South Africa's Family Policy Institute has said it planned a national boycott of all businesses who advertised before, during and after the broadcasting of the Naked News programme on e.tv.
The sexual exploitation of women and children
fuelled by pornography contributes significantly to the rape and sexual abuse of women and children in South Africa, the institute's Errol Naidoo claimed in a statement: This campaign aims to send a clear message, not only to e.tv but the SABC,
DStv and Top Tv that Christian viewers will not tolerate smut on national television.
Naked News is an international news programme screened after the late night movie at 10pm, featuring female presenters who are nude or strip during the
Naidoo said he contacted over 2000 churches and their leaders to join the campaign given that the sexual content degraded and objectified women.
He advised them to block out the channel on DSTV and Top TV using the parental
control function, or tune out the channel until they have a snowy picture if viewing directly. He hoped that if enough viewers boycotted the channel, e.tv would lose advertising revenue and be forced to comply with their demands.
churches had already signed up for the mass switch off , including the Evangelical Alliance of SA, the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA, the Methodist Church of SA and the Baptists Union. This would amount to over eight million members boycotting the
channel, according to membership numbers of these churches provided by Naidoo, and assuming every member participated.
Church members and other concerned viewers had lodged complaints about the news bulletin with the Broadcasting Complaints
Commission of SA. The commission however said the bulletin was not in contravention of broadcasting standards. It is within the watershed time for adult viewing and gives a verbal warning beforehand, as well as an age restriction of 18 with nudity
that is shown throughout the show, spokeswoman Shouneez Martin said.
There is nothing degrading to women in e.tv's late night Naked News, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCCSA) have said.
A complaint lodged with the commission could not be upheld because the nudity in the programme was not indecent or
obscene, it said in a ruling.
The BCCSA tribunal had to decide whether the show, which airs on e.tv after midnight and features bare-chested women reading the news, contravened the Broadcasting Code. Nudity as such was not prohibited in
publications or films, and age restrictions and classification strived to exclude children from seeing it.
The BCCSA said the nudity portrayed was unlikely to contribute to violence against women, or to rape and added: The mere fact that the
nudity makes no contribution to a better society is irrelevant in law. It is part of the freedom of choice of adults whether they wish to watch the Naked News or not .
The BCCSA argued that if people found nudity offensive, they could switch
channels or turn the television off.
The Swedish diocese of Lund has been challenged about going against church policy by investing in companies that make money through distributing porn.
Despite guidelines from the Church of Sweden when it comes to pornography, the diocese of Lund
has chosen to place money in companies that distribute pornographic material, for example by investing in commercial media house MTG, which broadcasts late night porn on the film channel TV 1000.
Skoog is aware of the connection to TV 1000 and
Our strategy is to actively influence our fund managers not to invest in funds that make money this way and also get them to bring this up with the companies to try to influence these to stop..
But if the Church of Sweden would rule out all companies with connections to unethical industries there would be very few left to invest in and still be making money.
It is also really hard
to know where one should draw the line. All ethical funds have this problem, because it is always possible to ague that something could be used in an unethical way.
And if a fund proves to be less ethical than we would
prefer, we work actively in trying to influence them to change.
While cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who gained fame for his 2005 drawing of Muhammad wearing a turban bomb in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and his 19 co-defendants were nearly 3,000 kilometres away in Denmark, a blasphemy case against them got underway
in absentia in Jordan.
The case resumed last week with witness testimony. It was brought by a group of Jordanian academics, journalists, lawyers and politicians calling themselves God's Prophet Unites Us .
None of the defendants, or
any legal representation in their defense is taking part in the trial, which is being decried as nothing more than a show trial even by those who support the charges.
