Children in reception class, who are aged just four and five, are increasingly using bad language, talking back to staff and throwing tantrums when they don't get their own way – re-enacting scenes they have seen on screen, according to members of the
Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Even programmes aimed at improving children's behaviour, such as Supernanny, are giving pupils ideas about how to create havoc in the classroom.
In a motion at the union's annual conference next
month, teachers will vote to lobby broadcasters to cut swearing, routine violence, inappropriate name-calling and unruly behaviour from programmes which are likely to be seen by children.
The Vatican is poised to boycott Angels & Demons , the prequel to Hollywood blockbuster The Da Vinci Code .
Avvenire, the Vatican's official newspaper, says in its latest edition that the church cannot approve of the
Italian newspaper La Stampa reported that the Vatican will soon call on Catholics to boycott the film. However, the same article quoted Archbishop Velasio De Paolis warning that a boycott could create a boomerang effect by giving the
movie more publicity.
Based on article from indiancatholic.in
Meanwhile in India the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has objected to the Columbia Pictures film
In a statement issued to Indian Catholic, Joseph Dias, general secretary of
CSF said that the anti-Church depictions in the film are sufficient reason for Christians to call for action against the film, as was the case with Dan Brown's earlier Da Vinci Code .
Angels & Demons has been roundly
criticised by Vatican, which has also refused permission to the makers to shoot the film on its premises, leading them to recreate important parts of Vatican city in the studios & go ahead, he said.
Dias said CSF has sent memorandums on
the film to India's Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, besides the Censor Board at Mumbai.
Dan Brown, the author of Da Vinci Code seems to have excelled in the art of Catholicism-bashing and he takes his anti-Catholic agenda
further with the novel - Angels & Demons . Co-producer, Brian Grazer wants Angels & Demons to be ‘less reverential' than The Da Vinci Code , meaning more liberally anti-Catholic – which it is, if one goes by the book, he
Banning brothels in residential areas would be a welcome first step to curbing prostitution, though laws need to go further by making it illegal to pay for sex, Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey says.
He supports the so-called Swedish
model, which makes buying sex and brothel ownership illegal, rather than prostitution itself.
Attorney-General Christian Porter is working towards delivering the Government's election promise to ban prostitution outside designated zones but has
rejected calls from some Not So Liberal backbenchers to adopt the Swedish model on the basis that he did not support a system which punished only the men who bought sex. He was prepared to consider introducing tougher penalties for men caught buying
sexual services outside designated areas.
Archbishop Hickey said men had to be held responsible for what was effectively a form of abuse against women: (Under the Swedish system), at least men will get a different message than the one they are
getting at the moment, which is almost encouragement.
A group of Saudi clerics urged the kingdom's new information minister on Sunday to ban women from appearing on TV or in newspapers and magazines, making clear that the country's hardline religious establishment is skeptical of a new push toward
In a statement, the 35 hardline clergymen also called on Abdel Aziz Khoja to prohibit the playing of music and music shows on television.
We have great hope that this media reform will be accomplished by you, said the
statement: We have noticed how well-rooted perversity is in the Ministry of Information and Culture, in television, radio, press, culture clubs and the book fair.
Although it raises the pressure on the new minister, the recommendation is
likely to have little effect. Khoja's appointment was part of a government shake-up by Abdullah that removed a number of hardline figures and is believed to be part of an effort to weaken the influence of conservatives in this devout desert kingdom.
No Saudi women should appear on TV, no matter what the reason, the statement said: No images of women should appear in Saudi newspapers and magazines. Saudi Arabia was founded on an alliance with the conservative Wahhabi strain of
Islam that sees the mixing of sexes as anathema and believes the playing of music violates religious values.
A violent video game has been slammed by nutter groups.
House of the Dead: Overkill , released by Sega for use with the Wii console, is full of gory scenes. Players mow down waves of mutants, leaving a trail of lost limbs, gutted
bowels and heads with shattered brains.
The MA15+ rated game includes the word 'fuck' 189 times, a record that has made it into Guinness World Records - Gamer's Edition.
The gaming industry has been mischievously misrepresenting the
classification system on this issue, said Angela Conway, director of the Pro Family Perspective: I feel very distressed that a large number of teenagers and adults would play this game and soak up this amount of sexually aggressive violence and
aggressively violent language.
Conway is calling for a study of the type of impact games such as House of the Dead: Overkill have on youngsters -- and adults: We need to draw a deep breath and look at the research, which will show a need
to scale back this level of violence.
A spokesman for Sega, Vispi Bhopti, defended the game: House of the Dead: Overkill has been rated as suitable for people over 15. It is not an R-rated game . The swearing in it is very
much stylised so it matches the Grindhouse cinema style made famous by director Quentin Tarantino. In playing the game, players attack zombies or humanoid characters but never humans. This is an important distinction that the classification board makes
when it gives a rating.
For comparison the BBFC rated the game as 18 uncut:
The House of the Dead: Overkill is a spoof horror shoot-'em-up game for the Nintendo Wii, that serves as a prequel to the first game in the series. Set in 1991, Special Agent G is fresh out of the AMS academy, and teamed up
with Detective Washington, to investigate stories of mysterious disappearances in a small town in Louisiana. It has been classified '18' for frequent strong bloody violence, gore and language.
Frequent strong bloody violence and gore is seen as
waves of humanoid zombies are continuously maimed and dispatched, generating large blood splatts/sprays which - whilst unconvincing - stay on the walls/floors/ceiling, emphasising the massive carnage taking place, albeit in self-defence. The weapons blow
zombie bodies apart into bloody chunks; we see decapitations and limbs flying off and littering the environment, which are quite horrific, strewn with dead human bodies. In one level, we see men loading severed limbs into a grinder in a gory hospital
basement, plus several dead and bloodied corpses of men strung up on chains. Defeated zombie bodies disappear very quickly, and there is little opportunity for sadistic treatment. Despite this, and the fantastical setting, the level of detail was
considered to be too gory and detailed for '15', where BBFC Guidelines direct that 'Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury ... the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable'.
The game features
frequent strong language throughout, with humorous and ironic exchanges between the detectives generating literally hundreds of uses of 'f***' (and its derivatives) and 'motherf****r'. There are also has a number of strong verbal sex references as the
men tease each other, with comments like 'You use your tongue better than a $30 hooker .... you finally found the g-spot huh? ... you were having a fucking wet dream'. There are some overtones of incest, and also a surreal scene where it is implied that
a man crawls into the body of a giant woman, entering between her legs - although this is not shown explicitly.
A photograph of a naked man in an exhibition at an art museum in Helsinki is sparking nutter outrage, as Hindus have taken offence to the image and demanded its removal from the show.
Rajan Zed, an Indo-American hindu leadfer living in Nevada
who heads the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a press release calling the photograph, which is titled Hinduism: The Night of Pushkar 2, disrespectful, hurting, and irreverent.
The work is part of an exhibition by Finnish
artist Marita Liulia at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The show, Choosing My Religion, is a multimedia project that examines the major world religions. Hinduism is represented by a number of photographs, including The Night of Pushkar 2
, which depicts a naked man sitting on a balcony wall with his head down. His genitals are visible.
Zed is calling for the removal of the photo as well as a public apology from the artist; the director of the Kiasma museum; the director
general of the Finnish National Gallery, of which the Kiasma museum is a part; and the Finland Minister of Education, Henna Virkkunen.
The controversy has now been
resolved by changing the title of the nude photo. The word 'Hinduism' has been dropped from the original title: Hinduism: The Night of Pushkar 2
Rajan Zed, who spearheaded this protest, has appreciated this step of the government run Kiasma
Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, saying that it was a sigh of relief for the agitated Hindu community. He urged the Museum to remove word 'Pushkar' also from this photograph of nude man with visible genitals, arguing that town of Pushkar, which is
associated with Hindu god Brahma, was sacred to Hindus.
