War on Christmas Begins Over Advertising On Washington DC Buses

In its complaint, the archdiocese says that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rejected an ad showing a group of shepherds looking up to the stars, along with the words "Find the ideal gift", a URL and the hashtag #FindThePerfectGift.

The website also includes a section about Catholic Advent and Christmas traditions and includes tips for how families can start their own traditions.

The Archdiocese said it filed its case in federal court challenging Metro's advertising guidelines after an ad promoting its annual "Find the Perfect Gift" initiative was rejected.

"WMATA's censors have rejected the Archdiocese of Washington's "Find the Perfect Gift" ad campaign because depictions of sheep, shepherds, and stars constitute a "religious scene" in violation of Metro policy", said Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal adviser with The Catholic Association.

He said that WMATA put out a statement saying that the ad is "prohibited. under current advertising guidelines", adding that the possibility of "differing opinions" added to the decision.

Metro adopted the policy in 2015 after anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller attempted to buy ad space on the subway. But if Christmas means a little bit more, WMATA plays Grinch, ' he added. The Find The Perfect Gift website advertised on the proposed displays shows church teachings, Mass schedules, and upcoming charity events, and features the test "Jesus is the perfect gift", on its homepage. WMATA responded by banning all "issue"-related ads".

More news: 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed to walk free? Pakistan court orders release

He said the ad was submitted in late October to the agency that manages W.M.A.T.A. advertisements, Outfront Media, which rejected it within 24 hours.

Noguchi told TheDCNF other advertisers have deemed WMATA's new advertising guidelines sufficiently vague that even the ACLU filed a lawsuit against WMATA for rejecting ads for PETA, Milo Yiannopoulous' book "Dangerous", and the "10-Week-After" abortion pill.

"... WMATA's rejection of the Archdiocese's speech amounts to a violation of the First Amendment, plain and simple", Clement said. The church also wants to position advertisements in bus kiosks.

The archdiocese called the ads "false and misleading", according to The Washington Post, arguing that that the church does not have the authority to "ban" condoms.

"The Archdiocese wishes to encourage our society to help feed, clothe, and care for our most vulnerable neighbors, and to share our blessings, and welcome all who wish to hear the Good News", said Timoney.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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