US morality campaigners of the Parents TV Council have written to US TV stations asking them to boycott NBC's The Playboy Club .
They wrote in a letter:
About 200,000 Americans are porn addicts – meaning they spend 11 hours or more per week looking at pornography. Forty percent of sex addicts lose their spouses, 58% suffer financial losses, one third lose their jobs.
Pornography use increases the risk of marital infidelity by more than 300%. Fifty-six percent of divorce cases involved one person having an obsessive interest in pornography. Severe clinical depression is reported twice as frequently among
pornography users as among non-users.
[Various internet sources estimate about 50% of US marriages end in divorce. Perhaps 40% quotes above is actually better than the norm].
I call these statistics to your attention because I assume you must be unaware of how damaging the pornography industry is to our society, to our families, and to individuals. Otherwise, how on earth could you, in good
conscience, agree to broadcast in your community a program that glorifies and glamorizes this insidious industry?
I am referring, of course, to NBC's plans to air The Playboy Club this fall and am writing to urge you, on behalf of the Parents Television Council's 1.3 million members, to preempt the program in your community.
The PTC has received from its members a number of canned responses from NBC affiliates across the country, praising the upcoming series as a sophisticated series about the transitional times of the early 1960s and the
complex lives of a group of working-class women.
Putting a veneer of sophistication on an industry that exploits women and destroys families is not laudable, it is disgraceful. In what manner does such the airing of such material reconcile with your public interest
obligations as a broadcast licensee? Whatever positive spin you may wish to put on the series, it is undeniably a betrayal of the trust you have built over the years with America s families – the owners of the broadcast airwaves that you will
be using to force this content into the living rooms of every family in your community.
According to Shelley Lubben, founder of the Pink Cross Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping victims of the pornography industry, "What's shown in The Playboy Club is not real…The series looks like it's
all cute, taking place back in the old days. It seems harmless, but then they show a quick clip of three people going at it in the bathroom. NBC is breaking the law with this show. They're not meeting FCC standards."
If you proceed with plans to air this series in your community, be assured that the Parents Television Council will be carefully reviewing every episode and will urge its members to file complaints with the Federal
Communications Commission about any content that may be in violation of broadcast decency laws.
Please be mindful that it is the affiliate, not the network, that will ultimately bear the financial burden of an FCC fine should any of the content be found to violate broadcast decency laws.
In a recent declaratory ruling, the FCC affirmed affiliates ability to pre-empt any network programming that is unsatisfactory or unsuitable or contrary to the public interest. The record on this is clear:
contracts between networks and their affiliates may not legally prevent preemption of programming that does not meet LOCAL COMMUNITY standards. As a station manager you not only have a right, but an obligation to preempt programs like The
Playboy Club that fail to meet that standard.
Utah NBC affiliate KSL has already announced that it would not be showing The Playboy Club, stating that the station's values are completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.
Is the Playboy brand consistent with your station's values? Broadcast stations are required by law to take into account the public interest. How does this program serve the public interest? Would members of your community
Apple has removed its iTunes store from the Christan Values Network (CVN.org) after more than 22,000 people were angered by CVN's funding of anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and
called on Apple to take action.
The action follows Microsoft's similar decision to leave CVN two weeks ago, prompted by another customer-driven campaign on Change.org. Several other companies have also removed their online stores since then, including REI, Macy's, Delta
Airlines, BBC America, and Wells Fargo.
Started by Ben Crowther, the campaign picked up significant momentum after 13,000 signed another petition. Crowther said:
From the beginning, I knew that once this issue was brought to Apple's attention, they would not want to be a part of CVN because it funds anti-gay hate groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Apple
is a fair-minded business. I'm glad this petition helped make Apple aware of this issue, and I am thrilled that they removed iTunes from CVN.
Spain-based Berjuan Toys' Breast Milk Baby comes with a halter top that a child wears to nurse the doll. The garment has two patches (flowers if it's a female doll; stars if it's male) where the child's nipples would be. The doll makes
motions and suckling sounds when a sensor in its mouth comes close to a sensor inside a patch.
The $69.99 toy has whipped up nutter debate about the appropriateness of children playing nursing the baby, even spurring the creation of a Facebook page, Against 'The Breast Milk Baby' Doll, and inciting the ire of Fox News' Bill
O'Reilly. In March, when word came that it would soon be sold in the USA, he said it pushes kids to grow up too soon. Two million have been sold in Europe.
