Banning Ice Cream Out Of Respect For The Pope

Poland welcomed the first visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the country which started Thursday, May 25, with a ban on racy ads and liquor sales. Polish tabloid newspapers refrained from publishing the usual photos of topless models on their back pages, Reuters reported.

Bars in the capital Warsaw will be either closed or serving only low alcohol content beer during the pontiff’s five-day visit to Poland, the homeland of his predecessor John Paul II.

Beata Zmijewska, who works at the government press center, said the alcohol sale ban “is about properly participating in Pope Benedict’s pilgrimage.”

Polish state television has also decided to shy away from broadcasting ads for alcohol, contraceptives or lingerie. Racy ads in the streets were either removed or covered. An eye-catching outdoor poster for an anti-cellulite cream was covered up after a conservative group complained that the sight of a woman’s bare backside and thigh was offensive.

“We acknowledged this request to respect the feelings of the faithful,” said Pierre Plassard, director of L’Oreal Polska, explaining why his company had covered up the ad. [source]

Tampons and ice cream were also banned.

Poland is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic but I’m not so sure why all these things have suddenly become “offensive” and must be concealed (or banned) “out of respect for the Pope”. I doubt he comes to Poland just to check the tabloids. Though the way I see it is that if these things are banned then on some level there’s an acknowledgement that the Pope finds them offensive or more specifically morally wrong on religious grounds.

Which begs the question: are they more respectful of the Pope than God?


  • “Which begs the question: are they more respectful of the Pope than God?”

    But what if you don’t believe in God, but believe that you have to respect others â??Christians” believes? I guess this is the case.

    It’s just like the time when you hide your Al-Cohol at home if you have a religious guest as respect to their believe, though you don’t believe Al-Cohol should be banned. Or if you force your kids to take off their posters (U know what posters) when grandpa is visiting or something!

    I am sure some one right now is preparing a case against these companies for oppressing the freedom of expression.

    I guess we have to halt Al Waseet if the pope comes to Jordan!It’s aint that better!

  • Firas, to ban these things in the presence of the Pope is one thing, but to do it publically and federally no less, is another. It’s like grandpa coming over and your parents marching through the entire neighbourhood to make sure none of those posters are anywhere to be seen for a 5 mile radius. Also the country is dominantly Roman Catholic, so it’s not like they’re addressing respect for another religion. It’s a contradiction of self, the same way we have bars that close down and alcohol ads covered up during Ramadan only.

  • This is disgusting. Instead of addressing the trafficking and sex-trade problem they’ve got, they’re banning tampon ads. What the hell is so offensive about a tampon? Oh yeah, I forgot, women’s bodies are vile in of themselves.

    What a giant step back for Poland. Why the hell are they in the EU again? To pull stuff like this?!

  • I have a question regarding a muslim verse and was forever searching for a relevant forum to post it on but couldn’t really find anything. So I apologise if this is way out of context but I would appreciate any help, since I noticed there are verses posted here every now and then.. and I’m reading your blogs with an interest, good stuff.

    “Inna lillah wa ina ilaihi raji’oon”. I need a “standard” translation for this if there’s any. Or if someone from the readers can direct me to a site where I would find it. I know what it means I just don’t know what’s the english version of it.

    Thanks I’d appreciate any input.

  • Firas,

    Is it surprising that the Western media, and anti-Islamic bloggers, havent talked about this subject? They sure did cover similar items about the Saudi footie team visiting Germany.

    It bothers me to no end how when Muslims do certain things it is front page news, when Christians/Westerners do the very same thing, it is ignored.

  • I don’t quite understand the nature of this ban. Who is banning what? With the exception of the advertising content on a state-run television channel, it sounds like all these businesses are doing this voluntarily. I didn’t hear anything about the advertisement ban extending to non-state television or anything else. Are there any other sources for this story that provide more detail?

    Granted, some of this doesn’t make sense: ice cream and tampons? Wacky.

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