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Stunt or stumble?

Stunt or stumble?

As the row about the Lord’s Prayer advert continues unabated in Britain, with even the Prime Minister weighing in, one columnist sees a diabolical plot behind the furore.

The Guardian reports that PM David Cameron has called the ban “ridiculous.” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, called the ban “outrageous” on Twitter, adding that the 2,000-year-old prayer “informs our whole culture.” And, it said, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has advised that

freedom to hold a religion and express ideas were “essential British values. We are concerned by any blanket ban on adverts by all religious groups”.

It added: “There is no right not to be offended in the UK; what is offensive is very subjective and lies in the eye of the beholder.”

While the cinema chain at the center of the row does have an advertising policy that prohibits religious and political advertisements,

Church sources claimed the section of the policy relating to religious advertising had been added only after the C of E sought approval for its Lord’s Prayer promotion.

The Church of England said it was “bewildered” by the ban and warned of possible legal action. It is appealing to DCM to change its position.

On the Guardian film blog came the news that the Church has the support of an early day motion in the House of Commons, supported by six DUP members and a Tory MP, calling for the ban to be overturned; but film blogger Andrew Pulver finds himself asking,

has the CofE simply proved itself the latest in a long line of canny PR operators, happy to stir up a stink and reap the press-attention whirlwind?

At the time of writing, the advert has been watched over 336,541 times via YouTube. What do you think: stumble or clever stunt by the PR people at Church House?


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Rod Gillis

PM David Cameron has called the ban “ridiculous” That’s funny. Some of us think his right wing government is ridiculous.

John Chilton

Stunt or stumble — neither. Just a desire to reach a larger audience. Among the various reactions I’m most intrigued by is that of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. If memory serves the church itself has been tut-tutted by the EHRC for its biases. And the conservative wing of the church (i.e., anti-gay) marks the EHRC as an enemy.

Also interesting the claim that the cinema chain did not have a “policy” until the CoE asked to buy an ad.

Ann Fontaine

Maybe this will work for CoE at the movies

Ann Fontaine

Can’t wait until the LDS and Muslims buy ad time for the movie theatres.

Ann Fontaine

I think it is sad that the Lord’s Prayer– has become so innocuous in people’s minds. I doubt conspiracy theories from either side– just dumb luck for the CoE

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