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United Church of Christ's newest TV commercial rocks

The one thing you can say about the United Church of Christ is that it doesn’t avoid controversy. The latest commercial, to launch on April 3, is just as challenging to the closed-minded bigoted houses of worship as the “bouncer” ads that ran in 2004. That ad was rejected by CBS and NBC, whose reps said said the ads were “controversial” and, therefore, amounted to “issue advocacy,” something the networks have said they do not allow.

The spot, by the way, said nothing about gay marriage, and nothing specifically about gays at all — it was about the UCC’s tolerance and extravagant welcome to anyone that wishes to worship.

This time around, the ad pulls no punches, and it’s managed to be rejected by CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and WB, claiming — again — it’s a controversial, issue-advocacy ad. From UCC’s release:

The 30-second commercial begins with a shot of an African- American mother trying to calm a crying baby. Sitting in a church pew, the mother fidgets anxiously, as she endures disapproving looks from fellow worshippers. Eventually, someone in the wings pushes an “ejector” button to rid the church of her – and her noisy baby. Into the air they go flying.


In similar fashion, a gay couple, an Arab-American, a person using a walker, among others, get “ejected.” Finally, when a homeless person wanders in and takes a seat, nervous parishioners – expecting she’ll get the boot for sure – scoot away from her.

The commercial ends with a mood shift, where shots of diverse, friendly people set the stage for the announcer’s invitation: “The United Church of Christ – no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.”

You can view the commercial here.

Hat tip on the screen shots, Good As You.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding