In an episode that may warrant an entry in the War on Christmas, Irish state broadcaster RTE has confirmed that it had concerns about running an ad for the Catholic retail chain Veritas because the ad contained the word crib.1 [Irish Times, subs. req'd; BBC]
However, RTE denied a claim that it had banned the ad, instead having suggested to the church that the ad's text needed to be reviewed by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) to see whether it complied with a ban on "advertising directed towards a religious end".
So is this another installment in the endless march of Godless secularism? Not really. For one thing, the controversy, such as it is, seems driven by everyone deciding on their own interpretation of the rules and then complaining about it rather than asking someone who might actually know. In particular, RTE took it upon themselves to decide that mention of the word crib might amount to commercial proselytising, and the Catholic bishops took it upon themselves to be offended by this and not actually ask the BCI to clear the ad:
a spokeswoman for the BCI confirmed that it had been contacted by Veritas, but had not been asked for its advice on the advertisement in question. "We haven't issued a deliberation on it," she said. "We haven't been asked to give a view and haven't seen sight of the advertisement."
But how much less fun would be the 3 minutes to clear the ad compared to the well-matched pair of the DIY 1905ers at RTE and the under siege mentality of the Church?
1In one point of confusion for our American readers, crib translates as creche whereas cot translates as crib.