back to article Just trolling: It's OK to poke fun at Christians, says ASA

The fact that trolls can smell Christian blood is well-known, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled, and a reference to it in a fake job advert used to promote a film was unlikely to cause widespread offence, it said today. After receiving two complaints about the advert "Troll Hunters Required" listed in The …

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  1. squilookle
    Thumb Down

    Surely the most offensive bit is rubbing the noses of the unemployed in it, as the cinema isn't cheap and a lot of them probably can't afford to go, and would rather see real job adverts in the jobs section....

    1. Why Not?
      Thumb Down

      Real Jobs?

      It was the Granuaids Job section, why would you expect to see REAL JOBS? I suppose thats why they got away with it?

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Executive Head of Marketing and Development East Hampshire and Havant - £75,000

      As one of five Executive Heads working across both councils, this is a key role which will help shape and lead both organisations through a process of transformational change.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Maybe they should not bother hiring someone to 'Manage the transformational process' & just empty the bins once a week?

      I can't imagine what other religions would have done if they had been the butt of this joke I can't quite see the Archbishop of Canterbury burning copies of the Guardian outside the papers office.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ah, sweet sweet irony.

        >"It was the Granuaids Job section"

        Muphry's law in full effect here, I see. The name invented (I think) by Private Eye and used for many years to mock the Guardian's propensity for typos is "Grauniad", not "Graunaid"!

  2. br0die
    Facepalm

    Re: The film

    As a Norwegian, I implore you;

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don't watch the dubbed version. At least not the first time (watch it later, and laugh). The dubbing is so ridiculous it ruins the film entirely. Not only are the voice actors ridiculous and the voices totally mismatched, but it misses out (sometimes key) information.

    Some British friends watched this version with me, and I had to ask them to pause it every ten minutes to explain what was meant by the often directly-translated dialogue.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Dubbed

      Is always rubbish. Should be forbidden. The funniest experience in that field was a John Wayne film in Germany that I went to see not expecting it to be dubbed.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Pint

        Captions can be funny too

        There is also the urban legend of the John Wayne file captioned in French where John Wayne walks into a bar and shouts "Bartender, gimme a shot of red-eye" and the caption said "Dubonnet S'il vous plait"

        http://www.stuartfernie.com/tales

    2. Keep Refrigerated
      Trollface

      "...I had to ask them to pause it every ten minutes to explain what was meant..."

      You must be great fun to watch movies with.

      1. br0die

        @Keep

        Hah, well I only did it once, then they insisted I keep doing it. Normally I never would, and I hate people who do.

    3. Daniel B.
      FAIL

      Ture for *any* dubbed movie. The Spanish dubbed version of "Grown-Ups" ruined the "maize" joke, because the Spanish word for "corn" is "maiz". So all the jokes related to using "maize" instead of "corn" turned into using "maiz" instead of "maiz".

      This is the main reason why I really, REALLY hate dubbed movies.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a simple test

    Run the advert with Scientologist, Mulsim, Jew, Hindu or anything else in place of Christian and see if the ASA still consider it light hearted fun.

    The only sensible people have been Momentum Pictures with their changed wording.

    1. Shakje

      You have the right to be offended.

      If the ASA were to take that position then they would be wrong to. Having fun poked at you (when that's not even what's happening, it's simply mentioning the theme of several old myths [what exactly is offensive about it? I've heard plenty of arguments about preventing practising homosexuals from working in churches, and that IS offensive]) doesn't mean that you should just get rid of it. Presumably you weren't outraged by Muslims getting mad about the cartoons of Mohammed and thought they were right to try and get it removed from circulation?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Shakje

        >If the ASA were to take that position then they would be wrong to.

        Exactly, but by finding the advert acceptable they are effectively saying it's OK to make fun of one group while others are off limits. As I said, the voice of reaon in all this has been Momentum Pictures.

        >Presumably you weren't outraged by Muslims getting mad about the cartoons of Mohammed and thought they were right to try and get it removed from circulation?

        No I wasn't outraged and yes I did think it right that they should voice their opinion and try to get them removed from circulation however I don't believe that right should extend to violence and death threats but maybe I'm old fashioned.

        >I've heard plenty of arguments about preventing practising homosexuals from working in churches, and that IS offensive.

