'God's Not Dead 2' ad rejected at Cleveland convention for being ‘way too incendiary'

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Democrats are not all that fond of the Almighty. In fact, you might remember back in 2012, when they booed God during their political convention in Charlotte. I can’t recall if that was before or after they tried to remove Him from the party platform.

Republicans, on the other hand, believe we are one nation under God – and the Almighty is always welcome at their political conventions.

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As a matter of fact, before all the politicking starts, Republicans will gather Sunday for a church service. Click here for information.

Pastor Jim Garlow is preaching and Gov. Mike Huckabee will lend his musical skills during a service sponsored by the GOP and Pure Flix – a faith-based movie distributor.

After the preaching, Republican delegates will be treated to a viewing of “God’s Not Dead 2” – starring Melissa Joan Hart as a teacher who comes under fire for answering a student’s question about Jesus.

So it seemed reasonable for Pure Flix Entertainment to promote the DVD release of “God’s Not Dead 2” by renting a billboard in downtown Cleveland near the Republican National Convention site.

The 32 feet by 60 feet sign would have featured Ms. Hart along with the following message: “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”

That doesn’t sound all that controversial, does it?

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Well, it turns out the billboard company thought the sign was extremely controversial.

Orange Barrel Media rejected the billboard advertisement because of the “judged by God” message, as first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

They said the message was “too political” and “way too incendiary,” according to emails obtained by Fox News.

“The issue might be the title of the movie,” Orange Barrel wrote in one of several emails to Pure Flix.

Orange Barrel CEO Pete Scantland told me in a prepared statement that they worked with Pure Flix in “good faith, but ultimately were unable to move forward with the campaign.”

“We offered to work with them on placement at an alternative venue, but Pure Flix declined to engage in these discussions,” Scantland wrote.

Company representatives told me the alternative venue was nowhere near the RNC site.

While the billboard promoting the Christian film was rejected, a billboard promoting atheism was permitted.

Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and freethinkers, contracted with Clear Channel to promote their message.

“It’s near the airport, right after the ‘Welcome to Cleveland’ sign,” FFRF spokesperson Annie Laurie Gaylor told The Hollywood Reporter. “The idea was that people flying into the convention couldn’t miss it.”

Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee told me he was astonished by the double standard.

“It’s a miracle that God doesn’t take America and turn us into a burnt piece of toast,” he said.

I believe Orange Barrel Media had a right to reject the message of “God’s Not Dead 2” -- just like I believe a baker or a florist has a right to reject business they might find offensive.

But I’m rather astonished that anyone could believe the concept of God judging someone is “way too incendiary.”

It seems to me the only ones being judgmental are the folks at Orange Barrel Media. They should really consider being a bit more open-minded.

So there you have it, folks. God is not dead – but tolerance and diversity are on life support.