Telephone Commercials Cause Unrest Skip to content

Telephone Commercials Cause Unrest

The Icelandic telephone company, Síminn, has caused unrest among catholics in Iceland with their advertising campaign for their latest brand of cell phones. The commercials are based on the story of Galileo appearing in court in the Vatican. 5000 members of the Catholic Church in Iceland have threatened to boycott Síminn because of this.

The new commercials appear in the wake of an another campaign by Síminn where Christ is depicted at the dining table at the last supper, just like Leonardo Da Vinci painted it. Judas has not arrived so Jesus picks up his cellphone and calls Judas. When Judas picks up the phone he is betraying Jesus to the Romans. Judas doesn’t realize that Jesus is calling from a 3G phone and can see on his screen that Judas is holding a bag of golden coins.

The other commercial has more of a historical relation. Galileo is appearing in court in the Vatican and is being accused of heresy because of his claim that the earth moves around the sun. When Galileo is questioned about where he got that idea from, he tells the pope that he saw it on the internet on his phone.

The maker of the commercials is a well known actor and a comedian, Jón Gnarr who acts as Judas and Galileo in the commercials. Gnarr is not only known for his acting, he is also known as a devoted Christian and has written columns in the newspapers about religious matters.

But Gnarr doesn’t believe that some aspects of human society should be absent from humor. According to an interview with Gnarr in Ský he discussed the ideas of the campaign with priests of the Icelandic Church before the commercials were made.

“I just found it just funny,” Gnarr said to Morgunbladid. “It is a commercial, not a scholarly article in a theology magazine. “I’m very fond of Jesus and in my opinion he is the greatest man to ever walk this earth, but I still make Jesus jokes. Not about Jesus himself, but peoples ideas of him,” Gnarr said.

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