British church group says it just wanted to get people thinking about the true meaning of Christmas — but it started an argument about abortion instead. The Churches Advertising Network designed billboards, set to go up in December, with the words, "He's on his way... Christmas starts with Jesus." But here's the controversial part — the signs also feature a huge ultrasound image of a fetus, wearing a halo, to make viewers imagine it's Jesus in utero. (See image below)
Anti-abortion groups are thrilled. "This advertisement sends a powerful message," says John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child. "Whenever we kill an unborn child in an abortion, we are killing Jesus." That's hardly the way to spread the holiday "warm and fuzzies," says Jamie Kapalko in Salon. Obviously, that wasn't the intention of the people behind the "Baby Scan Jesus" ad, says Terry Sanderson, director of the National Secular Society. "The image is too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context," says Sanderson. "They should go back to angels and cribs." Is this billboard campaign politicizing Christmas, or merely trying to inspire people to think about Jesus on the day Christians celebrate his birth? Have a look at the ad:
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