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Source: (consider it) Thread: Banning the Lord's Prayer - daft, illegal, or sinister?
argona
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Actually of course not praying 'to' the unsuspecting but in front of them. Which I think makes my point more firmly. You're not taken with it? Fine. Dive into the popcorn.

But then, please CofE, think, don't leave your footsoldiers picking up the pieces!

[ 23. November 2015, 15:03: Message edited by: argona ]

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
The Church Mouse's response is interesting. The policy reads as if it was issued in January 2015, but their comments suggest it may have been later.

Tubbs

To be honest, that makes zero difference to me. If the CofE media boffins didn't work out between them that a cinema advert about praying was going to be a problem, they should have.

Nobody needed to read the policy/tealeaves to know that.

Not really. They'd shown Alpha ads in the same cinema chains before without any bother so the date the policy was actually issued and communicated could be key in understanding what happened and why. Because no company ever has issued a policy and then backdated it for reasons of their own. Interestingly enough, when I looked at the policy document again, it didn't have an issue date on.

Tubbs

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
Not really. They'd shown Alpha ads in the same cinema chains before without any bother so the date the policy was actually issued and communicated could be key in understanding what happened and why. Because no company ever has issued a policy and then backdated it for reasons of their own. Interestingly enough, when I looked at the policy document again, it didn't have an issue date on.

Tubbs

As discussed, the Alpha advert was different. I can imagine that few would get riled up by a similar ad for the JWs, Satanists, Scientologists etc - if all it consisted of was a few smiling people inviting you to attend a course to talk about spirituality.

There is a clear difference between this and a prayer.

Furthermore, I suspect an corporation providing entertainment to the public is entitled to change their rules on which adverts to accept any time they like. This is nothing to do with the corporation and everything to do with the numbskulls who thought this was a good idea.

[ 23. November 2015, 15:06: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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argona
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quote:
Originally posted by argona:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by argona:
Nobody was claiming any 'right' in this. And nobody was preaching. Just praying. To the unsuspecting? Maybe, but when was an unsuspected prayer ever a threat? Tactically, this was probably a bad move I'd agree, but mainly because the most likely reaction would be yours. And, in our place with our limitations, we have to be tactical.

Right, so you'd be happy to go to the cinema to watch James Bond and have to listen to 60 seconds of a) an Islamic call to prayer b) Tibetan Buddhist prayer chanting or c) a Satanist spell, would you?

No, I didn't think so.


Actually, yes, I would. I might think... weird. I might think... nice but maybe facile. Maybe I'd think, oh shit, this is evil. But really, I would be happy seeing what was there. I would NOT be thinking, get this off my screen I don't want to hear it.
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argona
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Or see it. Best advice I ever heard was 'open your eyes and shut your mouth'.
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I'm gobsmacked that the powers-that-be didn't check what would be allowed before spending shedloads on a professional ad.

According to Bishop Stephen Cotterrell, the DID check but the goalposts have moved.

Ther HAVE shown political ads. in the past e.g. the Scottish referendum campaign.

A spokesman from the British Humanist Association thought that the ad. should go ahead - like their 'There is no god...'

And in repose to an earlier post, no we don't get the national anthem any more - it was always my cue to walk out.

A much bigger issue is that cinemas are often places of spirituality as movies often deal with the big questions.

It would be interesting to know when they checked as the pdf says the policy is effective from 1 January 2015 and it's now November 2015.

The Scottish Referendum was before the new policy came into effect. And the arguement that they used to do it is rather weak.

Tubbs

They started work on this add last december - so before the policy change.

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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It's a goal, become an own goal, suddenly become a goal again!

If this whole thing of getting the ad banned to really up the chatter were some masterplan from Church House they deserve a medal. I don't think it was, though...

How I really feel about this is:

"to advertise" =/= "to evangelise"

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Ramarius
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
WHY does 'my' side score nothing but own goals?

Just to cheer you up Martin... I was having a chat about this to a couple of atheist colleagues today. Neither liked the idea of showing the ad at a cinema. Both both thought it was a quality piece and well produce, and one said they found it "deeply moving."

So not all bad....

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'

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Gamaliel
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It'll blow over.

I'm not sure the CofE has escaped having egg on its face by the poorly conceived ad not being screened at a cinema near you ... far more people will have seen the news coverage than ever would have endured the ad between their slurps of Kiaora and pop-corn munching.

