(CNSNews.com) - The Miller Brewing Company, a sponsor of this weekend's homosexual "leather" street fair in San Francisco, has asked to have its logo removed from an advertising poster that has offended some Christians.
The advertisement portrays Christ and his disciples as half-naked sado-masochists.
"While Miller has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year. We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive and we have asked the organizers to remove our logo from the poster effective immediately," the company told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday.
The group behind the ad said it was not intended to be either "pro-religion or anti-religion," but the poster -- a parody of Leonardo da Vinci's painting "The Last Supper" -- continued to draw fire from Christian organizations on Tuesday.
The ad is promoting the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco -- essentially a multi-city block party for homosexuals. It shows a group of men and women scantily clad, at a long table, laden with sex toys and sado-masochistic implements.
In response to the ad, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth (AFT) -- an organization that says it aims to expose and counter "the homosexual activist agenda" -- said the homosexual movement contains a strong anti-Christian element.
That segment "feels the need to shake its fist at God in the most grotesque and unseemly way," he told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday. "And this is the worst of it."
However, Folsom Street Events, the non-profit organization putting on the 24th annual Folsom Street Fair next weekend, put out a press release that indicated the design "is the first in a series that draws from well-known paintings, album covers, movie posters or other iconic images.
Andy Copper, president of the group's board of directors, said there was no intention "to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to be reminiscent of the 'Last Supper' painting."
"We hope that people will enjoy the artistry for what it is - nothing more or less," he said. "Many people choose to speculate on deeper meanings. The irony is that da Vinci was widely considered to be homosexual.
"In truth, we are going to produce a series of inspired poster images over the next few years," Copper said. "Next year's poster ad may take inspiration from 'American Gothic' by Grant Wood or Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' or even 'The Sound of Music!'"
Still, "I guess it wouldn't be the Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community, though," he added.
But Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the conservative Family Research Council (FRC), was unimpressed with Copper's reasoning.
Sprigg told Cybercast News Service that imitating "The Last Supper" to promote the event was "a very bad idea, and it's na/'efve of them to suggest that this is only a take-off of a work of art and think that it would not be offensive to people who worship the central figure in that work of art, namely Jesus Christ."
He said that using the image to promote a homosexual festival "would be bad enough, but when you look at the picture, you see that the people are dressed in a way suggesting they engage in sado-masochistic sex acts, which makes it even worse."
"Implicitly, Jesus's disciples are portrayed as sado-masochists, and how that could not be profoundly offensive to Christians escapes me," Sprigg added.
LaBarbera agreed. "What's worse even than this open and blatant anti-Christian bigotry is the fact that the city of San Francisco blocks off several city blocks for a festival that celebrates perverted, sadistic sex," the ATF president said.
"I've actually attended this event as a critical observer," he said. "I've seen booths where men are whipping one another" in what LaBarbera called "a sickening spectacle. It's interesting that it's tolerated and promoted by homosexual activists."
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with the conservative group Concerned Women for America, charged Tuesday that "'gay' activists disingenuously call Christians 'haters' and 'homophobes' for honoring the Bible, but then lash out in this hateful manner toward the very people they accuse."
"In their version of 'The Last Supper,' Christ, who gave His life for our sins, is despicably replaced by sin itself as the object of worship," he added.
Cybercast News Service also sought reaction to the ad from several prominent California politicians, including Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The only response to numerous telephone calls and emails came from a spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, who declined to comment since the matter "has no connection with the governor's office."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom also did not return requests for comment by press time. However, he himself ran a full-page ad in the event's 64-page program that reads: "To all organizers and attendees of the Folsom Street Fair, their families, friends, colleagues and visitors from home and around the world, have a great day and enjoy this wonderful and exciting event."
Also placing a full-page ad in the program was Miller Brewing Co., a fact that led FRC's Sprigg to state he was startled at "the mainstream sponsorship this event has. It wouldn't surprise me for the Folsom Street Fair to do something like this, but for it to be sponsored by people like Miller Beer is really shocking."
Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a news release that his organization had contacted Miller Brewing, and "we expect that they will cooperate and do what is ethically right" by withdrawing its sponsorship of the event.
"The ad, like the event, is morally depraved," he stated. "Indeed, it is the kind of ad that only the enemies of Christians would entertain."
AFT President LaBarbera said the Folsom Street Fair represents the problem homosexual activists face when dealing with the general public.
"On the one hand, homosexuals want to be known as a respected minority," he said. "On the other hand, they tolerate this anti-Christian bigotry and this perversion in the streets. They can't have it both ways."
Catholic League Urges Miller to Cut Ties With Folsom Street Fair (Sept. 26, 2007)
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