Lord’s Prayer Advertisement Rejected for Run in Movie Theaters Over Potential ‘Offense’

Just Pray-compressedLONDON — A British cinema firm has denied the request of the Church of England to run an advertisement featuring the Lord’s Prayer, stating that the content might cause offense to some viewers.

The 60-second commercial, which features a variety of everyday citizens reciting the words of Christ, was to play next month before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name,” the video opens, showing the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby walking contemplatively along a path, followed by man kneeling at a grave site.

“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” it continues, showing police officers on the street, and moving on to various other scenarios, from a man lifting weights, to a farmer, to those partaking in a baptism and wedding. “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

The advertisement, which is part of the Church of England’s “Just Pray” campaign, was cleared by the British Board of Film Classification and the Cinema Advertising Authority, but Digital Cinema Media (DCM) rejected it because of its religious content.

“DCM has a policy of not accepting ‘political or religious advertising’ content for use in its cinemas,” it said in a statement. “Some advertisements — unintentionally or otherwise — could cause offense to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith. In this regard, DCM treats all political or religious beliefs equally.”

The National Secular Society said that it agreed with the decision, opining that the Church of England was “arrogant” to place the prayer in front of a captive audience.

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But the Church of England says that it is “bewildered” by the rejection, which it characterizes as the stifling of free speech.

“The Lord’s Prayer is prayed by billions of people across the globe every day and in this country has been part of everyday life for centuries,” Director of Communications Arun Arora said in a statement. “In one way, the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly, but the fact that they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech.”

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron also outlined at a press conference that he finds that ban to be “ridiculous.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission made similar remarks.

“Freedom to hold a religion and freedom to express ideas are essential British values. We are concerned by any blanket ban on adverts by all religious groups,” it commented to reporters. “Digital Cinema Media have said an advert could cause offence to those of differing faiths. 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.”


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  • bowie1

    This must be unique to the UK since I’ve never seen it shown in our Canadian cinema. Not even the national anthem is played.

  • Emmanuel

    who cares! Run it.

    • tyler

      And they should definitely also run an ad showing how atheism is a far better option than any religion, and that morals are inherent in humans, and the idea that morality comes from religion is bogus.

      It is definitely worth offending you and your friends to show that ad.

      • Emmanuel

        Run that too. Let the person decide. That must a be a short commercial of a blank screen.

        • tyler

          wow, that’s so funny. Let’s see how much longer we allow christians to be tax free and live completely off all our tax dollars. I’ve got nothing to worry about 🙂

          • Emmanuel

            It will never happen. Do you know why?

          • tyler

            it’s supposed to be because of all the ‘good’ a church does for the local community, which I’m not seeing much of. There’s a massive change of church leaders talking about and getting involved in politics, which should be the deal breaker right there

          • Josey

            There have been many churches that have done most of the good works you say aren’t done, that has changed recently because of ungodliness is abounding as we are living in the last days and Jesus is coming soon to repay but there are still plenty of Christians doing good works as God commands, they are the obedient ones and the faithful. When’s the last time you did a good work not that it will save you, only faith in Christ and obedience to Him can do that but since you are quick to judge others, I’d like you to think about what have you done besides murmur about others.

          • Emmanuel

            Tyler, you are almost there. See, The DC rich turds attend church physically, not spiritually. So they get their tax break from churches and other non profits. So inclusion, tax exemptions will never end. The rich will not allow it. So, join a church, like the DC turds and get your tax break. Now, you said we Christians live off your taxes, how is that? Please explain

          • MamaBear

            Actually, it was originally to maintain separation of church and state, to keep the state from having any control over churches, because the ability to tax is to a certain degree the ability to control.
            But if you want to tax churches, please also tax charities like the Red Cross, that pay their CEOs more than half million dollar salaries. By the way, that also includes taxing “non-profits” like Planned Parenthood who has so much profits that they can be major campaign contributors to Hillary Clinton and practically every Democrat in Congress.

          • Josey

            Tax free….lol..you know nothing. Christians pay taxes and I wouldn’t want to be a part of the 501C church for the very reason that they are told what they can preach or not preach in a lot of places. If the word isn’t from the Holy Spirit and the Bible it’s not worth hearing in the first place, these that you refer to are the seeker friendly churches that sold their soul for federal tax exemption money even though the money is the peoples to begin with. Those that trust in God will trust in Him to meet their church needs and He is faithful to the faithful. BTW…you are benefiting from Christians that pay taxes, we all pay taxes by law except for thieves who find loopholes to get out of paying them. We are taxed to death in this Country but God is always in control so I don’t worry about taxes, one day soon Jesus will come and taxes will be a thing of the past and so will all who have rejected him.

