Baby Scan Jesus

Six months ago, the non-profit organisation ChurchAds.net chose the “Ultrasound Jesus” design for its Christmas ad campaign. The depiction of an ultrasound image of an unborn baby with a halo above his head and the caption, “He’s on His way. Christmas starts with Christ” was met with anger by pro-abortion and atheist groups who disapproved of its pro-life sentiments.

Baby Scan JesusIt was deemed too political and seen as a counter-attack on TV ads for abortion services. Speaking to the Guardian, Terry Sanderson, director of the National Secular Society, accused ChurchAds.net of “trying to put across some sort of subliminal message”. He thought the image “too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context” and added, “they should go back to angels and cribs”. (There is more than a touch of irony in the NSS requesting angels and cribs.)

On their website, the authors of the Christmas ad campaign state:

“Research has revealed that 85 per cent of people agree with the statement that ‘Christmas should be called Christmas because we are still a Christian country’. But it also shows that only 12 per cent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail.

So if we Christians really want to keep Christmas focused on Christ, we must constantly re-tell the story of his birth in ways which engage positively with the public’s interest.

In the 21st century, parents-to-be proudly announce the coming birth by showing friends and family the scan of the baby. Our new Baby Scan Jesus poster uses this convention to place the birth of Christ in an ultra-contemporary context.

It is highly impactful. It has a sense of immediacy. It creates anticipation. And theologically it speaks of both the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ.

There is no doubt that it will capture people’s attention, generate headlines and create countless conversations about the true meaning of Christmas.

Church leaders across the denominations have welcomed the campaign and are urging churches all over the country to get involved.”

John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, welcomed the ad, telling the Guardian:

The advert is saying that Jesus was alive as a person before he was born. They have a halo round his head and you don’t have a halo around the head of a blob of jelly or a cluster of cells. This is not a cluster of cells but a human person and it just happens to be the God Man Jesus.”

“It is about the humanity of the unborn,” Smeaton added. “That is a very, very powerful statement that will strike a chord with the general population.”

The campaign will begin formally on 6 December 2010, but the distribution of the “Ultrasound Jesus” material began several months ago. Let’s pray for the success of this campaign. And as we approach the season of Advent, we too would do well to contemplate the image.

Let us consider it especially as Saturday 27th November, the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, draws near. For on that day all Catholic parishes and communities throughout the world have been invited to join Pope Benedict in a Vigil of Prayer for Nascent Life. The link is clear: From Mary’s virginal conception by the power of the Holy Spirit of her divine Son Jesus Christ to His holy birth in Bethlehem, we celebrate the most wondrous “pro-life” events. Almighty God, from the moment of the incarnation, became a defenceless and vulnerable human being: as defenceless and vulnerable as the countless million unborn babies who through the horror of abortion are not permitted to see the light of day.

If the Holy Father’s call seems to have fallen on deaf ears in your diocese, parish or community, please speak out. The scourge of abortion can only be fought with the weapon of prayer. As Fr Corapi is wont to say, “Just do it!”.

This entry was posted in Living Catholic lives, Pro Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Baby Scan Jesus

  1. kathleen says:

    No, hardly just a blob of jelly or a cluster of cells!!!

    Another unborn infant, St John the Baptist leaps for joy in his mother’s womb at the arrival of His Saviour to Ain Karim, and St Elizabeth’s words to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Blessed out thou among women, and BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB” reveal the veracity that the Son of God was already present, six months before His birth. From the moment of the Incarnation the Word was made Flesh.

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  2. bwr47 says:

    Teresa

    Nathanson is a brave man, with an interesting history as the former head of the largest western abortion clinic but now a Catholic convert: see http://www.whycatholic.co.uk/txt/convertsnath.html. (That site also has, in its teaching section, some info re the close links between the abortion movement, both in the UK and the US, and the eugenics programmes that were so enthusiastically adopted by Nazi Germany).

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  3. bwr47 says:

    Kathleen

    St Ambrose (a fourth century bishop of Milan) described rather beautifully the meeting between Mary and her cousin: “Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice, but John the first to experience grace; whereas the natural sound of words rang in his mother’s ears, John rejoiced in the mystery of what they meant. Elizabeth felt Mary’s presence at her side; John, the closeness of the Lord. Elizabeth hears her cousin’s greeting; John felt the presence of her Son. The two women spoke of grace, but their two sons experienced grace and communicated that gift to their mothers in such a way that, in a double miracle, both women began to prophesy, inspired by their sons.” (Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam).

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  4. rebrites says:

    It´s sad that everything, even a silly Christmas poster, has to be so politicized.
    Aside from that, any “spokesman” who refers to his product as “highly impactful” has sacrificed most of his credibility right there. He should´ve spared us the idiotic buzzwords and just let the image speak for itself.

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  5. rebrites says:

    It´s sad that everything, even a Christmas poster, has to be so politicized.
    Aside from that, any ad campaign that refers to its product as “highly impactful” has sacrificed most of its credibility right there. They should´ve spared us the idiotic buzzwords and just let the image speak for itself.

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  6. bwr47 says:

    Rebrites

    “Highly impactful” is indeed fairly ghastly.

    But Christmas was political from the start (Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, among other events). In reality, it is refreshing that we can focus on the real meaning of Christmas – God incarnate and yes, the sanctity of all human life – rather than just on the commercial and emotional aspects. I recall the now-defunct Woolworths proclaiming, perhaps 10 years ago, “Christmas is sweets”, “Christmas is toys” and such nonsense. Give me the real “politics” any day!

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  7. Pingback: Christmas poster draws fire « Joyful Papist

  8. Brother Burrito says:

    A reader has recently asked if we are producing Christmas cards with the above image on the front!

    Sorry Rosa, no we are not. Anyone who is interested in getting the image for such use, should contact the owners:

    http://www.churchads.net/contact/index.html

    in the first instance. It is a good thing to spread this image as far as possible, while always mentioning its owners/designers.

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  9. kathleen says:

    bwr47,
    Thank you for that beautiful description from St Ambrose; it is deeply profound.

    Thanks for the interesting link on Dr. Bernard Nathanson too. (I hope Toad reads it, especially the paragraph of the myth of legal abortions avoiding unsafe illegal ones!) This last paragraph is so important I think, that I would like to reprint it:

    “Most of the priests whom I have encountered across this country [the USA] and indeed around the world, shy away from the subject of abortion. They somehow want to keep it under the rug and only pull it out when they’re ordered to. In my own experience as a Catholic convert for the last several years, I’ve attended a great many Masses and listened to a great many homilies and I believe in three years I’ve listened to only one homily on the subject of abortion.”

    I can say that I have listened to more than one homily on the subject, but these priests were all what one calls “Traditionalist” priests…… I just prefer to simply call them true loyal Catholics!

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  10. joyfulpapist says:

    Christmas cards are available – http://www.cpo-online.org.uk/range.aspx?cat=109&range=3216

    Church ads is also encouraging people to download the image to print on their own materials – posters on church notices and shop windows, service sheets, and so on. The website link for the downloads is: http://www.churchads.net/2010/downloads.html

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  11. Harry ca Nab says:

    “……..only 12 per cent of adults know the facts of the Christmas story in any detail.”

    So, the CofE has done a wonderful job then?

    Surely the hierarchy of that organisation must be aware of what has happened to the UK on THEIR watch?

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