Rolling Stone takes a stand

Rolling Stone refuses to run ad for Bible – CNN.com

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (AP)——Rolling Stone magazine declined to run an advertisement for a new translation of the Bible aimed at young people, the nation’s largest Bible publisher said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, USA Today quoted Kent Brownridge, general manager of Wenner Media, as saying his staff first saw the ad copy last week, and “we are not in the business of publishing advertising for religious messages.”

I just love it!  About time someone took a stand with all the government “faith-based” initiatives and the Moral Minority, er… Majority claiming a “mandate” to set the clock back to the Dark Ages regarding the sciences and women’s reproductive rights.

26 thoughts on “Rolling Stone takes a stand

  1. I doubt many churches promote the interests of Rolling Stone (Green Day, Blink, 50 cent). Why should R.S. feel the need to promote the interests of the church?
    P.S. Are we through hearing how christians just can’t get a break in this country? The downtrodden theists, always under attack by the left wing “elites”. If only they knew someone who wielded a little power around here…..

  2. OH! Don’t get me started on this.  Ever been in a custody battle?  And was told, “pretend to be a good Christian” or the court will frown on you?

  3. Actually, this story confuses me on many levels.

    First off, I don’t contest Rolling Stone’s right to publish nor not publish pretty much anything they want.  And if ads don’t fit the theme of their magazine, they can certainly refuse to run them.

    But really, is this it? That the theme is wrong for the magazine? It’s probably a conservative translation, but still, is that so contradictory to the Rolling Stone image, that they’d refuse to run an already-paid-for ad?

    I am really surprised by their quote “We are not in the business of publishing advertising for religious messages.”

    Of course they are, unless I’m being really naive and don’t know it. They (and almost all other magazines) are in the business of publishing advertising for virtually anything that doesn’t so piss-off the readers that they leave—watery beer and overpriced speakers of questionable quality are certainly okay.

    I am also surprised by the fact that they accepted a commision from Zondervan, which is one of the largest publishers of religious texts, and then rejected their ad. What kind of ad did they think they were accepting?

    Anyway, I don’t see this as a blow for free speech, or to the right to practice or not practice religion. I see it as a bizarre screw up.

  4. I’m not so sure what Rolling Stone did was constitutional.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides:

    SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

    So we know that no place of public accomodation can deny someone access because of religon. 

    Public accomodation is defined in the act as:

    (b) Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this title if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:

    (3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment;

    I would think that Rolling Stone would be an “other place of exhibition” as defined by the Civil Rights Act.  Further, Rolling Stone is involved in inter-state commerce so the act would apply to it, if it is a place of public accomodation.

    Regards,

  5. (3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment;

    While Rolling Stone assuredly is entertaining to some, it is , by no stretch of the law or imagination, a Place.

    By your argument,  the Christian Daily News would be forced to accept an advertisment for the latest Mettalica concert..

  6. Just another case of endless attempts at conversion by these fuckers.Cant they please go save someone else? – I go down to my local supermarket today and thought I was dreaming.It was like a scene from Life Of Brian with all the crazys screaming thier shit at passing cars as they entered the carpark(I presume they’re not allowed on the premises).Jeebers! Not only was nobody listening,you could’nt hear them from the shops!Damn,I should’ve thrown a bucket of water over ‘em! – I’m sorry if this is too harsh but I really hate these buggers.Preach to your own and keep the hell away from my kids!

  7. I’m with JethricOne on this one. I’m not really sure I understand Rolling Stone’s actions as they don’t make a lot of sense. If they had published the ad and then received a lot of complaints from readers and thusly canceled the account as a result then it would make a bit more sense, but otherwise it just sounds like a bit of revenue tossed out the window. Given that the majority of people in this country are Christian it’s not beyond reason to assume some of Rolling Stone’s readership would be Christian and thusly possibly interested in such a product.

    Consi, you’re stretching the definitions of the Civil Rights Act pretty thin there. I doubt Rolling Stone is in violation of that act by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a private publication and, as Mr. Death pointed out, able to make decisions about what content it publishes in the same way that any Christian publication is allowed to.

    Frumpa, don’t let the endless attempts at conversion bother you too much. For many believers they’re just doing what they believe they’re supposed to be doing and some of them are actually sincere about it. wink It’s no more skin off my nose than when someone says “bless you” when I sneeze. I try to take it in the spirit it was intended and move on.

  8. I don’t find it so confusing. Rolling Stone chose to make a statement which would have been a quiet one (it probably would have gone unnoticed) had the ad been rejected out of hand. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it at all seeing the religious right is currently trying to choke the nation – and making headway.

  9. Consi, you’re stretching the definitions of the Civil Rights Act pretty thin there. I doubt Rolling Stone is in violation of that act by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a private publication and, as Mr. Death pointed out, able to make decisions about what content it publishes in the same way that any Christian publication is allowed to.

    Maybe I am stretching it thin, but I think the question is an interesting one.  I also find the cry for civil liberties, which usually reaches a fevered pitch here, distinctly muted on this issue, interesting as well.  That is why I raised the issue.

