes me SICK that they won't play the commercial.

I'm nominally a UCC member... and the proudest I've ever been of an ex-boyfriend was when he wrote and resigned from the UCC church he'd grown up in because they opposed ordination of homosexuals or something like that.

Wasn't your marathon this weekend?

My personal rant for this Monday morning: Nothing angers me more than self righteous and "moral" people casting aspersions on anyone that is from their perception of normal, as it is "sinful" behaviour. Newsflash: We all sin...and do until the day we die. The church is for sinners!!! Not perfect people. It is supposed to be inclusive rather than exclusive. If it were for the sinless people, there would be no one in the sanctuary to begin with.

I am a Christian, but not proud of many of the religious people I see today. Thankfully, I don't personally know many people that are like that! I only hang out with people that "get it". I associate with some of the others though in the hopes that I can shake them up a bit...it does work too.

P.S. I am really starting to HATE television and especially advertising on television. I mean look at all the ridiculous commercials for Christmas right now. The one that sticks in my mind is that stupid commercial where the mom and child are blindfolded and they are being escorted by pround papa to a huge SUV that is in the living room by the tree. Gee maybe I will have one of those under my tree too...a dinky toy maybe. Come on and get real? Only a few people can afford to buy something like that for Christmas.

Then there are those STUPID jewellery commercials...talk about setting people up to feel discontented and unhappy about their own personal relationships/circumstances. "Buy your loved one a tennis bracelet to show her how much you care" It makes me sad to see that commercials set us all up for perpetual discontentment...no matter where we are at, it is NEVER where we should be! sigh...so I say switch to Public Television stations...put your money where your mouth is and show ABC/NBC/CBS don't respect them and their concern about keeping "morality" in television...I say this sooooo tongue firmly planted in my cheek! No commercials about Church and homosexuality, but back to regularly scheduled Desperate Housewives/Entertainment Tonight! URGH

Like Iris, I saw the add a few times while watching ABC Family on Saturday night. It aired during a classic Christmas marathon( somehow Princess tricked me into watching this), and I smiled a BIG Smile because Princess said it was a good commercial. It pays to be a progressive momma,even if I can't stop the cursing!

I heard this on NPR. I was/am so outraged...
they hide behind "the dministration"...what a load of crap.

talk about immoral, intolerant and ignorant! hey, that about sums up the bush administration and all their lackies which apparently include the big 3 networks.

bleh! double bleh! bleh bleh bleh!

yay for UCC...yay for tolerance and understanding!!

It's so ironic that part of the reason for the invasion of Iraq was to protect fundamental rights and freedoms, such as, say the freedom of speech (don't get me started on freedom of religion, etc.). It scares me what the US has become.

I work for a credit union in Canada; I'm proud to say that in 2002, we became the first financial institution to publicly support gays and lesbians and their families, including advertising focusing specifically towards gays and lesbians in the mainstream media; our internal and external policies were already same-sex partner friendly, this was our way of doing something big and public. We lost quite a bit of business doing this, but I'm happy to report that we've probably gained that amount many times over. I'm scared to think that were we an American credit union, we might not have been able to do this. Great Gansey!

Saw the ad last night on the Discovery Channel and loved it! Of course God loves us all, no matter what... these muckity-mucks are just so scared that we will mess up their status quo. And folks wonder why I have washed my hands of organized religion. Pah!

That statement by CBS is outrageous. Utterly flabbergasting. Frank Rich had a good column in the NYT today, "The Plot Against Sex" about Channel 13's refusal to air a spot on the new movie, Kinsey. To quote his opening paragraph: "When they start pushing the panic button over "moral values" at the bluest of TV channels, public broadcasting's WNET, in the bluest of cities, New York, you know this country has entered a new cultural twilight zone."

It's happening everywhere and in all sorts of venues. My husband is on the board of a local scientific institution and some of his fellow board members were feeling the pressure to cave to the right. Over what? Creationism vs. evolution! He didn't let it slide, that's for sure.

One can only imagine where we'll be four years from now.

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