For his part, Westergaard said in April that he would have nothing to do with
the trial: I have not heard about this trial and have not been informed, the 75-year-old told AFP. In any case, I have no intention of going even if I am asked to. I do not want to risk becoming familiar with the Jordanian prisons, which would
The summons in the case accuses Westergaard and the 19 newspaper editors involved in publishing the 2005 cartoon of defamation, slander, blasphemy and inciting racism. If convicted, he could be sentence to 10 years in prison under
The odds of Westergaard actually serving time, however, are slim to none. Zaki Salem, an international law expert said that Interpol would not deport anyone for alleged crimes that fall under freedom of expression. Salem said he
could imagine no circumstance in which Westergaard would be deported to Jordan.
A pizza company caused nutter 'outrage' in New Zealand with billboards advertising hot cross buns accompanied by the slogan: For a limited time. A bit like Jesus. Instead of the traditional Christian cross, the buns bear an inverted pentagram. The
giant billboards, placed by the Hell Pizza company, have been posted around Auckland.
New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority received multiple complainants sharing similar views suggesting that the advertisement was: nothing short of
emotional and spiritual abuse; grossly offensive; was sickening distasteful , discriminatory and insensitive ; that the use of the Satanic symbols as well as the wording is blasphemous; that the advertisement mocks Easter
and its importance to the Christian faith; that it was inappropriate for tourists and children to see; was factually incorrect, inflammatory and promoted anarchy.
Additional matters raised by some Complainants included: showing the
Satanic symbol on the bun in place of a sacred cross symbol which therefore put Satan in Jesus' place was extremely offensive; that the Christian faith was being slandered and ridiculed in a way that wouldn't be accepted if it were directed
at other religions or minority groups; that by substituting the Cross with the Star of David belittles both Jesus and Jewish people; is a clear case of anti-semitism and a breach of Jewish Human Rights; that a characteristic of a healthy society
was mutual respect which the advertisement could damage.
The ASA considered:
Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
Rule 5: Offensiveness - Advertisements should not contain anything which in the light of generally prevailing
community standards is likely to cause serious or widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product (including services).
As a preliminary matter, the Complaints Board acknowledged that the number of complaints that had been received (179) about the advertisement was testimony to the fact that the billboard had caused deep offence to some people.
Turning to the
advertisement, the Complaints Board noted that the symbol that appeared on the bun, together with the statement For a limited time a little bit like Jesus had caused offence. Turning first to the symbol that appeared on the bun, the Complaints
Board clarified that it was an inverted pentacle - the symbol of the Church of Satan - but noted that some Complainants mistook the symbol for the Star of David and, as such, said that the advertisement denigrated the Jewish faith. However, because the
symbol was not the Star of David, the Complaints Board agreed that, with regard to this aspect of the complaint, any potential derision or ridicule that Complainants identified as caused to the Jewish faith by the advertisement was not relevant.
The Complaints Board then considered the possibility of serious offence, taking into account the context, medium and audience. The majority of the Board acknowledged that the message and the timing was deliberately provocative, but noted that socially provocative and sometimes confrontational advertisements were predictable from this particular Advertiser. The majority also acknowledged the deep offence the advertisement had caused some to Christians however; the majority was of the view that the imagery itself on the advertisement was relatively innocuous, and that any possible offence would be caused by people's understanding of the symbol and the text in the advertisement. However, the majority said that nothing in the advertisement had specifically attacked the tenets of Christianity, or the existence of Jesus, but instead had used the well-known promotional line:
here for a limited time in association with the Crucifixion.
The majority was of the view that, while provocative, the degree of black humour would be recognised by most people, including many Christians, and said that this humour - albeit
provocative - saved the advertisement from being likely to cause serious or widespread offence in the light of generally prevailing community standards. As such, the majority of the Complaints Board was of the view that the advertisement was prepared
with a due sense of responsibility to consumers and society and did not meet the threshold to reasonably likely to cause serious or widespread offence on the grounds of peoples' religious beliefs. Therefore, the Complaints Board ruled that the
advertisement did not reach the threshold to breach of Basic Principle 4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics, or Basic Principle 3 or 6 of the Code for People in Advertising.