Kiasma Director Brendt Arell reportedly said that he would consider it.
Rajan Zed points out that Hindus are for freedom of expression as much as anybody else if not more. Hindu
tradition encourages peaceful debates, won on their intellectual merit. ...BUT... faith is something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees.
This controversial photograph is on display till April 19 as part of Marita
Liulia's Choosing My Religion multimedia exhibition at Kiasma, in which her art pieces juxtapose Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and Animism. This exhibition will later travel to Tampere,
Turku and Vaasa cities in Finland.
Muslim clerics in Tral, a scenic south Kashmir town, have issued a diktat to cable operators to stop beaming obscene channels in Tral.
Cable TV came recently to this town after years of it being cut off from the mainstream. However, on
Friday, Muslim clergy issued a diktat to a gathering at a local mosque asking cable operators to stop telecasting channels that did not fit with the social order.
We have received complaints from the local people that some channels are very
obscene and are not compatible with our social and religious norms. Therefore we have issued an appeal to the cable operators not to show them, said Moulana Noor Ahmad, a prominent Muslim cleric in Tral area.
The advertising censor, the ASA, has decided not to launch a formal investigation into an advertisement from the Christian party proclaiming that there is definitely a God, even though it has become one of the four most criticised adverts of all
The advertisement was unveiled by the party last month in response to the British Humanist Association's bus adverts, which state: There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. The Christian party's advert –
displayed on 50 London buses – carries the slogan: "There definitely is a God. So join the Christian party and enjoy your life."
Figures from the Advertising Standards Authority reveal that the advertisement has so far attracted
1,045 complaints – and rising – making it the fourth most complained about advert since the ASA's records began. But it has decided not to launch an investigation because the poster is deemed to be electioneering material, and falls outside the
remit of its codes of practice.
In January the ASA concluded that the aetheist There's probably no God bus ad campaign by the British Humanist Association did not breach the current advertising code and again decided not to launch an
People complaining about the Christian party advert believe the claim there definitely is a God is misleading because it cannot be substantiated, while some individuals have also objected that the advert is offensive to
The ASA has also decided not to investigate two other advertising campaigns of a similar nature. An advertisement from the Russian Orthodox Church that stated There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don't worry and enjoy your life was, the ASA
council considered, a reflection of the opinion of the advertisers and unlikely to mislead readers.
Similarly, the Trinitarian Bible Society's ad that claimed The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Psalm 53.1 generated
complaints that it was offensive and was insulting to atheists and non-Christians.
New Zealand's DB Breweries has agreed to take down a billboard asking Would you rather watch porn with your Mum or your sister? , after protesters said it was offensive.
The billboard in Hamilton advertises a pre-mixed drink called Barrel
51 made by DB.
It sparked furious debate on talk-back radio this morning after advocacy group Voice Waikato put up a sign in response saying: This is offensive - porn hurts women and children.
Nutters of Family First NZ said
the advertisement showed the Advertising Standards Authority was a toothless wonder and stricter controls on billboards were needed.
DB said: 'one particular' billboard would be taken down after some negative feedback. Our aim was never
to offend and we have taken this feedback on board and we will take this billboard down.
Family First NZ earlier issued a statement saying the billboard glorified pornography. It is offensive to many, and ignores the harm that pornography
is doing in our community and the contribution it makes to family breakdown, addiction, aggressive sexual behaviour, sex role stereotyping, and viewing people simply as sexual objects, national director Bob McCroskie said.
Family First has
called for a committee to be established to pre-approve billboards.
A billboard in Idaho declaring Beware of dogma is the latest example of humanist activists using advertising to promote atheism.
Several atheist groups in Idaho, including Humanists of Idaho, recently erected the billboard in Boise.
The ad was sponsored by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which launched a national billboard campaign in late 2007, taking its religion-free messages state-by-state.
Bryan Fischer, executive director of Idaho Values
Alliance, responded to the billboard in a statement saying: The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Ironically we actually agree with the slogan, but we think the dogma Americans need to
be aware of is the dogma of secular fundamentalism, which is at odds with the worldview of the Founders.
This country was founded on a fundamentally religious concept that there is a Creator and that Creator is the source of our fundamental civil
liberties. The FFRF has placed 27 billboards in 15 states so far. The organization is headed by Dan Barker, a former Christian Pentecostal preacher and musician.
The Christian Film & Television Commission, a nutter group in Hollywood, has filed a complaint with the MPAA about the R rating for the movie Watchmen.
This movie contains extreme violence, nudity, and sex, including rape said
Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman and spokesmen of the Commission: Throughout most of the whole picture, one male character walks around completely naked, with his private parts waving in the breeze.
This kind of content used to be rated X or
NC-17. The motion picture industry keeps changing its standards. No wonder the MPAA's rating system confuses parents.
Dr. Baehr said, The MPAA office told us that it would bring our concerns about this movie and its rating to their board.
Whatever they decide, we appreciate the board taking another look at this issue. Even so, the movie industry needs to clean up its act and stop inserting graphic violence, sex, nudity, and drug use into its movies.
After all, would Casablanca
become an even better work of art if the script contained a bunch of “f” words, or if Ingrid Bergman appeared completely nude? Definitely not!
Catholic League president Bill Donohue announced today the start of a campaign against Angels & Demons.
The movie, which opens May 15, is based on the book by Dan Brown.
Bill Donohue writes:
week we will begin to make available to the public a booklet that I wrote on Angels & Demons . It details the myths, lies and smears that are made against the Catholic Church. It also provides evidence of the anti-Catholic animus harbored by
those associated with the film.
Author Dan Brown and director Ron Howard are getting good at this. The Da Vinci Code was replete with falsehoods presented as fact, and now the tag team is back again delivering a curious blend of fact and
fiction. All done at the expense of the Catholic Church.
Brown-Howard are obsessed with Catholicism. It is not enough to criticize it—they are hell bent on demonizing it. It is not enough to drag out dirty laundry—they invent it. And the fact
that they pay absolutely no price for their propaganda shows beyond dispute that anti-Catholicism is the one bigotry Hollywood likes.
We will have something to say about the lies tomorrow. On Wednesday, we will address the anti-Catholic
sentiments of the producers and film crew. Next week we will release the booklet. By the time we are finished with Angels & Demons , there should be few who won't know what the Brown-Howard agenda entails.
The National Theatre has been warned it faces further protests from anti-racism campaigners if it continues to show England People Very Nice by Richard Bean.
Campaigners have already disrupted one talk before a performance of Richard
Bean's play, England People Very Nice, by mounting the first onstage demonstration in the National Theatre's 32-year history.
Last Friday, two protesters clambered on to the stage at the National's Olivier Theatre and condemned Bean as racist.
For 10 minutes, playwright Hussain Ismail and teacher Keith Kinsella interrupted a talk that Bean was giving prior to a performance of the play, before being ejected by security guards.
Bean's play charts the settling of the French Huguenot,
Irish, Jewish and Bengali communities in Bethnal Green since the 17th century. The National has billed it as a riotous journey through four waves of immigration in the East End of London.
But the protesters have failed to find anything
humorous about its themes.
After his protest smail said: Richard Bean is making it seem like all Bangladeshis are drug dealers or users, muggers and marry their cousins.
Kinsella said: I find it outrageous that a play that could
have been written by a racist Year Nine pupil has been allowed to be performed at the National – a publicly funded theatre.
Ismail outlined his plan to take the protest to currency exchange firm Travelex, which sponsors the National's
£10 ticket season. He said: I've asked Travelex to support and mediate our claim for a public debate. If they don't come back we will have to say that Travelex supports a racist play.
The protest has been planned for March 21 outside
Travelex's London head office in Kingsway, he said.
He also hinted that audiences could be picketed, but would not reveal exactly what form the action would take.
