The Meat & Livestock Australia organization is under fire for its advertising campaign, which includes a humorous dinner scene of deities, prophets, and religious figures enjoying a lamb dinner. The gods including Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard , Jesus, God, Aphrodite, Zeus, Buddha, Ganesh and Moses as well as other Gods and one atheist. at a long dining table to enjoy a spring barbecue of lamb. A formal complaint has been lodged by the High Commission of India for the depiction of the Hindu god Ganesha. The effort to have fun with the notion of the lamb of gods clearly did not resonate with some who declared the commercial as distasteful.
More than 30 complaints have been filed over the commercial. This includes vegans who raised objections to the premise that lamb is accepted by all religions..
The High Commission complained that “In a video advertisement released by Meat and Livestock Australia recently, Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community consider to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.”
Given the size of the audience, 30 complaints is far short of a ground swell. There was however one notable exclusion: Muhammad who calls up the atheist hostess to excuse himself because he has to pick up a child from daycare. Muslims around the world have rioted and killed Christians after Muhammad was depicted in cartoons and videos. While media and governments denounced such violence and stood by the first amendment, there has been a notable drop in depictions of Muhammad. It even led to a skit on Saturday Night Live:
The Australian commercial does challenge other religions to show a sense of humor in the depiction of the deities. I have never understood why some religious people cannot distinguish between satire and blasphemy. The strongest religion is the one that can laugh at itself while remaining faithful to its underlying values. I think the commercial is pretty funny but you be the judge.