#1158 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 29 November 2015
In his Easter message, British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed the UK was still a Christian country. This week, a pre-Christmas advertisement featuring the Lord’s Prayer was banned from screening in British cinemas.
The ad was to run before screenings of the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens. It was cleared by British film classification and advertising agencies, but turned down by Digital Cinema Media, which handles ads in British cinemas.
The company said it banned religious ads in case they caused offence to viewers. This sounds like religious discrimination, and an abrogation of freedom of speech.
As the Reverend Dr Michael Jensen observed, “There is no proselytizing. No appeal to join a particular church. No condemnation of anyone else’s views. Just the ancient words – words that to this day are used to open the Australian parliament.”
Shame on you, post-Christian British media. But I’m left wondering: would Australian cinemas show the ad if asked?
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.