Whoever is to 'blame' - the media company, the CofE's communications people, both - nobody comes out of it smelling of roses.

I'm not so sure that 'to advertise' = / = 'to evangelise'.

There's more to evangelism than simple proclamation or even, 'come and have a look, this is what we do ...'

I think Nick Tamen's idea - further upthread - was a better one than the actual ad ... 'I pray because ...' etc -- but even that doesn't really get us very far.

All any of this invites is a bored or a cynical response.

That may sound like a counsel of despair ... it's not meant to be - it's meant to be a reality check.

I'm sure there are both churches and individual Christians who are engaging very positively with the world around them and evangelising effectively - or as effectively as they can given the limitations/barriers that we all face in a highly secularised and increasingly indifferent society.

This ad doesn't cut the mustard on any level.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
Operational Success.

More people are talking, writing, tweeting and getting their panties in a wad about prayer than at any time in the last decade.

Communication, working as planned.

Getting is banned was a stroke of genius.

I don't agree. ISTM, after a brief and minor kerfuffle, we shall see exactly as many people praying after as before. If the CofE see a noticible spike in attendendance, or indeed any tangible benefit, I'll be shocked enough to consider joining.

[ 23. November 2015, 15:31: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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LeRoc

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quote:
lilBuddha: ISTM, after a brief and minor kerfuffle, we shall see exactly as many people praying after as before.
I can imagine an increase in prayer in the CofE's media department: please let our next idea be better [Razz]

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Gamaliel
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Indeed.

I don't think the 'banning' which make a blind bit of difference to the CofE's fortunes/misfortunes - just as I don't think the ad would have made a happ'orth of difference had it been screened as planned.

Apart from people like us, nobody cares.

That's the grim reality. Nobody gives a flying fart.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I find ALL adverts at the cinema annoying, basically because I paid to see a movie. And I know I'm not alone in that. So the whole project struck me as probably counter-productive. But that is not a good reason for banning it.

"Banning"? Was it really banned? Or just not accepted as an advert that particular company wanted to run in its theatres? How can a private corporation "ban" anything? The rhetoric is getting thick in here.
"Banned" is now one of the most meaningless words in the English language, almost always used inaccurately, and with the aim of advancing some political or religious tendency's claim to persecution.

Basically, it's used in situations where something you like wasn't given the venue or distribution that you think it deserved. I rarely see it used with its proper meaning, ie. production, sale, or posseession of the thing was actually made illegal.

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Gramps49
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If the Church of England is paying for the Advertisement I see nothing wrong with it. We see similar ads on TV and some theaters here in the US.

I really see nothing offensive about it.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Here's an interesting comment by a Baptist colleague I respect.
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Because to anyone with an ounce of sense, it is obvious that the next stop will be every-other-religion wanting an advert in a cinema. Only the short-sighted and special pleading nature of the Established church could obscure the obvious problems with this idea.

What problems would be caused by every other religion wanting an advert in the cinema that aren't reflections of the narrow-mindedness of viewers?

(FWIW I wouldn't object to the Muslim call to prayer, Tibetan Buddhist chanting, etc.)

[ 23. November 2015, 18:12: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Robert Armin

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Did anyone else think that Welby looked rather sinister in the opening seconds of this advert?

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Albertus
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Does anyone else think that Welby almost always looks rather sinister?
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Gamaliel
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I'm sure your Baptist minister colleague is worthy of respect, Baptist Trainfan, but he doesn't win mine with that article, I'm afraid ... all he's doing is using guilt-inducement - the preacher's standard stock-in-trade whatever the churchmanship ...

'Ah, before we rush to judge, how many of US actually pray the Lord's Prayer regularly ... not just reciting it but actually praying it ... yadda yadda yadda yadda ...'

Yawn.

How many times have I heard this sort of guilt manipulation from the pulpit?

[Roll Eyes] [Disappointed]

All he's doing is capitalising on the situation to induce even more guilt among those who listen to him or read his blog.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
If the Church of England is paying for the Advertisement I see nothing wrong with it. We see similar ads on TV and some theaters here in the US.

I really see nothing offensive about it.

I don't think anyone here sees anything 'offensive' in it nor, I suspect, does the media owner - they're simply providing some kind of post-hoc justification for not taking the ad ... and unwittingly playing into the hands of all those who squawk on social media about Christianity being 'banned' or proscribed etc etc.