Pretend nursing is a common form of imitation play among children who see nursing at home, says Jeanette Mesite Frem, a counselor for breast-feeding mothers in West Boylston, Mass. Just like they'll want to grab a broom and sweep or
vacuum. Anything they see you do, they want to try to do it. But this almost feels like forced play. It doesn't seem very natural. And the halter top that the girl has to wear does not help, Frem says. It seems kind of Madonna-ish.
Psychologist Susan Bartell, a contributor to babycenter.com, is uncomfortable with the doll in part because the 3- to 6- year-old kids it's intended for are not developmentally at a point where they think about their bodies in terms of
nurturing a baby. This isn't really something they should have to think about, she says.
Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer described the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as part of my training-simulation in his 1500-page manifesto published online just before the massacre.
The development has predictably led the Australian Christian Lobby to call for games to be banned if the violence is excessive or gratuitous.
The Australian federal government have said that Breivik committed the atrocities because there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him , not because he played violent video games.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said Modern Warfare 2 , rated MA15+, is one of the games that should be reviewed to have a more restricted R18+ rating.
In his manifesto entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik described his addiction to the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft and claimed it was a good cover story to explain what he was doing while plotting the
Breivik described the game Call of Duty, Modern Warfare as the best military simulator out there , said he usually preferred fantasy role-playing games to shooters but I see MW2 more as a part of my training-simulation than
anything else . I've still learned to love it though and especially the multiplayer part is amazing. You can more or less completely simulate actual operations, he wrote.
On World of Warcraft, Breivik said you will be amazed on how much you can do undetected while blaming this game . If your planning requires you to travel, say that you are visiting one of your WoW friends, or better yet, a girl
from your 'guild' (who lives in another country). No further questions will be raised if you present these arguments.
Australia's Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor was asked on ABC's Insiders about the link between video games and the Oslo shooting. O'Connor said it would not change his support for the R18+ rating for video games, which he
argued would prevent adult video games from slipping through as MA15+ or lower:
At the moment the most popular adult-themed games that are played only lawfully by adults around the world are played by 15 year olds here.
But look, because there is a madman who has done just such atrocities in Norway, I don't think that means that we are going to close down film or the engagement with games, he said.
I think it really points to, of course, a person who - clearly there is something wrong with this person to sort of cause such devastation in Norway. But I'm not sure that the argument goes that as a result of watching a
game you turn into that type of person. I think there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him.
The Australian Christian Lobby managing director Jim Wallace criticised O'Connor over his remarks and said that if even a few deranged minds could be taken over the edge by an obsession with violent games then the game should be banned.
The studied indifference of this killer to the suffering he was inflicting, his obvious dehumanising of his victims and the evil methodical nature of the killings have all the marks of games scenarios, said Wallace.
How can we allow the profits of the games industry and selfishness of games libertarians to place our increasingly dysfunctional society at further risk? Even if this prohibition were to save only one tragedy like this each
twenty years it would be worth it.
Iran's former culture minister, Ataollah Mohajerani, has criticised the country's supreme leader for restricting access to literature after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly attacked harmful books and likened them to poisonous drugs.
In a meeting with librarians and officials from Iran's book industry, Khamenei spoke out against books with a cultural appearance but with specific political hidden motives. Not all books are necessarily good and not all of them are unharmful,
some books are harmful.
Mohajerani who was culture minister until 2000 under the reformist president Mohammad Khatami, said the ayatollah was worried about literary, philosophical and social books that might raise questions about his legitimacy as the supreme
leader. I think that he is very much concerned about books that can either implicitly or explicitly target his position as the supreme leader and also his legitimacy.
In his speech, Khamenei, whose pronouncements are often interpreted as official guidelines, refused to give more details on which books he deemed harmful . However, titles ranging from uncensored version of Plato's Symposium to
Louis-Ferdinand Celine's Journey to the End of the Night and works by James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kurt Vonnegut and Paulo Coelho have been banned in recent years by Iran's ministry of culture and Islamic guidance which vets all
books before publication:
Those responsible in the book industry should not let harmful books enter our book market on the basis that we let them [readers] choose [what they want to read].
