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MBTA to be more careful with religious ads after May 22, assuming any of us survive

Who'll dole out refunds on May 22?Who'll dole out refunds on May 22?

The MBTA, which originally said it was removing those end-of-world ads because of a complaint tweet from Greg Arney, now says it's removing the ads because they were only paid up through the end of the world May. However, the T adds:

Content of future ads to undergo more scrutiny.

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Comments

Wonder if the City of Somerville will do the same thing with the huge billboard on Somerville Ave? At least the billboard doesn't explicitly blame gays for the end of the world. It just says the bible guarantees it.

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That is, unless the billboard is owned by the City of Somerville. Otherwise, I expect the private owner of the billboard will not be interested in foregoing the profit.

Also, I suspect that the T likely did not remove this because of this fellow's complaint. While I don't have time to check, I believe that something like this violates their own advertising standards and they removed it because when this fellow raised the issue someone noticed that.

The ad must have slipped by the reviewer, probably because s/he took only a cursory look at it and determined that it was an ad for a church. As I recall the policy, those are okay so long as the ad itself (as opposed to the church's other speech) is not advocating something that violates the T's policy.

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Family radio won't be able to gloat on May 22nd.

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Perhaps they will be found unworthy on May 21 and be left behind with the rest of us (well, certainly me - I don't mean to condemn you as well). They would at least have gloating rights on guessing the right day for Rapture!

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Won't make it to that party on Monday. I'll go change my status on facebook to Not attending...

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the tweet complains about an ad with the text "Gay Pride: Sign of End."

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They're 11 figures in the hole. They gotta take money, and nobody in this town buys into their crap. Everyone wins.

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I CANNOT wait until 5/21 to see all these asshats run back to their eschatological calculators to double-check their math. All in all they are just a more proliferative version of the Westboro Chruch. They will be so broken hearted and lonely going to sleep the night the world doesn't end.

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Not in Massachusetts, not in New Hampshire, not in Rhode Island. Strange choice of a place to advertise.

If someone wants to buy a commercial spot on their station for 5/22, will they say "No, because we won't exist then"?

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Won't we all be surprised if we wake up dead on May 22!

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We'll be dead. Or raptured.

Gotta keep the mysterious angle going to thwart attacks of reason, you know!

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I just looked it up:

On May 21, it's not the rapture that's coming for the true believers, it's the raptors.

Run away! Run away!

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when we need him most?

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Is that what that attack was all about?

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get yer steampunk goggles on.

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on the international short wave bands, and not through local AM or FM stations. IIRC, they are based in Tennessee, but have quite a bit of transmitting power.

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which you can look up here. The only ones in New England are in Vernon, CT and Burlington, VT. The latter town would seem to me to be quite unreceptive to their message.

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But I suspect it would probably be a lot easier for somebody in the Greater Boston area to pick up the shortwave broadcasts than to pick up either of those local stations.

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aren't offensive. As a practicing Catholic, I respect other's beliefs, but somehow still find the whole "the world will end on X date" concept, whether it's May 21, 2011, December 21, 2012, or some other date, to border on the comical.

What's truly offensive is the inept MBTA management that decides to remove an advertising campaign on the basis of a single complaint.

And the sad thing is that this isn't the first time an ad campaign on the T has been pulled because the ads raised the ire of a single person either - remember the Channel 56 "Sex Every Night" campaign to promote chopped up - excuse me - edited for syndication - reruns of Sex and the City?

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It wasn't one person's complaint so much as one person's notifying them that there's gay-bashing ads on their public transportation system. It's probably an ad that made it through just enough channels to get printed and applied to the buses/trains, but was never seen by upper management.

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- like the one Adam posted the photo of - said nothing about gays, unless it's in a code I can't understand or in very small print I can't read.

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Wow, because a religious message on the website is "offensive" the ads are banned?

What's next, ads for political candidates with "offensive" views won't be carried?

Hmm, public transit authority advertising kind of creates a public forum, doesn't it?

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So if the Westboro Baptist Church wanted to put up an ad that said, I don't know, "Consider your actions. - Signed, The Westboro Baptist Church", you'd be cool with that?

The MBTA has no obligation to place advertisements that it finds inappropriate or controversial, whether it's the actual message displayed on the ad or the actions of the organization/entity behind the ad. If it was discovered that everyone employed at, say, Northeastern University was a convicted pedophile, you'd be DAMN SURE that the MBTA would pull the Northeastern ads pronto.

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This isn't a case of censorship or a free speech issue, The T can take or reject whatever ads it likes for whatever reason it likes.

Advertising is not a public forum as you, for some reason, suggest.

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Would you be okay with them running ads that said "Merry Christmas from The Klu Klux Klan!"?

Essentially, are you okay with a group that makes part of its platform statement using hate speech putting up ads on your public works...even if the ads themselves are seemingly innocuous?