They'd taken a policy decision, in the aftermath of the Scottish Referendum, not to take political or religious ads and apparently failed to notify the CofE's media-buyers of their intention ...

As the shit hits the fan they then have to provide some kind of justification - instead of simply saying, 'Well, that's our policy ...' they've come up with some half-baked thing about potential offence to people of other faiths or none.

What's the old adage about stop digging if you're in a hole?

I'm afraid all this has done is:

- Shown how much of a minefield advertising and media buying is ... believe you me, I've seen plenty of mistakes in that realm, even from highly experienced and professional people.

- Fuelled the Daily Mail's 'We're all going to hell in a hand-cart' schtick even further.

- Shown that the CofE can commission well-produced and executed ads, albeit misconceived.

- Shown what a wally that bloke from the London Community Gospel Choir is for apparently not knowing who the words of the Lord's Prayer are attributed to (one of yesterday's biggest laughs) in his BBC News soundbite.

- Shown how easy it is to stir up a social media shit storm.

In other words, like the ad itself, it hasn't shown us anything we couldn't have worked out for ourselves.

I'd imagine some people might have been 'moved' by the ad. But c'mon, some people are moved by Chris de Burgh's 'The Lady in Red'.

People being moved is hardly a recommendation.

I feel a bad attack of the Ebenezer Scrooge ... or that whatsitsface Dr Seuss character that was all for banning Christmas ...

Humbug, humbug ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Pyx_e

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Does anyone else think that Welby almost always looks rather sinister?

always

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Albertus
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And most of all when he's smiling.

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Jemima the 9th
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True.

2 more odd things about the whole affair, or so it seems to me:

1. The ad was to be shown ahead of the Star Wars film. At Christmas. The one time of year when the presumably target audience (ie infrequent churchgoers) might actually set foot in a church and pray.

2. The tagline "The hardest bit is starting to pray". Really, really not so in my experience. And I doubt it's just me.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Does the presentation of the lord's prayer inflict something on those who are not Christian or somehow disagree with Christianity? Are there minority rights worthy of protection by not having the religious content presented? Does it matter if a minority is offended?

--My answer is that the ad should be probably be presented, and the non-presentation probably violates something to do with free speech and minority rights. Thus, present the ad, but put a disclaimer on it, along the lines that the following is an advertisement from the <whatever>, doesn't reflect the movie theatre's view on anything and is the view of the <whatevers> alone. Much like we are warned in Canada that foul language, nudity, violence are part of an upcoming TV program. It is possible to create an understanding of how to respond to the ad if enough are offended: tar-oil pipeline ads have been booed in other contexts in Canada to the point they've been removed.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
--My answer is that the ad should be probably be presented, and the non-presentation probably violates something to do with free speech and minority rights.

That's ridiculous. This is advertising. At the very worst it's a contract dispute. The cinema is a private entity and entitled to buy whatever advertising it likes and turn down whatever it doesn't. If you don't buy a jar of Branston Pickle from me, are you infringing my basic rights as a Branston Pickle lover?

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, you might as well say that McDonald's are obliged to include religious ads in their menus! How absurd.

As others have said also, it's not a ban at all. It's a commercial decision. I don't understand how people can make themselves look so ridiculous over stuff like this. Is it a yearning to be a victim?

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Jemima the 9th:
2. The tagline "The hardest bit is starting to pray". Really, really not so in my experience. And I doubt it's just me.

It depends on what you mean by "pray". Just shooting up a few words when you need something (for yourself or others) is easy. But to pray in the pattern of the Prayer Jesus taught us? That is a much harder thing. As the link Baptist Trainfan put it, in most churches attendance at prayer meetings are very low - in the church it is known that there are a few "prayer warriors" who will faithfully attend these events and pray at home. But, how many people who turn up week in week out on Sunday morning also pray regularly in their own homes during the week? It is hard work.

Church on Sunday is easy because someone else has done the work to give us the structure. Someone has produced the liturgy (whether it's a formal liturgy or just "that's how we do things here") for us to follow, chosen the songs and hymns we'll sing, thought about the Scripture and prepared a few words to help us think about it. Our own personal prayer lives often lack that structure, there's an expectation that we can manage on our own without structure. Most of us can't, many will find structure some where (daily study notes, Daily Office etc). The Lord's Prayer is an often overlooked source for such a structure, another point well made by the blog Baptist Trainfan linked to.

To that end, I think the ad had merit. It was just targeting the wrong audience. Rather than Saturday evening at the cinema, it is something we can do with being reminded of on Sunday morning when we gather for worship. It's an ad for those who already have a relationship to God, who can address Him as Father, but who can benefit in their relationship through praying more often and more deeply - which is all of us, even the "prayer warriors".

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Gamaliel
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Rightly or wrongly, the creators of the ad appear to see prayer as the entry-level 'way-in' to a relationship with God.

I think they're right as it happens.

I remember my first faltering steps in prayer walking along the canal bank at night in South Wales. So, no, I don't think that prayer - the Lord's Prayer or other forms - is purely for the already converted as it were.

I don't think the ad is misguided or aimed at the 'wrong' audience in that sense.

On one level, I think the script-writers got it right - but I'm not convinced this is the right medium or approach.

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Steve Langton
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I'm not happy with the pathetic proposed ad; not greatly worried that the cinemas won't be showing it... but a bit puzzled how any ad mentioning 'Christmas' can get past DCM's policy against

quote:
2.2.2 advertising which wholly or partly advertises any religion, faith or equivalent systems of belief (including any absence of belief) or any part of any religion, faith or such equivalent systems of belief.
I rather suspect there will be a lot of such 'Christmas' ads in the next few weeks....
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Before this turns into another holier-than-thou 'lets bash the nasty Established CofE fest', did anyone else notice the quote from the Reverend Bazil Meade of the London Community Gospel Choir during his sound-bite interview for the BBC News last night?

"Whoever designed this prayer obviously found... seemed to have found...the language and words that makes one feel as though one is actually talking to God."

[Big Grin] [Roll Eyes] [Help]

Yes, I thought that was peculiar. Someone obviously thought his answer sounded pleasantly authentic and natural so they didn't bother to invite him to rephrase what he was trying to say. I thought there was something rather disrespectful about that.

Nevertheless (assuming the man is not an Anglican) would every Anglican speak in perfectly formed, theologically correct sentences if asked what the Lord's Prayer meant to them? If so, one wonders why they didn't simply ask this question of a well-spoken Anglican and just leave the Gospel Choir to do the singing....

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Rightly or wrongly, the creators of the ad appear to see prayer as the entry-level 'way-in' to a relationship with God.

I think they're right as it happens.

I think prayer can be an entry-level way in, but I'd be very surprised if that was common without some other parallel entry-level ways in. Which, in most cases, would probably be a friendship with people who are already in relationship with God who can provide direction. The audience at Star Wars will probably not have any such additional ways in.

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Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
--My answer is that the ad should be probably be presented, and the non-presentation probably violates something to do with free speech and minority rights.

That's ridiculous. This is advertising. At the very worst it's a contract dispute. The cinema is a private entity and entitled to buy whatever advertising it likes and turn down whatever it doesn't. If you don't buy a jar of Branston Pickle from me, are you infringing my basic rights as a Branston Pickle lover?
Disagree. A pickle is a product that you eat. Trivial. A religious advert is about a cultural value. The venue is open to the public so it is a public space subject to regulation as such. Not trivial. They are both presented as audio-video material, but that does not mean they are the same type of "product". Your error is to mistake a consumer product with the promotion of culture values.

We had a human rights investigation regarding city busses flashing Merry Christmas which I found more nuanced. Because the audience is not 'captive' the LED banners remained. They clarified that if the audience is captive - i.e., cannot leave or otherwise abstain without drawing attention, then there is a problem for further investigation to understand the context and the specifics of the message and how it is played. The dominant culture presenting is different than a minority presentation because of the position of power they lack. I didn't really get his either until I attended a workshop about it. I suspect that they might equate the church spot as more or less forcing a religious service albeit short, on to the captive audience. With the likely balance to be rectified by disclaimers about it.

[ 24. November 2015, 00:32: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Posts: 11498 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


The underlying problem here is how a historic state church comes to terms with a pluralistic, secular society; the answer in this case appears to be "not very well".

I'm not sure a historic state church can ever 'come to terms with' a society like that, except by agreeing not to draw too much attention to itself.


quote:

The Alpha ad is marginally more acceptable to my mind because it's basically advertising a product - the Alpha course.

So the CofE would have had more success if instead of producing an ad of people praying it had produced an ad promoting a DVD or CD of people doing more or less the same thing....

