As the World Cup prepares to start in Rio De Janeiro, an Australian betting site is floating a massive hot air balloon in the shape of the iconic Christ The Redeemer statue in the skies of Melbourne. Local Christian groups are outraged:
“This is extraordinary, if they knew anything about Jesus they’d know he’d be overturning tables in the gaming halls, because they’re highly addictive and destroy lives,” the Chair of Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce told ABC. “Is betting to absolutely dominate not just casino and gamble areas and TV rooms, but now literally the sky?” he asked. Rev Costello has since called on the Football Federation Australia (FFA) to call out the controversial campaign. “One of the great statues in Rio is Jesus, and Brazil is a Catholic nation that takes its faith seriously and its football fanatically,” he said.
Australia’s top news site reacts:
Christ! That was unexpected. If you woke up in Melbourne this morning and noticed a 12-story inflatable Christ the Redeemer balloon floating over your house, you weren’t hallucinating. You were, however, witnessing one of the most audacious public relations stunts we’ve seen in ages. Predictably, this stunt has incurred great indignation from religious groups and assorted members of the professionally outraged. The link between gambling and religion is being labelled offensive and disrespectful by politicians and church spokespeople. Never mind that gambling is rammed down society’s throat every day on the footy field and just about everywhere else. Associate Jesus with it, courtesy of a giant novelty balloon flying by the window, and it’s apparently much worse.
At 150 feet high, the balloon is bigger than the statue.