- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2000

Jesus as vegan?

"The recent campaign that really burned everyone's bacon was the one that listed Jesus as PETA's Vegetarian Campaign spokesdeity for the 'Thou Shalt Not Kill Go Vegan' campaign. One popular billboard states: 'Jesus was a vegetarian. Show respect for God's creatures follow Him.' An accompanying ad campaign features a beatific, decidedly Caucasian Jesus framed by an orange slice halo …

"It is sometimes hard to reconcile Jesus' role as Prince of Peace with the wholesale slaughtering of animals. Even tasty ones. (Still, He did order a couple thousand swine into a swan-dive in a pig-sized version of Jonestown in the story of Matthew 8. Not a move designed to win PETA's annual Deity of the Year award.) …

"Vegetarianism is a personal choice. But when you start using the Savior of the Universe to hawk your product like Michael Jordan flacking cologne, you've got a problem."

Robert Darden in "Loser of the Month: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" in the July/August issue of The Door

No funny business

"The Stackhouse boys live in a home perched on a hill with a view of the flashing arcades and screaming rides of Playland Amusement Park. But Trevor, 14, Joshua, 11, and Devon, 6, have decided they're not going to buy tickets to the Vancouver thrill centre this year. They're offended by Playland's supposedly cool, certainly irreverent Second Coming marketing theme, which is trying to entice customers by toying with symbols that happen to reflect beliefs held dear by many Christians.

"Two Playland rides this year are called The Hellevator and Revelation, which is the name of the last book of the New Testament. A Second Coming TV ad campaign features a turnstile clicking sinisterly to 666, which is a Christian symbol for both Satanic evil and an early Roman emperor who slaughtered Christians.

"We were looking forward to our annual trip to Playland," said John Stackhouse, a noted professor of theology and culture at Regent College on the University of British Columbia campus. But one evening, as we ate supper on our deck that overlooks Playland, the boys spoke up. 'We saw some more of those Playland ads.' Devon said, 'I'm not going to Playland because Playland is making fun of God.'

"Although some will suggest the Stackhouse family lighten up, its decision to bypass Playland constitutes a relatively mild reaction to religious offence in this day and age. After all, Iran's Muslim ayatollahs issued a death sentence against author Salman Rushdie when they felt he satirized the prophet Mohammed in The Satanic Verses. Can you imagine the outcry if Playland had fun with other religions? What if it named a chaotic roller-coaster Mohammed's Mania? Or if some marketing wiz showed real attitude by calling a frightening site The Holocaust Horror? The outrage would be heard across the country."

Douglas Todd in "Why a prominent theologian will boycott Playland" in the July 22 Vancouver Sun

Too much for the ACLU

"The Louisiana chapter of the ACLU is considering legal action to prevent the sale of a new specialty license plate bearing the slogan 'Choose Life.' Approved unanimously by both houses of the state legislature last year, the plate will depict a newborn wrapped in a blanket, with the state bird, the brown pelican, standing in for the stork.

"The $25 fee will go to organizations that facilitate adoptions and provide adoptions and provide services to expectant mothers. Louisiana is particularly crazy for license plates: The state currently offers 104 specialty tags, with slogans ranging from 'Helping Schools' to 'Preserve the Wild Turkey.'

"But this one is too much for ACLU director Joe Cook, who says the plate 'entangles the state with religion.' The courts prevent legislators and citizens from actually doing anything to protect the unborn; is saying anything on their behalf to be restricted too?"

Posted in the Aug. 14 National Review

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