The Fox Broadcasting Company’s refusal to air a Super Bowl commercial which encouraged the reading of the Bible verse John 3:16 “censored” Jesus Christ while ignoring objectionable material, Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III said.
“Any censorship of Christianity is analogous to anti-Christian bigotry,” Bozell commented in a Feb. 7 interview with CNA. “When they refuse to show something as simple and as innocent as this, there’s real bigotry at play. They’d never censor a Muslim and they’d never censor a Jew. But Jesus Christ gets censored. And they can’t deny that.”
“Nothing better illustrates how hopelessly out of touch Fox Entertainment is with reality than this,” he continued. “For Fox Entertainment there was absolutely nothing wrong with airing commercials that openly promoted premarital sex, but they considered it ‘offensive’ to cite the Bible. It absolutely boggles the mind.”
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 year’s 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 Tebow’s mother Pam talking about her son and urged viewers to “celebrate life.”
The media commentator said that ad “elicited a national yawn, because it turned out there was nothing controversial.”
Bozell, who saw the ad air in the D.C. market, said he thought the reaction to it would be “a smile of surprise” that “something as nice as this gets on television.”
He suggested that Christians, Catholic or Protestant, should contact Fox Entertainment and tell them the ad was a good thing.
“I suspect it will shock them. Thank them.”
He said the entertainment industry is hearing from “the anti-Catholics, and the anti-Christians.”
“It’s time for them to start hearing from Catholics and Christians in general,” Bozell said.
In his view, the unwillingness to market to Christians is a business failure as well as a moral one.
“If Hollywood put its audience above its ideology, it would reach out to the faith-based community, given that it’s probably the biggest single market in America.
“And yet it claims it’s offensive to do so.”
Fox said that as a matter of policy it “does not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices … the advertising submitted clearly delivers a religious message and as a result has been rejected.”
Attendees at sporting events regularly hold up signs referring to the Bible verse John 3:16. In that verse, Jesus declares: “For 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.”