        Offensive yes but not really on a par with stoning them.

        My take on religion is rather simple. It should have an age limit below which you are not allowed to be religious. All religions should be taught in school and when the time comes you should be able to choose one or not. There can't be any sane argument against this unless the religious leaders have doubts their religion isn't the best.

        AC >Why Scientologists? That part of the advert was about religion.

        Even scientologists have the right to believe that what they believe in is a religion.

        1. Shakje
          Meh

          Chris

          Any particular reason that you didn't explain what exactly is offensive about it in the first place?

          >Exactly, but by finding the advert acceptable they are effectively saying it's OK to make fun of one group while others are off limits. As I said, the voice of reaon in all this has been Momentum Pictures.

          Sorry, but are there a series of examples where other groups have successfully had text removed because it mentions the name of their religious group? Of course this doesn't make much sense when put in the context of the Phones4U adverts which were banned for "mocking" Christianity (I'm still not entirely sure why they are seen as offensive either). If you can show exactly how the advert makes fun of Christianity I'll be happy to change my views.

          >No I wasn't outraged and yes I did think it right that they should voice their opinion and try to get them removed from circulation however I don't believe that right should extend to violence and death threats but maybe I'm old fashioned.

          Were you equally outraged when the company refused to remove the images?

          >Offensive yes but not really on a par with stoning them.

          Would you say it's on a par with saying "Christians need not apply" in an advert?

          >My take on religion is rather simple. It should have an age limit below which you are not allowed to be religious. All religions should be taught in school and when the time comes you should be able to choose one or not. There can't be any sane argument against this unless the religious leaders have doubts their religion isn't the best.

          I don't think that's necessarily a bad idea actually, but by all religions what exactly do you mean? I don't think many people would be alive to finish school if *all* religions were taught to them, and that's the thing. Your stance suggests that people should be told about religion. Why? If someone feels particularly religious it's not difficult for them to go to a church or a mosque and ask about it, or to study it themselves. I think religious education *is* important because it encourages critical study of religion and cultural integration, but if you want to do a comparative study in the interests of helping kids to choose a religion, I think that's way outside of the scope of a school.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Shakje

            >Any particular reason that you didn't explain what exactly is offensive about it in the first place?

            I didn't find it offensive nor can I see why it could be construed as offensive nor can I see how it is poking fun at Christianity. Maybe it is my misconception but I felt that if any other religion had been used the ASA might have reached a different conclusion.

            >Were you equally outraged when the company refused to remove the images?

            Once a newspaper or magazine has been published it's hard to physically withdraw the images. Did anybody complain to the equivalent of the press complaints commission to get a printed apology? If they did and the PCC found against the newspaper involved then I would expect them to comply, my feelings wouldn't reach as far as outrage if the didn't but neither would I be happy about it. There are ways of getting retractions in the modern world, threats of violence and death are not amongst them

            >Would you say it's on a par with saying "Christians need not apply" in an advert?

            Discrimination cannot be compared with corporal punishment for what is a non-elected lifestyle. A dent in ones feelings is not the same as a dent in ones skull.

            >but by all religions what exactly do you mean?

            There's the rub, there are so many to choose from

            1. Shakje
              Happy

              Chris W

              Thanks for this, I'm enjoying it.

              >I didn't find it offensive nor can I see why it could be construed as offensive nor can I see how it is poking fun at Christianity.

              You specifically said that it was "ok to poke fun at Christians". Since we don't have an equal example of them removing something that seems inoffensive, then it's pure conjecture that they would or wouldn't ignore it. Since they've already, very recently, removed adverts deemed insulting to Christians (that I found confusing as well), I don't think it's a fair assessment.

              >Discrimination cannot be compared with corporal punishment for what is a non-elected lifestyle. A dent in ones feelings is not the same as a dent in ones skull.

              I never mentioned stoning, that was you. The point I was making was that religions get away with all sorts of offensive behaviour, but if something that is even remotely related to their religion is used humorously (even if it's not the target) they are up in arms.

              >There's the rub, there are so many to choose from

              Indeed.

              My real point was that the following:

              >Exactly, but by finding the advert acceptable they are effectively saying it's OK to make fun of one group while others are off limits.

