An art installation in a Brussels shop window has been forced to shut down early because of the violently negative reaction it provoked in some passers-by.
Mehdi Lahlou-Georges' exhibit took up the whole of the shop floor with an array of
Muslim prayer mats. Each mat had a pair of men's shoes next to it, except one which was occupied by a spot-lit pair of stilettos.
The shop window had stones thrown at it and was spat at before it was boarded up by the owners.
said that the Muslim community did not understand the message of his work.
Mediawatch-UK appoint Vivienne Pattison as director
Thanks to Dan From mediawatchuk.org.uk
Mediawatch-UK have issued a press release about their new director, Vivienne Pattison:
Mediawatch-uk, the campaigning organisation which fights for decency and standards in the media, announced today that it has
appointed Vivienne Pattison as its new Director.
Vivienne, previously an Account Director at Midas Public Relations, will be building on the work of her predecessors and providing an independent voice for those
concerned about taste and decency issues.
She will ensure that mediawatch-uk maintains its reputation for principled protest, informed comment and reliable research
monitors broadcast output, publishes reports about programme content and responds to Government and other consultations on broadcasting policy, as well as arguing for parliamentary accountability for broadcasters and greater public involvement in
broadcasting policy issues. mediawatch-uk plays an important role in promoting media literacy and in initiating discussion and debate.
mediawatch-uk Acting Chairman, John Milton Whatmore said: I am in no doubt that
in a media environment, the technology of which is changing faster than ever before, the need for mediawatch-uk is more apparent than at anytime during the last 50 years. I believe that, in Vivienne Pattison, mediawatch-uk has the person to meet the
challenges of ensuring that the Media is responsible for what it produces, and in safeguarding what the general public can reasonably expect from such sources .
Vivienne Pattison said mediawatch-uk performs a
vital role in creating good media values and seeking to protect the young and vulnerable from offensive and harmful material. Gordon Brown has expressed personal concern about the violence and pornography that children and young people are easily able to
access and I am looking forward to working with government and regulators to press for better standards in broadcasting.
Outgoing mediawatch-uk Director, John Beyer said: I am delighted that Vivienne has taken
over the role of Director. It remains essential that there is an effective voice speaking up for the viewer and listener in the digital age. I believe that Ofcom is failing to represent the interests of consumers and that is why mediawatch-uk will remain
a crucial organisation in the future.
The Melon Farmers welcome Vivienne to her new role and look forward to being amused by continued sound bite nonsense. John Beyer will be a tough act to follow, setting the highest
standard of puerile ideas such as ASBOs for TV and imprisoning porn viewers for 3 years.
The Health and Safety Department in Cologne, Germany, has barred the Body Worlds: Cycle of Life exhibition from depicting preserved bodies as if they are having sexual intercourse. The exhibit cannot show videos or photographs of the material,
Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley show corpses prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called plastination, that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin. The
cadavers are stripped of skin to show muscles and organs, and are often put in active poses, including playing baseball and football.
Previous exhibits have been met with a mixture of intrigue and criticism, but for years now, the corpses have
traveled the world as medical/art exhibits and been visited by more than 27 million people worldwide.
The two copulating corpses are only a portion of the latest exhibit, which covers conception to old age, but von Hagens said he is planning a new
show entirely dedicated to displaying the dead bodies having sex.
While some cities have shown the bodies in sexual positions, but covered by clothing, Cologne has banned the material outright, and the Catholic Church has condemned the exhibit as
a desecration of the human body. The copulating corpses also were banned in Augsburg and Zurich.
Catholic school officials at Lady GaGa's New York old school are following anti-suicide groups by reportedly blasting her gory performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on 13th September.
The singer stunned the star-studded audience at the Big
Apple ceremony with her most bizarre stage act to date with a shocking rendition of her hit Paparazzi.
GaGa danced with crutches alongside a wheelchair-bound performer while blood poured down her bare mid-riff. She was then surrounded by her
dancers, who acted as if to mourn her death, before her lifeless and blood-spattered body was pulled up from the stage on a winch as the curtain came down.
The performance sparked criticism from teen suicide prevention group PAPYRUS, whose bosses
accused her of romanticising suicide .