Like poisonous, dangerous and addictive drugs which are not available for everyone without restrictions ... as a publisher, librarian or an official in the book industry, we don't have the right to make [such books]
available to those without knowledge, he said. We should provide them with healthy and good books.
His comments stem from a traditional clerical mentality that clerics guide people as shepherds guide their sheep, this is a viewpoint that doesn't have any place in today's life.
Michele Bachmann is the first Republican candidate to sign a nutter pledge committing her to fighting pornography and arguing homosexuality is curable.
The pledge is the work of Bob Vander Plaats, an Iowa religious right kingmaker who runs an organization called The FAMiLY LEADER. (The lowercase i is meant to emphasize individual submission.) Though Vander Plaats has repeatedly failed in
his attempts to become Iowa's governor, he nevertheless has a strong following among the state's hard-right evangelicals.
Vander Plaats has sworn not to endorse anyone who doesn't sign his pledge, titled The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY.
Signers promise to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and to protect soldiers from intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds, a roundabout attack on gays in the military. There's a commitment to protect women
and children from seduction into promiscuity as well as from porn, although it's unclear what such protection would entail. It also demands the rejection of Sharia Islam which it labels a form of totalitarian control.
The pledge obligates signers to commit to:
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy --- our next generation of American children --- from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and
prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is in discussions with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to 'train' commentators and wrestlers, following a minor reference to 'homos' at an event for the 4th of July weekend.
At a live WWE event in Australia, wrestler CM Punk was caught on camera directing a few insults, including 'homos', towards a heckler. The show was not broadcast on TV.
On his Twitter account, the wrestler thanked the TMZ website for airing the video and apologized for what he'd said.
WWE told TMZ:
WWE does not condone this type of language or bias and we reinforce that with our talent who are independent contractors.
As for how this fits in with our ongoing work with WWE, GLAAD provided training to members of WWE's editorial staff and writing team in May, but because this event was not intended to be televised, and it took place during
an unscripted interaction with the audience, none of the people we had already trained were involved. As a result, we are now in discussions with WWE to provide trainings to its on-camera talent, including the wrestlers themselves.
WWE officials also told GLAAD that CM Punk's contract will expire in a few weeks, he will not be immediately renewed, and he will no longer be with WWE as of July 18.
HBO, you're busted. In the sport of female frontal nudity, no one can beat the pay-cable channel for copious breast scenes ( Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire , etc.) --- and that's not a good thing.
So maybe it's time to tone down the tits.
I write the word knowing it is going to render my editors and readers apoplectic --- why not use the less crude breasts? Because I don't mean breasts. Breasts are what you see on cable during a lovemaking scene or
when a character is caught unawares or when, as in the season finale of Game of Thrones, the last of the Targaryens rises, naked and miraculous, from her husband's funeral pyre with three baby dragons clinging to her.
Tits are what you see in a strip club or a brothel, when conversations or action between men, which usually have nothing to do with said strip club or brothel, are surrounded by nameless and silent women lounging or gyrating
about in various stages of undress.
In one episode of Game of Thrones, the upper frontals got so gratuitous --- two women teaching themselves the tricks of prostitution while a male character, fully clothed, muses about his personal history and
definition of power --- that fans took to Twitter to complain. Even the fine finale included a young nude woman washing her particulars while her elderly john monologued about the nature of kings.
Why a newspaper editorial about the naked bodies on the pay cable channel is a remnant of the Puritan mentality
Maybe it's time to tone down the tits, writes Mary McNamara, TV critic of the Los Angeles Times.
She's talking to HBO, a cable channel that she says is once again in full stride...with Emmy-winning movies, a panoply of well-done documentaries, successful comedies and dramatic hits both popular --- ' True Blood
' --- and critical --- Boardwalk Empire , Treme . And now it has another hit, Game of Thrones -- a series based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy fiction that happens to include female nudity.
No operation that's producing this much good TV needs to be airing so much female nudity; that's the specious starting point of McNamara's column, the notion that nudity is not one ingredient in an R-rated stew of elements
on HBO series -- Game of Thrones in particular -- but something that a cable channel shows because the programs themselves aren't interesting otherwise. Really, now, HBO, you're better than this, she's saying -- conveniently disregarding
the fact that HBO has been showing sex and nudity, along with graphic violence and profanity, since its creation in 1975.
Iran's minister of cultural and Islamic guidance has attacked an upcoming BBC2 documentary series on the life of the founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad, saying the enemy was attempting to ruin Muslims' sanctity .