Actually, such a disk could have gone into more detail and taken on board Nick Tamen's idea about producing something that actually explained prayer:

quote:

Take those same people you find compelling [in the ad] and instead of having the viewer watch them pray, let them speak to the camera and finish the sentence "I pray because ____," or "I pray when _____."

"I pray because I'm grateful." "I pray because I need guidance" or "because I need comfort." '"I pray because I want to be closer to God."

Finish with something like "Whatever your reason, just pray."



[ 24. November 2015, 00:47: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
A pickle is a product that you eat. Trivial. A religious advert is about a cultural value. The venue is open to the public so it is a public space subject to regulation as such. Not trivial. They are both presented as audio-video material, but that does not mean they are the same type of "product". Your error is to mistake a consumer product with the promotion of culture values.

So if my advert promotes "culture values" (whatever the hell that means), people who provide advertising space (billboard owners, television and radio station owners, newspapers, etc.) should be forced to show it? As far as what advertising I accept, why should "culture values" be any different at all from shoes or toothpaste or double glazing? If I own a cinema, what I decide to show on the screen is my business, isn't it?

I think if you're going to say no, it's not, you'd better damned well have some good reason, other than the squishy notion of "culture values."

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Or all three. Within the company, within the CofE and between the company and the CofE.

That makes a nice, neat Trinitarian formulary of it.

But I thought that the Persons of the Trinity always existed in perfect harmony and were in constant communication?
If we think the government, the church, and the corporations are all part of one big conspiracy, does that make us modalists?

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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All adverts promote "culture values". The biggest one being the cultural value of finding happiness, social acceptance etc through wearing the right clothing or having the right gadget etc ... and, according to the ad, "here's the thing you need". Other culture values include those of entitlement - you failed to read the contract you signed when you took out a loan, you are entitled to PPI compensation.

The Church should be countering the consumerist values of our culture. That could be done through advertising, but I think it should be done carefully. Advertising is the means that consumerism uses to encourage people to consume more, and to consume the particular product or service advertised. If I was to employ a metaphor of cultural warfare, advertising is the weapon of consumerism - and using the weapon of the enemy is a very dangerous thing at times. It is a path that can lead to the Dark Side.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Palimpsest
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There's an otherwise well regarded regional airline here where your snack comes with a slip of paper printed with a psalm. I find it creepy and hope that it's seen as evangelism and not an inside opinion on the likelihood of a successful flight.

I'd rather not see commercials where someone might take offense if I talk, get up to go to the restroom or eat popcorn. I expect those who paid for the commercial would expect some sort of respect and not just a convenient pause to run out to the lobby.

Now if there was a proper series of little Mystery Worshipper episodes; that would be worthwhile.
[Devil]

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LeRoc

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In some African places (I've especially seen it in Malawi), after a bus leaves town it stops and everyone is required to pray. The way this is done often struck me as rather aggressive. I've also wondered more than once if there is a relation with the driving skills of the guy behind the wheel.

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Evangeline
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
The word God is not a shibboleth,

No, but "Merry Christmas" is, in this country. [Disappointed]
I overheard an interesting conversation at the (secular) asylum-seeker centre this morning.

The woman on the desk was inviting a Muslim mother with a little boy to the centre's Christmas party, and asking the mum what he would like as a present from under the tree eg car, football (yes, I know, gender stereotype...).

When the mother replied that he would like a toy gun, she was gently "corrected"!

What I found rally interesting, however, was the blithely unashamed reference to Christmas.

I asked the reception woman about it after the mother left, and she told me that no-one had any problem with it, despite the centre's clientele's being at least 90% Muslim.

This reminds me of friend who worked for a big US bank, she said that they weren't allowed to have a "Christmas party" and had to pay for their own end of year party. Another friend said "oh we have a Christmas party and we get a Christmas present too"-her employer Arab Bank!

It's rubbish that most Muslims are offended by Christmas, we had another fuss in Sydney a few years back when the lapsed Catholic Mayor took away the city's Christmas decorations saying they would offend non_Christians. The Muslim Council and other non_Christian faith groups all came out and said we're not offended we think you should have your Christmas decorations.

