The California Ford dealership in Mojave and Rosamond that told non-believers and civil libertarians to “shut up and sit down” has recanted the ad after worldwide criticism — blaming one of their promotional people and claiming that the ad was not “closely reviewed.” Frankly, I am not sure what is worst. The original screed of Kieffe and Sons or their effort to shift blame for an ad that they reviewed but did not “closely review.” In the meantime, both the Kieffe and someone named Horne claiming to be the author of the ad have run the statements below on the web.
The original ad did not seem to bother anyone at Kieffe and Sons before it drew national attention:
Kieffe and Sons ran the following ad in Southern California:
Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?
But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech. And none of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford are afraid to speak up. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond: if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.
Now, however, the owner (who may have heard from Ford itself) is insisting that while he is a “Christian spirit” he does not actually go to church. He wants everyone to blame the guy who wrote the piece and not the Kieffe family, which approved the issue-oriented series.
You can find the following statement on their website:
For 15 years, Kieffe and Sons Ford has run ad campaigns that focus on current events. We have chosen to do this rather than presenting typical car sales ads. We do this through an agency that develops the material and sends us a package of commercials to review. From this, we select commercials that we distribute to area radio stations. Frequently we emphasize humor and patriotic themes, as we are located adjacent to two military bases. Public response over these 15 years has been hugely positive, often eliciting calls and visits from appreciative individuals. Regrettably, the commercial that has prompted the current objection to religious sentiment (“Under God”, “In We Trust”) was not closely reviewed by our dealership before it went live. The commercial has been replaced. We apologize to all who were offended. It is Kieffe and Sons’ intention to support America and the freedoms that make this country great.”
Rick Kieffe, President
In the meantime, a person named J.W. Horne who claimed to be the author of the ad posted this rather strident response:
For those of you out there in never never land or la la land or maybe underground and under the radar who are so called non believers, I am the man who wrote and recorded the Kieffe and sons spot. In fact I write and produce all of the Kieffe and Sons ford spots. I have had the pleasure of serving the advertising for the dealership for many years. I am a believer and I am pretty sure that most everyone at Kieffe and Sons ford are also believers. I wrote and produced the spot that so many of you “unbelievers” find offensive. Frankly I don’t give a flip whether you are an athiest or just plain doubter. I wrote and recorded the truth. There is a great silent majority of Americans that are believers. The difference between them and you is this. Believers do not have to justify their existence. The only ones in this country that respond to an honest ad are the ones who seem to despise honesty. The truth is this. This country was founded on the belief in God. All you have to do is read the constitution and see for yourself. Now does that mean that everyone here must believe? NO absolutely not. The great thing about the constitution is that it allows for each American citizen to believe as the wish and speak and do what they want so long as it is within the law. I support that. I support everyones right to think and do and live as they wish. I do not condem any American that disagrees with me. You all can stand up and shout, burn flags, gather on a corner and cuss the government, males can marry males, females can marry females you can all buy one of those imports and send the money to Japan if you want, but you do not have the right to force your philosophy on to others. I think that it is time for you to understand this very simple little fact. You are in the minority and as loud as you yell and protest, you will always be in the minority. If you don’t like the radio spot then don’t listen to it, but if you were careful enough to listen to the entire spot you would have heard me say that to the good people at Kieffe and Sons ford “everyone one is welcome at the dealership whether you are a believer or not, you are still welcome. You would also have heard me say that you may get God taken out of the class room and the pledge and even off our money, but you will not get God out of this dealership. We do business according to the rules of the good book.. if you are offended by that, then you are offended by the truth. So each of you who find some offense to the radio ad and you want to be up in arms over it, you have the right to think what you wish but you do not have the right to take my copyrighted material and destort it for your personal gain. If you are offended, well like I said in the commercial.. thats tough.
Lovely. Here’s an idea. What is we simply left the advancement of personal religious beliefs out of government and car purchases? That would leave families, churches, clubs, and associations to be shaped by such low-grade theological screeds. For example, no one is claiming that Rev. John Hagee should not have his followers throw up demons into bags, including the demons of “intellect” and “handwriting analysis,” here. We just think that such tests of faith should not be a prerequisite for buying a Ford Explorer.
As for the Kieffe family, perhaps its time to go to the cheesy ads with the over-sized cowboy hats and home-generated graphics.