God loves his football, and now he gets to watch the Big Game

Posted: January 31, 2009 in IJS, Legal Prejudice, Networking, Snap, Crackle and POP Culture, The Obvious Files
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

hiswayTomorrow is the “Big Game.”

That’s a familiar phrase that has been echoed in radio and TV, and seen on print or online for eons. Why?

It’s marketing tyranny by the NFL because NO ONE on this planet is allowed to say in a paid forum those two precious words in the same sacred breath – GASP – “Super Bowl.”

The “No Fun League,” as many in the know love to call it, even control how it’s viewed.

jesus-starbucks1And naturally, the last group to get any kind of rights is… any guesses… anyone… yeah, the Church. (Legal Prejudice? Someday, someone will believe me.)

It seems for years that churches weren’t permitted to have viewing parties. I suppose since booze wasn’t a player (save in a Catholic church), the NFL felt guilty for airing all those Budweiser commercials? Never mind bars, strip joints and every home with a barbecue pit does it, but church? Oh no. That’s where the NFL draws the line.

Until now, thanks to this story from Church Executive magazine.

jesus-budweiser1Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have been working on this issue since prior to the Super Bowl game in 2007, when the NFL warned churches that viewing the Super Bowl broadcasts on large-screen televisions at church-sponsored gatherings infringed on the League’s copyright in the broadcast. Institute attorneys also worked with several members of Congress to craft legislation that would create an exemption to the Copyright Law for religious organizations.

Copyright infringement? Um, what? This is a church. Puh-lease.

So, all these other establishments with 100 people howling inside and blustering drunk doesn’t qualify?! Well, it turns out that was the contingency the Rutherford Institute used to tell the NFL they were full of pleather poppycock.

OK, pastors, don’t say you weren’t warned. Here are your Sunday rules:jesus-staples

…Churches can legally host Super Bowl parties on their premises; churches may show the game on whatever size screen they want; while churches may not charge admission, they may take up a donation to help with the cost of the event, if desired; finally, to avoid any copyright infringements, churches may want to call their event a “Big Game Party” rather than a “Super Bowl Party.”

You know why the focus on churches. Ever been to the T-shirt section of a Lifeway Bookstore? Um, do these pictures scattered throughout the post give you any ideas? Or at least, unlike Christian shirt makers, an original idea?! IJS.

Enjoy the kick-off tomorrow, boys. And uh, let’s work on those “divine revelations” next week, shall we?

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