The recent news that Coopers beer will be celebrating Bible Society Australia’s 200th birthday with 10,000 cases of beer printed with Bible verses as part of the deal seems a bitter dram – considering that their advertising comes with Federal Liberal MPs Tim Wilson and Andrew Hastie making light about marriage equality.

The “Keeping it Light” video, part of a joint advertising campaign between the Adelaide brewer Coopers and Bible Society Australia “to reach even more Australians with God’s word”, could be seen as just a promotional arrangement.

But why feature these politicians discussing marriage equality in particular, with the slogan “…both a Bible and good beer on the table”?

President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Kylie Sturgess has responded with:

"While Greg Clarke, chief executive of the Bible Society said the campaign is about promoting the value of the Bible, the group does oppose marriage equality, and their choice of politicians to represent their message hardly reflects Australia’s secular status.

There could have been a range of topics and representatives that the advertisement could have used instead, or at the very least consulted some of the many LGBTIQ groups that exist in this country, so their voices could be heard.

Considering that the results from the last census has the potential to show a rise in “no religion” respondents in Australia, their effort to “reach more Australians with God’s word” in this fashion has backfired for both Coopers and the Bible Society."

Australia is a country which endorses separation of church and state, and is built on secular, not christian values. Coopers should get some constructive feedback on what this could do for their sales – not just from atheists, humanists and secularists who are concerned about the casual regard in advertising towards issues involving the rights of LBGTIQ citizens in this country – but from everyone who thinks that using politicians to push bible-quotes on beer is just too hard to swallow.

Kylie Sturgess

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 3582
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: [email protected]

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