Ironically the play was meant to lampoon the sort of racist 'Alf
Garnett' attitudes that all the four immigrant groups have experienced. Nicholas Hytner, the director of the National Theatre, said: The play lampoons all forms of stereotyping. Every stereotype is placed in the context of its opposite and it
clearly sets out to demonstrate that all forms of racism are equally ridiculous.
Channel 4 has come under fire from Islamic leaders over a television documentary showing how gay and lesbian Muslims suffer under their laws.
Its director has already had death threats. Now station chiefs are bracing themselves for a
backlash. Its digital channel More 4 will show A Jihad For Love tonight.
It lifts the lid on the battle gay and lesbian Muslims face as they struggle with their faith and their sexuality. The documentary not only shows gay Muslims daring
to kiss, holding hands and talking about getting married, it also provides harrowing reports on the suffering they have faced under Islamic law. And it reveals the death threats and punishments handed out to gays in countries including Egypt and Iran.
Indian film maker Parvez Sharma – who spent six years making the programme – revealed: I have had death threats on my blog after making this film. Some countries have even banned it. I've been called an apostate because Muslims think I have
insulted Islam but I think it will open up a debate.
Islamic leaders in the UK have attacked the documentary, saying it will offend, anger and shock. An Imam from Europe's largest mosque The Baitul Futuh based in Surrey condemned the film
last night, saying: These people should not be confessing their sins to the television cameras. They should be doing it in private to God and seeking forgiveness.”
Last night a Channel 4 spokesman defended the documentary. She said: This is a sensitively made documentary that has played to critical acclaim at film festivals internationally and is a legitimate area for a documentary film-maker to explore.
True Stories: A Jihad For Love will be shown on More 4 at 10pm tonight.
A Saudi religious scholar is accusing a royal tycoon and another Saudi businessman of being as dangerous as drug dealers because the TV channels they own broadcast movies.
The fatwa calling for their prosecution is unusual because it publicly
chastises two such prominent Saudi figures by name: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest people, and Waleed al-Ibrahim, a brother-in-law of the late King Fahd.
Youssef al-Ahmed, a professor in the Islamic law department at the
ultraconservative al-Imam University, issued the fatwa in response to a question regarding Alwaleed's assertions last month that the kingdom will have movie theaters one day and that movies play a positive social role in Saudi Arabia.
Cinemas were closed in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s amid a rise in conservatism. Conservatives believe the movie industry encourages decadence by showing the drinking of alcohol and portraying men and women together in a country that bans liquor and the public mixing of the sexes.
Movies are a tool that hypocrites use to implement their plot to Westernize society, corrupt it and drive it away from (religion), said al-Ahmed in his response, posted on Islamlight.net: It is a duty to bring him (Alwaleed) and people
like him, such as Waleed al-Ibrahim, to justice. They are no less dangerous ... than drug dealers."
Waleed owns the Dubai-based MBC Group media conglomerate, which includes several satellite channels that broadcast movies, entertainment,
news and children's programs in Arabic and English. Those include American and European sitcoms and movies.
A demonstration against the play England People Very Nice was held outside the National Theatre.
The play by Richard Bean looks at immigration in London's East End. It is directed by the National's artistic director Nicholas Hytner who says
that the play lampoons all forms of stereotyping: it is a boisterous satire of stereotypes of French, Irish, Jews, Bangladeshis, white East End cockneys, Hampstead liberals and many others.
Every stereotype is placed in the context of its
opposite and it clearly sets out to demonstrate that all forms of racism are equally ridiculous.
The outdoor demonstration preceded a Platform event during which the play's writer Richard Bean was due to discuss his work. The protest, under
the banner 'Love Theatre Hate Racism', was organised by Bethnal Green playwright Hussain Ismail.
Cllr Abjol Miah, leader of the Respect group on Tower Hamlets Council, was present with several objectors from the East End.
I am passionate about theatre and I don't think theatre should be used to peddle racist filth under the guise of
comedy and serious theatre. Hussain Ismail told the small crowd of passers-by on the riverside who stopped to listen to speeches.
The National Theatre is staging two debates about the play in April.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week affirmed the Casper, Wyoming City counsels decision not to allow anti-gay pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas to place an anti-gay monument in one of it's city parks, when the justices
unanimously agreed that governments receiving monument donations for public parks are not compelled to take everything they are offered.
The city had placed a Ten Commandments statue, donated by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, in a plaza along
with other monuments of historical significance and Phelps had sought to place his own monument in the Casper plaza condemning homosexuality.
Phelp's monument stated: Matthew Shepard Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning
‘thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination. Leviticus 18:22.
Matthew Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and subsequently murdered because he was gay.
The Casper City Council
had denied Phelps' request in both 2003 and 2007.
Phelps had argued it was his First Amendment right to have his monument included.
Games nutter MP Keith Vaz has decided to bang on about the game RapeLay which was withdrawn from US Amazon as soon as they realised it was controversial.
EDM 818 RapeLay Video Game by Keith Vaz
That this House is appalled that a video game that simulates rape has been readily available for sale on the internet; warmly welcomes Amazon's decision to withdraw the web page for the Japanese video game Rapelay; firmly believes
that video games featuring high levels of violence can be detrimental to those playing them; notes that every year an estimated three million women experience rape, domestic violence, stalking or another form of abuse; and calls on the Government to ban
such games from sale in the UK, including through online retailers.
Lynne Jones, Lee Scott, Andrew Dismore, Peter Bottomley, David Drew, Bob Russell, Joan Humble, David Lepper, Martin Caton, Jeremy Corbyn, Mark Durkan, Mike
Hancock, David Taylor, Alan Simpson, Kelvin Hopkins, Colin Breed, Andrew George, Rudi Vis.
A short 10 minute play, Seven Jewish Children - A Play for Gaza , written by Caryl Churchill in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and examining the history of Israel, was performed at Royal Court.
play Seven Jewish Children at the Royal Court demonises Israelis by reinforcing false stereotypes. It portrays Israeli parents as inhuman triumphalists who care little about anything except their children's feelings, and who teach them that Arabs are
sub-human and must be hated.
It is historically inaccurate. It fails to say that the Six Day War was a defensive war, following which Israel offered to return virtually all the land it had gained, in return for peace. It excises from history the
withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, and ignores the more than 6,000 rockets, launched with the sole aim of the indiscriminate killing of Israelis.
In staging this play, and releasing it for free performance anywhere, the Royal Court is being unbalanced
in its favours.
Our regret at the decision to show Seven Jewish Children should not be taken as opposition to free speech in the theatre – which is vital. However, we are at a loss to understand how the decision accords with the comment by the
associate director of the Royal Court that he would be reluctant to stage a play critical of Islam.
This [complaint] touches on two sensitivities far beyond the play itself. The first is the right to publicise what others regard as misinformation. I believe that right does exist. I may not want to see the play. I may warn others about it. I may
even stand outside and distribute pamphlets exposing its errors to those about to go inside. But I will not back calls for it to be banned. If the price of free speech is being enraged by the venom or stupidity of others, that is a fury worth enduring.
The second issue is whether the Royal Court holds that same view. Ramin Gray, its associate director, has admitted that he would be hesitant to stage a play critical of Islam. How can that possibly be justified? If he is fearless to attack
aspects of one country or one faith, then surely all the others should be open to the same critique. Selective bravery is not very brave.
This is a principle that should apply equally across the religious spectrum. It is why it was right for Jerry Springer the Opera
to be shown on BBC despite the (equally permissable) protests of some Christians. This is also why it was wrong for the play about Sikh life – Bezhti – to be withdrawn from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre after pressure from Sikhs. Why can
the church be exposed to challenge and not the Gurdwara?
Assuming that Ramin Gray is an honourable person (as I am happy to do) and that he is not guilty of hypocrisy by favouring the mosque over the synagogue, there can be only one explanation
for his reluctance: fear.
Presumably it is not fear of letters in the Daily Telegraph or peaceful distribution of leaflets outside his theatre, but of violent attack.
