Media Watch

Church Leaders Hope for Rebate Windfall

LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 28 — Religious leaders have joined the many secular groups urging recipients of the recent tax rebate to send the money their way, the Los Angeles daily reported.

E-mails, letters, fliers and even exhortations from the pulpit encouraged congregants to send the checks, which range from $300 to $600, to churches. The refunds are the first tangible results of the 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax plan signed by President Bush in June. Rebate checks worth a total of $38 billion, will arrive in mailboxes over a period of 10 weeks.

Portland Catholics Protest ‘Antichrist’ Billboard

KOIN.COM, July 26 — A billboard claiming that the Pope is the Antichrist provoked a swift response from the Portland, Ore., Catholic community, the online Portland-based news site reported.

The billboard appeared on a local stretch of Interstate 5. The Archdiocese of Portland asked all Catholics to call the billboard's owners, Outdoor Media Dimensions, and ask that the billboard be removed. Archdiocese spokesperson Mary Jo Tully said that similar billboards have appeared in western Oregon since 1993.

Senate Won't Give Faith-Based Groups Exemption

WASHINGTON POST, Aug. 2 — Religious organizations that receive government funding under President Bush's faith-based initiative will not get extra protection from anti-discrimination laws, the Washington daily reported.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., the bill's sponsor in the Senate, agreed to drop a provision that would make it easier for religious charities to avoid state and local anti-discrimination laws. Local laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, for example, may conflict with a religious charity that wishes to avoid hiring active homosexuals.

Santorum removed the provisions that would protect religious charities from such anti-discrimination laws in order to win support for the bill from prominent Democrats like Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

Contraceptive Ad Dropped From Movie Promotion

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 1 — The makers of the teen sex comedy “American Pie 2” scrapped part of a tie-in marketing plan after objections from the Motion Picture Association of America, the wire service reported.

Universal Pictures and Ansell Healthcare Inc., maker of Lifestyles condoms, had planned a joint marketing deal including a sweepstakes, placement of Lifestyles condoms in the film, and a television commercial promoting both the movie and the condoms. But the Motion Picture Association rejected the commercial, so it will not be shown.

The association reviews all marketing materials produced by member studios. The association does not allow condoms in commercials meant for general audiences.

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.