Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Easter ad rejected by national movie theater chain

Posted by faithandthelaw on April 1, 2011

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — An Orange County church hoping to promote its upcoming Easter services through multi-screen advertising at local theaters had its ads pulled by the company because the content included the name of Jesus.

“We were told we could promote our Easter services with a commercial that featured the date, time and place with some fun bunnies and eggs thrown in,” Pastor Mike Fabarez, senior pastor, of Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “But for us, Easter isn’t about springtime fun, it’s the most important day in Christian history, and we won’t water that message down. It’s unfortunate that what our country was founded on has now become ‘too controversial.’”

Fabarez said he was told by officials with NCM Media Networks that the ad, which some viewers might find offensive, violated its content policy. Among the prohibited content were topics that included such things as nudity, political messaging and gambling. The pastor said he saw nothing on the list that mentioned religion or Christianity.

The 30-second ad was produced by the church and features short one-liners about what some conspiracy theorists believe may have happened to Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago, and ends with “find out what we believe about the resurrection at Compass Bible Church.”

The church planned to spend $5,000 on the ad campaign, but their money was returned. The annual event, held at the Bren Center at the University of California, Irvine, draws more than 5,000 people.

Since being turned down by the movie media group, the church has posted the ad on You Tube, where it had generated more than 2,300 views in just five days.

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