If so, is this based on his fantasies or does it reflect realistic
expectations of how the Muslim community would behave? If the former, then that is hardly justification; if the latter, then it is a perception, or misperception, about which Muslim leaders should be alarmed, for it does the image of Islam no favours.
Catholic bishops in the Holy Land have expressed outrage over what they call repulsive attacks on Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary after an Israeli TV program spoofed them.
We, the members of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops
in the Holy Land deplore and condemn with utter dismay the repulsive attacks on our lord Jesus Christ and on his mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, carried out on Channel 10 of the Israeli television, the group said in a statement.
week, the private channel broadcast a series of skits, one of which suggested the Virgin Mary was impregnated at the age of 15 by a school friend. Another said Jesus died at a young age because he was fat and that his excess weight would
have made it impossible for him to walk on water.
In the program, Israeli comedian Yair Shlein joked that since Christians deny the Holocaust, then I want to deny Christianity. Following protests, he later apologised to Arab Israeli
The bishops said they viewed this recent incident in the larger context of continuous attacks against Christians throughout Israel over the years and urged authorities to launch an investigation.
Patriarchs Ignatius IV Hazim of Antioch and all the East for Greek Orthodox, Zakka I Iwas of Antioch and all the East for Syriac Orthodox and Gregory III Laham of Antioch and all the East for Greek Catholic have condemned the Israeli media for
causing offence to Christian religious symbols, denouncing the offence of supreme religious values.
The fundamentalist US family church notorious for picketing the funerals of dead soldiers plans to carry out its first protest in Britain this week.
Followers of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church have threatened to picket a sixth
form college in Basingstoke, Hampshire during a staging of The Laramie Project , a play about an American youth murdered because of his sexuality.
The 'church' from Topeka, Kansas is mainly composed of relatives of the founder, pastor Fred
Phelps, who style themselves the most hated family in America.
Their core belief – that God will punish the West for its acceptance of homosexuality – has seen them protest at dozens of servicemen's funerals brandishing garish placards
stating God hates the USA and Thank God for dead soldiers .
Details of the church's first picket in Britain was posted on their website with the slogan God Hates England; Your Queen Is A Whore.
Some of the best
Bible preaching in the history of the world came out of that dark dismal land, but now it is full of all abominations, the notice read: God will shortly destroy the UK and the world, but not until they have got the plain, clear message so that
they will be without excuse.
The target of Friday evening's demonstration will be the Central Studio arts venue at Queen Mary's College, where local gay group Freedom Youth is staging a
small production of the The Laramie Project this week. The play, which has roused the ire of Westboro followers in the past, tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a gay teenager tortured and murdered in small town America in 1998.
Miller, Conservative MP for Basingstoke, said that she had contacted the Home Secretary to see what action the Government may be considering in relation to possible attempts by the Phelps family to enter the country.
She condemned the church's
highly inflammatory language and behaviour and said the young people who had worked on the play would not be intimidated by threats.
Members of Anonymous, the nebulous online community that has previously organised protests against the Church
of Scientology, are already planning counter-demonstrations outside the college on Friday, posts on internet message boards indicate.
A homophobic American cleric who runs a website called God Hates Fags and was allegedly planning to picket a play showing in the UK has been banned from Britain by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith.
Fred Phelps had vowed to come to Britain
with his daughter, Shirley, to picket a school play in Basingstoke.
There was no evidence that the Phelps family, who tour the US spreading their message and have expressed a wish to come to Britain to preach at Speakers' Corner in London, had
made arrangements to carry out their threat of picketing the play, but the Home Office said Phelps and other members of his family would be banned from entry if they arrived.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: The home secretary has excluded
both Fred Phelps and his daughter from the UK. Both these individuals have engaged in unacceptable behaviour by inciting hatred against a number of communities.
The government has made it clear it opposes extremism in all its forms. We will
continue to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country … regardless of their opinions and beliefs.
The Front Page Campaign based in Fife calls for newspapers and magazines which show nudity to be placed on the top shelf.
Amy King started the campaign after writing to a number of supermarkets when she saw naked photographs on the front
of newspapers displayed next to children's magazines.
She told The Press: We are just looking for a bit of respect in a public place. Some people might not accept it's harmful but they need to respect a person's right to decide whether it is
what many of us consider offensive.
The campaign focuses on freedom of choice for those who would rather go shopping without being bombarded with sexually provocative images, and promises that it is not about censorship or feminism.
King continued: We are taking action because we believe that pornography is harmful to men and women, and I personally have particular concern about the effect of, for example, The Sport on teenage boys. It's sometimes assumed that men have no
problem with sexually explicit pictures of women, but we think there are men who are uncomfortable with it.
Commenting on the issue, an Asda spokesman said as a family orientated supermarket they ensure all magazines that may be offensive are
placed in a suitable area and level.
A spokesman from Tesco said: We know these magazines are popular with some customers and are widely available in newsagents and other retailers. We're aware, however, that some people have concerns and this
is why we have moved this type of publication beyond the eyeline of children and making it more difficult for youngsters to pick them up.
Bare breasts and raunchy sex scenes have sparked fierce debate following the second outing of the Underbelly prequel.
Nutters have expressed concern over this week's episode of Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities , which featured
raunchy sex scenes between heroin kingpin and his drug-running mistress.
The Australian Family Association said the show was pornography and inappropriate for its 8.30pm timeslot.
The laws governing censorship need to be
reviewed because teenagers are still up at this time, AFA spokesnutter Joe Lopez said: There's no excuse at anytime to show excessive pornography or violence like they do in Underbelly.
Cosmetic surgery adverts are being defaced by campaigners who oppose the 'sexist' portrayal of women.
Posters on the London Underground featuring Clare Thornton showing her breast enlargement, have been plastered with abusive stickers over the
past two weeks.
The words sexist shit were stuck next to a quote from Thornton saying that going from a 34B to a 34DD was the best decision I ever made!
A 1,000-strong protest group on Facebook - called Somewhat Strident
But Who Cares - features photos of vandalised Harley Medical Group adverts.
Cambridge graduate Nadia Kamil uploaded a shot of a poster at a London station, featuring a different model, with the words Everyone is beautiful already scrawled on it in red.
Ms Thornton, an estate agent from Leeds, paid £4,250 for the operation with Harley Medical Group. She said: I've got a thick skin and I'm proud of my new breasts but I've found this upsetting and rude. People should be allowed to choose
what they spend their money on provided it's legal, and what they look like. Others shouldn't judge them.
The Harley Medical Group said the stickers were offensive and any that are found are removed.
London MEP Mary Honeyball,
who is on the European Parliament's women's rights committee, criticised Transport for London for allowing ads that seek to undermine women's confidence in their natural bodies. I am disgusted a government body is taking money to put up them up in
view of vulnerable children and teenagers.
Dorit Abramovitz, an Israeli fem-Nazi and some 30 feminist women and a handful of men jolted Tel Avivians awake with a protest chant: Indifferent residents of Tel Aviv: Trade in women must be prohibited.
All the women's organizations
decided to launch protests against the free distribution of pornographic magazines like Banana and Seximo in Tel Aviv, where they are handed out gratis at certain convenience stores and newsstands, says Abramovitz: The decision to
protest these magazines was taken within the framework of an ongoing campaign by the Women's International Zionist Organization, which was recently launched against pornographic advertisements that are harmful to women. The campaign will culminate on
International Women's Day on March 8, with an event in Tel Aviv, where the advertisement that has been most harmful to women in 2008 will be announced and will be awarded a mark of shame by the organization.
The nutters enter a nearby
convenience store, gathering the magazines into a black garbage bag. The activists spot pornographic DVDs, stocked at the entrance to Kiosk Tami. You are not allowed to stock this, says attorney Tami Katsbian. The convenience store proprietor
starts cursing and threatening the women. After several minutes the police decide to intervene -- not before informing the women that they are disrupting public order. The group moves on to the next kiosk, near Allenby Street, continuously dumping
magazines into the garbage bag.