The singer later revealed that the quirky routine represented her private life being killed by the paparazzi.
However, GaGa, who attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart girls school as Stefani
Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has failed to justify her sensational show to the nuns who teach at the centre in Manhattan's Upper East Side. A source tells the New York Post, When someone showed the nuns a video of her bloody performance at Sunday
night's VMA Awards, the good sisters were not amused.
In 25 post-watershed programmes monitored last week, 'serious' expletives – 'fuck', 'shit' and 'piss' – were used a total of 155 times. When a similar monitoring exercise was carried out a year ago, the words were used only 127 times.
programmes monitored last week, the one with the most swearing was Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA , in which the 'fuck' was used 63 times and other 'serious' expletives 18 times. There were a total of 103 swear words used. Other major 'offenders'
were the film Stripes starring Bill Murray on Channel 5, which had 14 uses of 'serious' expletives, BBC1's Traffic Cops , with 12, and BBC2's The Last Days of Lehman Brothers , with 11.
John Beyer, the director of
Mediawatch-UK, said: Broadcasters are not really responding to the public concern about swearing on television. What happened last year was largely thanks to The Sunday Telegraph. A lot of the comments made by Michael Grade and Jana
Bennet were responding to the public concern there was. What your results show is broadcasters have paid lip service, made all the right noises, but they haven't actually done anything to reduce the level of swearing.
He accused the
Government and industry regulator Ofcom of ignoring the situation: With the government not prepared to intervene and with Ofcom failing to really enforce its code on swearing, there's little that an ordinary viewer, who continues to
be offended by this language, can do. I just think it's a situation that's out of control.
A spokesman for the regulator said: We regularly carry out research on viewers' attitudes, including to swearing on TV and
radio. The results have not varied much in recent years. Most people on balance are reasonably satisfied about the amount of swearing on TV and radio, with older viewers and listeners more concerned and younger ones less so.
defended the use of swear words, saying it had an alternative public service remit and at times will transmit content of a stronger nature which may not appeal to all viewers and that people knew what to expect from
notoriously foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay.
A spokesman for the channel said: Channel 4 strives to reflect social reality and strong language is part of that reality; potentially offensive language can feature when
scheduled responsibly, preceded by a warning and justified by context; strongest language is not broadcast before the watershed. We are confident that our target audience and regular viewers have the right expectations of Channel Four content, and we
have a strong track record on compliance.
The BBC also said swearing had a place on television. For the BBC, it is not about quotas or stopping the judicious use of strong language, but rather avoiding gratuitous use
and looking hard at context in terms of channel, genres of programme, time slot and audience expectation, a spokesman for the corporation said.
The Every three months the Federal Communications Commission comes up with its Quarterly Report on indecency complaints, and we sit around scratching our heads. How come the latest stats, in this instance for the first quarter of this year, show the
viewers relatively calm at 578 complaints in January, then 505 in February, followed by 179,997 in March?
179,997? Um, did we miss something? Did television really get that much more indecent in March? No worries. In these
situations, we know what to do. We go over and check out the Parents Television Council's website. And sure enough, there's a plausible instigator—a PTC viewer action alert crusade against a March 8 episode of the animated comedy show the PTC just loves
to hate, Fox TV's Family Guy.
For many years, polls have shown that the public neither understands the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings nor trusts them. Nevertheless, people assume the MPAA is an impartial body and that the ratings have some basis in moral,
ethical or child-development standards. When the public's confusion drifts over into the press, it is time once again to clarify the issue.
The rating for the recent bigoted and pornographic comedy Bruno is a prime example. It should have
been NC-17. Some countries even banned it.
Bruno contains not only graphic scenes of sodomy, intercourse and sadomasochism, but also a graphic oral sex scene and a close-up of a male sex organ. What arguably is worse, if that is possible,
are the movie's attacks on blacks, Jews and Christians.
Because the MPAA was helping one of its member's movies by giving it an R rating instead of an NC-17, we decided to ask local authorities to view the movie and rate it according to their
community standards. Community ratings boards used to be the norm. At one time, there were more than 300 of them in the United States. In response to our inquiry letter, several district attorneys said they would look at the movie to consider re-rating
We also told the public about some of the horrendous things in the movie. This is not censorship. Censorship by definition is prior restraint by the government. Because the movie already had been made, our action couldn't be prior restraint.