The three-part series, The Life of Muhammad , presented by Rageh Omaar, a Somali-born British Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English, is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC2 in mid-July and has been drawing increasing criticism from
senior figures in Iran.
The documentary makers say it seeks to retrace the actual footsteps of the prophet from his birthplace in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, his struggles with his prophetic role and divine revelations, his migration to Medina and
establishment of the first Islamic constitution before his final return to Mecca following armed conflicts.
The BBC has made clear that its series is in line with Islamic tradition and it does not depict any images of the face of Muhammad, or feature dramatic reconstructions of Muhammad's life .
But the Iranian culture minister, Mohammad Hosseini, who has not seen the programme, said in an interview that he was worried about the BBC film. Speaking to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, he said: The BBC's decision to make a
documentary on the life of [the] prophet Muhammad seems dubious and if our suspicions are proved to be correct, we will certainly take serious action.
Hosseini added: What the enemy is trying to do in ruining the Muslims' sanctity is definitely much more than causing us to react and unfortunately, some Islamic countries are not taking this issue seriously. One way to show objections is to
express condemnation of the West over their despicable actions.
The miserable nutters of the Westboro Baptist Church have announced plans to picket Ryan Dunn's funeral. The Jackass prankster died in a car crash on Monday.
Citing the porn-level filth the deceased pervert hawked during his Jackass career (specifically, inserting a toy car up his rectum for entertainment ), Fred Phelps' band of haters will descend on any public
memorial/funeral held for Dunn to protest.
Ryan Dunn Is In Hell! announces the group's press release, which slams his vulgar stunts supposedly enabled by raping priests, selfish faithless parents and lying fag/dyke/whore 'teachers' [who taught] him and his entire
generation to sin like the devil himself.
The depiction of Mohammed in a cartoon in a school book has raised a storm in Lucknow. Muslim bodies are up in arms, demanding immediate withdrawal of the book and threatening to take to the streets if action was not taken within three days.
This is blasphemy. No Muslim will accept this, said All India Shahi Dargah Committee president Maulana Hashmi. He has demanded that Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal resign, taking moral responsibility for the error.
The cartoon has appeared in the book Moral education ethics.
Nutters of the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography believe that NBC's new series The Playboy Club is promoting the cause they are fighting against. The group say that the show will contribute to the sexual exploitation
of women and promote the acceptance of pornography all while making a profit.
Patrick A. Trueman, the President of Morality in Media said in a statement:
Since the 50s, sleazy Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Magazine has pushed a philosophy which dictated that, to the 'sophisticated man,' the female is a mere toy to be used, abused and discarded. That philosophy has inflicted
unimaginable harm to our society, now documented by years of research.
Today -- with the cooperation of NBC and the network's use of the public airwaves -- Playboy is poised to cause even more harm, this time bringing its sleaze directly into America's living rooms. We don't need NBC to pour
more fuel to that fire.
The Playboy Club is scheduled air on NBC in autumn 2011.
NBC's The Playboy Club will not be part of NBC affiliate KSL's autumn television lineup.
The Playboy Club promotes a brand that we just cannot support, said Mark Willes, president and chief executive officer of Deseret Media Companies (DMC), the parent company of KSL: We would be helping to build a brand that stands for
pornography. For us, that's just untenable.
We would never accept an ad from The Playboy Club, just as we don't accept ads for alcohol or gambling, he said.
DMC this year launched an anti-pornography campaign called Out in the Light. Airing a show that carries the Playboy name is not something KSL cares to do, said Michelle Torsak, vice president of programming for KSL, who chairs the
campaign: I'm fairly liberal and I believe the marketplace decides, most of the time ...BUT... this is a no-brainer for me. We cannot in good conscience air a brand we don't believe in. There's a lot of creative, clever, fun
entertainment out there. Let's look for that.
It's a good decision, according to Pamela Atkinson, chair of the nutters of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography: We know for a fact that there are people who became addicted to pornography after they started off with Playboy . It's
an appetite that grows and it also shows women in a demeaning light, portrayed as sex objects.
Anti-porn nutters are targeting advertisers of The Playboy Club , an NBC drama based the chain of nightclubs started by Hugh Hefner, in an effort to get the television network to cancel the controversial show before its fall debut.
