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Church’s billboard called offensive

Canadian Press, Canada
Dec. 8, 2003 • Monday December 8, 2003

WINNIPEG –A billboard some people are finding offensive was put up by a Christian church pastor who says he’s just trying to crack a stereotype that his congregation is boring.

The first billboard sponsored by an evangelical church called The LightHouse features a cartoon-like, white stick figure standing on a roof with a cross behind him and shouting “Blah! Blah! Blah!”

A second billboard went up on Friday and explains that “Blah” stands for “Bringing Life And Hope.”

It originally wasn’t clear what was being promoted since there was no company name or logo.

“The first ad is what we’ve heard is some people’s perception of us as a Christian church – kind of boring, irrelevant,” said church pastor Brad Crassweller. “We’re saying, ‘No, we’re not.’ “

But the billboard irked some residents who said it was in poor taste, especially during the Christmas season.

Jim Marles, owner of nearby Authentique Hair Design Studio, called the first billboard a “religious slur.”

He said he believes the cartoon suggested Christianity is nothing but nonsense.

“Although their intentions were probably good, it could be misconstrued as an attack on other churches or Christianity, in which case it should never have gone up,” Marles said Saturday.

“You don’t use a negative to attract a positive.”

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