.- The Fox Broadcasting Companyâs refusal to air a Super Bowl commercial which encouraged the reading of the Bible verse John 3:16 âcensoredâ Jesus Christ while ignoring objectionable material, Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III said.
âAny censorship of Christianity is analogous to anti-Christian bigotry,â Bozell commented in a Feb. 7 interview with CNA. âWhen they refuse to show something as simple and as innocent as this, thereâs real bigotry at play. Theyâd never censor a Muslim and theyâd never censor a Jew. But Jesus Christ gets censored. And they canât deny that.â
âNothing better illustrates how hopelessly out of touch Fox Entertainment is with reality than this,â he continued. âFor Fox Entertainment there was absolutely nothing wrong with airing commercials that openly promoted premarital sex, but they considered it âoffensiveâ to cite the Bible. It absolutely boggles the mind.â
The advertisement, produced by the Birmingham, Alabama-based Fixed Point Foundation, encourages viewers to visit the website LookUp316.com, which gives an Evangelical interpretation of the Bible verse John 3:16.
The Fox Broadcasting Company rejected the ad nationally, but it was broadcast just before the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl in the Washington, D.C. and Birmingham markets.
Bozell noted the national controversy over last yearâs Super Bowl ad featuring college football star Tim Tebow. Opponents of the Focus on the Family-sponsored ad claimed it would explicitly condemn abortion. Instead, it showed Tebowâs mother Pam talking about her son and urged viewers to âcelebrate life.â
The media commentator said that ad âelicited a national yawn, because it turned out there was nothing controversial.â
Bozell, who saw the ad air in the D.C. market, said he thought the reaction to it would be âa smile of surpriseâ that âsomething as nice as this gets on television.â
He suggested that Christians, Catholic or Protestant, should contact Fox Entertainment and tell them the ad was a good thing.
âI suspect it will shock them. Thank them.â
He said the entertainment industry is hearing from âthe anti-Catholics, and the anti-Christians.â
âItâs time for them to start hearing from Catholics and Christians in general,â Bozell said.
In his view, the unwillingness to market to Christians is a business failure as well as a moral one.
âIf Hollywood put its audience above its ideology, it would reach out to the faith-based community, given that itâs probably the biggest single market in America.
âAnd yet it claims itâs offensive to do so.â
Fox said that as a matter of policy it âdoes not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices â¦ the advertising submitted clearly delivers a religious message and as a result has been rejected.â
Attendees at sporting events regularly hold up signs referring to the Bible verse John 3:16. In that verse, Jesus declares: âFor God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.â