The Optimum Business ad that included this image was so disturbing that even on mute, it stopped a conversation.
The woman depicted stands with her arms at her sides, then raises them slowly as she speaks, as though urging her apostles to walk across the water. If she didn’t have a halo and long hair, and if she weren’t wearing white, one could argue this is just design sloth.
As it is, it is unmistakably Christian. Even non-Christians who have been to enough art museums can see it. Then there are the “commandments” that encircle her: “keep it simple,” “be honest.” What about “thou shalt worship no graven images”?
It’s hard to track down clear evidence that Optimum and its parent company, Cablevision, have any investments or interest in religious programming. This screaming conspiracy person thinks that they do. But this website of “Christian Communicators” laments that Cablevision has been so resistant to “must-carry” rules that would force more locally-produced (often Christian) programming onto the airwaves.
We should be more alert to this after the Bush years. Daily Pentagon briefings to Bush Jr. used to include Bible quotes. Bushling himself used to speak in stilted Biblical phrasing (“there will be a day of reckoning for the Iraqi regime, and that day is drawing near”) or quote it directly.
Residents of predominantly-Muslim countries can find cold comfort considering that when their secular governments and business are being swept by fundamentalists and Crypto-jihadis, they don’t have to suffer this kind of hackneyed advertising thanks to the Islamic prohibition on religious imagery.