Delegates attending the Republican National Convention in downtown Cleveland next week will not see a billboard advertising a movie with a faith message.

Cleveland_Billboard_God_Not_DeadThe proposed sign advertising the DVD/ Blu-Ray release of “God’s Not Dead 2” has been deemed “too incendiary” and “unnecessarily provocative” by Orange Barrel Media, a Cleveland sign company. The company had no problem, however, with a billboard sponsored by the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

The sign, which would have measured 32 feet by 60 feet, would have draped down one side of a large building in downtown Cleveland and was to feature a picture of Melissa Joan Hart, who plays a teacher in trouble for invoking scripture in the classroom. Alongside the image of the actress was the text: “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”

Orange Barrel’s reasons for rejecting the movie billboard have changed along the way.

At first, they argued that the message was “judgmental” and “too political” and that even the title of the film was too provocative. They cited RNC rules barring “scandalous” messages–although it was unlikely that the Republicans would be offended by the film, especially considering that the GOP has partnered with Pure Flix, the movie’s creator, to show the film as part of a worship service the night before the Convention (with food provided by Chick-fil-A).

Later, Orange Barrel expressed concern that the city of Cleveland might object.  Not so, though: While the city is working to ensure that anti-Republican groups don’t ruin the convention venue with advertising which opposes Republican principles, the city’s mayor has said that he has no problem with the “God’s Not Dead 2” billboard.

It’s too late for Pure Flix, which had contracted two months ago for the sign, to arrange a new site for their advertising. What conventioneers WILL see, however, is a billboard from the atheist group, quoting President Ronald Reagan on the separation of Church and State:

Cleveland_Billboard_Freedom_From_Religion

It’s unlikely that President Reagan, who was a devout Christian, could have foreseen that his image would be appropriated by atheists to oppose religious expression.

Anyway, “God’s Not Dead 2” will be released August 16 on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Video.

Here is the official video: