Coming Soon to a Cinema Near You… Your Saviour Jesus Christ

(I am not sure what I think about this story, so you can help. The post stops suddenly as I am now backstage at Blooming Buzzing Confusion and I have to go onstage)

If it is good enough to be the least fondly remembered thing to come out of David Bowie’s mouth (on bended knee under the eyes of an arena), I see no reason that it shouldn’t be the lowest point in your visit to the multiplex. The Lord’s Prayer has hit the news again as it so frequently doesn’t. Apparently, some Anglicans were hoping to tug your ears as you discussed the exorbitant price of popcorn again. Usually, it is the film houses that hope for umbrage from some cleric or deacon to boost ticket sales for some vaguely sexy Jesus flick. Now, it is the film houses that have feared causing offence with an advert for the church of England. It was hoped it would appear before the new Star Wars film. I presume the intention was to woo a few Jedis back to the church before the next census. The advert in which people like you recite bits of The Lord’s Prayer, revealing that it is quite normal to kneel at an altar on occasional sundays, even if you are a courier or fireman.

(my Twitter Methodist chum has described it as  “this non story feeding the fearful and frightful”)
The three main cinema chains that have a tight grasp on what films you are allowed to witness (in much the same way that WH Smith controls the market for magazines that are fit to print) have worried that it will offend or upset even more than the gum you have sat on or the other 37 minute of ghastly adverts

(it may have something to do with this though –

This plays in the delighted, fidgety and furious purple fingers of those who wish to bang on about the religious being persecuted to the point of having to allow gays to eat their Cornflakes on the same doilies of their bed and breakfast as the good people.

(here is one of my favourite Methodist preachers stating it all a little more clearly –

Is the cinema meant to be the safe space for the godless or satanic or non-Abrahamic in general?

Some have argued that it sets a precedent, but I thought the precedent was set more by money than belief. As long as your advert slinks through the advertising standards wire and you have the cash, can’t most tat and ugliness be emblazoned on screen.

If the advert says, “don’t forget to remove the eyes of infidels as you’re leaving the foyer” or “please remind those that have not opened their hearts to Jesus that they’ll got to hell for eternity”, then I imagine there may be some issues with the standards authorities.

If we can advertise booze that may lead to brutality, or products that may be made unethically, or companies that are covering up dubious health dangers, why not let a myth tribe have their go at wooing the Wookie fanciers?

I didn’t mind the There’s Probably No God bus adverts, so can I get cross at Justin Welby doing a swimwear advert (hang on, that’s not what’s going on is it? I must be thinking of Cliff).

Some have said it sets a precedent, the more money you’ve got, the more you can advertise your religion, but that’s true of who controls the high street, who sells you your Christmas fripperies, who provides your coffee.

Can we tap into the unfair religion adverts and create a pipeline into the end of capitalism?
Or is just the deity addicts who are not allowed to sell their products which may not stand up to scrutiny and may break as the guarantee just passes its final month.

Warning: the afterlife may not be available if you do not keep up payments of reverence and prayer.

The Anglican Church is the trading name of the Acme Corporation.

The Shambles Podcast is back, now Book Shambles, with Josie Long, me, and lovely guests including Stewart Lee and Sara Pascoe.

Brian Cox and I are putting on our Christmas shows again, with lots of mystery guests (and profits to charity) some tickets left for the first night


(also told that “ASA guidelines ‘Ads must not exploit the audience’s fears or superstitions” they “must not condone discriminatory behaviour ‘ – I am not sure whether that would include Lord’s Prayer)

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4 Responses to Coming Soon to a Cinema Near You… Your Saviour Jesus Christ

  1. kevpas says:

    To be honest, as someone that will be highly anticipating the new Star Wars film and as an Atheist, I really couldn’t give a toss about a Christian advert. If anything it would have lightened the mood in the cinema and probably have raised a chuckle from the majority of the congregation. We will be worshipping at our Lucas/Disney shaped church and we won’t be tempted away by some cheap gimmickry

  2. David Brain says:

    also told that “ASA guidelines ‘Ads must not exploit the audience’s fears or superstitions”
    Whoah. So how are all those beauty product adverts making it onto the screen? Not to mention the yoghurt ones telling me all about my digestive tract. Or all those insurance ads that solely exist to terrify you*. Indeed any advert that says “may” in carefully unstressed fashion. And so on and so on.

    *why are insurance adverts OK but religious adverts are not? Are they not essentially about the same thing?

  3. I’m sure it can’t be the most shit advert I’ve ever seen in a cinema…

  4. I suspect that the Church of England went for it knowing that if the cinemas did weed it out then then they could enjoy the ensuing “controversy”. All helps with their current persecution narrative.

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