Florida Family Association is joining the campaign against NBC over the show. The group said it will document all the advertisers of the show and publicize the names of those companies online and in emails to supporters.
David Caten, FFA executive director, said he plans to target Comcast and NBC to urge them to pull the show, according to Sunshine State News. The group also plans to pressure Playboy Club show advertisers to withdraw their sponsorship.
Nutter campaigners are up-in-arms over the imminent release of the supposedly offensive parody of a children's bedtime book.
The book, entitled Go the F*** to Sleep , looks and sounds like an ordinary kids' book, but has swear words on every page. It was written as a spoof, based on the author's experience as a Dad.
Author Adam Mansbach told the Today Show:
It started with some sleepless nights and a Facebook post where I jokingly said I was going to write, I said 'look out for my forthcoming children's book, go the F*** to sleep'. And a couple of weeks later actually sat down
and wrote it
The book is due for release in the US next week, after being available online for months, and a leaked PDF has gone viral via websites like Facebook. Now, it is Amazon's bestseller on pre-orders alone, and turned the American author into an
Family First director Bob McCoskrie told ONE News:
The book features a father trying to get his young child to sleep - a common experience of parents. It is littered with offensive language, but most disturbingly, looks and sounds just like a children's book, said
I think it sends all the wrong messages.
The family campaigners are supposedly worried about the effects it may have on dysfunctional parents, and are now calling on bookstores to ban its sale.
While in an adult context, the book may be harmless and even amusing, we have grave concerns about its effect on aggressive and dysfunctional parents, and also on children who are attracted to the book.
We'd rather parents spent their hard earned money on a book on quality parenting, or a book that they can enjoy reading to their child.
He said he is already written to two book distributors, Booksellers Association and Paper Plus New Zealand, urging them not to stock it. But book sellers say it will be on shelves in a month.
McCoskrie said Family First is now considering a complaint to the Censor's Office.
US nutters of the Parents Television Council hailed MTV's decision to cancel its teen drama Skins , noting that the series is an example of how controversy doesn't always deliver an audience.
It's not always true that controversy simply draws an audience, PTC director of corporate and government affairs Dan Isett told The Hollywood Reporter. MTV's decision to cancel Skins is not much of a surprise.
The series, adapted from the U.K. show of the same name, featured underage kids using drugs, drinking alcohol and having sex. Executives at MTV parent Viacom ordered producers of the TV-MA-rated series to tone it down the series' content in
January ahead of its premiere as they worried about violating child pornography laws.
Isett noted that virtually every episode in the series, which the PTC in January called the most dangerous show for teens, had something that parents and families were going to be deeply concerned about: We're certainly hopeful
that this will be a message for future producers that there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed.
Skins is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn't connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped, MTV said in a statement: We admire the work that the series' creator Bryan Elsley did in adapting the show for
MTV, and appreciate the core audience that embraced it.
Focus on the Family is teaming up with TVGuardian to provide 'clean' entertainment choices for families through the TVGuardian filter, a device that eliminates objectionable language from television shows.
A small unit that connects to television sets, TVG is able to automatically mute all forms of profanity and inappropriate language from broadcast television, cable, satellite and DVDs.
It also offers a pop up profanity-free alternative to the muted phrase. For example, a phrase like Move your arse! would be muted and Move your tail! would pop up instead, so families could still follow along with the story.
TVGuardian reads the hidden closed-caption text in the background, which is required by law to have on television, checking each word against a dictionary of over 150 offensive words and phrases. (For DVDs that are not required by law to have
closed-captions, only DVDs that have a CC logo on the back of the box will work.)
There are multiple filter settings ranging from strict to tolerant. More than 12 million TVGuardians are already in homes.
Britt Bennett, president of TVGuardian, explained that TVGuardian applies best to PG and PG-13 movies that would have been fine --almost completely free of objectionable content -- except for the language: Most movies with sex, nudity or
violence are generally advertised and promoted as such. But with foul language, you never know when and where it's going to show up. That's why so many viewers find it so upsetting.
The Parents Television Council joined with Industry Ears and the Enough Is Enough Campaign to condemn murder as depicted in Rihanna's latest music video, Man Down , and call on Viacom to stop airing it.
The video, which premiered on BET's 106 & Park on May 31, shows Rihanna in an implied rape scene with a man whom she later guns down in an act of premeditated murder.
