Norwegian shopping mall poster offends some Christians.

Seems an attempt to improve sales at a shopping mall in Oslo has riled up some of the more conservative Christians over there.

The Oslo City shopping mall has started a campaign to spur Christmas buying that they say reminds consumers of what the holiday meant, and what it has become. But plenty of people find the promotion – a large banner depicting Jesus Christ with a CD as a halo and a price tag over his head – tasteless.

“To be honest I didn’t react to it so negatively at first glance. It is a reminder to shoppers about what Christmas is really about, namely, that God gave his son Jesus Christ to us all,” said dean Olav Dag Hauge.

What he didn’t notice the first time was that the halo shining behind Jesus’ head is a compact disc. This week smaller poster versions of the image are being put up all over the city, and here one can read “CDs (NOK) 149,50 ($22)” over his head, with a CD still acting as a halo.

The image to the right here (click it for a bigger version) is the best shot I’ve been able to locate of the poster, but I’m hoping to come up with a better version soon. I find it pretty amusing overall as well as a very clever bit of commentary on how commercialized the Christmas season has become. The irony of it being used to spur more consumerism is almost priceless. As soon as someone figures out where to buy one I’ll probably see if I can’t get a copy for myself.

If anything Christians should be upset at the truth in the poster more so than anything else. Though when you consider the fact that Christians usurped the holiday from the Pagans it seems somewhat apropos that the holiday would some day be usurped by purveyors of consumerism.

Found via ArsTechnica.

15 thoughts on “Norwegian shopping mall poster offends some Christians.

  1. Hee…heeheehee! The usurpers get their come-uppance. I like it. wink

    BTW – if the controversy hasn’t dictated it being taken down by then, I’ll see if I can get a picture while I’m over there.

  2. It is a reminder to shoppers about what Christmas is really about.

    I suppose that’s true enough.  In this day and age, Christmas is basically a secular holiday to most people.  That’s their choice, but keep in mind that it’s not the Christians who are making it secular.

    As for the mall ad: You don’t have to be a particularly “conservative” Christian to think that using religious symbols to hawk Boyz2Men CD’s is tasteless.  Hey, it’s a free country (is it?  never been there).  If you want to put up a billboard with Muhammed’s picture and the tagline “Allah wants you to get your oil changed at EZ-LUBE”, nothing can stop you.  But don’t expect many Muslims to drop by.

    when you consider the fact that Christians usurped the holiday from the Pagans

    To be honest, I’ve never really bought this whole idea.  Pagans who converted to Christianity obviously weren’t going to spend their winter holiday worshiping (druidic gods / standing stones / forest spirits / the sun / carved idols / WTF-ever).  So they kept the celebration but gave it their own meaning.  What’s wrong with that?  Or how are they in need of “come-uppance”?

  3. lmao, who gives a shit.  So some Christians get pissed because Jesus is depicted with a CD halo and Pagans get pissed because an asshole in Washington says they are heartless bastards. Neither of these things need have any impact on you or your faith unless you let them.

    Does this strike anyone else as petty?

    Personally I think the Christians have it all right, but I’m also willing to admit that my opinion means SFA and should not affect you whatsoever.

  4. Because (the Christians) lied about the source and circumstances of the celebration on the one hand and on the other hand created and promoted religious miracles that either never happened or had already been claimed and attributed to totally different beings.

    When you create a new God to replace the old ones, the least you should do is start with a new set of circumstances and miracles. Otherwise it’s going to come back to haunt you. Eventually others are going to recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing you’re trying to pass off as original and one of a kind.

    I’m doing a poor job of answering your questions, I know, but consider that people will worship whoever they’re taught to worship. These days most people’s gods are named Wealth and Popularity.

    If pagans were fooled into believing the beauty of the natural didn’t need to be appreciated any longer, or that a vague and absent entity deserved credit for their bountiful crops and continued decent existences, you can hardly blame them. Most of them weren’t even allowed to read the words this new God supposedly spoke. They had to depend on select disseminating experts to reveal the gods desires and edicts, and they were forced to pledge their faith in and allegiance to him as well.

    Now we are expected to celebrate a holiday inspired by a miracle birth as though that is the best and only valid reason for the holiday to exist in the first place. How about a day at least once a year spent encouraging the friendship, generosity, and courtesy we are all capable of demonstrating. How about a day celebrating the evolution and struggles of humanity, not the birth of some guy somewhere who never spoke personally to an ego-maniacal father and certainly didn’t expect to have to die for anyone else’s sins.

  5. Christians usurped the holiday from the Pagans it seems somewhat apropos that the holiday would some day be usurped by purveyors of consumerism.

    Aint’t that the truth. People take too much for granted in how things are now is how they have always been.

    It wasn’t until 320 AD, Pope Julius I specified the 25th of December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.

    There are many consfusing and different ideas on the actual birth of Jesus some say Febuary others believe March …. here is a link to discussion about the Riddle of Jesus’ Birthday.

    Now just imagine if you take the mindset of the Futurama Cartoon ( A robotic santa comes each year and if you ar outside when he comes and he deems you bad he kills you)  and one year Christmas turns into a time of fear. Makes me wonder if that is why so many of the old ways are lost due to the pressures and fears of the new religion of the time.

    In the end it comes down to a he said she said they said never ending battle and as long as we are human we will forever remain with differneces of opinions.

    As soon as someone figures out where to buy one I’ll probably see if I can’t get a copy for myself.

