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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Fox rejects John 3:16 for Super Bowl

Admittedly, I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, which for some reason or another are produced at a higher quality than normal for this Holy Grail of advertising that is the championship game of football. But another commercial didn’t quite make the cut — it made news — and not for the usual reasons of being too racy or too offensive.

The Fox Network decided to reject an ad which featured a few friends watching a football game and cheering. You’d almost expect it to be a beer commercial, but it changes pace as the television displays a football player’s face on a close-up, and written underneath his eyes is John 3:16. The men, not understanding what the reference is, decide to look it up. The whole point of the advertisement is to have people look up the website so they can further look up a Bible verse.

Fox Network rejected this ad because it was against company policy in that it espoused a particular belief or ideology, according to an article published by the Atlantic Wire. But considering that they already have Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly — plus other commentators — who very much do espouse particular beliefs and ideologies, then is it right for them to deny an advertisement that portrays a brief religious reference, because they don’t want to offend people?

The answer, of course, is that it is absolutely right for them to do so — constitutionally speaking, of course. As a media outlet, Fox is constitutionally entitled to run whatever they want under the First Amendment, whether it be ideology they agree with or not. The issue here is not that the commercial espouses an ideology — even if it is one that sometimes Fox seems to promote — but that Fox must be allowed to show what it feels is right to show.

If we were to deny Fox the right to broadcast this or that, then we would have to deny ourselves the right to speak freely as well.

As to why the commercial was rejected by Fox? It doesn’t really matter, but it could be that Fox doesn’t feel comfortable with something so explicit about religion, specifically Christianity. Or it might have even been that they knew the commercial would get more press if it were to be rejected by them.

Freedom of speech and freedom of press can be hotly debated issues. Some people don’t want others saying certain things, or adopting certain beliefs. Yet, we must remember that we live in a country that promises to do what it can in order to preserve those rights, and that we cannot speak if we prohibit others from doing so.

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