Controversial Mary & Joseph billboard





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Uploaded on Dec 16, 2009

A mischievous billboard about to be hoisted by an Auckland church and intended to provoke conversation about spiritual matters at Christmas has raised the ire of a Christian lobby group.


Family First NZ labeled the billboard to be put up by St Matthew-in-the-City Church as insensitive and objectionable to many people.
The billboard will feature an illustration the church itself felt could disturb some.
On it, Mary and Joseph are in bed. Joseph looks down dejected. Mary looks sad.
The caption reads: "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow."
It was intended to challenge stereotypes about the way that Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story, the church said.
Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said it had already generated plenty of discussion in its conception phase.
But Family First national director Bob McCoskrie describes the church's plan as irresponsible.
"The church can have its debate on the virgin birth and its spiritual significance inside the church building, but to confront children and families with the concept as a street billboard is completely irresponsible and unnecessary," he said.
"The church has failed to recognize that public billboards are exposed to all of the public including children and families who may be offended by the material."
Even the Catholic Church in New Zealand wants to know why the Anglican Church is questioning where Jesus came from.
Auckland's Catholic Church spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer says it's a distinctly a non-Christian message.
She says she would be surprised if the billboard's representative of mainstream Anglican thinking.
Cardy said on the church's website that the true importance of Christmas was in the radical hospitality Jesus offered to the poor, the despised, women, children, and the sick.
"His death was a consequence of the offensive nature of that hospitality and his resurrection a symbolic vindication."


Last week a campaign by New Zealand Atheist Bus Campaign raised $20,000 in public donations to fund bus ads which read theres probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. Those ads created a storm when they ran on the London Underground and British buses this year. Similar ads have run in the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Australia, Finland and Germany.

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