Also, because we are not a government agency, we cannot censor anything. Anyone, however, can warn family, friends and community, and we did just that.
From an illuminating TV interview with Sheikh Yousuf Al-Ahmad, a professor of Islamic law at Al-ImamUniversity in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Interviewer: A year ago, Sheikh Saleh Al-Lahidan issued a fatwa that made
all hell break loose. He demanded that owners [of liberal Arab TV channels be placed on trial] and repent. Do you support Sheikh Al-Lahidan's demand?
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Ahmad: I believe all Muslim scholars
support him in this.
I believe that one of our problems is that we continue to bury our heads in the sand, and talk about 'Lebanese' TV channels, as if we are being honest. Take LBC, for example. We all know who owns it. We should
say to [the owner] Al-Walid bin Talal: Beware. The same is true of MBC TV, Al-Arabiya TV, the ART and Rotana channels - all these [Saudi] channels serve to destroy Islam and the Muslims.
Regarding these base channels that I have
mentioned, and others like them - I have no doubt whatsoever that their danger to the Islamic nation is no less than that of the Zionist Jews, or of the Crusader Americans in Iraq and elsewhere.
Interviewer: What led you to such an extremist view? Note that you are equating channels owned by Muslims, by Saudi citizens, with the Jews.
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Ahmad: I wasn't equating them. I said they are more dangerous. I was being precise. In my view, the deadly poison that they are spreading has reached the bone marrow.
people who spread corruption in the land - whether highway robbers, drug dealers, or the owners of these TV channels, who are even more dangerous... These channels broadcast corruption and nudity. They are all people who spread corruption in the land,
and they should be tried in an Islamic court of law and sentenced to death. This [fatwa] is clearly in accordance with Islamic law. There's no doubt about it.
Our human nature may tell us that stoning is unacceptable, but this is a
punishment decreed by Allah. If Allah decrees death - this is how it should be. If the Islamic scholars ruled that the punishment for drug dealers is death, this is how it should be.
I believe that [the TV channel owners] are more dangerous than
all of these. Forget about whether or not they should be killed - we demand that they face trial in an Islamic court of law.
I call upon the good, honorable businessmen to contribute their millions in order to hire lawyers to file Islamic
lawsuits against these TV channels owners, and to persecute them legally. I call upon lawyers and good people in Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf states, in Egypt, in Yemen, and everywhere, to banish them from all Muslim countries.
Religious police in Saudi Arabia are cracking down on summer festivals and circuses intended by the government to boost domestic tourism, because they violate strict religious restrictions on singing, dancing, the mixing of unrelated men and women, and
evil circus performances, Reuters reported.
Circus acts such as fire-eating and lying on a bed of glass are seen as forms of magic outlawed by Sharia law.
These acts contradict the faith and must not be done, taught, spread or
encouraged, Reuters quoted religious police spokesman Abdullah al-Mashiti: They must be fought and those performing them must be reported and punished so as to be deterred and their evil restricted.
Unfortunately such actions
carried on by religious police do not adhere to the official political will and they sabotage the government efforts to improve and maintain the internal tourism industry, Reuters quoted Mahmoud Sabbagh, a Saudi newspaper columnist.
Christians came out in their droves to protest against a Marilyn Manson concert in California.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Pomona Fox Theater in Los Angeles County waiving placards and chanting pro-Christian messages.
the protesters, Rod Warner, told the San Bernardino Sun: The only thing I'm out here to accomplish is what the lord, Jesus Christ, through my belief, tells me to accomplish. And that's take his gospel to the lost.
Every shirt you see here
depicts nothing but death. They can say they're Christians if they want to, but the Lord says worship me with your heart not your mouth.
Marilyn Manson fan Cesar Haro was unimpressed with the protests, saying: a. "We think arguing
with these people is cool ... but we do think it's very disrespectful, though. They're disrespecting our area and our right to be here.
Despite the protests, the show went ahead as scheduled.
