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The pope-imam kiss for tolerance campaign angers the Vatican

(or something like that)

United Colors of Benetton's campaign for tolerance may backfire?

United Colors of Benetton's campaign for tolerance may backfire?

Jack Chavdarian, Staff Writer

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Hot topic:  Pope Benedict XVI  is pissed!

A photo of the pope locking lips with a top Egyptian imam might not be the first image that comes to mind when you think of the Roman Catholic Church.

The United Colors of Benetton, however, felt it was a perfect scene to depict in their new ad campaign promoting “dialogue and mediation” among different cultures, faiths and other groups, across the world.

The Italian clothing company’s new international campaign called “Unhate,” features different world leaders from politics to religion, kissing each other on the lips in fictional photographs, in hopes of inspiring people to put aside their differences and come to some mutual understand of each others motivations.

The Huffington Post reports that the Vatican denounced The United Colors of Benetton’s new ad as an unacceptable provocation.

As a result of the church’s disapproval, the photo of the Pope locking lips with Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb, Imam of the al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, has been officially taken out of the campaign.

“It shows a serious lack of respect for the pope,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

Alessandro Benetton, the executive deputy chairman of Benetton Group, will release a preview of the campaign in Paris on Nov. 16th without the controversial photo.

 

Here’s my opinion: I don’t think intolerant people in both religious communities are going to think of “tolerance” towards one another when looking at a photo of their religious leaders kissing lips-to-lips.

We have to remember that both religions are outspokenly anti-gay, and in the majority of Islamic countries, homosexuality is a crime that results in imprisonment or the death penalty.

Despite all the horrible things going on in the world, the Vatican went out of its way to stop a photo of a kiss.

No violence, no hatred, no blood, no pornography…just a kiss.

I don’t only mean to pick on religion; I don’t think intolerant people are going to think “tolerance” when looking at a photo of President Barack Obama kissing Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez either.

Now, not only will Obama be thought of as a Muslim, Kenyan and possible anti-Christ, which some less tolerant people in the U.S. already think, but he will be though of as a gay Muslim, Kenyan and possible anti-Christ by the same people. Many may demand his birth certificate once again.

I’ve always thought of the less tolerant people to be very simple-minded, and this campaign might be too complex for them to understand.

I just don’t think they’re going to be able to see past two men kissing.

The whole point of tolerance is going to be overshadowed by the fact that most of these photographs depict same-sex world leaders making out.

Nice attempt to promote tolerance, but the only thing this is going to accomplish is proving that homophobia is a huge issue.

 

Other ads not taken off from the campaign:

U.S. leader Barack Obama and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and South Korean leader Lee Myung-bak

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