UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Rejected God’s Not Dead Billboard Finds a Home!
Billy Graham’s son Franklin is worried about America.
The decision to ban a billboard promoting a faith-based movie near the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland, while allowing an atheist group to place a large sign near the “Welcome to Cleveland” sign that greets convention delegates shows the “dangerous place” the United States is in, says the Rev. Graham on his Facebook page.
“They said God is ‘too incendiary,'” wrote Graham, commenting on a story from Breitbart News. “That’s the message a billboard company in Cleveland, Ohio, is sending.”
Orange Barrel Media told the film’s distributor that the Christian language on the billboard promoting the faith-based God’s Not Dead 2 was “incendiary” and the advertisement could not go up. The ad would have featured a picture of the movie’s star, Melissa Joan Hart, playing a teacher in trouble for invoking scripture in her classroom. The proposed billboard would have born the slogan “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
The film’s distributor, Pure Flix, had paid Orange Barrel $64,100 to drape the billboard over the side of one of Cleveland’s downtown buildings just in time for the convention, according to Newsmax.
What concerns Graham is that although the movie ad was nixed, atheists were permitted to rent a large billboard near the city’s welcome sign at the airport. That billboard quotes the late President Ronald Reagan saying “we establish no religion in this country,” taken from a speech he made to a Jewish temple in 1984 stressing that the First Amendment bars the government from endorsing any particular faith — while protecting all Americans’ right to worship or not.
Is it too late for America? No, assured Graham. But he says the danger is real. “Thank you to the 50,000+ who joined me LIVE to pray today before the start of the GOP Convention,” he wrote on Facebook. “Prayer can make a difference!”
Indeed, that’s the message of God’s Not Dead 2, which comes to Blu-ray™ combo pack and DVD on August 16, 2016.