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Sep 07 2011

Individual apologies to everyone who complained

Jesus is a strange guy. I’m always noticing it. On the one hand he’s God – the God, you know, the one who is omnipotent and omniscient and has a mind without a body – and on the other hand he’s so fragile that an ad for a cell phone hurts his feelings.

Wouldn’t you think he could handle it? Wouldn’t you think he would see the bigger picture and just not worry all that much about jokey cell phone ads?

I would; you probably would; but some of his fans think the opposite. Some of his fans think he’s so touchy and vain and narcissistic that he can’t even tolerate a picture of himself winking and giving a thumbs-up. The Advertising Standards Authority agrees with them.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the Phones 4U advertisement was “disrespectful” to the Christian faith and must not be used again…

The ASA said the complaints had cited the cartoon depiction of Christ and the Sacred Heart, the use of the term “miraculous” for describing a mobile phone deal, and the fact that it was published on Maundy Thursday.

Published on what? What the fuck is Maundy Thursday? Who in hell alive or dead gives a rat’s ass about Maundy Thursday?

Phones 4U said that as soon as it received complaints, it had apologised and withdrew the advertisement. It also sent individual apologies to everyone who complained.

With the benefit of hindsight, and in the face of complaints from Christians, it “understood and regretted” that offence had been caused, it said.

The ASA welcomed this but said the advertisement had appeared to mock and belittle core Christian beliefs and was likely to cause serious offence.

Grovel. Grovel grovel grovel. Slobber. Whine, bow, kiss, kneel, prostrate, whimper, simper, kiss, hug, grovel. Will that do?

Andrew Copson, from the British Humanist Association, said the “completely ridiculous” ruling represented a “further encroachment on free speech in our society, tantamount to a reintroduction of blasphemy laws by the back door”.

“The ASA have shown themselves to be absurdly hypersensitive to the
possibility of religious offence and are chilling the free mockery of all
beliefs which is vital in a free society.

“They seriously need to review their line on cases of this sort. It is an
embarrassment in an open society to have this sort of regulation,” he said.

Damn right. Well said, Andrew.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    Jasper

    Just replace Jokey Jesus with Mirthful Mohammed. I’m sure everything will be okay.

  2. 2
    annp

    So, if we atheists came up with a cartoon character, we could have it as advert representation, and no one could say they were offended by it?

    Let’s do it!

    make it look like…

  3. 3
    Eric MacDonald

    Christians are offended! Well, Christians, I am offended, deeply offended, by your continuing opposition to assisted dying, an opposition which contributed not a little to the anxiety and distress of my wife Elizabeth, who died earlier than she would have otherwise have done had it not been for that opposition.

    So, when do I get an apology? When I get an apology then I’ll perhaps be more sensitive on your behalf. But I won’t grovel and I won’t pretend that Jesus is who you say he is. I won’t pretend that I don’t think that he is a very questionable character to model your life after, and that, in large part, he is responsible for a hell of a lot of misery, hatred and oppression, and that his ideas are not the sum of moral perfections.

    Actually, you should thank the phone company for thinking that Jesus still counts, for Christ’s sake! No one but advertising executives give him credit for anything — except those who grovel Sunday by Sunday before the figure of him hanging on a cross, as though doing that was any great thing, when he is used, as all religious figures are used, to subordinate and oppress ordinary people, and even get them to say thank you.

    There, I’ve said it. Now I can tell you what Maundy Thursday is. Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. It is the day that Jesus was supposed to have given the commandment (mandatum) “to love one another as I have loved you,” from which the word ‘maundy’ is derived. It was the day when the King handed out Maundy Money, money specially struck to be given as a ritual to the elderly and the poor. There are a lot of other rituals associated with Maundy Thursday, but I know you really don’t want to know.

  4. 4
    skepticlawyer

    Blasphemy laws are just political correctness for another age, and the attempt to import morality into law by the back door, which I’ve written about here:

    http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/08/30/a-reminder/

  5. 5
    Amy Clare

    You’d think the Christians would be happy that Jesus got himself a great mobile phone deal. There’s no pleasing some people…

  6. 6
    Ken Pidcock

    Yeah, but we don’t have to be afraid of Christians, a point that Matt and Trey drove home brilliantly at the end of Cartoon Wars Part II.

  7. 7
    daveau

    Boo hoo, poor Jesus. First they crucify him, now this. Is there no end to his suffering?

  8. 8
    Aratina Cage

    Published on what? What the fuck is Maundy Thursday?

    Hear, hear! Maundy Thursday always stood out to me as a child whenever it was mentioned because it sounded irritatingly like “Monday Thursday”. It’s another one of those quirky Christian things that I am very pleased to have left behind by waking up and becoming an atheist.

