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Church Demands TV Licenses Be Revoked Over Gay Ads

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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 01:22 PM
Original message
Church Demands TV Licenses Be Revoked Over Gay Ads

The United Church of Christ filed two interventions Thursday calling on the Federal Communications Commission to deny license renewals to two Miami television stations that wouldn't air an ad showing the denomination supportive of same-sex relationships.

NBC and CBS rejected the ad saying they will not airing commercials that advocate one side of a political issue.

The 30-second spot, launched Wednesday by the United Church of Christ, highlights the church's welcoming stance toward gays and others who might feel alienated. (story)

so what's to stop the con churches from putting out their own ads?

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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 01:25 PM
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1. Good for them.
The wingnuts have been using this tactic to bully the media for years. It's time to start taking appropriate actions.
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Calvinist Basset Donating Member (318 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 01:56 PM
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2. I wrote letters of protest to the censorship.
They were a mixture of my own words and those suggested by the website that sponsored the letter-writing campaign.

Here's the website address if you're interested in writing your own letter--they automatically send to the networks, government officials, etc.>

This is a copy of one of my letters:

Chairman and CEO, NBC Universal Bob Wright

Dear Bob Wright,

I am a minister member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Even though my denomination is currently embroiled in debates about gay marriage and ordination, one thing stands clear to everyone: most Christians believe that *all people* are invited into the Church. Thus, you have **no right** to declare their ad campaign as "offensive" when it is merely a message of invitation and welcome.

I urge you to put your money where your mouth is. After all, the filth your stations shovel into American homes is far more likely to be deemed offensive by most people's standards.

The President's proposed legislation to amend the constitution to define marriage between a man and a woman should have no place in this matter. If the standard by which you judge an ad's worthiness to appear on the public airwaves is determined
by political climate, religious preference, philosophical difference of opinion, or other arbitrary factor, then our constitutional right to religious liberty and freedom of speech are in grave peril.

In the true spirit of American democracy, we are all called to share liberally in the "marketplace of ideas." Therefore, as a medium of communication, it is your solemn duty to promote messages that may be for the common good, and which allow
people to make up their own minds whether something is valuable or valueless. To guard us against offensive material, you ought to be more concerned about those things that stifle human rights, espouse violence, encourage sedition, or proffer

To many of us who seek a faithful guidance in our daily lives, we believe the space between persons can be Holy ground, including those spaces bridged by electronic communications. While television is a mass medium, it is nevertheless a personal medium and, as such, touches us in important ways. In the lineup of programs and messages that communicate, sometimes with painful impunity, that one is NOT enough ("you're fired, you're voted off the island, take the walk of shame", etc.) it seems that a church's simple message, "you ARE enough" - should be welcomed, not banned."

I respectfully ask that you reverse this decision.


The Rev. Dr. Scott Alan Nesbitt


And this is the letter I wrote to folks I know to encourage them to take action, too:


I just wrote a letter to the executives at CBS, NBC and UPN. In essence, I demanded that they retract their decision to ban a commercial for the United Church of Christ (UCC).

For those of you unfamiliar with the UCC ad campaign, it features roughly 10 - 15 seconds of two "bouncers" turning people away from a church. The spot then concludes with the message, "Jesus didn't turn people away, and neither do we." At issue is the fact that--for one very brief instant at the start of the commercial--two men holding hands are turned away. The networks deemed this unacceptable because it would be "offensive" at a time when the White House has called for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Today, I couldn't give a flying fig where any of you stand on the issue of GLBT ordination or marriage. This is about broader issues. Consider the following: 1. The networks have no problem shoveling filth into our living rooms, but they object to a message of welcome and inclusiveness; 2. Mr. Bush's proposal should not be a deciding matter. If standards for airing material were determined by "political climate, religious preference, philosophical difference of opinion, or other arbitrary factor, then our constitutional right to religious liberty and freedom of speech are in grave peril" (quote from website); 3. This may not be about my denomination (or yours), but if this is overlooked, a precedent will have been set. And it will be too late for us if similar action is ever taken against us; 4. We, as Christians, will always find things at which we will be at odds with one another. Currently, not all of us agree about GLBT ordination or marriage. But one thing we should all agree about in belief: Jesus Christ welcomes everyone to his side. Everyone. And if one group of brothers and sisters (no matter how much you may/may not agree with them on other matters) cannot declare this one truth, so we are all condemned to censorship.

Please join me in sending a message to the executives. Thank you.


I believe in helping others as much as possible. So, if any of my words seem valuable to you as you craft your own messages, feel free to use them.
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seaj11 Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Excellent letter of protest. n/t
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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 06:31 PM
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3. That's my church!
I went to a workshop about the ad campaign last month. My particular church is participating in the campaign on our own local level. Last week, I called my local paper with the story idea, and in today's paper they had an article about our church in relation to the ads and an editorial on our side of the larger issue.
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