The public's indifference is saddening, says Ronit Ehrenfroind- Cohen, director of the department for the status of women at WIZO. I am learning that people are not aware, that they are cynical and have
no desire to take a stand and do something. They walk by and leaf through 'Banana,' and for a moment they might actually think that this isn't okay. That's why there is no alternative but to take to the streets, initiate campaigns and promote awareness
of the issue.
Pope Benedict has promoted ultra-conservative cleric Father Gerhard Maria Wagner to assistant bishop of the Austrian city of Linz.
Fr Wagner is notorious for his extreme views - he has accused the popular Harry Potter novels of
spreading Satanism, and described Hurricane Katrina as God's punishment for the sinners of New Orleans.
He also wrote in a parish newsletter that the death and destruction caused by the hurricane in New Orleans was divine retribution for the
city's tolerance of homosexuals and permissive sexual attitudes. The future bishop said he was glad that Katrina destroyed not only nightclubs and brothels in New Orleans, but also five of the city's abortion clinics.
The nutter priest who suggested God punished New Orleans
with Hurricane Katrina expressed relief Monday after passing up a papal promotion that had sparked an outcry from Austrian Catholics.
Pope Benedict promoted Gerhard Maria Wagner to the post of auxiliary bishop in Linz causing an uproar from
church groups and priests who argued he would push people to leave the church.
Late Sunday, he unexpectedly announced his decision to pass up the opportunity. Wagner said he considered his decision to be in the interest of the church and that he
looked forward to continuing his job as pastor in the Upper Austrian town of Windischgarsten.
A Michigan television station in the United States has pulled a one hour programme paid for by a notoriously homophobic family group.
The American Family Association (AFA) had paid for airtime on WOOD-TV to screen Speechless: Silencing
It claims to reveal the truth about the radical homosexual agenda and its impact on the family, the nation and religious freedom.
WOOD-TV General Manager Diane Kniowski said earlier this week that it would not
run the AFA programme this Saturday as planned: Our station is being bombarded with calls and messages, and we find ourselves in the middle of someone else's fight.
The programme, which is available online, claims hate crimes laws target
preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality, gays play a key role to play in the spread of all STDs and HIV/AIDS and employment protection based on sexual orientation will force churches to hire homosexuals.
The Human Rights Campaign,
America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organisation, had urged its members to contact the station and ask that they pull the programme.
A computer game that involves the player stalking victims and then raping them in a virtual world was being offered for sale by online retailer Amazon.com but has now just been withdrawn.
The rape simulator , Rapelay , is produced
and set in Japan
Reviews by gaming websites have expressed horror at the basis for the game. One website review describes tears glistening in the young girl's eyes as she is attacked in graphic detail.
Players begin the game by
stalking a mother on a subway station before violently raping her. They then move on to attack her two daughters described as virgin schoolgirls. Players are also allowed to enter freeform mode where they can rape any woman and get other male game
characters to join the attacks.
Pregnancy and abortion are listed as key features. One review said: If she does become pregnant you're supposed to force her to get an abortion, otherwise she gets more and more visibly pregnant each time
you have sex. If you allow the child to be born then the woman will throw you in front of a train!
The game's producer, Illusion is a company from Japan famous for making similar 3D Hentai games. The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, says: Due to Illusion's policy, its games are not intended to be sold or used outside of Japan, and official support is only given in Japanese and for use in Japan.
Last night Labour MP Keith Vaz said he was shocked that Amazon are allowing people to purchase such a game and plans to raise the issue in Parliament after being contacted by the Belfast Telegraph website.
Vaz said: It is
intolerable that anyone would purchase a game that simulates the criminal offence of rape. To know that this widely available through a major online retailer is utterly shocking, I do not see how this can be allowed. I will be raising this matter in
Parliament and hope that action is taken to prevent the game from being sold.
After being contacted by the Belfast Telegraph Amazon today removed the webpage. A screenshot is also available at this location. The company would not comment on
the item or say why it had been offered for sale through their website.
In Italy, where the Catholic Church is strong, some proposed atheist bus ads have been rejected, but this one has just been approved to run this month in Genoa: The good news is there are millions of atheists in Italy; the excellent news is they
believe in freedom of expression.
Fred Edwords, spokesman for the American Humanist Association, said that nobody is going to be converted because of a sign on a bus. But he said the ads his group put on Washington buses in November
and December -- Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake -- let people who don't believe in God know they are not the only ones.
Edwords said a new bus campaign, due to start in New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras, will feature
this ad: Don't believe in God? You are not alone.
Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said the new religious ads proclaiming God are really quite a compliment and mean our ads had an impact.
A trinity of Christian groups have created their own series of advertisements to run across London buses, the medium of choice for the battle of beliefs, it seems.
The new campaign is organsied by the Christian Party, the Trinitarian Bible
Society and the Russian Orthodox Church. Their pro-God campaigns will run on 175 buses for two weeks from Monday.
In a somewhat cheeky move, the Rev George Hargreaves of the Christian Party has created a bus advert which proclaims: There
definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life. It will run on 50 bendy buses in central London, east London and the West End.
Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church has booked 25 supersize bus advertisements, backed by
a sponsorship deal with Russian Hour TV, using the line : There IS a God, BELIEVE. Don't worry and enjoy your life.
The Trinitarian Bible Society has taken a less temperate approach, using a line from the bible to scold nonbelievers: The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God,
runs the advertisement's slogan, taken from Psalm 53.1. The church's campaign, which like the others was booked through outdoor advertising company CBS Outdoor, runs on 100 buses.
GoDaddy's Super Bowl advertisements, which mix women and suggestive material, have generated a lot of attention. But the sexy ads have turned off some viewers and it could be costing GoDaddy some business.
Wired.com reports that one Web manager
is pulling some of his religious sites from the provider after clients complained.
Brian Harrell, who oversees sites for Christian churches and faith-based organizations, says that after the ads aired, some of his clients demanded that their
sites be to moved a different provider. GoDaddy aired two Super Bowls ads this year both featuring NASCAR driver Danica Patrick; the first ad had Patrick getting into a shower, the second had Patrick in a courtroom discussing enhancements.
Harrell, a Christian, sent an e-mail to the company, which he shared with Wired.com, asking them to
re-think how your morals and values are looking to the public.
The company responded with a short e-mail detailing their commitment to freedom of expression.
Harrell plans on growing his business and getting more churches online,
but says that he will not suggest GoDaddy to his clients.
Too much television and time spent on the internet can make children mentally ill, according to a survey into British childhood.
Excessive exposure makes a child materialistic, which in turn affects their relationship with their parents and
That is one of the conclusions of the new wide-ranging survey produced for the Children's Society.
It says that children are part of a new form of consumerism, with under 16 year-olds spending their money on clothes, snacks,
music, video games and magazines.
The report claims that some advertisers explicitly exploit the mechanism of peer pressure, while painting parents as buffoons and that in its most extreme form, advertising persuades children that you
are what you own.
In addition the constant exposure to celebrities through, TV soaps, dramas and chat shows is having a detrimental effect. It says: Children today know in intimate detail the lives of celebrities who are richer than
they will ever be, and mostly better-looking. This exposure inevitably raises aspirations and reduces self-esteem.
The Good Childhood inquiry, compiled by more than 35,000 contributors is independent of the Church of England affiliated
society but has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. It takes an in-depth look at the changing face of childhood and family life in Britain, and the challenges facing youngsters today.
The Good Childhood study was
carried out by a panel of independent experts for the charity. They included Lord Layard, a former adviser on well-being to Tony Blair; Children's Commissioner for England Sir Albert Aynsley-Green, and a group of prominent academics. Two religious
figures also took senior roles: the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Church of England Bishop of Leicester, and Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The report claims that the upward trend of violence in the
media in general, is making children violent and causing tension within the family.