John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK initiated a petition on the 10 Downing Street website against swearing on TV:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make urgent representation to the Broadcasting regulator,
Ofcom, the broadcasting institutions operating in the UK and film regulators, asking them to stop the use of unnecessary swearing and bad language in their productions (including those available for downloading from websites) and to urge providers of
user-generated content to take similar action.
Beyer explained further:
Concern about the volume and nature of swearing on television made headlines when in November 2008 Michael Grade,
the Executive Chairman of ITV, observed that swearing had become “unrestrained” and “indiscriminate”. He also stated that people do not want to hear those words.
In May 2008 the Radio Times conducted an opinion poll, which found that 69% of
people believed there is too much swearing on TV. In November 2008 the Sunday Express launched a Clean Up TV Crusade focusing on the excessive use of swearing and the Sunday Telegraph conducted a poll which found that 56% of people thought the f*** word
should never be used on TV.
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) in its Communications Market reports for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 found that the majority of people believe there is too much swearing on TV.
mediawatch-uk believes that
swearing on TV has reached such proportions that it is threatening the English language, that it is undermining the Government's policies on Education to improve communication skills and hindering initiatives to restore respect and civility to our
The petition closed with 5917 signatures and therefore received a response from the government:
The Government believes that it is important that we have high standards across
our broadcasting sector particularly in public service broadcasting. However, it is a long-standing principle that the Government does not interfere in programme matters, either on arrangements for scheduling or on content, as it is important to maintain
the principle of freedom of expression which political interference could undermine.
For this reason, Ofcom, the BBC Trust and S4C are independent of the Government and are responsible for safeguarding the public interest in broadcasting. They
set out the rules and guidance with which broadcasters must comply. Within this framework, it is the broadcasters' job to make judgements about what individual programmes should contain and the time at which they are broadcast.
Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist , is under attack by a right wing Christian hate group. The Illinois Family
Institute, led by Laurie Higgins, is harassing well known atheist blogger Mehta.
According to Mehta, a high school math teacher, Higgins emailed his boss, his high school's entire administrative staff, and every school board member to inform them
about Mehta's private life as an atheist blogger. The attempt was to smear Mehta, claiming Mehta was unprofessional and unsuitable to be teaching because of his affiliation with atheism.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue has got wound up by a forthcoming episode of the Penn & Teller show. He wrote in Variety:
On August 27, Showtime, owned by CBS, will feature a vicious assault on Catholics. In
the season finale of Penn & Teller's show, they take on the secretive inner world of The Vatican, the holy city of Catholicism and home of the Pope.
How do we know it will defame Catholics? Because on the
show's website, it says so: There is a Showtime Advisory for Graphic Language, Adult Content.
What will the upcoming show be like? On his Twitter page, Penn Jillette brags how he rips a Catholic encyclical on sexuality: I'm dressed as
Darth with a condom cock light saber. He even boasts that the show is hardcore, admitting that we attack the Vatican. From trashing The Last Supper to mocking Catholic prayers, anti-Catholic bigots who feed on this kind of stuff will
have a stomach full.
CBS/Showtime needs to send Penn & Teller a message and let them know that they have crossed the line for the last time. This should be their final season. We know that they've been told before to drop the Catholic
bashing, and yet they persist. By doing so, Penn & Teller have effectively stuck their middle finger right in the eye of CBS.
Alice Cooper has been forced to scrap a forthcoming gig in Finland after the venue's owners reportedly objected to his controversial stage show on religious grounds.
According to Contactmusic, the rocker was due to play the Tampere
Areena on December 11, but officials have subsequently declared that the concert conflicted with their Christian-based policies.
Venue boss Harri Wiherkoski has since confirmed the cancellation and attributed the move to objections from
other clients who use the arena.
Gig promoter Kalle Keskinen told Finland's YLE News: [Several religious groups] and others use Tampere Areena for their events, so the venue's management did not want Alice Cooper appearing in the same hall.
The contract which we received from Tampere Areena specifies that no artists may perform there who 'incite evil and the power of darkness.
The promoters now hope to move the gig to the city of Espoo.
Harri Wiherkoski, managing director of Tampere Areena Oy (Tampere Arena Limited) noted, Artists who express suspicious values from Christianity's point of
view cannot be allowed to perform at the venue. He told a Finnish reporter We don't arrange concerts where Satanism or non-god-worshipping occurs.