              Has absolutely no basis in fact, and just doesn't follow from what's actually happened. You admit yourself that you can't see how it could be offensive, so that's all that can be gained from this whole mess. It's not offensive, so there's no reason to remove it. I'm not sure what part of what I said you really disagree with :)

        2. KroSha
          Angel

          @ Chris W

          "There can't be any sane argument against this unless..."

          There's your problem. The whole premise of all religions is essentially non-sane. The only reason it's socially acceptable (in general) is because it's been going on a long time. Other people who spend a lot of time talking to invisible friends tend to get "help" from the white coat brigade.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "My take on religion is rather simple. It should have an age limit below which you are not allowed to be religious. All religions should be taught in school and when the time comes you should be able to choose one or not."

          Should this not also apply to politics and philosophy and anything else which might unduly influence a person's worldview during their formative years?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why Scientologists? That part of the advert was about religion.

    3. Toastan Buttar
      Thumb Up

      Inclusive Offense

      Actually, by replacing "Christian" with "Believer", they've now made it offensive to Christians, Jews AND Muslims. They all believe in the same G_d, after all.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Flugal

    Poking fun at Christians

    What Christians believe is so bizarre that they've effectively poked fun at themselves, and certainly are in no position to complain when their sky-fairy worshipping, Earth-is-5000-years-old, kill-people-for-wearing-clothes-of-mixed-fibre message confirms the insanity that operates between their ears.

  6. pctechxp

    Sounds like

    Total shite

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Flugal

      I have was brought up Methodist, I have had phases on believeing and maybe/maybe not believing. I know many Christians. I have yet to meet a creationist, I have also yet to meet anyone who thinks that the the portions of the bible such as the two fibres bit are to be taken seriously in the modern day. Even when they were written they were guidelines as to how to live in a desert nomadic tribe and are probably rather poorly translated.

      A little off topic: Sadly, I have met many homophobic arseholes, happily they're both Christian as well as Athiest, showing that you don't need religion to be an arse, you just get something to wrongly justify it with.

      I do notice that a lot of shouty Atheists like you seem to need to belittle and misrepresent others beliefs in an insulting way. Does that make you feel like a big man? I'm guessing it does, otherwise you'd be a tad more constructive about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Megaphone

        I do, actually, try not to be downright rude and offensive

        But how can I be a Thad more constructive about something when my personal belief is that it is utter tosh, a form of brain washing worse than TV advertising, brain deadening, and the world would be a better place without it?

        Atheism (I am) doesn't come into it. My biggest objection to "Christianity," way ahead of the above, arises from a personal belief that it *utterly* misrepresents a certain guy whose [Anglicised] name was Jesus. In other words, it is a lie. I resent that strongly. In fact I get quite upset about it in a way that is almost religious!

        What I leave out of the question altogether is a decent set of ethics, because anyone, religious or not, can have those, and it doesn't take a "saviour" to teach them.

    2. lotus49
      WTF?

      You are an idiot

      Which Christians believe this nonsense?

      I know a lot of Christians and none of them believes any of that. Only young children believe that God is a sky fairy. Anyone who has given the issue any thought (a group that clearly does not include you) has a far more sophisticated idea of what God is than that. Only lunatics in the US believe that the earth is 5000 years old. The Pope and the Roman Catholic church certainly don't and I have never met anyone who did (including in the US). Finally, where did you get that mixed fibres bit from?

      Christianity is pretty safe if the naysayers have to make up bilge and attribute it to Christians to discredit their opinions.

      There are plenty of troublesome aspects of Christianity but you have completely missed the mark and not identified any of them. Perhaps you should try to learn something about what you are attacking first. Otherwise, you just look foolish.

      1. Martin Lyne

        If one part of an instruction manual said to me "sorry, the last 5 pages were just an analogy so you could understand what we meant, undo everything you just did and start again. The rest is true WE PROMISE"

        I would not continue reading or believing.

        Just saying.

      2. fiddley
        Pint

        well...

        See now, with religion, it's all a matter of degrees innit? Only kids believe in the beardy sky fairy, only nutjobs in the US believe in creationis^W Intelligent Design. But whatever your personal fantasy is, you all believe in some crazy fucked up shit.

