If it wasn’t real, you might think the latest controversy regarding the Pure Flix film “God’s Not Dead 2” was some publicity stunt set up by the filmmakers.

The film features a public school teacher (Melissa Joan Hart) who references Jesus in an answer to a student’s question and is forced out of her job and threatened with the loss of her license. The suggestion is that even the mention of Jesus is so threatening to atheists, it cannot be tolerated.

OneNewsNow first reported on the billboard controversy in a July 17 story.

The film is being released on DVD next month, so Pure Flix figured Cleveland would be a good place to promote the DVD release since thousands of GOP faithful are descending on the city this week.

A spokesman for Pure Flix, Larry Ross, says the film company learned its billboard was “too incendiary and too political.”

Ohio-based Orange Barrel Media rents the billboard space.

billboard_250x466The message of the billboard ad reads: “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”

But what about the left-wing activists who insist a business can’t refuse service to anyone?

“This is a case where life imitates art,” says Ross, “because standing for religious liberty is at the very crux of the story.”

But don’t worry. Cleveland will be showered with controversial ads from other companies, including pro-atheist messages appearing on 30 billboards around the city.

In a statement, Orange Barrel Media told OneNewsNow there was a “mutual determination not to move forward” after Pure Flix declined an “alternate venue” for the ad.

The CEO of Pure Flix said the company paid OBM $64,100 for access to a billboard and “dragged” Pure Flix Along for weeks, CNS News reported, citing a story in the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story.

“My speculation is that someone, somewhere didn’t want our message out,” the CEO said.

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Copyright OneNewsNow.com. Reprinted with permission.

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