The report says: We know from controlled studies that exposure to violence can breed violence. So it seems likely that the upward trend in media violence is
helping to produce the upward trend in violent behaviour - and also the growth of psychological conflict in family relationships.
The report also notes that commercial pressures have led to the 'premature sexualisation' of young people. It
notes that young people are having sex earlier because of many forces , including more privacy when both parents work, more contraception, commercial pressures toward premature sexualisation, and fundamental changes in attitude.
It was 20 years ago this month that Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced his fatwa on Salman Rushdie. I inform all zealous Muslims of the world, he proclaimed: that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses . . . and all those
involved in its publication who were aware of its contents, are sentenced to death.
This was not just a brutally shocking act that forced Rushdie into hiding for almost a decade; it also helped to transform the character of British society.
The Rushdie affair was the moment at which a new Islam dramatically announced itself as a political force — and the moment when Britain realised that it was facing a new kind of social conflict.
Muslim fury seemed to be driven not by harassment
or discrimination, but by a sense of hurt that Rushdie's words had offended their deepest beliefs. Where did such hurt come from? How could a novel create such outrage? Could Muslim anguish be assuaged and should it be?
The Mirror is reporting about viewers fury at 312 swear words in 103 mins including Gordon Ramsay's 240 used of 'fuck'
Viewers were said to have flooded Channel 4 with complaints after Friday's Gordon's Great British
And it all came on the same day the fiery chef promised not to swear on the US version of his live cookalong show for fear of upsetting American viewers.
Ramsay's show on Friday drew three million viewers and went out just
after the 9pm watershed with a warning about strong language.
Labour MP Denis MacShane said: Gordon Ramsay might be a good chef, but he is a terrible role model to every child and adolescent in Britain. He is giving two-fingers to people who
care about the English language. Channel 4 should give Britain a break from this foul-mouthed soup-stirrer. This is a clear breach of Ofcom's rules on swearing and it should launch an investigation into the programme immediately.
Don Foster said: This is getting beyond a joke. When you hear about this much swearing in a single programme, you're tempted to utter an expletive yourself. We have got to tone it down because bad language on TV is seeping into society.
Ofcom spokesman said they were unable to comment on complaints received over the weekend until next week.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: Gordon Ramsay is a well-known TV personality and viewers know what to expect. The swearing was a genuine
expression of his passion and frustration.
St Andrews university in Edinburgh is about to be hit by a wave of nutter protest as the first ever amateur production of the notable West End musical Jerry Springer: The Opera rolls into town.
The play, which caused a nutter storm for
supposedly ridiculing Jesus Christ, God and the Virgin Mary, is to be performed by a group of students from St Andrews, who claim the musical will show the ancient institution is daring enough to promote religious debate.
The Just So Musical
Society at St Andrews University will stage its production in April as part of the On the Rocks arts festival, which launches this year at the university. The show, which will follow the original script and score with a cast of 25 students, will have a
three-night run at the students' association from April 19 to 21.
The student director of the show, John MacLean, who is a practising Christian, denied he was courting controversy. I've decided to put it on because it's a fantastic show. I
think the score is incredible, and I went to see it in Edinburgh and I laughed out loud throughout. .
Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, remains implacably opposed to the show. His organisation's campaign against the
earlier, professional tour using leafletting and the threat of legal action against theatres meant the show lost £500,000.
Green said his organisation would try to do the same to the St Andrews production. It is disgraceful that in the
birthplace of the Scottish Reformation, St Andrews University is putting on a production that insults the Lord Jesus Christ. Ridiculing Jesus Christ will bring shame and God's judgment on what should, with all its history, be a devout seat of learning,
not a cesspit.
He called all Christians to take action against the musical. We must pray that this show is cancelled, but if it is not, may the Lord bring Christian people out on the streets of St Andrews to witness and evangelise at all
the events during the arts week. If many sinners repent and turn to Jesus Christ, some good will yet come from this evil.
Solicitor Michael Phillips, who represented Christian Voice when they sued the BBC for blasphemy after broadcasting the
musical in 2007, said: It's a worry that this production is rearing up again, and it's sad that something with so little artistic merit was given such a lot of attention because it used profanity and blasphemy. St Andrews University could be opening
themselves up for protests which could lead to legal action if there is somebody with the right funding behind them.
Gordon Macdonald, of Christian Action, Research and Education in Scotland, said: We would ask people not to see it or give
them any encouragement by attending the performance. We recognise people's freedom of speech, but at the same time that has to be exercised responsibly, and they shouldn't go out of their way to offend people unnecessarily.
The Advertising Standards Authority has recommended that a Christian group be censured for predicting that Government initiatives on teenage sexuality, including the HPV vaccine, will increase infertility among the young.
Christian Voice's Advertorial
in the New Statesman earlier this year, which was headlined VIOLENT CRIME - SOWING AND REAPING, will be found to breach ASA codes on principles, substantiation and truthfulness.
The text of the advertorial said: There is a
Biblical principle that we reap what we sow. It applies to nations as well as to individuals. What politicians sow, the people reap. When politicians sow evil, the people reap misery, and the poorest reap it the worst. The ad went on to describe the
detrimental impact of government policies and legislation on society. It included the text Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around
pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares.
The officials demanded robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers , missing the nutter view that it
is the encouragement of promiscuity in Government teen sex initiatives which spreads the infections which do the damage, not the vaccine itself.
Their draft ruling says: the claim "Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine,
will increase it [teenage infertility]" was a statement of fact that was capable of substantiation. Christian Voice say requiring the substantiation of a future prediction in an opinion piece is preposterous and an infringement of freedom of
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today: It is a good job the Advertising Standards Authority was not around when the Old Testament was written, or we would be missing half the Christmas story. The ASA would
have wanted Isaiah to substantiate his claim that 'a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son' (Isa 7:14). They would have demanded 'robust, scientific evidence' that virgins can conceive.
It is simple common sense to realise that with
the HPV vaccine, girls will think they are covered against everything, especially if they are on the pill as well, so promiscuity will rise and there will be even more Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia cases and even more infertility.
preposterous for the ASA to think they can outlaw Christian freedom of speech and free expression of opinion. The ASA may not like the fact that sodomy is an abomination in holy scripture, but they cannot alter it. Nor can their officials change God's
word that sex outside marriage brings judgment. The Free Presbyterian Church will not back down, and by God's grace neither shall we. We shall keep telling Government and the teen sex industry that they are betraying young people in this country and that
only God's ways of chastity and fidelity will halt the rise in teenage pregnancies and infertility.
An advertising feature in the New Statesman, on behalf of a religious group, had the headline VIOLENT CRIME - SOWING AND REAPING . Text underneath stated There is a Biblical principle that we reap what we sow. It applies to nations as well as to individuals. What politicians sow, the people reap. When politicians sow evil, the people reap misery, and the poorest reap it the worst.
The ad went on to describe what the advertisers considered to be the detrimental impact of government policies and various pieces of legislation on society. It included the text Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every
government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares. Text at the bottom of the ad stated: Christian Voice. Working for Godly government; praying for national repentance.
One complainant challenged whether the implied claim that the HPV vaccine would result in teenage infertility was misleading and could be substantiated.
We considered that the
claim Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it [teenage infertility] was a statement of fact that was a matter open to substantiation. We noted the webpage submitted by Christian Voice, but we did not consider that
that webpage in itself was sufficient to support the claim. Because we had not seen robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.
ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Principles), 3.1 (Substantiation) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Christian Voice not to repeat the implied claim that the HPV vaccine would result in teenage
Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries.
In an interview with this week's Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the
broadcaster said: They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.
Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give credit to God, Attenborough added: They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply
by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent
Attenborough went further in his opposition to creationism, saying it was terrible when it was taught alongside evolution as an alternative perspective. It's like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to
believe it, it could also be five ... Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066.
