Running Ads For The Other Side

by John Hawkins | September 20, 2006 12:04 pm

From the comments section of the latest Rightroots[1] post

“Nothing on Rightroots (but good luck on that). Just want to say, heavy props on advertising Sam Harris’s book on your site; these days, that kind of thing takes guts. And if there’s one thing morally/intellectually destroying this nation/the world, it’s organized religion. No question of that.

You rarely see even liberal sites advertise a book like Sam Harris’s, for fear of (Heaven forfend!) offending Christians, Jews, etc. I know that more than a few Christians and Jews visit your site, so again, props on the courage to fly that banner…because I truly believe that if you get rid of the religious madness, you get rid of the world’s madness, and open doors to true peace.

by Nathan_Hammersmith”

The ad he is talking about is Letter To A Christian Nation[2], an anti-religious book by Sam Harris.

Now, first of all, although Right Wing News is a great place to advertise, I’m not exactly sure that they decided to run an ad for that particular book on RWN.

After all, I’m a conservative Southern Baptist, who doesn’t believe in evolution[3], and I run a blog friendly to social conservatives that I assume has an audience that is probably 90+% Christian. So, advertising a book like, “Letter To A Christian Nation,” on RWN would be sort of like Joe Lieberman trying to sell a book on the Daily Kos.

That being said, I’m also a capitalist who generally doesn’t mind running ads featuring people or products that I don’t agree with. Still, sometimes there’s a very thin line between what ads I run and what ads get rejected.

Running an ad for the UN? It was a tough call. An ad for a 9/11 conspiracy group? It was a tough call. This ad? it was a tough call…and yes, sometimes I do turn ads down. I’ve actually rejected a couple of websites that wanted to advertise because they were racist, one website because it was homophobic, and an ad for a book because it was promoting bizarro world conspiracy theories about Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Long story short: Even though this book really isn’t my cup of tea and I have some reservations about it, I’m willing to run an ad for it. Maybe that’s a mistake, maybe not, but it’s in keeping with how I’ve traditionally handled advertisers….

PS: Also, I donated 10% of the money I made from running the ad to the Salvation Army[4] because I thought it would be deliciously ironic to give money earned from advertising a book like that to a Christian organization that can put it to good use.

  1. Rightroots:
  2. Letter To A Christian Nation:
  3. doesn’t believe in evolution:
  4. Salvation Army:

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