Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Intolerance of Tolerance

From a tip by Josh Marshall, it appears that CBS and NBC are refusing to air an advertisement by the United Church of Christ (UCC) because they (the networks) claim that it is too controversial. The UCC newsletter describes the ad and the networks' response to it as follows:
The ad, part of the denomination's new, broad identity campaign set to begin airing nationwide on Dec. 1, states that -- like Jesus -- the United Church of Christ seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation.

According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too "controversial."

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations," reads an explanation from CBS, "and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."

Similarly, a rejection by NBC declared the spot "too controversial."
You can see the ad here.

We have entered a distinctly unhealthy moment in our public discourse when such a mild statement of inclusivism is censored though it contains no explicit reference to homosexuality. At this point, the mere hint of homosexuality is apparently prohibited. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that this ad comes close to exposing the inherent contradiction between the meaning of Jesus' teachings and the prevailing intolerance of our so-called Christian culture.


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