    Oh, one other thing.  It doesn’t matter that Rolling Stone is a private publication.  Private corporations are subject to the act, unless they are a club.  The act was designed to get at restaurants etc. that were privately owned. Now, it might be possible to construe Rolling Stone as a “club” and the suscription fees as “membership dues” and for that reason the Act doesn’t apply.  However, it is not because it is a private actor rather than a state actor.

    Regards,

  10. Well, if I still had access to Lexis Nexus, I might be able to find the laws regarding this.  I did uncover an interesting disclaimer to a magazine thatseems to say that they are entitled to deny advertisements.

    Legal & Copyright Information
    Entire contents copyright 1997-2004 Lavender Media, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Lavender Media, Inc.

    Publication of the name or photograph of any person, organization, or business in this magazine does not reflect upon one’s sexual orientation whatsoever. Lavender® Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising. All copy, text, display, photos, and illustrations in advertisements re published with the understanding that the advertisers are fully authorized; have secured the proper consent for the use of names, pictures, and testimonials of any persons; and Lavender® Magazine may lawfully publish and cause such publication to be made, and hold harmless Lavender® Magazine from any liability, loss, and expense of any nature arising from such publication.

    Lavender Media, Inc. does not operate or control the information, products or services contained on any of the third-party sites linked to from this site.

      Now this was an online magazine, but one would assume that it holds also for print.

  11. Rolling Stone is not a place, and I believe it actually falls under the definition of “The Press” and is protected by the First Ammendment. They have the right to publish, or not publish, whatever they see fit.

  12. I agree with valhalla. Whether or not you think theirs is a sound financial or *gulp* moral decision, Rolling Stone has the same freedom to choose as does The American Spectator. I doubt you’ll see many ads for rainbow cruises or phone sex sites in there.

  13. I also find the cry for civil liberties, which usually reaches a fevered pitch here, distinctly muted on this issue, interesting as well.  That is why I raised the issue.

    I think My support for people I disagree with (strenuously) has just worn thin for the rest of 2005…

    Morning Edition, January 21, 2005· The American Civil Liberties Union has thrown its support behind Rush Limbaugh. The blustery right wing talk show host—has gone to Florida’s Supreme Court—to prevent prosecutors from getting his medical records…

    Damn that Commie Liberal A.C.L.U. using the money I have donated to them over the years to defend that bloated sack of human garbage! Rotten traitiors! Of course no matter how vile I feel Limbaugh is I will STILL donate the next time the A.C.L.U. hits me up because Civil Liberties, like health care, should be accessible to everyone…

    Damn my Commie Liberal ideals!

  14. Consig-

    Surely you can see that no athiest is gonna go in to bat for religions when they think they speak utter shit? This might be flying in the face of civil liberties but its human nature for most people to be hypocrites IMHO;you’ve gotta work hard not to be,but those who at least try are the honorable ones.
    Also religions have innumerable avenues to preach and convert.Whose civil liberties are being abused here exactly? How about my right to go through my day without being warned my souls in peril?

  15. So we know that no place of public accomodation can deny someone access because of religon.

    Faulty arguement. This isn’t about access, it’s about evangelizing. It may be illeagal for a place of business to deny someone access because of their religion, but it is fully within their rights to refuse to allow someone to stand inside their business and hand out religous tracts and promote their religion.

  16. I’ll go to bat for religious nutballs to say whatever the hell they want.  And if they wanted to buy space in my magazine, I’d let ‘em.  Right next to ads for sex toys and coven supplies. wink

    (Of course magazines have every right to say “no.” I just don’t see the harm in accepting a sucker’s money.)

    Reason magazine allows ads of opposing views and if memory serves, so does Mother Jones.  I don’t know what their reasoning is but maybe they figure the other guys’ money is green and their readers will figure it out for themselves.

  17. This might be flying in the face of civil liberties but its human nature for most people to be hypocrites IMHO

    Frumpa, thank you. smile

    Eric:

    As much as I’m against almost everything the ACLU advocates for in the high profile cases.  I respect them.

    Regards,

  18. Awww, but now they’ve backed down and decided to run the damn ad!! I’m sorry, but what the fuck?! Why did they chicken out like this? Obviously their initial feelings were not to run the ad, yet here they are doing just that! *sighs* confused

  19. Yeah
    [url=http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/01/26/Arts/bible050126.html]
    Rolling Stone relents, allows Bible ad[/url]

    Lisa Dallos, a spokeswoman for Rolling stone, said Tuesday the magazine had “addressed the internal miscommunications that led to the previous misstatement of company policy and apologize[s] for any confusion it may have caused.”

    “We’re thrilled,” Doug Lockhart, the head of marketing at Zondervan, said of the magazine’s change of heart.

    The ad features a thoughtful-looking young man and says the new translation is “written in today’s language, for today’s times – and it makes more sense than ever.”

    The ad has also been placed in Modern Bride magazine, on the satirical website The Onion, on MTV.com and on AOL.

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