- Views & Opinions
Fox Broadcasting Company has rejected a proselytizing Super Bowl commercial created by a right-wing evangelical Christian group.
The commercial was to feature the scriptural message of John 3:16: “For God so love the world that he gave his only son.” But the network nixed the ad “on religious grounds.”
The Alabama-based Fixed Point Foundation hoped to air the ads to spark a national discussion about Jesus Christ, reports WorldNetDaily.
“If I had 30 seconds to say anything I wanted to an audience of millions, what would I say?” wrote Larry Taunton, executive director of Fixed Point, in a blog post explaining the group’s Super Bowl ad. “I put this question to my friends. As we considered the question thoughtfully, we concluded that we would want to deliver a message of hope.”
But Fox turned down the ad, saying through a spokesman, “As a matter of company policy, Fox Broadcasting Company does not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices.”
“The Fixed Point Foundation was provided with our guidelines prior to their submission of storyboards for our review,” the spokesman continued. “Upon examination, the advertising submitted clearly delivers a religious message and as a result has been rejected.”
Fixed Point released a statement criticizing Fox for the decision: “It seems one can advertise just about anything else. Few movie trailers are deemed too violent or beer commercials too sexual for primetime. But religious messages, particularly Christian ones, well, that’s just too controversial.”
Nonetheless, Fixed Point plans to purchase airtime locally in Alabama to show the spot during Super Bowl XLV.
The reference to John 3:16 was nearly ubiquitous during televised sports events in the 1970s and ’80s thanks to “rainbow man” Rollen Stewart, who used to appear frequently on camera wearing a rainbow Afro wig and a T-shirt emblazoned with the verse. Stewart is currently serving three consecutive life sentences for kidnapping.