Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christians around New Zealand can take a joke.

Yeah right!

Persistent complaints from Christian wowsers, have lead Dominion Breweries (the owners of beer brand Tui’s) to pull-down their latest creation.

“This Christmas take a moment to think about Christ”.

For those of you reading this article from overseas, the cheeky & topical Tui’s billboards, are prominent institutions around New Zealand cities.

Online competitions are run by Tui’s to find the next ‘Yeah Right’ slogan.

Tui Spokeswoman Hailey Bloore said the aim of their ‘This Christmas take a moment to think about Christ’ billboard was to draw attention to the commercialism of Christmas, and they had never intended to offend anyone.

But we all know how thin-skinned Christians can be, & poking fun at invisible supernatural beings, is a subject matter even humourists dare not mention, without facing the inevitable vitriol.

In Hamilton, this humour and irony was lost on Father Frank Eggleton, parish priest at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who labelled the billboard "appalling" and said it demeaned the holiness and meaning of Christmas (something about the shortest day in the northern hemisphere if I’m correct?)

Bloore, and the brewery attempted to explain to complainants - the billboards were never intended to take a stab at religion.

These attempts however did little to placate the righteous busy-bodies, so in the end the flood of complaints, including some to The Advertising Standards Authority, lead to their demise.

The controversial Christchurch board was replaced with one which said "It's OK, we were under the mistletoe."

In Auckland went-up “Chicks don’t fart” instead.

And in Hamilton, which proved itself to be a bastion of Christian sensibility: "Grandma has a real knack for buying Christmas presents”.

But, these boards are fairly tame replacements & pander to po-faced God botherers, who forced a major New Zealand business to abandon the principals of freedom of speech and ‘in your face’ Kiwi satire.

So in the spirit of the season, the Northern Winter Solstice, I’ve created my own Christian/Theist themed ‘Yeah Right’ billboards,

My personal two-fingered salute, to those who try to impose their own beliefs on a public, who have grown to love this, unfretted Kiwi institution.

And don’t be shy - put your own contributions in the comments section.
I know you want to.

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