Super Bowl Cease and Desist

Feb 21, 2008 Update:
NFL Reverses Call On Church Parties

The NFL, which found itself on the receiving end of protests and controversy after it objected to churches showing the Super Bowl on big-screen televisions, has reversed course and will now permit the viewings.

In a letter to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would not object to "live showings -- regardless of screen size -- of the Super Bowl" by religious organizations.

In response to questions from Hatch, Goodell said in the letter, dated Feb. 19, the NFL will implement the policy starting with next year's Super Bowl.

Feb 7, 2007:
NFL lawyers searching church web sites for copyright infringements
(Christianity Today Article)

Like many churches, Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis was planning a group viewing of the Super Bowl. Its "Super Bowl Bash" was to include an evangelistic element: a video of Colts coach Tony Dungy and several of his players talking about Jesus.

NFL lawyers found the announcement on the church's website and FedEx'ed a cease-and-desist order. The church's large screen (only screens 55 inches and smaller are allowed), use of the words "Super Bowl," and other plans violated copyright laws, the lawyers said. So does the evangelistic video. NFL assistant counsel Rachel L. Margolies wrote to the congregation, according to The Indianapolis Star: "While this may be a noble message, we are consistent in refusing the use of our game broadcasts in connection with events that promote a message, no matter the content." Read more here.


  1. "...we are consistent in refusing the use of our game broadcasts in connection with events that promote a message, no matter the content."

    Promote a message? How do their advertisers not "promote" a message? Oh, right, probably becasue the NFL & the networks get paid millions of dollars in advertising money to share their "message". Perhaps if those churches ponied-up some money, this suddenly will all be okay.

  2. I think that whole "without the express written consent" thing that the announcers read every game covers this kind of thing... broadcasts are only licensed for public viewing and can't be co-opted by private organizations to promote other products or messages.

    I don't agree with this meddling, philosophically, but it's consistent with the corporate-enterprise ethos that pretty much runs our society.

    I'm sure that if churches paid the NFL a fee for licensing rights, that would change the terms significantly, but the churches would not like the terms of the agreement.

  3. How about churches stop promoting a sports entertainment business that employs felons, thieves, murders and men who have MANY children out of wedlock.

    The NFL promotes sex, alcohol and a ungody lifestyles.

    Churches that use their house of worship for promoting such sinful secular actives in GODS HOUSE will be punished with eternity in hell.

  4. I might agree with you Aaron if I thought Heaven or Hell are about our performance.. of course I am not so sure about those who pass blind judgment on churches :)

  5. All sins can be forgiven by God. Of course "Heaven or Hell" is not about our performance.

    However, the idea that "its just another sin" does not vindicate the evil act. Shall we lie, cheat and murder because we know God will forgive us?

    Displaying and encouraging viewing of smut in Gods house is an abomination. Whats next? WWF Wresting? Boxing? Secular movies? Pornography? The church is for worship and prayer. Not an exhibition center for secular activities. Honor thy father.

    A church should not promote any organization that willfully broadcasts, half naked women, drunkards, swearing, explicit music, and other immoralities.

    People that have super bowl parties in Gods house are making a mockery their congregation and of God.

  6. The first time my(then) 11 year old son saw a "nipple ring" was at our church.

  7. An interesting delineation between the church in a building and the church in a home Aaron.. seems to be an artificial delineation at best.. a church building is no more sacred space then a believer's home. I believe that there is truly no delineation between the sacred and the secular. Whatever we do, we should do it as unto the Lord.

    For me, I will be watching the Super Bowl with some friends at my home on Sunday.


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