Pathetic 'Just Pray' billboards target train passengers

Pathetic 'Just Pray' billboards target train passengers February 11, 2016

If all goes to plan, tomorrow morning I will be interviewed at 8.30 pm UK time on BBC Hereford and Worcester about a series of images from a film made by Just Pray UK that have been placed on hoardings at a railway station in Hereford.

Readers will remember that there was a great deal of huffing and puffing when UK cinemas banned the film late last year. 
The Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency, which handles British film advertising for the major cinema chains, Odeon, Cineworld and Vue, said it had a policy of not accepting political or religious advertising content in its cinemas.
It said that:

Some advertisements – unintentionally or otherwise – could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith, and that in this regard, DCM treats all political or religious beliefs equally.

Well, Just Pray has come up with what it no doubt thinks is a cunning stunt to counter that ban: hoardings showing four images from the 60-second Christian propaganda film are targeted at passengers arriving at Hereford station.
The Bishop of Hereford, Richard Frith, above, will also be greeting passengers with Just Pray postcards. He said:

We think this is a great idea. The website has attracted so many people and we want those locally to know all about it too. You don’t have to be an expert on how to pray, the website gives you an opportunity to just pause and have your say.
The images are displayed on 8ft by 8ft hoardings which will remain in place for six months.

The BBC contacted me today to ask whether I would be agreeable to be interviewed about the campaign. I emailed them back, saying that I, personally, had no problem with the hoardings as they seem not to be in breach of rules laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority, which addressed the cinema ban of the film here.
But I will point out in the interview that this is an exercise in futility. The vast number of people seeing these silly images will dismiss them as wholly irrelevant.
I will also say that the C of E is desperately clutching at straws. Its membership numbers are continuing to plummet, and, according to this report today only around 16 percent of people in the UK are C of E members, and of these less than 11 percent attend services at least weekly.

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  • CoastalMaineBird

    Some advertisements – unintentionally or otherwise – could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith,
    The CPO (Church of the Perpetually Offended) will be all over this.
    As an atheist, I am not offended by anyone’s expression of faith. If it keeps you from killing or stealing, good on you.
    Unless and until you start thinking yourself better than me, because of it, I have a whole lot of apathy about it.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Having said that, I never quite understood the idea of prayer.
    Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
    So, why doesn’t anybody ask for a cure for cancer or something?
    I recently heard somebody ask for prayers for some dead person, and their family.
    I have to imagine the thought process: “This guy’s already dead, but God will decide what to do with him, based on what *-I-* ask for.”.
    Maybe it’s a voting thing: after you die, there is a 24-hour voting period. God tallies the prayers FOR, and the prayers AGAINST, and cals the winner.
    No, that doesn’t make sense either. Can somebody explain how prayer is supposed to work?

  • Broga

    Prayer is asking an omniscient God to change its mind. Meanwhile the government, in an affront for what currently passes for democracy, insist that the unelected, £300 a day for turning up, bishops in the Lords are there in perpetuity. The government behaves like Nicholas 11, the last of the Romanovs. Despite the overwhelming need for change he insisted on maintaining an unsustainable status quo.
    There is a growing anger at the governing elite and its entrenched privileges. You can see this is the USA where there is such support for the clownish Trump. To a lesser extent the Jeremy Corbyn manifests that here. The MPs don’t want him. The Labour voters do.

  • L.Long

    As said by others the prayers are just making folks feel good about doing nothing constructive!
    I prayed for the guy but he died anyway so it is gawds will, but then he did not bother to drive the guy to the hospital, but I prayed. There is so much stupid in religion that to be religious is not stupid, it is not that high on the intelligence scale.

  • A fine place to start regarding the question of prayer…
    Why, in all the history of humanity, can prayer not lead to a single instance of the re-growth of an amputated limb?

  • Vanity Unfair

    When confronted with the mangled corpse that is the remains of Britain’s railway system. “Just pray” might be the only advice left to take.

  • barriejohn

    Tremendous excitement in the scientific world today over the discovery at last of gravitational waves, many years after Einstein proposed their existence, and the religious are still promoting their backward, primitive view of the universe. Just take a look at this:
    In similar fashion to the use of garlic and cross in repelling vampires, watch the effect upon religiots of the use of such concepts as “fact” and “logic”!

  • Angela_K

    @barriejohn. Reading the nonsense in your link I am reminded of a religious blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there and finding it.
    “Just Pray”= just do nothing but feel smug about it.

  • drat

    Gravity waves …phoey.
    It was god just rolling over in bed.

  • drat

    Clasped hands and muttered words ….. useless except to make the pious feel good. Fucking arrogant and selfish. Total waste of time.

  • barriejohn

    Angela: Nothing is as effective as prayer!

  • Ed

    Have a look at the Just Pray page on YouTube
    Open “… More” and look at the Stats. It’s not capturing the imagination!

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Nothing is as effective as prayer!
    … and saves time, as well !

  • AgentCormac

    Prayer really does work according to those in the religion-peddling business. And let’s face it, who’s better placed to know? Oh, wait… what’s that you say? There seems to be some doubt from the scientific community? Who on earth would have thought?!

  • RussellW

    Agreed, why would an omniscient God change its mind?
    I don’t agree with the ‘live and let live’ attitude since the religiots will never leave the rest of us alone. Basically atheists are always on the defensive. Particularly when confronted with the demented followers of the world’s two most aggressively proselytising ideologies, Islam and Christianity.

  • edwords

    Joan of Arc was a big fan of prayer (as were her killers).

  • Robster

    ” You don’t have to be an expert on how to pray”. Bit like being a breathing or eating expert.

  • 1859

    Does anyone remember this gem that was once used on the London Underground?
    ‘Our Father who art in Hendon
    Harrow Road be thy name
    Thy Kingston come, thy Wimbledon
    In Erith as it is in Hendon
    Give us this day our Berkhamsted
    And forgive us our Westminsters
    As we forgive those who Westminster against us.
    Lead us not into Temple Station
    But deliver us from Ealing
    For thine is the Kingston
    The Purley and the Crawley
    For Iver and Iver
    Crouch End.’
    O I love it!

  • Stonyground

    My personal obsession is doing Triathlons. Thinking about the inexorable decline of CofE membership and attendance, I started to wonder just how many triathletes there are in the UK and whether we should have 26 triathletes representing us in the HOL. For once Google has let me down, although being at work and having a nanny program that doesn’t like us looking at sports pages doesn’t help. Certainly football has more followers than Jesus, even though they don’t all participate.

  • Justin Badby

    This about sums it up.

  • Denis Craik

    Why not – it’s cheaper than charity and it makes you feel ever so virtuous.

  • Stonyground

    I have now established that there were about 200,000 triathlon race starts in 2014. Most triathletes would have done more than one event so we still have some way to go before we match the CofE’s dwindling numbers.

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  • Justin Badby

    I just did. How tawdry. And notice the kids being indoctrinated.