        For instance, pretty much all of you have to believe that the Bible (Koran/Veda/Whatever) is some kind of teaching from the big man, whether you think it's literal, allegorical or whatever. And from those teachings you pretty much take the bits you like and leave the bits you don't, so much so that, like snowflakes, no two of you fairy-story-believing crackpots has quite the same take on it. And yet, without exception, you all think that people who don't believe whatever one true path you happen to believe in are going to spend the afterlife in some excruciating pain. (unless you happen to have chosen to ignore that particular part of your teaching as well). All this stuff with not using condoms (Catholicism), or not turning on a light switch on Fridays (Judaism - Only incandescent though, fluorescent bulbs are, apparently, OK!!), or giving up a perfectly good Sunday to go and prey to a non-existent entity, when you could be doing some charity work or helping an elderly neighbour.

        I mean it's all so scattergun and illogical, how can anyone say with a straight face that they lend any kind of credence to this big time major bullshit is beyond me. I mean the books are based on stories handed down by word of mouth during the late Iron age FFS!

        And then you go and force feed it to children before they're old enough to think. That's practically child abuse.

        There's so many things wrong with religion, and, as an Atheist, I can tell you you certainly don't need religion in your life to be a tolerant, good, well adjusted individual. (Yes, I'm tolerant, you'll never see me snub a Christian, or protest at a Mosque build, I'm just passionate about people not wasting their lives with this rubbish) At least Atheists aren't being good just because we're scared of what "god" might do to us, we're good because we mean it.

        David Attenborough has yet another good take on the whole thing:

        "My response is that when Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things. But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind. And [I ask them], 'Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all-merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child's eyeball? Because that doesn't seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy".

        Sorry for the rant but religion is so full of crap, I can't help myself.

        A beer for everyone, non-alcoholic if your particular storybook doesn't allow.

        1. The Original Steve
          Angel

          @fiddley

          Have one on me. Couldn't have said it any better myself.

          Calling something the gospel but picking which bits are real and which bits are not are simply illogical. Just sounds like a cop out to me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Steve

            The old testament and the gospels are separte parts, you know?

        2. veti Silver badge
          Devil

          fiddley: "And yet, without exception, you all think that people who don't believe whatever one true path you happen to believe in are going to spend the afterlife in some excruciating pain. (unless you happen to have chosen to ignore that particular part of your teaching as well)"

          Err... it seems to me that "without exception" doesn't really allow for an "unless" clause, but whatever floats your rant...

          Meanwhile, you are aware that religious people give more to charity - yes, including secular charities - in both money and time, than non-religious people?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/01/02/do-god-fearing-or-godless-people-give-more-to-charity/

          Dispute beliefs all you want, but you should at least consider the possiblity that religion does a lot of *good* for a lot of people.

          1. Shakje
            Joke

            >Meanwhile, you are aware that religious people give more to charity - yes, including secular charities - in both money and time, than non-religious people?

            Let's call it a compensation tax on brainwashing ;-)

        3. Monty Burns

          @Fiddley

          Thanks mate, this morning was really boring .... you just had me in tears (of laughter). .... Storybook... hehehe

          Reminds me of Simpsons, or was it Futurrama? ... "Like one of those ghost stories, like the bible"

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm still an atheist

          ...But the way that some parasites have evolved to manipulate their hosts to their advantage *is* one of the most bloody amazing things in the natural world, and probably a more intelligent arguments that can be used on the religious side.

          Equally, when I hear stuff about animals choosing their mates for the best survival chance of their genes in mind, I wonder what animal, human included, ever gave the next generation any thought at all when all it wanted was to screw.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    'The ASA said the advert was a "light-hearted play on the fairy-tale theme" that most readers would recognise as a reference to an old myth.'

    Which myth, Trolls or Christianity?

  8. Anonymous Coward 101
    Devil

    I know, I know...

    ...but I bet they wouldn't have said "TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD – MOSLEMS NEED NOT APPLY", would they?

  9. JDX Gold badge

    I'm a Christian

    I'm not offended, but I am confused what the point of it was. Also, poking fun is fine - but are they allowed - even in a joke ad - to say they discriminate against a religious group? Religious organisations have to get special dispensation from the normal law, if they want to require employees share their beliefs.

  10. metaspective
    Paris Hilton

    Are muslims next?

