16 September 2010
Pregnant Nuns, Ice-Cream and Catholic Outrage...
Truth be told, I am not a really religious person. I do have my moments of Zen and other spirituality from time-to-time though. However, the fact that a pregnant nun advertising an ice cream product so outraged Catholics that they complained to the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) seems a little over-the-top at first look.
The ad is clearly satire, some might even say it is taking the piss out of the religious concept of the immaculate conception, but when it is all said and done it is best described as an ad of questionable taste (no pun intended considering it is for ice-cream).
The ad campaign was using a slogan "ice-cream is our religion". The ad itself, shows a heavily pregnant nun with the words "immaculately conceived". The beef that those that complained have is that the ad makes a mockery of Roman Catholic beliefs. Maybe it does, but I wonder if these same complainants are so similarly outraged by the excesses of Roman Catholic priests that rape and abuse little boys, and who have done so for centuries. These men parading as priests have ensured that the mockery begins from within the Roman Catholic church itself.
Nevertheless, the ASA decided that even the light-hearted use of such an image was likely to cause serious offense to some, and then banned the image. The advertising agency had argued that its use of religious imagery was legitimate. Unfortunately, the ASA did not buy into that argument. It is not the first time that Ad Agency Antonio Federici has come into conflict with Catholics and the ASA. An ad from last year suggesting a kiss between a nun and a priest was also banned. \
As I said, a nun and a priest getting down to it in a full-on lip lock is hardly offensive compared to some of the things the Catholic Church has been complicit in allowing to occur and then go unpunished for decades upon decades. It is time to take stock and seek out a little perspective. If you are Roman Catholic and you are offended, then that is your right. Express that displeasure through boycotting the product, writing letters to the editors of magazines and newspapers, get your priests to preach from the pulpit. But to seek to ban all expression that runs counter to your beliefs is no different from any other religious group that seeks to control freedom of thought and expression in order to achieve some kind of world domination plan. It is ultimately destined to fail.
When it is all said and done, if you truly believe in an all-powerful omniscient God, then s/he is likely to ensure on the coming judgment day that Antonio Federici and his cohorts get their comeuppance for their poor sense of humour. I am sure that one of the main lessons of religion was something about letting those that are free of sin cast the first stone. And, there was that other one about people who live in glass houses not throwing stones.
Final point, perhaps some of these complainants and those that get to rule on these complaints need to do a couple of Sunday Schools sessions and get back in touch with what Roman Catholicism says about the immaculate conception, it is enlightening; it is not about virgin births but rather it is about freedom from original sin (feel free to correct me if I am wrong).