Times Dispatch Censoring Church Ads?
This was forwarded to me, and I'm not sure what Media General's legal team is thinking here. This seems like political correctness run amok:
Thought you might be interested in this. I am a pastor of a small Evangelical Christian church located in a suburb of
Our church is looking to hire someone as an accompanist, Yesterday, Richmond Va. Dec. 5, 2005, I tried to place a help-wanted advertisement in the large daily newspaper "The Richmond Times Dispatch". I had my secretary send them the copy for the ad which read as follows: "Vibrant growing Jesus-loving congregation looking to hire a talented pianist/organist for Sunday morning worship services and evening choir practices. Pray about it, then send your resume to...(our address) " Richmond
We received a call back form the paper saying they would not run the advertisement unless we dropped the words "Jesus- loving" and "Pray about it". I asked to speak to a supervisor who confirmed that this was, in fact, their position, so I asked her to send me a letter stating their objections and why these phrases were being rejected. She told me that she would have to check with the company attorney about that but she would get back with me later in the day. A couple of hours later she called back and told me that she had spoken with the Media General attorney, (the Times-Dispatch is owned by Media General, a large media conglomerate based here in Richmond), and he had advised them to tell me that they would not run our ad if we used the words "Jesus- loving" or "pray about it" in the text. He also advised them not to send me a letter or put any of this in writing. (I guess they fear a law suit?)
What blows my mind is this: This paper prints so-called "personal" ads where people can openly advertise that they are looking for homosexual sex or adulterous relationships. They print display ads in the sports section every day for the local strip clubs..but according to them I can't describe our church as "Jesus-loving." That just doesn't make much sense to me! Isn't that sort of the definition of a Christian church? We love Jesus. Anyway I'm not quite sure what my next step is. I'm praying about how to address this obvious discrimination in a way that brings glory to Christ and leads people to faith in Him. Please pray about how this might be used for the Kingdom in a positive way. You are welcome to forward this to anyone you think might be interested.