          • tyler

            haha! we pay less taxes in this country than almost any other country on earth. And I didn’t say that christians themselves personally don’t pay taxes, but no christian churches ever pay any taxes. if they did, our country wouldn’t be so far in debt

          • Josey

            Churches do pay taxes and those not apart of this 501C exempt status aren’t getting any exemptions and neither are their people able to claim their givings on tax forms. I never did anyway and the church is in my opinion supposed to support and trust God not the government, God shall supply their needs if they trust in Him. And God loving pastor who wants to preach the whole truth of God’s word will not accept this 501C for then they are subject to the government to preach what they say to preach, they have sold out for that tax exempt which is choosing mammon over God. imo.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          Good one! And, in honor of that fantastic reply of yours, I present the Atheist Creed:

          I, the atheist, recite my blind faith:

          1. That the universe miraculously popped into existence out of nothing uncaused by anything.
          2. That life magically sprang forth from non-life when lightning hit some mud.
          3. That minds and morals evolved from molecules through monkeys.
          4. That there is no God, and I hate Him.

          • Emmanuel

            LOL, hate something that does not exist. Classic!!

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Not as good as your reply of the blank screen commercial though! But, I have evidence to support each of those 4 creedal doctrines that the atheist holds. Here it is for number 4:

            http://www .firstthings .com/web-exclusives/2011/01/when-atheists-are-angry-at-god

            Excerpt: “At first glance, this finding seemed to reflect an error. How could people be angry with God if they did not believe in God? Reanalyses of a second dataset revealed similar patterns: Those who endorsed their religious beliefs as “atheist/agnostic” or “none/unsure” reported more anger toward God than those who reported a religious affiliation.”

          • Cady555

            Wow. Good one. First you mistate the beliefs of others then you cite a Christian apologetics website as “proof” that you are right.

            I suppose listening with respect to fellow humans on this planet is too much to ask.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “First you mistate the beliefs of others”

            How so? I am a former atheist, and I can back up each one of those claims. In fact, I backed up number 4 above.

            “then you cite a Christian apologetics website”

            False. I LINKED to a Christian website which reported the results of the peer reviewed secular study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

            Furthermore, I showed that I had evidence for atheist creedal doctrine number 4. Pretty straightforward.

            “I suppose listening with respect to fellow humans”

            Physician, heal thyself. You entered into a conversation between Christians – I was listening with respect to the individual I was conversing with. 🙂 God bless!

          • Emmanuel

            I would like an atheist to explain their anger towards God.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Would you like to hear the opinion of a former atheist? 🙂 Cosmic authority problem:

            “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious
            believers. It isn’t just that I don’t
            believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time.” — Professor Thomas Nagel, NYU

          • Emmanuel

            thanks

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            You are most welcome. May God bless you with a joyful Thanksgiving!

          • Emmanuel

            Likewise brother/sister. We serve a mighty God.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            BTW, I had a real anger management problem as an atheist. I would cuss my head off and blaspheme God when the slightest thing went wrong – stubbed toe, spilled milk, etc. Jesus took that away immediately upon conversion. The only thing close to it now is righteous indignation, which has a time and place. But, mostly it is an incredible sadness for this world and His creatures within it.

          • Emmanuel

            Isn’t God’s grace amazing.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            I’ll say! And, I am ashamed to admit that I only recently memorized ALL of the stanzas to that great hymn.

          • Emmanuel

            Its all good WGC.

          • happy diwali

            Where do all non-Christians go after death?

        • Josey

          lol

        • Cady555

          How about this:

          * One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
          * The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
          * One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
          * The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
          * Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
          * People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
          * Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word

  • tyler

    I’m all for it as long as there’s a another ad with thousands of people and their children worshipping and chanting to satan, featuring lots of burning pentagrams.

    • Cady555

      Dies the Satanic Temple have branches in the UK?

      Maybe they could lead a recitation of the 7 Tenets.

  • Josey

    Everyone gets offended nowadays, it’s ridiculous.

    • tyler

      and yet you’d be the first whining and crying if it was an ad talking about the benefits of atheism as opposed to religion.. And to say that you wouldn’t be is a lie.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      It is a beautiful ad, isn’t it?

    • afchief

      Only at Christians.

  • Cady555

    Think about it from the stand point of people in a theater to watch a movie.

    This ad leads everyone in Christian prayer. Is it possible to hear a prayer without participating in that prayer? One could argue that for a while. I kind of think that if you listen to the words of a prayer you are praying that prayer. Would you want to be led in prayer to Allah or a Hindu god? Wouldn’t that make you uncomfortable? What if your kids were there next to you?

    I wouldn’t have a problem with a basic “join us in church” ad as long as other view points are equally welcome. There is nothing offensive about the idea that other religions exist and would like you to join them.

    However, I would be very uncomfortable with praying to a God I don’t believe in. I think nearly everyone would feel the same way. And it’s not like one could mute it. An ad that leads a theater audience in prayer is inappropriate and coercive.

    • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

      That discomfort with God that you know so well is a big warning. You should not so quickly shoot the messenger before you finish wondering why you are uncomfortable. Is it immoral to prick your hardened conscience? You are about to be blasted with violence and praise of the non-existent force, and but a prayer to what you hold as a non-existent god leaves you uncomfortable. How sure are you that you are really uncomfortable?