Posts: 2871 | From: "A capsule of modernity afloat in a wild sea" | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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The only people surprised that most non-Christians have little problem with Christmas are people with little conscious contact with non-Christians.
If one were to go by the preponderance of complaint, it would make more sense to claim Christians liked Christmas the least.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Alan Cresswell

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Things may be different down under. But, in the UK we regularly get "councils ban Christmas" type stories, almost always about Labour run councils and the phrase "Loony Left" comes out again. Invariably the stories in the media have been exagerated beyond anything that anyone in the town concerned would recognise. Judging by the number of similar stories in Snopes classified as "false" it isn't an exclusively UK phenomena.

Basically, any story about a ban on trees, lights, the word "Christmas" etc is something to take with a shovelful of salt.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Truman White
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# 17290

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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
There's an otherwise well regarded regional airline here where your snack comes with a slip of paper printed with a psalm. I find it creepy and hope that it's seen as evangelism and not an inside opinion on the likelihood of a successful flight.

How would you feel if it came with a fortune cookie?
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Gill H

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I don't really give a hoot whether cinemas show the ad or not. It's all over social media now, where it will have more impact anyway.

But one thing puzzles me. I'm sure I remember an advert in the cinema a few years ago for the Alpha course - featuring Bear Grylls.

How did that get past the code?

Also, it's interesting how some people feel rather protective of the Lord's Prayer. I remember when Cliff's 'Millennium Prayer' song came out (a version of the Lord's Prayer set to Auld Lang Syne) and a Christian lady I knew was terribly offended. Not on grounds of musical taste, but because she believed the Lord's Prayer was 'ours' and it shouldn't be out there in the world. You should come to church if you want to hear it!

Terribly sad, but reflective of a mindset which is all too familiar. The Incarnation? No thanks, far too wordly.

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Eutychus
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There are several separate issues here getting confused.

One is whether a private company choosing not to run a particular type of ad consitutes a "ban" or infringement on free speech (as far as I'm concerned: no).

Another is whether advertising is a good medium for religious and/or evangelistic content (as far as I'm concerned: doubtful*).

Another again is how religious messages are perceived and whether this matters, or whether the main thing is to have broadcast the message.

Psalms on napkins seem to me to be cringeworthy and a misunderstanding both of what the Scriptures are all about and of what getting their message across involves. I'm not really bothered about fortune cookies because I don't perceive anything other than superficiality in the content.

==

*Although in the interests of fairness I should disclose that someone in my church became a Christian after praying for a sign to God and opening her eyes to behold a car plastered in foot-high Bible verses, so you never know.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
In some African places (I've especially seen it in Malawi), after a bus leaves town it stops and everyone is required to pray. The way this is done often struck me as rather aggressive. I've also wondered more than once if there is a relation with the driving skills of the guy behind the wheel.

I didn't experience that in Tanzania, but did see people crossing themselves as they got on local buses (dala dala / matatu). That used to scare me, and with good reason. 8 months travelling on local buses I experienced some incredibly dangerous driving. I think it was only luck that I was never in an accident. Two of my wazungu (European) friends had very close shaves. One ended up in a ditch in a bus, but was mercifully unhurt. The other woke the driver up when she saw he was asleep at the wheel!

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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@Gill H - the Bear Grylls Alpha ads predate the code. I think that may have been mentioned upthread.

The media-owner seems to have introduced the 'ban' on political and religious advertising after some argy-bargy during the Scottish Referendum - but someone seems not to have told the CofE's media-buyers that such a restriction was in place.

@Mousethief, no it doesn't make you a modalist but it does put you in danger of becoming a conspiracy theorist ... [Big Grin] and there are enough of them online already ...

@SvitlanaV2 - I suspect they interviewed the Gospel Choir bloke in the interests of balance - so that it didn't look like a bunch of middle-class Eton educated Anglican clerics ...

I think your idea of CD with a video and instruction about prayer is a good one and if I were in the CofE's communications department I'd be recommending that as a course of action ... the ads already been made and is being aired online through social media - so producing a CD with a few interviews on 'why I pray' as well as the ad and some sample prayers would be a good idea - churches could give them to enquirers.

@Alan Cresswell - I didn't say that prayer was the ONLY entry-level way in - as it were - of course it has to be accompanied by human contact with believers and so on - and other elements besides.

I agree with you that a stand-alone cinema ad lacks that 3D or 360-degree context - which is one of the reasons why I wouldn't advocate this approach if it were down to me.

Meanwhile, could you clarify what you mean by 'prayer warriors'?