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I wouldn't much care to encounter the Westboro Baptist folks, or their message, on a public street either, but what I want has nothing to do with their right to be there or their right to say what they want. If the MBTA, a quasi-public entity, is going to sell ads to raise revenue, censoring for content seems a bit sketchy somehow. I understand that nobody ever has to give you a forum for your speech, but as far as the government (a government-provided forum for paid speech) goes, what's the applicable standard? Could I put up an ad on the T criticizing Menino or Deval, or would my money not be quite green enough for that? I'm not really comfortable will the idea that only corporate speech (BUY THIS POISON!..GET RIPPED OFF!...DRESS LIKE THIS!..CONSUME!...REPRODUCE!!) should be allowed on public billboards, with other types of political speech closely controlled or prohibited outright.
But on second thought, somehow the government was able to ban cigarette advertising in many forums, so I guess it works both ways.

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Well, they would be wishing Merry Christmas to everyone, wouldn't they?

Funny how the definition of "hate speech" keeps getting broader. It used to be something like "Kill all ________."

Now it's "I think ______ is sinful" or "this satirical portrayal of a member of the group I identify with does not comport with my own image of it."

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I've enjoyed them as I laugh every time I see one. Free entertainment for the sane.

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Last December a comedy club advertised the "Sassy Gay Friend" routine. Other than being as edifying as blackface and minstrel shows, Jews with long hook noses and other assorted stereotypes, it could be described as innocuous. But stupid stereotypes are still gross and offensive.

But the T responded that the advertisement did not violate whatever standards they have for advertisements.

On the other hand the T bends over backwards to suck up advertising dollars for alcohol. Granted the T needs the money; but there is a disconnect between some bizarre set of standards allowing portrayals of stereotypes while allowing themselves to effectively act as a pusher for one of the most dangerous mind altering substances in the country.

But money is money; perhaps the religious group just didn't spend enough on advertising. Maybe if the bought the entirety of South Station air space for banners advertising the End of the Days then the T would have gleefully said yes, yes, more please.

At least it would have given everyone a good laugh.

As for Gays: The End of Days. At least it rhymes. Could even be a dance tune. Who knows: maybe there is a Gay dance club in Heaven: it could be called Heaven but I think that is copyrighted. In any case I will dancing there, and, well who knows, maybe it will turn out that God is a finger snapping Hispanic drag queen in 10" pumps, big hair and wearing a glorified raiment studded with sparkling stars. If that is the case then I will bow down and pray forgiveness for ever doubting the veracity of stereotypes. Stranger things have happened.

In any case everyone remember to wear clean underwear that day. Nothing worse than meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates and having to worry whether your undergarments are clean.

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I have never met a gay person who had a problem with the Sassy Gay Friend, myself included.

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I watched some of the guy's skits. They are not funny. Silly yes but not enough to draw a laugh from me, or even a smile.

If he was as witty and playful as Mel Brooks I would be laughing. But this guy does not manage to turn a limp wrist fairy into an funny image. To me he is just a variation of a black man in black face doing a minstrel dance.

Sassy Gay Friend could be rephrased as Happy Step-n-Fetch Pickaninny. Is the latter offensive? If it is (and to me it is) why isn't the former offensive as well?

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Actually, the ads are rather humorous to see first thing in the morning...

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I still see a fairly intact sign like this one by the Medford Police station on Main St., Medford, and two very nicely preserved ones on Rt. 16 Eastbound approaching Wellington Circle.

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For those interested in backstory on the guy who made the current prediction, as well as a failed one in 1994 (and maybe 1992?)

Harold Camping

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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You'll notice it doesn't forecast the end of the world, just that Jesus came in 1992. That means he would be about 19 now...ready to bust a move for the end of the world.

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They're removing them because the world's ending later this month Family Radio only paid for ad space through May. I've updated my original post with the correcton from the T.

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Today is May 10. If the ads are paid for through May 31, or even through May 21, why should the T remove them now?

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I'd be curious to know why this organization would only have paid to keep the ads up until (what, today?...yesterday?), when the End of the World isn't scheduled until the 21st.

Perhaps they figure if you haven't repented by now, it's too late?

Or, perhaps this is just Richard Davey backpedaling...

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Quite possible that these were up past the agreement date. The complaint just jostled something loose and they've realized it is time to take them down.

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And yet the MBTA GM himself tweeted:
"Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are taking down the ads as a result of your comments"

For telling lies, will he be doomed on the 21st?

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last year the Cambridge Science Fair actually paid the T to keep those ads in place two months after their event ended? Because that's how long it took the T to remove those ads.

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When I ran for state rep in 1992, I placed ads on the Mattapan-Ashmont trolleys. Some were still there six months after the election (which was sort of embarrassing, considering the outcome.)

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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Did they give them good terms? I would think for a campaign like this, you'd probably want payment in advance. No net 30 for these guys.

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Reading the Metro article this morning on this topic was funny -- because Metro decided not to mention that it ran one of the apocalyptic ads earlier this week.

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Revelation 3:3 (NIV) "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

2 Peter 3:10 (NIV) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Luke 12:39-40 (NIV) "But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Revelation 16:15 (NIV) "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Matthew 24:43-44 (NIV) "But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

...and I can go on. It is quite clear that no one can predict when He will return.

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