Jesus Christ! They’ve Banned the Lords Prayer!

Posted: November 23, 2015 in Current Affairs, Politics, Religion
Tags: , ,

#TheLordsPrayer #SecularNation

Out of Our Cinema’s, Out of Our Schools, Out of Our Bedrooms and Out of Our Government

The Church of England is ‘astonished (…) disappointed and bewildered’ at what they see as a ‘plain silly’ decision to not screen their ‘Lord’s Prayer’ cinema advert in the UK. coelogoThey had hoped for the 60 second advert (video below) to be playing in UK cinemas prior to the holiday screenings of Star Wars. The advert features a montage of everyday people – a grieving son at a grave, a cop, gym users, a farmer, street preachers, a gospel choir – all speaking or singing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and ending with the slogan, ‘Prayer is for Everyone’. This is followed by the hashtag, #JustPray.

Well, patently ‘prayer’ isn’t quite for everyone. Certainly not the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency who handle advertising for the UK’s largest cinema chains. They released a statement saying it was the policy of the agency ‘not to accept advertising that was of a political or religious nature’, adding that they understood that some people may be offended by religious adverts if they were of another faith, or no faith at all.


Astonishing isn’t it, that the Church of England doesn’t understand in any way shape or form that this might be the case? After all, most polls show that church attendance is hovering around the 10% mark for the UK (for comparison I recall it being 39% for the States and 7% for Australia) and has a history of dropping around 1% per year. We are, for the most part, a gratefully faithless nation. I should add that pollsters are traditionally wary of figures regarding any country’s religiosity and feel uncomfortable stating a normal margin of error here, as when questioned about religious activity, people of faith (and here you may read ‘Christians’) are apt to lie.


Disappointing too, that Christians cannot see that people of ‘no faith at all’ tend to view faith as simply an excuse to believe absurdities without evidence. Faith is, of course, a recent phenomenon for the religious: In the past this virtue was entirely unnecessary as Gods of various persuasions and their acolytes would regularly part seas, flood planets, tear moons asunder, destroy whole cities, kill children at the drop of a hat, demand human sacrifice, fly winged horses, use teenage virgins vaginas as Star-Gates, and bring lots of the dead back to life as Zombies. Faith was simply not required. You just had to open your front door and there’d be a God out there doing Godly things.

Kids today would have loved it back then: it would have been like living in a Marvel Comic. I often wonder if they had baseball-type cards? Perhaps made from papyrus, mud or clay?

‘I’ve got ‘Pillar of Salt’ twice, swap you for ‘A Laughing Rock’, a ‘Talking Snake’ or ‘Uzziah Struck with Leprosy…’.

Following the Silence of the Gods which occurred around the time of the run-up to The Enlightenment, god-botherers of all persuasions began to pretend, in the absence of overt godly action, that their Gods would now speak to them personally and in private. When questioned as to said gods accent, choice of language, received pronunciation and the like, the faithful would mumble something about hearing their god via a ‘warm fuzzy feeling in the region of the groin’.


Bewildering in the extreme, isn’t it, to imagine that the 90% of us who have never felt the warmth of the Lord’s breath bellowing in our underpants, or have ever visited a church or mosque to converse with an imaginary deity, would want to begin a family evening in the company of our favourite cinematic characters with a Call to Prayer? Star Wars has more than enough fictional characters for one night, thank you.

It should be obvious from the figures above that very few of us have little desire to watch an advert – of whatever persuasion – that seeks to sell us a piece of bronze-age or medieval juju. Yet unbelievably, in this land chock full of Heathens and Infidels, our government demands that this happen every morning via collective worship in our nation’s schools. Perhaps in this neo-liberal age we should consider outsourcing our educational policy to much wiser folk? The good people at Digital Cinema Media should put in a quote – they’d certainly get my vote.

Plain Silly

Plain silly then, to encourage the religious further by urging them to open an ever growing number of religious schools, act as a proxy of the state whilst discriminating against same-sex marriage (their Gods apparently hate the pee-pee thing being anywhere near the poo-poo thing), or worse still, allowing 26 of the buggers to sit and vote in the UK’s second chamber – The House of Lords – as representatives of an established religion – something we have in common with, er… hold on, I wrote this down somewhere? Ah, yes, there it is… Iran.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some sympathy for the culturally religious. They, like I, did not choose the religion of the meaty hole they fell through at birth – no-one is faced with a multiple-choice at this juncture. There aren’t a number of holes, each with a label above – just one. It could be a Catholic hole, a Sikh hole, a Seventh Day Adventist hole. If you’re really unlucky, it could be a Mormon hole – or worse still, a Chelsea hole!

Whatever the hole, it remains purely a circumstance of birth. An event that marks us, Cain-like, until our passing into the much larger grand hole of infinity.

However, But, Some of My Best Freinds etc’

It is difficult enough, then, to shake off these social identifiers that have travelled with us through so much of our lives – no more so than when these identifiers are challenged forcefully from outside. The tendency to become defensive when confronted by physical or intellectual attack is understandable. It is hard to have a finger pointed at you, or a fist waved at you, as is the case presently with the Muslim community – a community who, for the most part, have nothing to do with the violence perpetrated in their name.

However, it must be said – so it might as well be me that says it – the actions of Islamist fundamentalists have nothing to do with cultural or moderate Muslims in the same way that cultural or moderate Christians have nothing to do with the recent American-funded campaign calling for the imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda, or the actions of the literalists of Westboro Baptist Church, or Settler violence on the West Bank has to do with cultural or moderate Jews – yet the common denominator, the elephant in the room, the one factor that allows literalist movement along the spectrum from cultural, to moderate, to conservative, to fundamentalist, to murdering psychopathic gobshite – be it Christian, Jewish or Muslim, is the unquestioned and unevidenced belief in absolute nonsense – this relatively new fad of the religious, this thing called faith.

With this in mind is it wrong to ask the religious that they attack their texts with the zeal of a Thomas Jefferson, tearing away the nonsense until they are left with little more than the Golden Rule? Or, indeed to express at least surprise, or even mild anger, that they would be astonished, disappointed and bewildered, or see as plain silly, an objection to their missionary call to join them in talking to an imaginary man in a cinema. To join them in Faith.

Following the Paris attacks, the hashtag #PrayForParis began trending and was given prominence by the world’s press. The pious seemingly oblivious to the bad taste felt in the mouths of the godless by the untimely mention of any God. Joann Sfar, one of the surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, responded to the hashtag with the following:


“Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforparis, but we don’t need more religion,”

Joann is right. Not only do we not need it, it would appear that most of us don’t want it, either. Please take it out of our cinema’s, out of our schools, out of our bedrooms and out of our government

Well done to Digital Cinema Media for standing their ground against such nonsense. May the Force be with them – along with music, kisses, life, champagne and joy.

Anvil Springstien.

Ps: By the way, he kissed his sister… Ugh!


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