Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas billboards

In 2009 when St. Matthew's in  the City Church in New Zealand ran its billboard showing Mary and Joseph in bed together, I figured they had learned their lesson. But no. They... well I don't think they topped that billboard, but they have done it again. 

Mary and Joseph billboard from St Matthew-in-the-City church in Auckland

And now... 

I'm not gonna lie. My first response (pun intended) was to giggle- so I did. But then, I stopped. Because... it's just SO wrong. The fact that a church is the one doing these strikes me as very interesting. It definitely gets people talking, but I'm not sure it's bringing in many new people. 

And a quote from the Vicar himself, Glynn Cardy "It's about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It's about real anxiety, courage and hope." Whatever you say mister. Whatever you say. 


  1. I don't mean this to offend you, so I'm sorry if it does. That's not the intent with the following statement.

    As a person of religion, I find stuff like this to be unnecessary. What exactly is the point of this? To get attention for their church? Well, they got it this time because I saw the pictures and immediately went to google and checked out their website.

    I just wonder what it is that someone has to gain from this. It is a huge mockery to religion in general. These are holy people! Despite your beliefs, I don't think it's cool to go around smashing God, Jesus or anybody else in the religious chain. It's disgusting to me and totally unacceptable.

    And that quote from the vicar might as well be saying "The sky is blue. It's about blue skies, no rain and no tornados." The statement has no impact, and even less meaning.

    How did you stumble upon this anyway, my dear? :-) You certainly got me fired up!

  2. I found the full statement from the church's website. I just thought I'd post it here.

    "Glynn Cardy & Clay Nelson
    14 Dec 2011 00:00:00

    It’s real. Christmas is real. It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope.

    This billboard portrays Mary, Jesus’ mother, looking at a home pregnancy test kit revealing that she is pregnant. Regardless of any premonition, that discovery would have been shocking. Mary was unmarried, young, and poor. This pregnancy would shape her future. She was certainly not the first woman in this situation or the last.

    As in the past it is our intention to avoid the sentimental, trite and expected to spark thought and conversation in the community. This year we hope to do so with an image and no words. We invite you to wonder what your caption might be.

    Although the make-believe of Christmas is enjoyable - with tinsel, Santa, reindeer, and carols - there are also some realities. Many in our society are suffering: some through the lack of money, some through poor health, some through violence, and some through other hardships. The joy of Christmas is muted by anxiety.

    In this season we encourage one another to be generous to those who suffer, to give to strangers, and to care for all – especially those who have the least. Like the first Santa, St Nicholas did.

    We invite all who celebrate the season to hold these different strands of a real Christmas together: anxiety and joy, suffering and compassion, Santa and Jesus."

  3. I am a self proclaimed news junkie and I stumbled upon it somewhere on my Google news feed. I agree with you, it is entirely unnecessary and it's shocking to me that it's being done BY a church and not some weird anti-religion machine making a mockery. Religion and I... well we have an interesting relationship. I am a believer in God, but I can't seem to pin-point a specific religion. So things like this, interest me. I'm just never sure why things like this are done, and what the real motivation is. All it does for me is back my stands on not really going along with organized religions. Publicity stunts shouldn't be allowed in churches, but it happens. All over the world and all different religions. Thank you for posting the entire statement. I hope I didn't upset you too much!

  4. YOU didn't upset me. It's the church. You're just putting this up for people to see. I understand why you did it.

    It's not my blog, so I can't control the content or anything that you say or do. I just saw this and my mind just kind of went bonkers.
    And yeah, the fact that this is done by a church is highly disturbing to me. I read a wiki page about this church, and there's tons of history behind the church. It was basically an offshoot of catholicism. I'd highly recommend checking it out. It might give you a frame of reference for the story.

    It was interesting to see in any case. I haven't been properly fired up for awhile now. :-)

    And I apologize for jamming up your page with my blabbering nonsense. Truly. I love your blog, and I do not want to jam it up!

  5. I feel like I'm going to get struck by lightning or spontaneously combust or something, but I also giggled at those pics....

    That doesn't seem like something as church would do tho. It does seem a bit wrong. :/

  6. There's nothing wrong with this. It's just a clever bit of marketing.

    It's actually refreshing to see somebody religious laugh at themselves. What gives religion the right to be immune from satire?

  7. You're absolutely right that it's a clever bit of marketing! It definitely has people taking notice and discussing things!


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