    After the recent torching of the French satirical magazine for running a Prophet copy, I wonder if the Guardian will be poking fun at other faiths?

    1. oddie
      Thumb Up

      SPOILERS AHEAD

      If you haven't seen the movie yet, look away now (or skip to the next post.

      .

      .

      /SPOLER

      Actually, they poke fun of this in the movie itself, after one of them is eaten because he's a christian (the trolls could smell him so ate him) they get a new cameraperson to join them.. when they ask her if she is a christian she replies that she is in fact a muslim... when they wonder if this would be ok the troll hunter replies that they will just have to wait and see, as he doesn't know.

      /SPOLER OVER

      It really is a very good movie, you ought to go and see it :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I may be over-thinking this

        I assume they are smelling a pheremone inadvertantly tied to the strip of DNA on chromosome 6 that seems to pre-dispose people more strongly to 'follow-the-leader' behavioural characteristics (something that can often have species-survival benefits, so that shouldn't be characterised as any kind of slur).

        As such, people who follow any assertion-based belief system, be it an overtly-religious one or something more mindlessly-political, would be fair game for the trolls.

        Hmmm. Bit like the internet there :-P

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I may be over-thinking this

          There's a *gene* for religious nuttery?

          Fantastic. That means someone like Monsanto or Pfizer could get started on a genetically-engineered virus with the contagiousness of the common cold and the lethality of Ebola which only affects people with that gene... >:D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The point

      The old norse were scared that the rise of Christianity threatened their religious values, as Christians had eliminated so many other religions in their passing and they were scared that their faith would be wiped out next. Thus they added Christians to their folklore as gobliney things.

      One could say they had a point.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How would you know anything about anything?

      >"I wonder if the Guardian will be poking fun at other faiths"

      Since you can't tell the difference between editorial comment and advertisements, the fact that you wonder about anything probably reflects nothing but your own ignorance.

      1. metaspective
        Headmaster

        Did the Inarticulate Coward get the Troll's job?

        A publisher isn't just responsible for the editorial comment but the entire publication.

        For someone with shaky grammar, poor style and and only occasional sense, you're very quick to criticise others. Inferiority complex perhaps?

        I used to know a Spineless Gutless Coward - are you by any chance related?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Your emotional knee-jerk response appears to have overwhelmed your reading comprehension.

          >"A publisher isn't just responsible for the editorial comment but the entire publication."

          Up to a point, Lord Copper. The publisher is indeed obliged to show due diligence in trying to avoid publishing falsehoods and libels etc., but that's not the same as saying that they avow everything that they permit advertisers to write. If you were reading more carefully, you would remember that the original commenter said:

          >"I wonder if the Guardian will be poking fun at other faiths?"

          Just because the Guardian allowed the advert to run does not mean that it was the Guardian who was "poking fun" at anyone; it was the advertiser who was doing so. Claiming that it was the Guardian who did so is as incorrect as claiming that, because they allow Dixon's to run adverts in their paper, therefore the Guardian is selling electrical goods. They are not, and for the exact same reason they were therefore not poking fun at anyone either.

          The remainder of your comment is equally misbegotten. I don't know what you were objecting to in my grammar and style; perhaps you just don't like long run-on sentences, but it suggests that you failed to find anything reasonable to object to in the actual substance of my post.

          I also don't see how you can validly infer anything about how occasionally or frequently I make sense or how quick or slow I am to criticise others, since you have no idea what other comments I may or may not have written. Is it possible you are so horribly misinformed as to think that there is only one person posting under the "Anonymous Coward" label?

          As to your "inferiority complex" and "spineless gutless coward" comments, these are mere ad-hominems, and are exactly why I post anonymously. My arguments should stand or fall on their own strengths, not because of who I am or how you feel about me. I would find it equally unwelcome to have people agree with me just because of who I am, since that would be a fallacy of appeal to authority. So I post without a name. I'm here to present arguments and engage in debate, not to try and earn fame and reputation for myself.

          I'll leave it to other people to decide whether or not I am inarticulate, but at least what I say is better reasoned than what you have just posted.

    4. Knochen Brittle
      Thumb Up

      If resorting to imperialist/racist provocation = satire

      then Charlie Hebdo will not be missed, except perhaps by the Front National and the Israeli Embassy

  11. Kevin Johnston

    Wow

    Three complaints!!! Seriously, three? What's up, did no-one whinge so Momentum had to send in a couple themselves.