    The Christian anger over a lighthearted and openly commercial portrayal of Jesus reminds me of a Christian I once knew who told me one day while in line at the cafeteria that she was so upset about people not calling God by his real name, “God”. I think it was in response to me mentioning a book that called him “YHWH” or something. People as stupidly ignorant as that must serve on the ASA committee for them to find offense in a cartoon Jesus.

  9. 9
    Rrr

    Thanks for the enlightenment! I would probably have guessed, otherwise, that Maundy Thursday came some time before Thersty Fryday. But know I now butter, so i can cast off that spell thing.

  10. 10
    machintelligence

    From a bumper sticker:

    I have no problems with God, but His fan clubs scare me!

  11. 11
    jolo5309

    The Christian anger over a lighthearted and openly commercial portrayal of Jesus reminds me of a Christian I once knew who told me one day while in line at the cafeteria that she was so upset about people not calling God by his real name, “God”.

    Jesus, I cannot believe that she didn’t know his bloody name was Steve!

  12. 12
    DiscoveredJoys

    I always wonder WWJDIHWAT (What Would Jesus Do If He Were Alive Today) ?

    Would he still be insisting that the end of the world was going to happen in less that 70 years? What would he have to say about stem cell research? Would he actually be grabbing air-time to spread the word?Would he actually endorse products like cell phone service if the money went to the poor and meek?

    Perhaps all of the Gods/Prophets/Messiahs could sign up to Supernatural Branding Agency Inc. and reap the benefits of modern life? Of course some gods would have a limited set of products to endorse… the Goddess Nike for instance.

  13. 13
    steve oberski

    Lucky for them they didn’t do something really offensive like showing him being whipped and then tortured to death by nailing him to a wooden stick and then reenacting the whole sick fucked up fantasy over and over and over again until you want to puke, culminating with some ritual cannibalism.

    And then forcing children to participate in it.

    Now that would have been really offensive.

    I’m sure the ASA would be all over that in a second.

  14. 14
    anthrosciguy

    Hey, if Kevin Smith wanted to sue them for using a cartoon drawing of “Buddy Jesus”, okay. But really. Touchy, touchy.

  15. 15
    sailor1031

    doG’s name is “doG” because the bible was written by him in english in the early seventeenth century. So he got to decide what his name was. When the jews later translated the first part of the bible into hebrew, they translated doG’s name into hebrew as well. Unfortunately they misread the bible and translated god instead of doG and so it became YWHY instead of KLV……

    Jesus’ full name BTW is Jesus H. Christ

  16. 16
    jose

    lol they used the buddy christ.

    I thought it was only some Muslims the ones who complained about depictions of their religious leader. I guess it’s time for an “Everybody Draw Jesus Day”.

  17. 17
    Ophelia Benson

    Keep it up. You guys are making me larff.

  18. 18
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Aww, I’m all for Draw Happy Jesus day! Put ‘im on everything.

  19. 19
    Amy Clare

    There is a Go Compare advert in the UK at the moment which takes place in an Egyptian pyramid. They’re all having a sing and a dance in there as though it’s not a sacred resting place. I AM OFFENDED, RA WILL SMITE THEM.

  20. 20
    Matt Penfold

    It was the day when the King handed out Maundy Money, money specially struck to be given as a ritual to the elderly and the poor. There are a lot of other rituals associated with Maundy Thursday, but I know you really don’t want to know.

    Lizzie 2 still does. Every year there is a religious service in which she hands out Maundy money to selected pensioners. There is an equal number of male and female recipients, and the number of each is equal to her age.

  21. 21
    Svlad Cjelli

    What the fuck is a Maundy, and why does it have a Thursday?

    Cinnamon Roll Day is coming up, though.

  22. 22
    antifia

    Are you people from Freethought blogs aware of the kind of ads are poping up in the site? Right now there is a Scientology.org ad right there between the blog and the comments. Just came from Dispatches were the ad was of a video about powerful prophesies….don’t know but the algoritm must have gone crazy.

  23. 23
    barbrykost

    Actually, god’s name is Howard:
    “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Howard be thy name…”

  24. 24
    daveau

    @antifia-

    Click on it. Then they have to pay money to Freethought Blogs. Delicious, delicious irony.

  25. 25
    skepticlawyer

    Oh daveau, you are most wicked ;)

  26. 26
    steve oberski

    Oh daveau, you are most wicked

    Nothing a little auditing won’t fix up.

  27. 27
    Svlad Cjelli

    I’ve never understood why you bloggers don’t aspire to take the money of your enemies. Are you just ignoring the Rules of Acquisition?

  28. 28
    Cherlyn Pacquette

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