I wasn't sure whether you were advocating it or using it a neutral sense - as a term that is often used among certain charismatic evangelicals.

It is possible to meet people - of all persuasions - who seem more 'prayerful' than others, but I'm very wary of the 'prayer warriors' thing as it conjures up some of the more unhelpful aspects of 'spiritual warfare' and such like schtick promoted by some of the loopier elements on the charismatic scene.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Meanwhile, what Eutychus said ...

I'm no longer involved with advertising and promotion to the extent that I once was ... although I am still involved with marketing research and evaluation to a certain extent - assessing and evaluating communication messages and campaigns and so on - so one of the issues here, it seems to me - is whether such initiatives have clear objectives in the first place.

What were they trying to achieve?

To drive traffic to the Just Pray site?

If so, why? What were they expecting people to do once they got there? Post online prayers? What for?

Raise awareness of prayer in general - that's so vast as to be almost nebulous.

Simply set out a marker? Look folks, we're still here you know ...

I get the impression with some Christians that they believe that something - anything - is better than nothing and that as long as it's 'out there' and seen then whatever it is is doing its job ... whatever its job is supposed to be ...

I can understand that but find it problematic.

Years ago, I remember hearing Ian Stackhouse ('The Gospel-Driven Church) speaking at a conference. He told how he'd been stuck in a shop for a while, unable to get out as a March for Jesus was passing and the customers had to wait for it to go by before they could get out.

The next day in church he heard people getting up and giving testimonies as to how wonderful the March had been and what a brilliant opportunity it was to witness ... etc etc ...

He chuckled to himself remembering the frustration, exasperation and rather colourful language of those customers who were in danger of getting parking tickets because they couldn't get back to the car parks until 'those bloody Christians' had marched past ...

[Big Grin]

Of course, there may well have been other people who thought the March was great and were attracted.

But we do well to remain 'grounded' and keep a sense of perspective.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Truman White:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
There's an otherwise well regarded regional airline here where your snack comes with a slip of paper printed with a psalm. I find it creepy and hope that it's seen as evangelism and not an inside opinion on the likelihood of a successful flight.

How would you feel if it came with a fortune cookie?
At least you can eat the fortune cookie.
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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The Church should be countering the consumerist values of our culture. That could be done through advertising, but I think it should be done carefully. Advertising is the means that consumerism uses to encourage people to consume more, and to consume the particular product or service advertised.

I'd be interested to hear your views on churches who have obviously used media-savvy people to design their websites, which then give a wonderful impression of their "vibrant" and "growing" church with "awesome" worship and "anointed" or "life-changing" preaching. Is this (a) a church eager to promote a contemporary image and hope to draw in unchurched people; or (b) a church which has unconsciously imbibed consumerist values and is seeking to strengthen its position in the worship market-place?

We don't have actual church adverts on British TV, but I suspect that things are different in some other places ... the same questions could be asked.

(Personally I'd prefer a church which says, "We're a normal mixed bunch of people, sometimes we get things amazingly right and sometimes we get them terribly wrong, most of the time we manage to rub along together quite well with God's help, occasionally our services are fairly inspiring but more often they're pretty much routine, our Vicar has her foibles but we know she's doing her best ..." [Devil] )

[ 24. November 2015, 09:29: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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# 8891

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quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
I remember when Cliff's 'Millennium Prayer' song came out (a version of the Lord's Prayer set to Auld Lang Syne) and a Christian lady I knew was terribly offended. Not on grounds of musical taste, but because she believed the Lord's Prayer was 'ours' and it shouldn't be out there in the world. You should come to church if you want to hear it!


And if I want to hear One Song To The Tune Of Another, I'll listen to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue!!

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Meanwhile, could you clarify what you mean by 'prayer warriors'?

Sorry, I didn't think that common Evangelical usage of 30 years ago was liable to have changed with the growing emphasis on "spiritual warfare" in parts of Evangelicalism I have little contact with. "Prayer warriors" are (or were when I was more closely aligned to Evangelicalism) those people who, as we used to say, "drop to their knees at the drop of the hat". Those people are always first there to the prayer meeting, and still at prayer when everyone goes. Those people who when you call round or phone will have just been praying. The people who if you have a problem and want to share but not be told what to do are the people you go to, who will listen and then pray ... but, the "we don't understand, help us" prayers, rather than the mini-sermons given in prayer.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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