The venue will not permit performances which may be construed as insulting to
Christianity, spelled out as follows:
Performances including representation of false gods, demons, evilness and forces of darkness and all these kind of symbols, words or markings are highly prohibited. These rules are valid also in all of the
advertisement and material related to the concert. Breaking this rule causes immediate cancellation of the contract, and a 100 000 € penalty fee.
Good news from Holland, where the prosecution department has decided to dismiss the cases against the TV show NOVA, and politician Geert Wilders. Both had reproduced the Mohammed cartoons on their websites.
In a statement (Google translation),
the prosecutor said: The cartoons are about the prophet Mohammed, not about Muslims as a group. None of the cartoons are offensive to Muslims or incite hatred, discrimination or violence against Muslims. Because the cartoons are not illegal,
publishing and distributing them is also not illegal.
The nutters of the Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment has asked the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to drop its failed ratings system and return to a standards-based Code of Decency, announced Dr. Ted Baehr,
Moveiguide's founder and publisher.
Moveiguide is also asking Americans to sign a petition urging the MPAA to end the ratings system and adopt a Code of Decency.
The MPAA's ratings system never worked really well, but it has gotten
much worse since it added the ambiguous PG-13 rating, Dr. Baehr said: Parents, especially mothers, can no longer trust the ratings for movies, especially in light of the PG-13 ratings for movies like THE LOVE GURU and LAND OF THE LOST, and the R
ratings for pornographic movies like BRNO.
Dr. Baehr said that the problem with the MPAA ratings is that they are not based on standards: This is not true of the Code of Decency, so it is clear that the entertainment industry must
return to the kind of system it had during the Golden Age of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Television, when it was a wonderful life in America because Mr. Smith went to Washington, Ricky still loved Lucy, and the Bells of St. Mary's rang out across the
Dr. Baehr said he will send the signed petitions to the Federal Trade Commission, which has been given the power to regulate trade in the United States, including the trade of the six major Hollywood studios that own the MPAA and
run the ratings system.
The followers of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) have staged a rally in Nalgonda demanding a ban on obscene films and closure of errant cinema theatres found screening such films. A large number
of girls from various colleges participated in the rally organized as part of a campaign against obscene films.
The activists removed obscene posters and set them ablaze at Subash Chandra Bose statue. SFI division secretary N. Saidulu demanded
that the government should ban sticking of all kinds of cinema posters on the compound walls of educational institutions: The authorities should close a town-based cinema theatre which earned notoriety for screening obscene films regularly.
Earlier, about 50 students led by All India Youth Federation (AIYF) staged a Quit obscenity demonstration in front of the Gandhi statue in Vijayawada. They were protesting against Telugu film Adavi , directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The
association leaders criticized the Censor Board for failing to curb obscenity in the film. They burnt the Censor Board's effigy, saying it was dead rather than alive.
ECPAT blame Brits for the meanmindedness of their government
Well if the Government legalised people enjoying themselves in a brothel or with a joint, then the money simply wouldn't end up criminal hands. Hardly the
fault of ordinary people when it is government policy that has made these trades illegal.
More than a fifth of Britons may be unknowingly contributing to child trafficking, a survey published today reveals.
People who buy pirate DVDs and roses from street vendors, smoke home-grown cannabis, give money to child beggars and use
prostitutes may be supporting what the United Nations has described as a modern day slave trade, says research published by ECPAT, the international campaign against the sexual exploitation of children.
According to the survey, published
at the launch of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness, 89% of those questioned were not aware that their activities may be contributing to illegal businesses run by networks who smuggle children from countries such as China, Africa and Afghanistan
If you engage in these activities then you are supporting the illegal economy and that includes trafficking, said Chris Beddoe, chief executive of ECPAT UK.
Suggestive clothing and explicit music videos are eroding society's values, said Dr Catherine White, clinical director of the sexual assault referral centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester.
Campaigners say girls are encouraged to copy
provocative images and young males react by treating them as sex objects, putting girls more at risk of sexual assaults and domestic violence.