      • Cady555

        Martin Smit said (edits in all caps):

        “That discomfort with VISHNU that you know so well is a big warning. You should not so quickly shoot the messenger before you finish wondering why you are uncomfortable. Is it immoral to prick your hardened conscience? You are about to be blasted with violence and praise of the non-existent force, and but a prayer to VISHNU leaves you uncomfortable. How sure are you that you are really uncomfortable?”

        “That discomfort with ALLAH that you know so well is a big warning. You should not so quickly shoot the messenger before you finish wondering why you are uncomfortable. Is it immoral to prick your hardened conscience? You are about to be blasted with violence and praise of the non-existent force, and but a prayer to ALLAH leaves you uncomfortable. How sure are you that you are really uncomfortable?”

        “That discomfort with SATAN that you know so well is a big warning. You should not so quickly shoot the messenger before you finish wondering why you are uncomfortable. Is it immoral to prick your hardened conscience? You are about to be blasted with violence and praise of the non-existent force, and but a prayer to SATAN leaves you uncomfortable. How sure are you that you are really uncomfortable?”

        I expect you would not like to be coereced into praying to Vishna, Allah or Satan. And your lack of willingness to pray to those deities in no way means you believe those dieties are “pricking your hardened conscience.” Perhaps the followers of Christ could extend the same courtesy and respect toward non Christians that you would like extended toward you.

        • MamaBear

          To hear a prayer does not mean YOU have to participate.

          • Cady555

            It’s a good question. What exactly is prayer? If prayer is talking to god in one’s head, can one hear a prayer without praying?

            If a classrooom is told to sit quietly while the teacher says grace to the god they believe in, didn’t those children pray? What if the teacher leads a prayer to Allah?

            Do want your children to sit quietly while someone leads a prayer to Satan?

            Why not? They aren’t participating. Or are they?

          • happy diwali

            Then non-Christian prayers should also be run.

          • MamaBear

            It was a PAIS advertisement by a church!
            Other religions are free to do the same!

        • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

          Suddenly it is Christians that are intolerant, but the fact is that your atheist buddies are intolerant of paying Christian advertisers. Your dreams of unfair discrimination against vishnuists, allahists and stanists (the worshipers of Stan) are fiction.

          • Cady555

            I merely asked if you would be uncomfortable if non Christian prayers were broadcast in a theater when you were there to watch a movie. I think it would be normal for most people to be uncomfortable being led in prayer to a god they do not worship. I thought perhaps you could feel empathy, and thus appreciate the theater’s decision to draw the line at group prayer.

            I said in my first post that I personally would be fine with an advertisement for a church or religion that did not include leading the audience in prayer. It is not intolerant to respect varying religious belief and ask that they all be given the same courtesy.

          • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

            You are asking questions of courtesy for imaginary situations, ignoring a lack of courtesy for this actual situation. The audience is about to watch a movie about a god whom they certainly do not worship, but we must shield them from the true God whom they might not worship out of empathy. This is purely a matter of your loyalties.

          • happy diwali

            They are truth. Christian terrorists in NE Indian states stop Hindus from celebrating their festivals.

          • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

            “Christian terrorists in South Korea pray.” People who are in terror of Christian prayer know that Jesus is true, and wooden gods are false.

          • happy diwali

            People know that Christianity is a false religion. It is basically a cult and a false religion of foolish people.

      • happy diwali

        Then they should also show an Islamic, a Hindu and a Buddhist and Jewish prayer as well.

        • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

          Why pray according to false prophets, to false gods, to no god or deny Jesus Christ? Those who follow error can do their own work.

          • happy diwali

            Jesus is a false prophet and Yahweh is a false god. Plain and simple. Why pray to them?

  • Nidalap

    Heh…ever notice that, when it comes to offensive content like nudity or explicit sexuality, they’ll tell us we can just turn away, choose not to watch. When it comes to things like THIS, however, we magically turn into a “captive audience” and, ever the tyrants, they will protect us from this choice…

    • tyler

      separation of church and state ya ding-dong

      • StanW

        No such thing!

        • tyler

          Yes there is, and it is defended through court time and again.
          I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer.

          • StanW

            So where do you find those words in the Constitution?

          • Nidalap

            Point the first: This is Britain we’re talking about here, our Constitution doesn’t apply.

            Point the second: This wouldn’t be Separation of Church and State, it would be Separation of Church and Theater! (^_^)

    • happy diwali

      When a TV show is going to show nudity or sexuality the viewers already know in advance. But once inside the cinema hall and sitting in front of movie screen all of a sudden a Christian prayer is run and non-Christians cannot ask for refund of money and decide to leave that hall. So there is difference. If any cinema hall wants to show a Christian prayer at the beginning they can do so by all means but tell this in advance so the movie goers know and are not in shock.

  • happy diwali

    Totally right decision by the cinema because it imposes Christianity on non-Christians and thats when it is openly insulting to non-Christian faiths. If it was a Buddhist or Hindu or Sikh prayer it still makes sense because our religions don’t insult others.

    Also it is not curtailing free speech because nobody is stopping asking them from opening their own TV channel and show whatever prayers they want to show. And if a cinema is going to show a Christian prayer at the opening of a movie then it must tell this in advance to movie goers so they may decide not to watch any movie that cinema hall.