May 21 ‘doomsday ads’ meet their Judgment Day

These Judgment Day ads have been spotted throughout Boston, including on MBTA buses and trains.

The content of advertisements placed on the T will undergo more scrutiny after people complained about “doomsday” signs that were put up on the Boston transit system.

The ads said that “the Bible guarantees” Judgment Day to be May 21. The ads promote FamilyRadio.com and were placed by Family Stations Inc., a California-based Christian radio network.

The message didn’t sit well with some people.

Greg Arney, 24, a Boston-based musician and guitar instructor, said he saw a picture of one of the ads and went to the organization’s website to look into it. On the site he found the message: “Gay Pride: Sign of the End.”

“I can’t really fault [the T] for trying to maximize revenue,” Arney said. “But it shouldn’t be legitimized by putting it on the back of a bus.”

More than 1,200 billboards and ads were placed nationwide, including in Metro, with some appearing on billboards in and around Boston and on the back of T buses or on subway cars.

Arney tweeted at the MBTA GM “Do you have any standards for your advertisers?”

Yesterday the T tweeted back that they were taking down the ads as a result of the comments. However, an hour later the T said the ads were taken down because the paid campaign ended.

Michael Garcia, the special projects coordinator for Family Stations, said the ads on the buses should have stayed up until May 21. He said it was the first time in the U.S. that the ads have been removed.

“We’re supposed to have freedom of speech and the right to believe what you want. It looks like that’s ending,” Garcia said.

Before the T announced that the ads were coming down, a spokesman said the agency “is required by law to make every effort to maximize non-fare revenue.”

The T’s ad contractor is also permitted to accept ads that do not violate the T’s court-approved ad guidelines.

What to expect … maybe

» According to the Family Radio website, May 21 was determined to be Judgment Day through examining the Bible and using a formula to calculate the date from the time of the great flood in 4990 B.C.
» Garcia said that one sign that Judgment Day is near is homosexuality. He also said May 21 would start with an earthquake. Some people will be saved, but more will be left behind, he said.
» Mockers and scoffers were expected in the final days, Garcia said, adding that those who do not share the beliefs are not thinking with the Bible.


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