HuffPo reports of a billboard in New Zealand featuring Joseph and Mary in a rather...compromising position which has had devout
Okay, so this is supposed to be...sacrilegious.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A billboard at a New Zealand church depicting a downcast Joseph lying beside Mary in bed and the heading "God is a hard act to follow" provoked more than the intended reconsideration of the meaning of Christmas.
The sign was defaced by a paint-wielding vandal just hours after it was erected Thursday outside the St. Matthew-in-the-City Anglican church in Auckland, and triggered passionate and sometimes angry debate on talk radio and the Internet.
The billboard was commissioned by the church and was the work of M&C Saatchi. According to the HuffPo story:
Church vicar Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the billboard was intended to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story.
"This billboard is trying to lampoon and ridicule the very literal idea that God is a male and somehow this male God impregnated Mary," said Cardy, who described his church as having very liberal ideas about Christianity.
"We would question the Virgin Birth in any literal sense. We would question the maleness of God in any literal sense," he said.
On the opposing side, Auckland Catholic Diocese spokesperson Lyndsay Freer said
"...the billboard implied the Virgin Mary and Joseph had just had sex and was inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive to Christians.
'We would see a billboard like that being used by an anti-Christian group to actually poke fun at the divinity of Christ,' Freer told National Radio."
Strictly as an ad man, I consider the billboard in bad taste. A cheap shot, a lazy execution, even though it got a chuckle out of me. Then again, Kiwis - like their Aussie neighbors - have always struck me as having a refreshingly irreverent sense of humor. Be that as it may, while the offending billboard certainly has generated attention and interest, I'm unsure if it was the kind the church was aiming for. Judging by the response thus far, instead of thought it seems to have provoked anger instead. Way to lose your target audience, Saatchi.
But what do you call throwing brown paint over an image of the BVM, then?
Mmm I wonder if these guys ever surfed LOLJesus. They only have 30 piddling entries in their Hate Mail section as of presstime. Whatever stripe of Christian you are, you just gotta love their tagline: Dedicated to Damnation. That's as truthful a disclaimer as there ever was.
However, if you value your eternal soul, maybe you better not click on that link. Just stick with seancody or xtube or chat away on mIRC. These fine alternative sites are supposed to roast you in hellfire forever and ever the same way, anyhow - but with less LOLs and more tiKOLs.
In the meantime, I look forward to your knee-jerk reactions the same way I am looking forward to my family Christmas reunion tomorrow. Because if ever there is a hell, that annual event comes closest to it.