Many of us were unhappy about how many Americans spoke of 'religious values' and 'morality' as important reasons for pulling the lever for George W. Bush.

Right wing morality has very little to do with the ministry of the historical person Jesus of Nazerath. And a lot of Christians are getting pretty tired of people using Jesus's good name to promote hatred, cuts in the income tax, the war in Iraq, and a whole lot of other things besides feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and doing unto others and we would have done unto ourselves.

My church, the United Church of Christ is one church that is getting sick, and we've decided to do something about it. The debut 30-second commercial features two muscle-bound "bouncers" standing guard outside a symbolic, picturesque church and selecting just who gets to attend Sunday services. Written text interrupts the scene, announcing, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we." A narrator then proclaims the United Church of Christ's commitment to Jesus' extravagant welcome: "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."

Apparently this was too much for some networks. According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too "controversial."

NBC has rejected the spot with less comment, but similar reasons

"It's ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all the major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed too controversial," says the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president. "What's going on here?"

Folks, we can't go on letting people like Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed define what it means to be a person of faith. I don't want to see networks that aired such blatant liars as the Swift Vote Veterans censor a church for saying everyone is welcome.

The UCC has an online petition you can sign. Please do. It's at:

You can also see the ads for yourself and decide at:

source: official UCC press release