A minority disagreed. Taking into account the context, medium and audience,
the minority said that the advertisement was highly visible to a wide cross-section of the general public and, in combination with the deliberate timing of the advertisement was offensive, socially irresponsible and a cynical exploitation of Christian
sensibilities at Easter. The minority also found that the advertisement was an attack that was aimed and timed specifically at Christianity and to offend Christians. As such, the minority found that the advertisement was reasonably likely to cause
serious or widespread offence on the grounds of peoples' religious beliefs. Therefore, the minority found that the advertisement was in breach of Basic Principle 4 and Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics, and Basic Principle 3 and 6 of the Code for People in
However, in accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled to not uphold the complaint.
Art erotica previously found for sale at Sears Online
An American department store has pulled pornography off of their virtual shelves recently in response to nutter 'outcry'.
Sears, already under much scrutiny after their sale of nude posters last August, experienced further hassle from the
American Family Association when the organization found out the family-friendly company was selling pornographic DVDs online.
X-rated videos were added to the Movies and TV Shows section and made available to adults.
'Outraged' by the new direction the recently appointed chairman, Edward Lampert, seemed to be taking the company, most likely due to the company's economic decline, AFA said they tried to settle the matter
quietly and professionally.
The conservative group first ordered one of the DVDs to make sure the movies were actually from Sears. Confirming their suspicions, they received Hot Mamas Like Young Chicks 3 in a Sears envelope with a
subsequent shipping label from a Sears distribution center. AFA reported that they were never asked to verify their age during the check out process.
The Christian organization had previously made a half-dozen attempts to 'reach out' to Sears only
to get one response: We're going to keep on selling them! In response, through an email blast sent to over two million supporters and post online, they appealed to others to take action by making a personal phone call to Sears and
leaving a direct message with Lampert.
Unless Sears hears from you, they will continue to sell hardcore pornography. Additionally, people could also send an email to Sears, make a call to the public relations department, or call the local
store manager and ask that their concerns be passed to the district manager.
Now, whether or not it was due to these complaints, Sears has ended porn sales:
We sincerely apologize to any customers who were
offended, Sears wrote in a statement to the AFA. Our agreements with our vendors prohibit content that is pornographic or sexually explicit in nature.
We are removing these items that do not meet our guidelines. We
regularly review our processes to ensure compliance by our vendors, and we encourage our customers and community to help us flag any items that they believe might violate our guidelines.
And within the span of half an hour,
Sears removed hundreds of pornographic DVDs from its website.
Tim Wildmon, president of AFA, thanked all of the supporters, and expressed in a statement:
Because you and thousands of others chose to get
involved, Sears could no longer defend selling pornography, nor could they continue to deny it! Thank you for taking action and convincing Sears to get out of the pornography business.
Together, and with God's help, we
are making a difference.
LA Zombie has been given an R18 rating and will screen in Auckland and Wellington at the glbt film festival. The film was banned by Australian censors.
The film follows an alien zombie who roams the streets of Los Angeles in search of
dead bodies and gay sex, an activity that reveals a gift of shagging the deceased back to life. It has full-frontal nude scenes and zombies with prosthetic cucumber-shaped penises. Starring French porn star Francois Sagat, it features wound
penetration and implied sex with corpses.
The Herald on Sunday says The Society for Promotion of Community Standards is shocked at the decision to allow the film to be screened, and has applied to the Film and Literature Board of Review to have
the decision re-examined.
David Lane, the society's executive director, claimed the film appeared to breach the law by including acts of torture and extreme violence, and by emphasising sexual conduct with bodies of dead people.
Chief Programmer Simon Fulton is confident LA Zombie won't be banned. He says it's definitely for a certain taste: It's grimy and grubby, some people will love it and some won't. It's a silly sort of zombie horror porn thing, but it's loads of fun to
Fulton says the film's use of an alien sexual technique to turn bodies into zombies is what has worried censors in some countries, but he says it's not necrophilia.
