Economy

Washington transit rejects religious ad depicting 3 Magi, North Star

Washington transit rejects religious ad depicting 3 Magi, North Star

The design says "Find the ideal gift" and shows shepherds and sheep, as in a classic Nativity scene.

- The Archdiocese of Washington has filed a lawsuit against Metro after it denied an advertisement because it "depicts a religious scene".

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is seeking to place this advertisement on city buses.

Metro has rejected ads before, and, as the "Unsuck DC Metro" account pointed out, ends up racking up legal fees defending their censorship. The advertisement had no religious lettering.

Catholics across the nation's capital are livid after the public transit system rejected the Archdiocese of Washington's Christmas advertisements because they were deemed "religious".

Mr. McFadden said the archdiocese accepts that there should be standards about which kinds of advertising are acceptable. The Archdiocese also argues the policy is inconsistent, because WMATA accepted ads for the Salvation Army and Yoga.

Jack Costello, a representative of Outfront Media, told Archdiocese spokesman Ed McFadden over the phone that if the ad "had a commercial goal, such as selling goods or services, then the advertisement would be more likely to comply with WMATA's guidelines".

The Church, however, contests this finding, pointing to the absence of any religious wording in the ad, which merely included the silhouettes of shepherds placed against the background of a starry night, in homage to Jesus's birth.

Metro adopted the policy in 2015 after anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller attempted to buy ad space on the subway. Those advertisements contain more explicit religious themes, including a quote from the Gospel of Luke: "Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy". "In terms of visibility, reach, and frequency, no other media type provides a substitute for bus advertising in the metropolitan area, especially with regard to the audience the Archdiocese most wants to reach with the "Find the Perfect Gift" campaign".

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The ad depicts shepherds walking up a mountain and prompts Metro and bus riders to visit findtheperfectgift.org, an annual initiative that directs locals to visit the church during the Christmas season.

What is the D.C. Metro saying?

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The radio station said Carafem is a health care corporation that provides abortion and family planning care, Milo Worldwide LLC is a corporation that supports conservative personality Milo Yiannopoulous, and PETA is an animal rights organization.

Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said rejecting the ad was in line with the agency's policies. WMATA responded by banning all "issue"-related ads".

The Daily Caller reports the archdiocese ran ads through WMATA in the past.

"Someone [is] sitting there at transit like Caesar.", Turley said. According to the Post, Metro officials later said the condom ads provoked the "single largest negative response" in the transit system's history.

"The rejected ad conveys a simple message of hope, and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season", said Ed McFadden, secretary for communications for the archdiocese.

The message of the ads, the archdiocese contends, is not all that controversial.


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