Based on article from news.com.au See also the Underbelly Viral
A 37 second Internet video campaign is said to be shocking and crude, cut together to showcase the most violent and sex-charged scenes of the new TV series Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities.
The clip has already sparked outrage from Christian Democratic Party leader Reverend Fred Nile, who labelled the video
pornographic and will concern family groups. I think it’s disgusting and shocking.
Even for a viral campaign there are standards and this would come into the category of pornography. The worst part about it is that
it’s making the criminals heroes when that’s a black page on the history of Sydney. There is nothing proud about it.
Reverend Nile said the Christian Democratic Party would hold protests, the same held when the original Underbelly
screened early last year and call for advertisers to boycott the program, when the show premieres on Channel 9 in February.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of newly-launched bus advertisement which claims there is There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
Surely religions should be breathing a sigh of
relief that they don't have justify religious claims before being able to erect posters and beg money etc.
But Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice claims in a press release that the advertisements broke the ASA's codes on
substantiation and truthfulness:
The ASA website says: Advertisements are not allowed to mislead consumers. This means that advertisers must hold evidence to prove the claims they make about their products or services before an ad appears.
But in a
ruling today, the ASA says the claim that there is probably no God is not capable of objective substantiation. It says further that the complaints were not 'serious' or 'widespread' enough.
Stephen Green said:
If the ASA had
thought the humanists could provide evidence for their claim, they would have asked them for it. As they know there is no evidence for the proposition that 'there is probably no God', they have let their secularist friends off the hook.
The ASA have finessed Code 7.1, which says a ad should not mislead or be likely to mislead, ruling it would not be likely to mislead, so avoiding the thornier question of whether it actually does mislead. Which it does.
On 'taste and decency', the ASA have simply taken a subjective decision to dismiss the complaints of offensiveness. On planet ASA, complaints from people of faith are not given the same weight as those from secularists. But what do you
expect when the ASA Council is appointed and run by a campaigning homosexual, Chris, Lord, Smith of Finsbury?
We always knew the ASA was just another tool of the politically-correct secularist establishment, but here's the proof. Their
ruling is a good example of how the deck is stacked against Christians today, and the Church needs to wake up to the anti-Christian agenda right now. The good news is we now know that when the secularists decided to say: "There is probably no
God", they had no reason for making that absurd claim, and time has not helped them come up with one. The bad news is that if Christians don't start standing up for their Faith and their Saviour soon, we shall see religious liberties trampled on,
and the secularists will take us further down the road to their hell on earth.
The Roman Catholic Church has once again revealed how in touch it is with modern times by calling for a ban on Facebook-like social notworking sites.
Archbishop Pompili of Cei (Italian Episcopal Conference) slammed social networks about what he
called networked individualism which he said creates people who terminate links with the surrounding area .
He warned that relationships formed online were not real. Well, not as real in the same way as such important things like an
invisible gods, angels, virgin births and Papal infallibility.
Facebook and its ilk create an online egocentrism and are responsible for drying up of real relationships, he said.
The chairman of the Cei, Bishop Mariano Crociata
said that the Internet varies between elation and mistrust and it is time to find a middle way.
Atheist bus adverts have wisely been given the green light by the advertising censor, Advertising Standards Agency.
So far, 326 people have objected to the posters that have been placed on 800 buses around the country, which state: There's
probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
Some claimed the adverts were offensive while others said that their central claim about God's existence could not be substantiated.
The ASA has admitted that the adverts go
against the beliefs of many people. But it has decided that they do not breach any part of its code and is not launching an investigation.
The decision is a victory for the British Humanist Association, which organised the campaign, as it had
insisted the posters were only intended to reassure non-believers and not mock the religious. The slogan was created by Ariane Sherine, a comedy writer, as an antidote to posters placed on public transport by Christian groups that threaten eternal
damnation to passengers. The ASA said in a statement:
The Advertising Standards Authority has concluded that the 'There's probably no God' bus ad campaign by the British Humanist Association is not in
breach of the advertising code. The ASA will therefore not launch an investigation and the case is now closed.
The ASA carefully assessed the 326 complaints it received. Some complained that the ad was offensive and denigratory to people of
faith. Others challenged whether the ad was misleading because the advertiser would not be able to substantiate its claim that God 'probably' does not exist.
The ASA Council concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser's opinion and
that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation.
Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread
Nutters of the Parents Television Council (PTC) have issued a statement, warning parents and radio stations to ban Britney Spears' song If U Seek Amy. The organization believes that it would violate the broadcast indecency law if the track,
which carries phrase If U Seek Amy sounding like F U C K Me when sung quickly, is played between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M.
There is no misinterpreting the lyrics to this song, and it's certainly not about a girl named Amy, PTC
president Tim Winter comments on Britney's song. It's one thing for a song with these lyrics to be included on a CD so that fans who wish to hear it can do so, but it's an entirely different matter when this song is played over the publicly-owned
airwaves, especially at a time when children are likely to be in the listening audience.
Atheists of the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) have just announced a plan to begin a bus advertising campaign denying the existence of God.
The launch, according to this report, is set for the northern Italian city of
Genoa on February 4, and the Italian atheists are certainly not mincing their words. Their campaign slogan is:
The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is that we do not need him.
The Roman Catholic archdiocese of
Genoa is furious. Father Gianfranco Calabrese, who is responsible for the diocese’s catechism: There are some methods which promote dialogue and others which feed intolerance. Head-on opposition always demonstrates intolerance.
Genoa was chosen for the atheist bus campaign because it is home to the head of the Italian Catholic Bishops Conference Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.
Cardinal Bagnasco was said to be furious about the proposal and told his officials
write to the bus company and advertising firm in charge of the campaign to express their opposition.
The is said to have been delighted when he was then given the news that at the last minute the campaign had been cancelled.
spokesman for the Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics, which organised the campaign, said yesterday: It appears that buses can carry campaigns for underwear and holidays with no problem but if you ask for space to say God doesn't exist
then you are denied.'
A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming There's probably no God.
Ron Heather from Southampton responded with shock and horror at the message and walked out of his shift in protest.
First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Heather does not have to drive the buses.
Heather told BBC Radio Solent: I was just about to board and there it was staring me in the face, my first reaction was shock
horror. I felt that I could not drive that bus, I told my managers and they said they haven't got another one and I thought I better go home, so I did. I think it was the starkness of this advert which implied there was no God.
advertisements run on 200 bendy buses in London and 600 vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales.
House notes the recent advertising campaign based on London buses, There's Probably No God, the brainchild of the British Humanist Association; also notes the fact that the rationale behind it is that people can be less careful about their lifestyle
choices and general approach to life's consequences by discounting the likelihood of a Creator and an afterlife; and recommends to Christian groups considering alternative advertising approaches to There's Probably No God to counter it with the simple
addition of But What If There Is?
This has been signed by Nicholas Winterton, Bob Spink, Lee Scott, David Simpson and Ann Winterton.
That this House notes that posters with the slogan `There's Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life', appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground; notes that this causes
concern to Christian and Muslim people, many of whom feel embarrassed and uncomfortable travelling on public transport displaying such advertisements and would not wish to endorse the advertisements by using that public transport; regrets that the
British Humanist Association backs the campaign; and calls on Ministers responsible for public transport and advertising media to investigate this matter and to seek to remove these religiously offensive and morally unhelpful advertisements.
This has been signed by Jim Dobbin, Gregory Campbell, David Drew, David Simpson, Ann Cryer and Marsha Singh.
Glosslip insiders have revealed that the Daily Mail’s story on Jett Travolta, titled Did John Travolta’s weird faith seal son Jett’s fate? was pulled from their website after threats from the Church of Scientology.
nothing new in the world of Scientology. Almost a year ago, gossip site Gawker was threatened with legal action from the highly litigious religion after posting a for Scientologist’s eyes only video featuring Tom Cruise discussing his
strange religion. Gawker, citing fair use laws, refused to pull the video, and have been reaping a traffic bonanza since.