The annual Out Takes film festival opens tonight at Wellington's Paramount Cinema and runs until June 12.
This year it includes one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the past year - LA Zombie.
The film has become
notorious after it was banned from screening at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Directed by American Bruce LaBruce, it was refused classification by Australia's Classification Board.
An Indonesian film under fire for addressing inter-religious topics
An Indonesian movie, simply titled ? , has sparked nutter protests, but many Indonesians feel it is high time society talked openly about inter-religious topics.
The movie's characters explore struggles with their faiths through
scenes such as inter-religious marriage or workplaces that challenge the practice of their beliefs. One controversial scene has a character playing a Muslim working in a restaurant that sells pork.
The film has drawn flak from the hard-line camp,
such as the Islamic Defenders Front, which threatened to raid cinemas that screen it. It labeled some scenes blasphemous.
The Indonesian Ulema Council warned that it is considering banning the film for its bold portrayal of some issues, such as
implying that it is all right for one to abandon Islam, and for showing alternative paths to God, which the council said ? goes against its beliefs of championing the religion.
Hanung Bramantyo, the director of the movie, has a
different view: All I try to do with my films is to present different perspectives. The only way we can wage a proper battle against the stupidity and ignorance that cause so many problems in our lives is to strive for a well-rounded and informed
The Catholic Church has whinged at an Italian television advert in which a man resembling Christ tries to ward off the advances of an overweight dominatrix dressed in suspenders and stockings.
The advertisement, for a type of mobile phone
earpiece, shows the man tied to a bed in a pose that evokes Jesus on the cross.
Sweating and looking anxious, he winces when a woman in tights and high heels enters the room, thwacks whip on the bed and starts to straddle him.
can you help me? the male actor says in English, looking upwards as if to God.
The ad for a company called Nodis, was aired on the national television channel, Italia 1.
It's a sordid concept and incredibly insulting to those who
believe in Jesus Christ, said an editorial in Avvenire, a daily newspaper owned by the Catholic Bishops Conference. Related Articles
The newspaper's editor, Marco Tarquinio, said the commercial should never have been made. He suggested that
Catholics offended by the ad should stop watching the channel and boycott the company's products.
An association of Catholic television viewers, Aiart, made a formal protest over the commercial saying: The reference to Christ is explicit and
deeply offensive to religious sentiment .
Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and 19 other Danish journalists and editors went on trial in Jordan on charges of blasphemy over the publication of the controversial Mohammed cartoons six years ago.
None of the defendants appeared in the Amman court.
The judge, Nathir Shehadah, decided to conduct the trial in absentia after he considered that the publication of arrest warrants and indictments in the local press served as legal notifications. The trial was adjourned to May 8, when the tribunal
will be scheduled to hear defence witnesses.
The lawsuit was filed by the God's Prophet Unites us Campaign , a coalition of Jordanian academics, lawmakers, unionists, journalists, lawyers and politicians.
The list of charges,
which has already been approved by the Jordanian public prosecutor, includes blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed and humiliation of Islam and Muslims.
Nutters claim that the film, Habemus Papam by the Italian director Nanni Moretti, is an instrument of Satan and is particularly offensive as it has been released in the approach to Easter.
Bruno Volpe, the Catholic lawyer, has
launched suit for defamation against Moretti and the producers under the terms of the Lateran Pact, which extends the same protections to the prestige of the pope as to the Italian president. Volpe said Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope) , never
mentioned the current Pope by name but it was nevertheless clear that it was a parody of Pope Benedict XVI and dishonoured the figure of the Pontiff in general.
Salvatore Izzo, a Vatican expert, branded the work disrespectful and boring in an open
letter to Avvenire, the Catholic bishops' newspaper. He said Catholics should boycott the film. Why should we support financially that which offends our religion? he asked, admitting he had not seen the film.