    I tried finding one but haven’t had luck yet.  Overall I find the whoel ting humorous. Yet another petty thing for exteremist to bitch about. Sorry for the entry-like comment. I been thinking about what to say with out being rash all day. In closing:

    To those whom celebrate Christmas Merry Christmas.
    To those whom do not celebrate Christmas, May you be well and happy.
    To my fellow brothers and sisters whom celebrate Yule/Winter Solciste, Blessings to you and yours.

    To all and others I wish you happiness all year round.

  6. Now we are expected to celebrate a holiday inspired by a miracle birth as though that is the best and only valid reason for the holiday to exist in the first place.

    Well, I don’t think anyone “expects” you to celebrate Christmas at all.  It’s a free country.  And if you want to celebrate
    “Friendship Generosity Courtesy Day” on Dec. 25th, I don’t think anyone would mind.  Sounds kind of nice, actually.  Certainly better than “Buy a Bunch of Crap I Don’t Really Need Day” which most people celebrate.

    People have had holidays at the Winter Soltice since about the time a stick was first used as a sundial, and patterns started to become apparent.  Christians celebrate what’s sacred to them, other people celebrate whatever they’re moved to.

    This thread is getting rather bogged down in the Origins of Christmas, so I’m going veer back towards that shopping mall in Oslo.

    It’s a stupid ad campaign.  Ads are supposed to engender a desire to patronize a business.  The only people likely to be motivated by the Christ image (practicing Christians), are also likely to be outraged by the commercialization of something they consider sacred.

  7. If that were actually the history then I wouldn’t complain, but it was actually a concerted effort by the Church to sanctify the Roman festivals held each year for Saturnalia and the birth of the Pagan God Mithra.

    The Mithra mythology, incidentally, is surprisingly similar to the Jesus mythology in terms of his being born on December 25th by a virgin mother with said birth being witnessed by shepherds and magi and his eventual return to heaven on the spring equinox after having a last supper with 12 disciples (representing the signs of the Zodiac) at which he ate mizd which is a bread marked with a cross; the cross being a common symbol for the Sun. Not that I’d ever suggest that Christians stole mythology from other older religions beyond Judaism.

    It all started to gain steam with the declaration by Pope Julius I of December 25th as the ‘official’ day Christ was born back sometime around 350AD. While there was some dispute between various church factions on the issue it went on to become more or less universally accepted by the fifth century. But it wasn’t until St. Gregory I was made Pope with his legendary zeal for missionary work that the idea of subjugating the Pagan festivals with Christianized versions came to be and we have good old Gregory the Great to thank for it. The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia offers this description “In his treatment of heretics, schismatics, and pagans his method was to try every means

  8. As a Christian myself, I could care less.  One thing I love about living in a free society (at least for the most part) is that people can do and say things that I find irritating and I can simply ignore it.  I find the uproar many people cause because of harm done to their own religion only makes what is causing the uproar more successful.  If someone were literally coercing/forcing me to partake in buying at a store that went completely against my own ideology, I would have a hard time with it.  As it stands, I still have the freedom to vote/choose with my feet.  (Nonetheless, I doubt this type of commercialism would stop me from shopping at such a store – I am less concerned with the commercialism of Christmas than I am the watering down of beliefs through relativism, etc. – religious or otherwise.)  The idea that the last poster made re: “The Church realized it could win a lot more converts if it used less force and more salesmanship and it worked surprisingly well for them at the time.” would be true of any ideology.  Those that you can convince people vis a vis conviction is more powerful than coercion. 
    Anyway, it is definitely an interesting topic.

  9. Absolutely the Catholic church has a history of adapting itself to native beliefs.  It’s one of the things that makes them so successful.  When they proselytized cultures (and, in the past, coerced cultures by force), they were more interested in the bulwarks of Christian faith than the specifics.  Even today, many African and South American churches keep their native festivals, adapted to the needs of a Christian community.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Heck, it hardly started with the Christians.  Roman theology was taken from the Greeks pretty much in its entirety.

    …stole mythology from other older religions beyond Judaism.

    I would hardly say Christianity “stole” from Judaism.  The truth is that all Christians are Jews as well.  Until the schism became too great to bear, Chistian Jews and non-Christian Jews worshipped in the same temples.

    As far as Dec. 25th being the day Jesus was born, I’ve never really thought of it that way.  The truth is that it’s hard to pin down even within a year or two, and honestly it’s not very important.  Dec. 25th is the day many Christians celebrate his birth, and that’s all the really matters.

  10. It seems as though people try to make their traditions sound a lot better than they really are (as in “all men are created equal” which was actually sexist, and how public service ads advertise how great freedom is when the government is trying to obscure those freedoms) and this is just an instance where some people got upset by an insult to commercialism’s mix with religion.

    It hardly seems like anyone should be that upset and if people make another big incident over this then it will only show that our society is trying to hard to make certain people feel comfortable at the expense of freedom of expression.

  11. Oh, brother!!!

    It takes little or nothing to offend Christians. (Can you say “Manufactured outrage”?)

    A rock band needs to use that as their cover art, so it can be bought by Fundamentalists by the truckload for mass burnings like they did to the Beatles.

    It’ll be good for the economy, and they’ll have a platinum-selling record before they know it.  :0)

  12. ritesh modi – Looking for a job? Cool.
    So’s Les.
    I like your resume and … your courage.
    I wish you both success. smile

  13. I deleted his resume from the comments. Not sure why the hell he figured this thread on this particular website would be a good place to post it.

  14. LOL:lol::lol:
    Ah, cool. Now I just look stupid … again.

    Les: Not sure why the hell he figured this thread on this particular website would be a good place to post it.

    Clutching at straws comes to mind. smile

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