    It comes to something when you can't even drum up free advertising from the ASA.

  12. Will's

    Nicely sidestepped the legal team

    Not offensive, but we might be sued because of our equal opportunities polocy

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to Speak one's Branes

    Lets post a new advert. Ifrit hunter required! Muslims need not apply!

    I wonder if the ASA has a list of acceptable targets somewhere.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the year round or just at Winterval?

    The BBC policy is to bait Christians all the time. Changing BC to CE for example.

    But not ALL God-botherers. Baiting any other religion is strictly VERBOTEN.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    So given all religion should be respected equaly...

    There was I thinking under EU `lawl's`(sic) that religion of no matter what faith should be treated equaly and fairly. Would if not be fair to now have adverts making fun of starwars figures and other lesser faiths? Standards have been laid down, would be wrong not to follow them fully :-).

  16. leon stok
    Devil

    Irony?

    So trolls can find christians, but the christians did not spot the troll.

    1. david wilson

      @AC

      >>"The BBC policy is to bait Christians all the time. Changing BC to CE for example."

      Leaving aside the CE/BCE error there, why should a non-aligned organisation be expected to continue to use a description that is effectively aligned with one specific faith?

      If the biggest 'persecution' some whining believer can come up with is being denied favouritism, then maybe they should count their blessings, since they're clearly better off than people in all kinds of minorities at the monent, and a great many other people in history, not least those people who dared to question one or other aspect of one or other sub-brand of christianity.

      Unfortunately, it does seem that a particular little subset of Christians does seem to scrabble around to try and find things they can find some way of taking offence at as if that somehow justifies their existence.

      Maybe they never read as far as the bit about turning the other cheek (and doing that to *real* insults, not merely imaginary ones), or they chose to ignore that particular lesson since it doesn't fit with their prejudices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Count your s/blessings/extremely fortunate set of circumstances/g

        Well, it's a bit like your comment peppered with outdated terminology and language that has been handed down from previous generations and extrapolated from their original meanings faith-based or otherwise.

        I am glad to see, at least, you use the word "lesson" in context, but what word do you use when you want to spread eduction other than the bible?

      2. John Sanders
        Mushroom

        "Leaving aside the CE/BCE error there, why should a non-aligned organisation be expected to continue to use a description that is effectively aligned with one specific faith?"

        Just because it has been part of the culture of the western world is a good reason alone to leave the BC/AC as it is.

        Following your logic I suggest we all stop using the Gregorian Calendar which is also a Christian invention.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar

    2. Hollerith 1

      Baiting? Or not privileging?

      BC is a very specific time reference, and CE and BCE are thoughtful substitutes to be used in a world that is not 100% Christian. It acknowledges the dominance of the European world on our historical understanding without using a word that not all people use with comfort.

      Surely a true Christian would not insist that a non-Christian use his or her faith-words. It would be unloving, prideful. Surely no true Christian can be baited. Their Saviour taught them to be meek, gentle, and to turn the other cheek. Paul urged them to glory in the opportunity to share the bruising He endured for them. But then, true Christians are thin on the ground...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Turn the other cheek?? I always thought it's 'an-eye-for-an-eye'!

        or is it both at the same time, a complete contradiction, like most things in religion?

    3. Duncanmhor
      Devil

      That false witness you're bearing

      Isn't it heavy?

      1. Steven Roper

        I still use

        BC and AD when such references are required. The reason is because, although I am not a Christian, the year is 2011 years after the *putative* birth of Christ. What else is it supposed to be 2011 years after? I maintain that if people don't want to use the Christian calendar, then instead of burying such use under a mantle of political correctness such the BCE/CE bullshit, that they adopt another calendar altogether.

        My vote is for a calendar with the year 0 being the birth year of Nicholaus Copernicus - the first scientist to challenge the Church's Earth-centric universe, thus starting the rise of science in the face of religion. Since Copernicus was born in 1473 AD, that would make this the year 538 ANC, so dates would then be listed as BNC/ANC. Something like that, I'd rather use than a religious calendar thinly veiled in political correctness.