Antonio Vacca, the bishop of
Alghero, described Moretti as an instrument of Satan for separating man from God .
When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ , he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.
The photograph, full title
Immersion (Piss Christ) , was made in 1987 as part of Serrano's series showing religious objects submerged in fluids such as blood and milk. Serrano defended his photograph as a criticism of the billion-dollar Christ-for-profit industry and
a condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends . It was also vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007.
Civitas, a lobby group that says it aims to
re-Christianize France, launched an online petition and mobilised other christian groups.
The archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called Piss Christ odious and said he wanted this trash taken off the gallery walls.
Last week the gallery complained of
extremist harassment by fundamentalist Christian groups who wanted the work banned in France. Lambert, one of France's best known art dealers, complained he was being persecuted by extremists who had sent him tens of thousands of complaint
emails and bombarded the museum with spam. He likened the atmosphere to a return to the middle ages .
On Saturday, around 1,000 Christian protesters marched through Avignon to the gallery. The gallery immediately stepped up security,
putting plexiglass in front of the photograph and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it. But on Palm Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the exhibition. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard
grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object. The attackers also slashed a Serrano photograph of a meditating nun.
gallery director, Eric Me'zil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show so people can see what barbarians can do . He said there had been a kind of inquisition against the art work.
The French culture minister, Frederic
Mitterrand, condemned the vandalism as an attack on the fundamental freedoms of creation and expression, but recognised that the art work could shock audiences.
Fast-food chain McDonalds has had to scrap an ad from the Philippines. According to reports, the ad offended Catholics and Catholic leaders.
The commercial shows a young five-year-old girl asking a boy of the same age if she can be his
girlfriend. The boy however rejects the girl. He then goes on to complain that women are too demanding.
The girl then tells the boy that all she really wanted was some French fries from McDonald's. After the boy hears this, he smiles and holds her
hand while walking to McDonalds.
Church leaders complained about the advert, saying it sent the wrong message to children. Bishop Deogracias Yniguez, a senior member of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said concerns had centred on having very
young children doing such an adult-themed commercial: We should be very sensitive and recognisant of the culture and the values of our country .
After discussion with the Bishops, McDonald's issued a statement, saying:
We recognise and respect the stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and have stopped airing the said commercial across all television stations.
Over the years, we have
strived to produce advertisements that highlight positive values like love for family and charity which mirror what the brand stands for. McDonald's remains committed in promoting positive values and will continue raising the bar to be better at what we
do whether it is our food, our service, to even how we communicate to the public.
A Jordan court case will begin this month accusing Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard of blasphemy over the famous cartoon depicting Mohammed wearing a turban bomb.
Zakarya Sheikh, spokesman for a group of local media outlets that sued Westergaard
in 2008 said that the artist and others have been summoned by a magistrates' court in Amman to stand trial on April 25.
These legal measures seek to prevent attempts to insult Islam and incite racial hatred against Muslims worldwide,
particularly in Europe, Sheikh told AFP.
Kurt Westergaard has been quoted in local news reports as saying that he would like to go to Amman to stand trial. However, what I fear is that I am convicted in advance. I have no problem with Islam
but with the terrorists. He said he respects Islam but will not apologise.
A Catholic diocese in Poland has warned that the Harry Potter books are unacceptable because they encourage instructions to practise magic .
The letter from Gliwice diocese also warned that in the best-selling books the dangerous
world of magic is presented as good , and preached about the dangers of Halloween and the ancient and pagan Polish traditions associated with St Andrew's day when people try to predict the future.
It suggested that: Teachers and parents
should teach children to go the Lord Jesus if they have problems, and not seek help and answers from fortune telling. .
A society promoting Hindu Vedic traditions has approached the Madras High Court with a plea that the Union government and Central Board of Film Certification be directed to revoke the censor certificate issued to Tamil film Sattapadi Kutram ,
produced by S.A. Chandrasekaran.
