In perusing the news reports of Pope Benedict's visit to Poland this past week, one thing caught my attention. The BBC website carried a story about the temporary ban on ice cream sales in John Paul II's hometown of Wadowice, citing health concerns with the risk of the dairy product going bad in the summer temperatures. "That's why we're banning takeaway sales on the day many pilgrims will be arriving in Wadowice," said local health inspector spokeswoman Bozena Okreglicka.
Scrolling down the article, the BBC also makes mention of the fact that many TV ads have been banned during the papal visit. Ads for contraceptives and lingerie have been suspended, as has an ad "featuring a couple appearing to have sex promoting the 'multiple pleasures' of LG Phillips television sets...."
Here's their reasoning:
"There is always the risk that the faithful may feel hurt if programming devoted to the Pope's visit is interrupted by frivolous ads," Zbigniew Badziak, head of advertising for Telewizja Polska, the state-run TV network, told the Associated Press news agency.
It's interesting that Badziak would demote such scandal to the level of frivolity, but the most offensive part of this whole idea is the fact that the network realizes these ads are morally repugnant to people of faith, but they only start respecting us because the Pope's in town. Bah. (On a similar note, will they stop doing abortions in Quebec City when the Pope visits Canada?)
If you're going to be corrupt, be consistently corrupt. Don't pretend to have a conscience if you don't really have one. Let money drive your bottom line, like it always does. Don't occasionally interrupt it for reasons that should always apply. It's just like guys who don't speed when there's a cop around. The illegality and risk associated with speeding do not diminish when the police are absent. If you're going to speed, at least be a man about it and have the guts to drag race the cop sitting next to you at the red light. If you're going to air ads that offend Catholics, do it when the Pope's in town too.
If we Christians are to let our light shine before men to glorify our Father in heaven, should not the servants of Mammon let their darkness consistently hover over men too?
But that's not how the devil works. He is the father of lies, and likes to pretend he's an angel of light. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them." (Matt. 7:15,16)
Lord, grant me the gift of discernment, so I can see the lie for what it is.