Ms White said parents had a key role to play: There's an increasing sexualisation of children. When
you see a little girl wearing a T-shirt with a Playboy bunny, that's wrong isn't it? I've seen another that said "Porn star in the making".
Music videos are extremely influential, she added.
Ms White said the changing
attitude to young girls had an effect on potential abusers, too. I think it's all subconscious and there's a drip, drip, drip effect. All together it's having an effect on values. For the potential perpetrators, it's about knowing what's acceptable
and what's not acceptable.
Earlier this year the Government launched a study into the issue, led by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. She said she is looking at whether there is a link between exposure to these images and boys'
expectations about acceptable sexual behaviour.
Never underestimate the power of YouTube to leapfrog over a censor's red tape. The latest example involves a battle between Oscar-winning filmmaker Costa-Gavras and the newly opened Acropolis Museum in Greece.
Last week, the director asked to
withdraw his credit from an animated short that the museum was showing as part of a larger film about the history of the Parthenon. Officials at the museum had reportedly removed a scene from Costa-Gavras' movie after the Greek Orthodox Church objected
to what it saw as a depiction of Christian priests destroying parts of the ancient temple.
But on Tuesday, the Acropolis Museum said it had reversed its decision to cut the film after days of picketing and the threat of a lawsuit.
controversial scene, animated figures ascend ladders to destroy the Parthenon frieze. The scene is based on regular occurrences from the Byzantine era, during which Christians would lay waste to pagan temples and structures. A good part of the
controversy surrounds what the animated figures are wearing -- some say their black cloaks suggest they represent clergy from the Christian church.
Recently, some eager Web surfers posted a version of Costa-Gavras' movie on YouTube so the whole
world could see what the fuss was all about. The clip , originally posted by the site zougla.gr, features the offending scene at around the 1-minute 45-second mark.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has warned that social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace could lead to a rise in suicides.
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said the sites encouraged teenagers
to build transient relationships that can leave them traumatised when they collapse.
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said websites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace could be a factor in teenage suicides, following the inquest of
15-year-old Megan Gillan.
Nichols said the sites encouraged young people to put too much emphasis on the number of friends they have rather than on the quality of their relationships.
Among young people often a key factor in them
committing suicide is the trauma of transient relationships, he said: They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate. It's an all or nothing syndrome that you have to have in an
attempt to shore up an identity; a collection of friends about whom you can talk and even boast. But friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, he
said the internet and mobile phones were dehumanising' community life and that relationships had been weakened by the decline in face-to-face meetings.
Archbishop Vincent also condemned footballers who break their contracts to move to
other clubs for bigger salaries as 'mercenaries'. The Archbishop, who is a supporter of Liverpool FC, said there was a loss of loyalty in society that was typified by the attitude of some footballers: What football spectators appreciate is a bit of
loyalty and we're seeing that less and less.
An institution promoting the adoption of orphaned children has asked the Philippines Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to stop the public showing of Warner Bros.' Orphan because of the film's detrimental message.
The movie Orphan delivers a detrimental message about 'waiting' children in need of a 'forever family'. The trailer was deemed so offensive to some communities in America that the line 'It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as
your own' was removed, the group said in a statement.
Adoptions advocate Kim Michelle Richardson (USA) said the movie's tagline, There is Something Wrong With Esther, should be applied to the production company: There Is Something
Wrong With Warner Bros.
Lawyer Gwen Pimentel-Gana, president of the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines (Accap), said the group's member- agencies are terribly offended and appalled by the movie's negative story line
featuring an orphan little girl character as the villain. Maybe the MTRCB, before allowing movies like these, should be more sensitive to issues that affect the plight of orphaned, abandoned, neglected and dependent children.
The Pope has condemned a disgusting taxpayer-funded exhibition in which visitors are invited to write their stories back into the Bible
Visitors were offered pens by gallery bosses so they could write comments on the text - leading to a
host of puerile and 'obscene' remarks.
Pope Benedict's anger over the show, organised by council-funded arts body Culture and Sport Glasgow, was expressed by a senior Vatican priest.
The adviser to the Pope said: It is disgusting and
offensive. They would not think of doing it to the Koran.