        1. John Sanders
          Unhappy

          Political Correctness

          Is the live legacy of Marxism, it is pouring everywhere in the western world seeding its demise.

          I like to call it "Cultural Marxism"

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      See, that's what you get if you go around believing ludicrous old myths...

      ... like the kind you get in the Daily Mail. The BBC did not "change BC to BCE" at all, that was complete nonsense: see for example

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/content/response/useofdatetermsbcandad

      "Whilst the BBC uses BC and AD like most people as standard terminology, it is possible to use different terminology, particularly as it is now commonly used in historical research. The BBC has issued no editorial guidance on date systems, and the decision rests with the individual editorial and production teams."

      or http://blog.dave.org.uk/2011/09/bbc-bce-addendum.html

      " * The BBC does not have a policy in place forcing programmes to use BCE and CE in place of BC and AD

      * There is a policy on the BBC Religion web site to use BCE and CE on that site[1].

      * The Religion web site policy has been in place for at least four years

      [ . . . ]

      [1] However, it’s worth noting that every page on that site which talks about Christianity seems to break that policy and uses BC and AD. "

      Of course, someone who is in the frame of mind that they have to believe what they're told by a book, regardless of evidence or logic, is at risk of carrying over the same attitude to what they read in the newspapers, but really, how many times are you going to fall for the same trick before you learn to stop trusting the tabloids? Pretty much every supposed "political correctness" scandal they've reported has been fabricated; nobody's banned christmas, that school a couple of years back didn't ban the kids from giving christmas cards, the EU didn't rule that bananas had to be straight, etc., etc., etc., the list goes on. People believe these stories not because they're true, but because they want them to be true and are willing to suspend their critical faculties when presented with something that appears to confirm their preconceived notions. Much like the way they pick and choose those bits of the bible that agree with their political-moral agenda.

      Here endeth the lesson.

  17. nemo20000
    Flame

    Eee when I were a lad...

    When I was a kid and someone didn’t get the joke, everyone else laughed and they felt bad.

    These days when someone doesn’t get the joke it has to be reworded and everyone else has to feel bad.

  18. TimeMaster T
    WTF?

    Tittle??

    Has anyone mentioned the tittle of the movie yet? or did I just miss it?

    1. Alan B

      WTF is a "tittle"?

      I've never heard of a "tittle", but it sounds like something from a pr0n movie. If you actually mean "title", the movie is called Trollhunter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        FYI: WTF a "tittle" is.

        It's the thing that goes along with a jot.

    2. 100113.1537

      Trolljegere

      - at least that is the title in Norwegian. Direct translation is "The Trollhunters", but that's not necessarily a good bet as titles seem to interpreted rather than translated by film people.

      1. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        The title is "Trolljegeren".

        "The Trollhunter". singular form with the definite article baked in to the end of the word. I.e Trollhunter is "Trolljeger" contra The Trollhunter, "Trolljegeren". The Trollhunter*s* would in fact be "Trolljegerne" being the way you spell a word which ends in "r" anyway when you wish to express plural form with a definite article, otherwise the ending would be "ene".

        There, I am sure absolutely everybody was dying to know that.

    3. MacGyver
      Trollface

      Bjørn....

      This is the movie where I guy runs around talking about "bearn" (bjørn).

      It is used so many times, that when I see a bear on TV, all I hear in my head now is "Bearn".

      Also, why is this coming out now, that movie is kind of old now by movie standards isn't it. Much like my comment on this thread.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which reminds me, do you know what a Swedish lightsabre sounds like?

        Bejorrrrrn!

        (joke nicked from / credit due to Sluggy Freelance: http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20030620)

  19. Graham Marsden
    Trollface

    The advert is discriminatory...

    ... to goats because none of them were offered the position!

    I'll just trit-trot along now...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware the man of one book

    Having skimmed through the comments, it is obvious that many are missing the point. The real story here is that there are still a handful of morons out there who insist on whining about everything.

    "I read something about (insert deity/religion), I was offended.

    Signed X"

    Thankfully someone at the ASA found the rarest of commodities, common sense. Hurrah!

    If you want to believe in a God, I couldn't care less. As the great William Melvin Hicks once said,

    "beliefs are neat, cherish them, just don't go around sharing them like they're the truth", and he was raised Southern Baptist.

