A hipster burger bar in Sydney’s inner west has provoked a storm of outrage with a controversial Easter ad featuring Jesus on social media.
Mary’s Newtown posted the ad on Facebook and Instagram to advertise their Easter weekend trading hours.
But the accompanying sell, including an image of Jesus with a beer and a cigarette, and featuring the slogan, “Jesus got hammered for his sins – you can too!” proved too much for many people.
The ad was removed amid the ensuing anger.
Reverend Dr Don Sains said it was an attempt at humour that went wrong.
For most people, for many Christians, this is an important day he told A Current Affair.
It’s taking very lightly what the Lord has done, and the way the Lord has changed people’s lives.
Speaking to members of the congregation outside St Mary’s Cathedral, A Current Affair found that attitude mirrored in a number of people on the street.
That’s very offensive to anyone that’s religious one person said.
Another admitted it did not shock them, but said they didn’t think the use of Jesus in the ad was “appropriate”.
But others claimed it was just a bit of fun.
Even Father Bob Maguire, Roman Catholic priest and community worker, said some people were taking it too seriously.
It’s all fashionable to be offended these days, everyone’s offended,” he said.
Marketing expert Dee Madigan said the timing of the ad had probably been a mistake.
Good Friday is probably the most significant holiday of the Christian calendar, so it’s probably the one day where you need to be a little bit more sensitive she said.
I suspect their target market is not that angry, and it’s not really going to affect their business, and they did pull it down pretty quickly.
In a statement, Mary’s Group said they removed the posts following threats of sexual and physical violence for the safety of their staff.
We are champions of free speech and rejoice in the fact that we live in a country that allows people have that right,” the statement read.
Further, we love the fact that we all have the right to take offense and be offended.
We do not, however, live in a society where people have the right to threaten violence against others for making jokes.