Public complaints about the exhibit at the prestigious Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow have forced organisers to put the vandalised Bible on show in a locked case, while still
allowing visitors to write comments on blank sheets of paper. The staff moderate the comments and insert acceptable pages into the bible.
The Made In God's Image exhibit is the work of Glasgow artist Anthony Schrag. He wanted gays and
transsexuals who felt left out of religion to write their way back in to the holy text.
Schrag worked with members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Edinburgh on the project. But MCC minister Jane Clarke who devised the exhibit
said: I had hoped people would show respect for the Bible. I am saddened some have chosen to write offensive messages.
Writing our names in the margins of a Bible was to show how we have been marginalised by many Christian
churches, and also our desire to be included in God's love.
As a young Christian I was encouraged by my church to write my own insights in the margins of the Bible I used for my daily devotions - this was an extension of that idea. I still
have that Bible, although it's rather tatty now.
She added: It was never my intention to offend anyone - believers and non-believers alike. I had hoped that people would show respect for the Bible, for Christianity and indeed for the
Gallery of Modern Art. I am saddened that some people have chosen to write offensive messages.
A scene from an animated film shown to visitors at the new Acropolis Museum that depicts Christian priests destroying parts of the Parthenon has been deleted following protests by the Greek Orthodox Church.
The creator of the segment, Greek-born
French filmmaker Constantin Costa-Gavras, has demanded that his name be taken off the film credits in protest.
The priests used to destroy ancient temples. Now they want to remove scenes from a film, Costa-Gavras told Greece's Mega TV
channel: This is the kind (of censorship) that used to happen in the former Soviet Union.
Costa-Gavras' 1-minute, 40-second segment depicting the damage done to Parthenon over the centuries — from marauding Germanic warriors in 267 A.D. to
the removal of a large part of the frieze by British diplomat Lord Elgin in early 19th century.
The animated segment showed figures clad in black climbing up ladders and destroying part of the Parthenon frieze; the scene referred to
well-documented episodes of destruction that took place in the early Byzantine period (5th-8th centuries A.D.), when Christians often demolished monuments and temples belonging to the old pagan era.
Church officials contended the film
misrepresented the attitude of the Greek Orthodox Church toward Greece's ancient heritage.
Greek media reported the segment was excised after the intervention of Culture Minister Antonis Samaras.
A group of women who produced a 'nude' calendar to raise money for victims of abuse have had their donation refused by Scottish Women's Aid.
The organisation said it could not support the fundraising efforts of the 11 women from Alloa,
Clackmannanshire, because they had posed semi-naked.
The women, who raised £600 for the charity, said they had been inspired by the Women's Institute Calendar Girls. Morag Hill, who suffered domestic abuse for eight years, said she
came up with the idea of a calendar with business partner Katherine Cram as a way of raising money for Scottish Women's Aid.
She said: "When I phoned Scottish Women's Aid to tell them we had a calendar and I needed to know how we could
get the cash to them, the woman on the end of the phone said they would not be associated with it.
She said that they did not support women taking their clothes off to raise money and that they were a feminist movement. It made me feel
Out of the 11 women who took part in the calendar, five have suffered domestic abuse and wanted to do something to help other victims. We are not members of the sex industry; we are just trying to help, Ms Hill said.
But Scottish Women's Aid is adamant that the calendar is inappropriate. Jacqui Kelly said: "We are a feminist organisation and, of course, we are happy that these woman feel empowered by what they are doing. But we are
opposed to the sex industry, and we have an issue with women removing clothes."
Reacting to the controversy last night, Sandra Brown, of the Moira Anderson Foundation, a charity that helps victims of violence and sexual abuse,
said: It's a strange overreaction, because these women (in the calendar] are making their own decisions. It's about being assertive, and if these women have the self-esteem, then I would say 'go for it'. Unless something is abusive or deeply
offensive, people will see it in the spirit it is intended.
A small crowd gathered in Lewiston, Maine, to discuss witchcraft influences and overtones of the teen wizard series.
Watch out, Harry Potter fans — the Rev. Doug Taylor and his Jesus Party are battling for your souls.
