Culture

The Super Bowl’s Faithy Moments

CNN reports:

From rejected religiously-themed TV ads to players kneeling in prayer, Super Bowl XLV had no shortage of faithy moments.

Even before opening kick off there were faith-based controversies.

An ad uploaded in a make-your-own-Super-Bowl-ad competition featured a priest swapping out communion bread for Doritos and wine for Pepsi — which owns Doritos and sponsored the contest – in hopes of boosting church attendance.

USA Today reported that the ad was widely criticized and pulled from the competition’s website.

Next came JesusHatesObama.com, a political novelty t-shirt company that had dueling bobble heads of Jesus and Obama.  The company said Fox rejected its ad. Fox didn’t comment.

The Fixed Point Foundation, a group that promotes Christianity in the public square, told CNN that Fox rejected its proposed Super Bowl ad last June. 

In the ad, people watching a football game spy the phrase John 3:16 — a New Testament verse popular among evangelical Christians – on a player’s eye black. A man in the ad says he’s going to look it up, with the ad directing viewers to lookup316.com.

Fixed Point Executive Director Larry Taunton said Fox told him his commercial was rejected because it contained “religious doctrine,” though he said the ad avoided featuring the actual words of the verse.

“Everyone we dealt with at Fox couldn’t have been more gracious or professional. I talked to them the day after last year’s Super Bowl,” Taunton said.

“Increasingly religion and Christianity is treated like smoking — you can do it but only in designated areas,” he said. “They were saying there’s no place for (faith) in the public square. There’s a place for the soft core porn of Go-Daddy, violent movie trailers, and irresponsible drinking, but not for faith.

As a workaround, the Fixed Point Foundation ran its ad on Fox stations in Birmingham, Alabama and Washington, DC.

Taunton said his group will try again or a Super Bowl ad next year.

At the Eatocracy DC Super Bowl party I attended on Sunday night, there was consternation that during the halftime show, Usher appeared to be changing the lyrics to his song OMG from “Oh my God” to “Oh my gosh.”

The move was resoundingly denounced by party guests as an overly politically correct move.  Turns out the song has always been “Oh My Gosh.” No controversy here.

The game itself saw plenty of touchdown end zone kneeling celebrations, including Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings kneeling and bowing his head after catching one of his two touchdown catches.

And there were plenty God shout-outs in post-game coverage.  A  jubilant Jennings repeatedly told Fox’s Pam Oliver, “To God be the glory.”

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Church

President Jacob Zuma: A Vote for the ANC Will Get People into Heaven

And people who vote for opposition parties choose ‘hell’.

The President’s comments have prompted The SA Council of Churches to call him to task:

The SA Council of Churches (SACC) is hoping to meet with President Jacob Zuma over his “problematic statement that a vote for the ANC will get people into heaven, it said on Monday.

“We work on a daily basis with scores of people who are hungry, unemployed and homeless. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ who look at political leaders with great expectations, said SACC president Jo Seoka.

“Offering heaven to these people while their suffering continues here on earth is escapist. We (as Church and government) are expected to transform the livelihoods of all (and especially the poor) for the better”.

Zuma, who also heads the ruling ANC, reportedly told party supporters in Mthatha: “When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork… who cooks people.

“When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven.”

He was speaking ahead of the local government elections due to be held on a date still to be announced later this year.

The SACC took note of ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu’s comment that the remark was metaphorical, but still considered it “worryinglanguage ahead of an election, and blasphemous. [That it is!]

SACC general secretary Eddie Makue said it was banking on the maturity of electorate not to let such statements influence them, but “vote on the basis of what their experiences are”.

Earlier, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) said it also considered the statement blasphemous.

The appalling tendency of President Jacob Zuma to use religion as an instrument of intimidation to coerce people into voting for the ANC, borders on blasphemy,” said CDP leader the Reverend Theunis Botha.

Botha said Zuma had previously “threatened his gullible audience” that their forefathers would haunt them should they not vote for the ANC, and that he should know better by now…

The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, said Zuma should apologise for the remark, which it called “religious blackmail”…

The United Democratic Movement drew on a previous comment by Zuma that “the ANC would rule until Jesus comes back” to say that it too considered the latest statement blasphemous…

The above was here.

See also Zuma defiant in heaven vote row here.

Church

Anglicans Leaving for the Ordinariate Could Face 'Heresy Trials'

In the past they’d burn you at the stake… What could they possibly wish to accomplish by this now? 

Church of England clergy who resign and become Roman Catholic priests in the new Ordinariate group set up by the Pope could be subject to Anglican “heresy trials” for disobedience.

As the General Synod, the Church’s parliament, opens today in Westminster, legal advisers have warned in a note to members that clergy who defect to Rome must first “relinquish” their orders under the 1870 Clergy Disability Act…

The rest is unfortunately behind that accursed Murdochian scheme called a pay wall at The Times.

What’s interesting to my mind is that the Anglican Church herself should probably be on trial for heresy, not those fleeing because of the appalling apostate state of the denomination.   

HT:    Titus One Nine