Rejected Super Bowl Ad Carries Religious Message

By Mary Robb Jackson

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rollen Stewart is best remembered for introducing the biblical quote “John 3:16” into pop culture at sundry sports venues.

He reportedly was born again after Super Bowl 14 in 1980 when the Steelers beat the Rams 31-19.

But a new ad, citing John 3:16 produced by a religious advocacy group in Alabama is stirring up a Super Bowl XLV controversy. The 30-second spot has been rejected by Fox Sports to air during the big game.

The ad shows two guys watching a pivotal point in a game when a close-up of one of the players shows John 3:16 written on his face.

Internet reaction to Fox’s rejection of the commercial has already racked up more than 291,000 search results.

“Mostly because they’re nervous about who they might offend politically,” Brent Malin, assistant professor of communications at Pitt, said of the reason for rejection.

However, he says, Super Bowl ad rejects are nothing new, like MoveOn’s 2004 offering.

“They proposed an ad that was going to be criticizing President Bush and that was rejected and that same year, I believe, there was an ad from PETA that was rejected,” Malin said.

Being rejected may be the best thing to happen for the ad, according to Malin.

“They’re [going to] get lots on free publicity,” he said. “They’re going to be shown much more probably than that 30-second spot that they would have paid $3 million for.”

A statement from Fox Broadcasting indicates that as a matter of company policy it does not accept advertising from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices.

The John 3:16 advertising clearly delivers a religious message and as a result was rejected.

  • Dan

    Wow! FOX hates god. I remember several Simpsons episodes that had a clear message of religion, but that was OK….What has this world come to when you cant express a religious view…didn”t we fight for this freedom when we started this country?

  • Amy

    Yeah FOX can have plenty of shows that criticize GOD and offend me as well as many others, but they can’t show a “religious” ad that the organization is willing to pay for because they’re afraid of offending someone. As I’ve always heard, we have freedom OF religion here, NOT freedom FROM religion!

  • Heather

    I think they should have the ad in, then the very next ad should be to gay men dry humping to sell some silly product like gum or something :)

  • RandyRandyTime

    That Nazi Terriorist Fox News now the truth comes out! Fox hates God ! Just don’t watch Fox ! Just flip flip past them and they will Go Away!

  • Cheryl

    I Believe! :)

  • Lorraine

    Too bad Christians can’t practice their religion in a CHRISTIAN country. Bet if the Super Bowl was in an Arab country there would be NO PROBLEM quoting from the Koran !

  • Lysle Tate

    It’s very sad to think anyone would be offended about an ad with a bible verse.I dont ever remember anyone being stoped trying to leave our great country. Mayby it’s time for those who find this kind of thing offensive to relocate.

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