The head of a Lutheran publishing house
has claimed Google will no longer accept
advertisements related to the organization's
website "because of the faith we express."
Bruce Kintz, CEO of Concordia Publishing
House — an entity of the theologically
conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod,
took to his Facebook page on Monday to voice
outrage after the organization had been told
that the Google's online advertising service
will not promote the CPH website because of
certain religious items on the page.
Kintz's Facebook post explains that he
was told by an associate earlier in the day
that "Google ads will no longer accept
anything related to the cph.org domain."
"They stated that the reason is because
of the faith we express on our website,"
More specifically, a Google AdWords
support representative told CPH that
references to Jesus and the Bible led to the
disapproval of its ads.
"[A CPH staff member] was told, as an
example, that things like our bible
challenge on our VBS webpage would clearly
need to come down before they could consider
us for ads," Kintz said.
He argued that the news was "incredibly
sobering and disappointing."
"It is an uphill battle but our mission
and customers are worth it," he stressed.
"It is why we are here."
A Google spokesperson told The Christian
Post on Monday night that "Google welcomes
advertising from religiously-affiliated
institutions, including Christian
However, in order to "protect user
privacy," Google AdWords has policies in
place "that restrict how advertisers may use
data to show and personalize ads to users."
"We prohibit advertisers from using
sensitive data such as race, religious
affiliation, political affiliation or sexual
orientation to show ads to users," a
statement from Google reads.
A review of Google's advertising policies
show that the company prohibits the use of
"personal religious belief" to target users
"We want ads to provide a positive
experience and to be informed by users'
interests rather than by who they're
perceived to be as a person, so we don't
allow personalized advertising based on a
user's fundamental or intrinsic
self-identity or their belief systems," the
policy states. "Such identities and beliefs
can include inherently private
classifications of one's self;
classifications susceptible to stigmas,
discrimination, or harassment; membership
within groups that are susceptible to
stigmas, discrimination, or prejudices; and
personally held belief systems.
"Advertisers can't use identity and
belief categories to target ads to users or
to promote advertisers' products or
According to Concordia Publishing House,
the ads that were disapproved by Google were
what's called Remarketing ads. Google
defines this as showing "ads to people
who've visited your website or used your
mobile app. When people leave your website
without buying anything, for example,
remarketing helps you reconnect with them by
showing relevant ads across their different
CPH was told to remove all items that
refer to Jesus or the Bible in order to
proceed to use the remarketing ads or use a
different type of Google ad product.
Kintz said they will not "sacrifice"
their beliefs to comply with Google's
"It's no secret that society is becoming
increasingly hostile to the Christian faith.
This increasing hostility makes our mission
of proclaiming that faith through the books,
Bibles, and curriculum that we produce all
the more important," he stated. "We will
continue to proclaim the faith because we
know without a doubt that the Word of the
Lord endures forever.
"It continues to be CPH's mission to
share God's Word with all Christians who are
seeking faithful resources to support their
faith. CPH will not be deterred by Google's
actions in this instance but will seek all
available avenues to connect people to
The news comes as many are accusing
Google and other tech giants such as Twitter
and Facebook of having a liberal bias and
suppressing the reach of conservatives and