According to the petitioner, the film contains several scenes hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. Members of the petitioner's society were shocked while watching the movie in which one of characters,
dressed as a Hindu sannyasi/guru wearing saffron clothes was involved in illegal, deceitful, immoral and dishonest activities, the petitioner said.
it has been stated that scenes depicting Hindu ascetics as terrorists and police killing them in an
encounter hurts the sentiments of the Hindus world-over.
The producer and director of the film had created the character with a mala fide intention to hurt the religious feelings and faith of Hindus, the petitioner added.
that there were scenes that depicted the judiciary in bad taste too: The director had been highly irresponsible in his unwarranted interference with the judiciary .
The scene in which a corrupt High Court judge is kidnapped by the youth and
threatens him to deliver judgments according to their whims and fancies was also criticized by the High Court Judge Jyothimani.
The petitioner sought a court direction to the director of the film to remove all unwarranted scenes from the
At the polling station set up at St Catherine's Catholic Church, Gymea, Monsignor Brian Rayner ordered a Greens party volunteer remove himself and his political posters from his property because of ideological differences.
whose Gymea church was paid $550 by the Electoral Commission to be leased as a polling booth for the day, told The Sun-Herald he would not have let the Sex Party or the Communist Party on church premises either.
I am environmental ... But why
would I allow a group who are pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, pro-same-sex marriage and anti-Catholic teaching on private property?
Instead, Monsignor Rayner told Greens volunteer Colin Ryan he could stand on the adjacent footpath.
said he had never encountered anything like this. I thought it was a joke at first .
Greens MP John Kaye called it a violation of free speech.
The church has to make up its mind. If it wants to be part of the democratic process
then it has to allow for freedom of expression. If not, then it should remove itself from elections and miss out on the public funding.
An Electoral Commission spokesman claimed it was powerless to intervene. Such disputes were matters ...
between the parties concerned .
Sex Party president Fiona Patten said that religious organisations were paid good money to use their tax-exempt premises for a public service and they had abused that relationship. These two examples of intimidation and favouritism being evinced by
clergy at polling booths, are clear indications of a breach of Section 151 of the NSW Electoral Act which expressly forbids this sort of behaviour under threat of 100 penalty points or 3 years jail , she said. The fact that an alleged Electoral
Commission official has even come out in the Southern Courier backing the priest's actions and telling the Sex Party to Stop trying to blame the Catholic Church for all your woes , is highly irregular and shows bias on this issue .
said that the Electoral Commission was very strict about what could be displayed on the perimeter of a polling place and the Sex Party and the Greens had adhered to these conditions. The NSW Electoral Commission must have a role to play to ensure that
conditions are respected , she said. They need to clarify for the public whether these instances of interference are acceptable or not. If the priests had ordered Labor and Liberal posters taken down this would be under investigation now .
She said that it was incredibly hypocritical of church officials to take aim at Sex Party and Greens' policies on sex and gender, when their own backyard was littered with the broken lives of thousands of sexually abused children and they still would
not allow women as priests.
The Sex Party has formally written to the NSW Electoral Commission asking for an investigation of the matter.
A pizza company has caused nutter 'outrage' in New Zealand with billboards advertising hot cross buns accompanied by the slogan: For a limited time. A bit like Jesus. Instead of the traditional Christian cross, the buns bear an inverted pentagram.
The giant billboards, placed by the Hell Pizza company, have been posted around Auckland.
Lloyd Ashton, a spokesman for New Zealand's Anglican Church, condemned the advertising campaign as disgraceful:
It's disrespectful to what a lot of people hold very dear.
They've dared here to take a clumsy poke at something that numbers of people hold sacred.
Patrick Dunn, the
Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland, said:
I suppose in some ways they are acknowledging that Jesus was around for a limited time, but a number of people might decide to boycott Hell pizzas for a while and I will be
one of them.
New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it had received complaints about the billboards and would be investigating.