There is a
battle raging for the minds of our children, and it's a moral battle, said Taylor, founder of the local ministry that aims to reach out to area youth: J.K. Rowling has truly bridged the gap between magical make-believe and paganism.
Taylor hosted a protest Tuesday on the eve of the release of
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince , the sixth instalment in the wildly popular movie franchise. Armed with a movie of his own, the documentary Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged — Making Evil Look Innocent, Taylor resurrected his
public stand that parents and schools should closely examine the occult influences found in the books and ban them.
In keeping with his tradition, Taylor opened the evening by tearing the pages from a hard-covered copy of a Harry Potter book.
Harry Potter teaches witchcraft to children through children, author Robert McGee said in the documentary: It's teaching children that witchcraft is something attainable. When a child is captured by witchcraft, they rarely choose to get
out until much later in life, after they've led a very miserable life.
I would not look foolish tonight if every church in town would take a stand against witchcraft, Taylor said as he ripped the book: And because nobody else will,
that's why I do it.
The muslim arsonists who tried to burn down the house of the publisher of The Jewel of Medina have each been sentenced to 4 years, 6 months in jail.
Sentencing Ali Beheshti and two accomplices, Mrs Justice Rafferty told them: If you choose
to live in this country, you live by its rules. There is no such thing as "a la carte citizenship" and, in your case, there is no such thing as "a la carte obedience" to the law.
Beheshti, a follower of hate cleric Abu
Hamza, poured diesel through the letterbox of Martin Rynja's £2.5million house and set it alight to punish him for agreeing to release The Jewel of Medina , a fictional account of the Prophet's child bride.
with accomplices Abrar Mirza and Abbas Taj he attacked the five-storey home and office of Rynja in Islington, North London. A small fire began but nobody was hurt because police and fire crews arrived in time to smash down the door and put it out.
John Beyer has announced his retirement from Mediawatch-UK
The many hundreds of responses from members to the news that I have decided to retire from mediawatch-uk after 33 years were over whelming and very humbling.
Speaking at the Annual General meeting in May, John Beyer said:
There were just so many letters and messages that it was impossible to reply to each one personally. The gifts that so many people sent were very
generous and the messages that accompanied some of them were very touching and will always be greatly treasured. Above all, these showed that mediawatch-uk is rather like an extended family with a unity of purpose that binds us all together.
In his reflection on his time with mediawatch-uk John said: The challenges now are far greater than when Mary Whitehouse pioneered the campaign in the 1960s. In those days there were just two TV channels and a handful of radio
stations. There was no internet, no computer games, no satellite or cable TV and video recorders were confined to the TV studios.
The greatest difference then, however, is that there was a much stronger public consensus of what was acceptable on
TV and what was not. There was greater certainty about what was good or bad taste and what was decent or indecent. Sadly, all that has changed and broadcasting and film have contributed significantly to the erosion of that consensus and the fragmenting
"The ongoing challenge for everyone involved is to reverse the responsibility-free attitudes and behaviour of the permissive 60s, which, combined with a political ideology, had a huge impact on the social, moral and economic
development our society and culture. I am confident that mediawatch-uk is up to the challenge. Please continue to support the new team".
The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, has defended biblical teachings from a bygone era and said the Church should not be rolled over by culture.
Dr Nazir-Ali spoke as tens of thousands of people, including Sarah Brown, the Prime
Minister's wife, joined the annual Pride London march to celebrate homosexual culture. A war of words broke out between Labour and the Conservatives over the issue of homosexuality last week after a minister accused the Tories of having a deep strain
of homophobia running through the party.
The bishop's controversial comments will reignite the battle over homosexuality in the Church of England ahead of what promises to be a divisive week for Anglicanism. A new coalition of evangelical and
Anglo-Catholic parishes, backed by Dr Nazir-Ali, will get under way, which critics have claimed is an attempt to create a "church within the church.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Nazir-Ali said: We want to uphold
the traditional teaching of the Bible. We believe that God has revealed his purpose about how we are made.
People who depart from this don't share the same faith. They are acting in a way that is not normative according to what God has revealed
in the Bible.
The Bible's teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.
We welcome homosexuals, we don't want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed.
The bishop added that it is not just homosexuals who need to repent, but all who have strayed from the Bible's teaching.