Politics and pop culture often find themselves at odds. Having said that, of all the movie-related things that could have found themselves banned from the Republican National Convention, this one surprises us. A giant banner advertising the release of God's Not Dead 2 on DVD has been deemed too "incendiary" and thus will not be visible from the site of the RNC.
The sign would have been 32 feet by 60 feet in size and would have draped the side of a building in downtown Cleveland with an image of God's Not Dead 2 star Melissa Joan Hart, with the quote, "I'd rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Orange Barrel Media, the owner of the billboard space, told the film's distributor that the message was too political and too incendiary. The main issue appears to be with the quote, though in other emails it appears that the billboard company took issue with the film's title as well.
Of course, while the billboard may be a controversial one, it's not necessarily the type of controversy that one would expect that the Republican Party would take issue with. Apparently, Orange Barrel Media originally defaulted to the RNC's rules regarding "scandalous" signage during the convention as the reason for their objection, except that, since the movie tends to espouse the views of many Republicans and even includes a cameo from former Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, it's unlikely the party would actually view the sign as scandalous. There's actually a screening of the film, co-sponsored by the Republican Party, the night before the convention begins.
At this point, it's still not entirely clear who it was that was objecting to the sign. The Republican Party didn't object. The city of Cleveland had some issues with the billboard's size and placement, but not the content. In the end, it looks like Orange Barrel Media may have made some assumptions that the billboard would be rejected, without actually asking any of the concerned parties what they thought. They admit they never obtained permission from the city to place the sign.
The film, God's Not Dead 2 stars Melissa Joan Hart as a school teacher who invokes the Bible during class, and after refusing to apologize, faces disciplinary action from the school board.
The insult added to the injury is that the atheist organization Freedom From Religion had no problem getting their own billboard placed near the Cleveland Airport, according to the same report. Irony's not dead, either.
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