After a “God’s Not Dead 2” billboard was banned at the Republican National Convention for being “too political” and “incendiary,” Ike Wingate, founder of Wingate Media Group, has offered to place a free billboard promoting the film in Nashville.
“I saw the story somewhere online talking about how the billboard was rejected— a little bit vague on the details as far as who and why—but it was rejected because of the messaging and my understanding that it was going to incite feelings that would not be desirable around the Republican National Convention in Cleveland,” he told FOX411. “When I saw that I thought ‘that’s too bad’…I thought ‘wow it’s a shame they are not able to promote that from the standpoint of the film’ but then from a secondary standpoint the right to free speech was in some senses denied, so I didn't like that.”
Pure Flix, the company behind the film, is thankful for the support, said Chief Operating Officer Steve Fedyski.
“We are grateful to Wingate for their wonderful gesture of solidarity, which demonstrates the importance of standing together as people of faith to protect the foundational freedom of religion afforded to all Americans.”
Wingate had no qualms about offering the movie one of his billboard spaces.
“I posted on my own Facebook the story, and I said ‘it’s a shame that this billboard company said no to free speech and this message, we would have no problem doing that with our company…’” he said. “So I just thought ‘let’s donate the space on a digital billboard.’ With the digital platform we have, we thought it made a lot of sense.”
The planned billboard in Cleveland was reportedly set to feature actress Melissa Joan Hart with the slogan, “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than to stand with the world and be judged by God.”
“God’s Not Dead 2,” the sequel to “God’s Not Dead,” tells the story of a public school teacher whose Christian faith and career come under attack when she answers a question about Jesus with scripture.
In Cleveland, the billboard company Orange Barrel supposedly turned down the billboard citing rules that prohibited “scandalous” messages at the RNC.
The Wingate billboard will be live as soon as the production team delivers the design for it to Wingate Media Group.
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.