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Would Jesus Run This Ad?

United Church of Christ has inclusion ad excluded from rotation.

by Richard 'Mr. Moo' Moore
December 19, 2004

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With all of the talk about the morals taking front and center in the most recent election and equal talk about the left leaning bias of the media, it was interesting to find that two networks have shied away from running an ad by a mainstream denomination. The United Church of Christ, one of the more “liberal” denominations in the nation have produced a TV ad to invite folks of all persuasions to join them in worship. The ad shows a stately old church with ropes in front and two bouncers, like you might see at a concert or a night club. The bouncers are being selective about who may enter the building. The children of color are denied, the two young men are denied, a person using a wheelchair rejected but the lily white family of husband, wife and two teenage daughters are admitted. The ad continues with the phrase, “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.”
 
The UCC’s ad began airing nationwide on December 1. You can see the ad at www.stillspeaking.com. The message was simple: “the UCC seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation.” Just like Jesus. Yes, friends, Jesus did hang out with the outcast of his generation. He didn’t call the perfect and the socially accepted. He called those looking for something new, something different, something inclusive.
 
For me, it is difficult to see the objection of stations like CBS and NBC, who have refused to run the ad. Controversy? Isn’t that what gets folks to tune in? The ad has been run on a number of cable channels such as ABC Family, AMC, BET, Discovery, Fox, Hallmark, History, Nick@Nite, TBS, TNT, Travel and TV Land.

Now I am not a member, nor have ever been a member of the UCC. But I will say that I am impressed. If I were turned off by the in your face, holier than thou stigma of religious groups, this would get me thinking again. I might even want to check these folks out. And Christmas is a good time to check out a church if you want to remain incognito. So many visitors. 
 
To the UCC, I wish you well in your campaign. Reaching out with open arms to a hurting world is what is so needed. To the networks, that rejected the ad and probably ran ads during the campaign more offensive and with fewer facts; you’re the bull of the week.

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