    We all need to accept everything is fair game to have a laugh at and you can't be punished for doing so, true democracies promote freedom of speech.

    Of course, if you cross the line into hateful and offensive remarks you will be ridiculed and ignored by the sane majority - see Nick Griffin.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leviticus

    Leviticus 19.29

    Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, so that the land may not become prostituted and full of depravity.

    Genesis 19.8

    Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leviticus

      >Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.

      But did he charge any takers for the privilege?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well done...

      You've managed to pull two totally unrelated passages from a book, completely out of context and shown that they are contradictory.

      Why not also use the bit (I can't remember where they are) that talk about beating swords into ploughshares and then the other bit that talks about beating ploughshares into swords.

      Or you could talk about eye-for-an-eye and then about Love thy Neighbour or Turn the other cheek.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Space-time is discrete.

        Space-time is continuous.

        Cue ridiculous, emotional battles between proponents of string theories, brane theories, etc.

        And don't get me started on holding fast to unprovable assertions about the world, eg the principles of universality and parsimony.

        Something about motes and beams springs to mind ...

        1. MacGyver
          Paris Hilton

          If we're posting silly things in the bible..

          ..let me include the fact that god thought the world was flat in Isaiah 11:12.

          "...gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." -- God

          "Such as maps." -- Miss America contestant

  22. Rombizio
    Meh

    In the future....

    We will be able to make fun of any religion like we do with other people's football teams and no one will care. On this day, the world will be a much better place to live. It is sad to see that religion is still considered something to have any respect for.

  23. Sam Therapy
    Coat

    Every religion should be mocked...

    ...religiously.

    Mine's the one with "A Brief History of Time" in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah...

      But I bet you haven't read it, you just leave it hanging around to make you look smart, like everyone else.

      1. Sam Therapy

        Wrong!

        Read it twice. Once, when it was first published and last year when I received all my father's books after he died.

        Twat.

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      Coat

      Python

      Good for those who are too serious about religion.

      //Life of Brian in one pocket and Meaning of Life in the other

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Muslims and Jews

    Bet the ruling would have been quite different if it had been Islam or Judaism that was the target.

    It seems that Britain's so-called multiculturalism demands tolerance of every culture except our own.

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    "The fact that trolls can smell Christian blood is well-known"

    Umm, which part of that statement is considered true?

    1. That Trolls (of the Scandinavian kind) exist

    2. That christian blood has a particular smell

    3. That god exists

    4. That these facts, together, are well known.

    Fail on all 4 methinks. With maybe a pass for those who enjoy myths.

  26. Mos Eisley Spaceport
    Thumb Down

    Personally, I find the Bible offensive

    Killing

    Raping

    Incest

    War

    Pestilence

    Genocide

    And they let kids read it too....

    1. Sam Therapy
      Unhappy

      Sounds like a typical night out...

      in Rotherham.

  27. Grease Monkey

    The ASA are a complete waste of space who make up the rules as they go along and are completely unable to apply those rules evenly across the board. Now regardless of what you think in this particular case I think any reasonable person would surely think it's long sice time the ASA was abolished and replaced with something that could do the job properly.

  28. aelfheld

    Oh no, not the same thing at all

    I wonder what the ASA would have come up with if the line had been "TROLLS CAN SMELL GOD-FEARING BLOOD – MOHAMMEDANS NEED NOT APPLY."?

    Not that The Grauniad would have even thought of doing anything like that.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last laugh....

    The issue isn't the contravention of any old blasphemy laws still hanging around, its a result of the anti-christian multiculturalist oversensitivity which holds that all religions are equally valid and that a pseudo-governmental committee is the best way to determine what you are allowed to laugh at.

    The real news item: censorship hasn't been applied *in this case.*

    How is that, "as long as you don't hurt anyone you can do what you like," philosophy working out?

    1. david wilson

      >>"...its a result of the anti-christian multiculturalist oversensitivity which holds that all religions are equally valid.."

      What a /classic/ example of bias and 'oversensitivity' - 'even-handedness' == 'anti-Christian'.

      If the best evidence someone can find for being persecuted is that people aren't giving them the special treatment they think you deserve, maybe they'd be best advised to keep their mouth shut if they don't want to look like an idiot.

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