With the barrage of stories following the tragic death of 16-year old Jett Travolta, one has to wonder how much overtime the
lawyers have been putting in trying to keep the media from looking too closely at their dangerous history of medical mishaps based on the groups anti-psychiatry beliefs.
We Are Most Amused was a special comedy gala performance held to mark the sixtieth birthday of the Prince of Wales. The show included many of the UK’s leading comedians.
Ofcom received 540 complaints concerning a sketch, included in the programme, featuring Rowan Atkinson. In the sketch, Rowan Atkinson played a Christian clergyman delivering a comedic version of a biblical miracle story – the Wedding Feast at Cana.
The complainants considered the sketch to be offensive and blasphemous, and some complainants questioned whether a similar sketch would be permissible if the subject had been one of the world’s other religions, such as Islam. There was
evidence that the complaints were part of an orchestrated campaign. [Stephen Green's Christian Voice being previously noted as organising such a campaign]
Playing the clergyman, Rowan Atkinson delivered the sketch
as if reciting from the bible to a congregation. He described Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, and said:
And when the steward of the feast did taste of the water from the pots, it had
become wine. And he knew not whence it had come. But the servants did know, and they applauded loudly in the kitchen. And they said unto the Lord: ‘How the hell did you do that?’ And inquired of him: ‘Do you do children’s
parties?’ And the Lord said: ‘No.’ But the servants did press him, saying: ‘Go on, give us another one’.
Further on in the sketch, Ofcom noted there were the following passages:
…and he did place a large red cloth over the carrot and then removed it. And lo, he held in his hand a white rabbit. And all were amazed, and said: ‘This guy is really good; he should turn professional’. And there
came unto him a woman called Mary…and Jesus said unto her: ‘Put on a tutu and lie down in this box’. And took he forth a saw and cleft her in twain.
…And he did go unto Jerusalem, and he did his full act before the
Scribes, and the Pharisees, and the Romans. But alas, it did not please them in their hearts. In fact they absolutely crucified him.
Ofcom considered these complaints under Rule 2.3 (material that may cause offence must be
justified by the context).
Many complainants accused ITV of blasphemy. Ofcom is not required to determine whether the ITV committed blasphemy, but whether, in this case, the provisions of
its Code had been breached.
Comedy has a long tradition of tackling challenging and sensitive subjects, such as religion. It is important and necessary, in line with freedom of expression, that broadcasters can explore such matters. Therefore
broadcasters are free to include treatments, comedic or otherwise, of any religion, as long as they comply with the Code.
In particular, this was a comedy sketch, by a performer well-known for his depictions of clergymen in comedic situations.
The sketch was an absurd interpretation of a well-known biblical miracle story, and was not intended as a serious interpretation of Christian belief, nor would it be realistic to make such an inference.
It superimposed onto the original story, the
concept of how some people might react today, if Jesus were to appear in modern society. In making an analogy between miracles and magic, the comedian used the well-known comic device of placing theological figures in a contemporary and everyday human
situation. The overall tone of the sketch was affectionate and not abusive of the Christian religion.
Ofcom considered that the approach would have been well understood by the vast majority of the audience and would not have gone beyond what
would normally be expected in a programme of this type. Therefore, the programme was not in breach of Rule 2.3.
The advertising censor is being called upon to rule on the likelihood of God's existence after complaints were made about the atheist bus advert campaign.
Censors at the Advertising Standards Authority are now considering whether to tackle the
question that has taxed the minds of the world's greatest thinkers for centuries.
It has recorded 48 complaints since Tuesday when buses first hit the streets emblazoned with the message: There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy
your life. At least 40 more people were understood to have made objections by last night.
Most of those who have contacted the ASA consider the adverts offensive and say they break guidelines on taste and decency.
Stephen Green, the
nutter behind Christian Voice is claiming they should be taken down because the statement in the adverts cannot be substantiated: If you're going to put out what appears to be a factual statement then you have to be able to back it up. They've got to
substantiate this proposition that in all probability, God doesn't exist.
The ASA is now considering whether to investigate his complaint, which could lead to it reaching a deep ontological conclusion about a supreme being. If it ruled that
the wording in the posters was unsubstantiated, it would be interpreted as effectively saying that in all probability God does exist. Ruling that the words were justified could be taken as an agreement that God probably does not exist.
the public donated ฃ140,000 to the Atheist Bus Campaign after its founder, the writer Ariane Sherine, suggested there should be an antidote to religious posters on public transport that threaten eternal damnation to non-believers.
Some supporters of the movement had wanted a stronger slogan that denied God's existence categorically. But the word "probably" was included in order to meet ASA rules.
The British Humanist Association, which is co-ordinating the campaign, said it was confident the chosen wording will not be banned by the censor.
The ASA said: We are assessing these complaints to see whether there are grounds for an
Meanwhile the posting of atheist advertising on Barcelona's buses has been branded an attack on all religions.
Next week, Barcelona will become
the first city in Spain to copy the UK campaign when its buses use a direct translation of the slogan adopted in Britain. Madrid, Valencia and other cities are being targeted to run similar campaigns.
Probablemente Dios no existe. Deja de
preocuparte y goza de la vida, it reads, translating as There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life.
The campaign has provoked a reaction from the Catholic archbishopric of Barcelona. Faith in God is not a source of
worry, nor is it an obstacle for enjoying life, it said in a statement.
It is an attack on all religions, said Javier Maria Perez-Roldan of the church's Tomas Moro centre, blaming the socialist government for the privately funded
campaign: The government has created an atmosphere of belligerence.
Nutters have accused the ASA, Britain's advertising regulator, of failing to take action over a billboard campaign which attracted almost 300 complaints.
The firm behind the posters - which are 30 feet wide with the question Want Longer
Lasting Sex? has voluntarily taken them down them from several sites after local nutter protests.
The ASA is waiting until its officers have completed a report into the case due next Friday, Jan 9. The month-long advertising campaign will
have run its course and the posters will be in the process of being taken down regardless of the ASA's ultimate ruling.
An ASA spokesman said: If an advert is deemed to have caused widespread harm and offence we can order its immediate removal.
This is rare and was not felt to be the case on this occasion.
Ann Widdecombe, nutter Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald, said the posters should have been taken down immediately: The ASA should have used its powers to suspend the
advert while it was carrying out an investigation, rather than waiting until its investigation was complete . These posters are horrible and offensive, particularly at this time of year. People do not want to be confronted by them, especially if
they have children with them.
The billboard campaign is intended to promote the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI), a company which markets a nasal spray said to cure impotency. It has two clinics in the UK. AMI commissioned Titan - one of
Britain's biggest outdoor advertising agencies - to put up 190 of the hoardings around London, where the clinics are located.
After more than 80 residents in Barnet, north London, complained about the wording and the size of the posters, two were
removed from sites at Mill Hill, and outside Edgware Hospital. Brian Gordon, a Barnet councillor, said: It might seem old fashioned, but people around here believe there should be some degree of modicum when it comes to matters of a sexual nature. It
is a victory, alas rare these days, for public decency.
Another of the billboards, sited in Harrow, north-west London, was covered up following similar complaints from residents. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea also forced the
removal of one of the adverts.
In all, Titan have removed 10 of the billboards including a number which had been placed near schools and places of worship. In one case, the poster was placed within sight of a mosque in south London. On being told
an important religious ceremony was due to take place at the mosque, Titan moved quickly to remove the billboard. The company also removed one from close to a school and church in Wimbledon, south London, following complaints.
Steve Cox, Titan's
marketing director, said: We have to be sensitive because it is so public. But of itself the advert is not indecent. It's about a promoting a medical product to alleviate a genuine medical complaint. We felt the advert was legal, decent, honest and
truthful, but in some cases we have taken it down following complaints or after being made aware a particular billboard was insensitively located.