Family First NZ is labelling a proposed billboard by Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City Church as insensitive and objectionable to many people.
The church has announced that it is putting up a billboard to ‘challenge stereotypes about the way that Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story’. It shows Mary and Joseph in bed together with the caption “Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow.”
“The church can have its debate on the virgin birth and its spiritual significance inside the church building, but to confront children and families with the concept as a street billboard is completely irresponsible and unnecessary,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The church has failed to recognise that public billboards are exposed to all of the public including children and families who may be offended by the material. Billboards should not be used to promote adult concepts which are inappropriate for children, and the topic of sex and religion is not a debate that parents want to be forced to have with their children simply because their children are exposed to this material.”
“It may be that many people of various faiths will also be offended by the underlying message of the billboard.”
Family First is calling on St Matthew-in-the-City Church to have their ‘sex and religion’ debate in an adult setting and to protect families this Christmas.
“If the billboard is put up, Family First will be laying a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority – for what it’s worth,” says Mr McCoskrie.