Man Down is an inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song. In my 30 years of viewing BET, I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in primetime. Viacom's standards and practices department
has reached another new low, said Paul Porter, co-founder of Industry Ears and a former voice of BET.
Rihanna's personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence. Instead of telling victims they
should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. The message of the disturbing video could not be more off base, said Melissa Henson, director of
communications and public education for the Parents Television Council.
To make matters worse, Rihanna went to Twitter this week to tell her fans the video contains a 'very strong underlying message 4 girls like me.' A graphic portrayal of the singer getting back at an attacker by shooting
him in cold blood in a crowded train station and then fleeing the scene is potentially the worst possible message that could be sent.
The Australian Sex Party has expressed dismay and disgust at the new low of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), who have forced the removal of a safe-sex public health campaign targeted at the gay community in Brisbane. The Party has asked the
Advertising Standards Bureau to intervene and will also refer the issue to the House of Reps Committee on Outdoor Advertising.
The ACL complained that the ad depicted 'two men in the act of foreplay'. The ad actually depicts two men fully clothed, said Sex Party Queensland Coordinator, Rory Killen. Innumerable similar ads cover the city depicting heterosexual
couples. Only unashamed homophobia could lead someone to single these ads out as offensive.
The Rip & Roll ads form part of a Queensland Association for Healthy Communities campaign to promote awareness about safe-sex in the gay community. 2010 was a record year for HIV diagnoses, with more persons diagnosed with the STI
since records began. 65% of diagnoses were from the gay community.
The Christian Lobby's attack against QAHC and the ads is supposedly prompted by a concern for the welfare of children, continued Killen: I'm concerned about the welfare of young people growing up without adequate awareness of safe
sexual practices, if ads like these can't be displayed.
The posters were displayed on bus shelters around Brisbane by the advertising company Adshel. Similar billboards are also displayed by Goa who is not removing the material.
I question why Adshel caved so quickly and pulled the ads. I think it's quite appropriate that the City Council and State Government clarify to Adshel that these ads are acceptable on bus shelters, that the ads be replaced, and that additional
funding and priority is given to the QAHC campaign to repair the damage that has been done to public health and community safety.
Safe sex advocates claimed a victory over Australia's Christian lobby when their HIV campaign posters featuring two men hugging were reinstated at bus stops after an intense online backlash.
The ads were withdrawn by billboard company Adshel after it received a string of complaints, but the company later reversed this decision, saying it had unwittingly been targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby. This has led us to review our
decision to remove the campaign and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect, Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said in a statement.
Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin said that Australians were generally supportive of gay rights, and that he had been heartened by the public backlash against the decision to remove the posters.
By late Wednesday some 40,897 people had joined a Facebook page called Homophobia -- NOT HERE created by one of the men featured in the posters, and protesters had held an afternoon rally outside Adshel's Brisbane office.
A group of clerics in Pakistan wants the country's Supreme Court to declare certain passages in the Bible blasphemous - because they depict as 'flawed' certain biblical characters whom Muslims regard as Islamic prophets.
If the court fails to do so, they said, then lawyers will submit an application for the Bible to be formally banned in Pakistan.
The campaign was announced by the clerics at a Lahore mosque.
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says there is no reason that society cannot enforce laws against blasphemy, which would include misusing the Lord's name or taking the name of God in vain.
Citing penalties imposed on sports figures and others who used the F word, anti-gay slurs and profanities publicly, Fischer thinks that these penalties should be expanded to include blasphemy.
Blasphemy laws are still part of a number of states' legal codes; however, they are unenforceable because they are unconstitutional.
The Parents Television Council is again going after the Billboard Music Awards Show. This is over the opening number of Sunday's show in Las Vegas, ie Rihanna and Britney Spears' performance of S&M .
I cannot imagine what would possibly lead the ABC television network to air a profanity-laced, S&M sex show on primetime broadcast television, PTC president Tim Winter said: The overtly sexualized performance by Rihanna and Britney
Spears was no accident or mishap, but a deliberate effort to target teens with images and lyrics that glamorize whips, chains and other sexual fetishes. What happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas, as the saying goes. It certainly has no
place at 8:00 pm on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.
The writer of a controversial short story must realise that there is God above everything and everyone, who is surely greater than the greatest of egos, Attorney General Peter Grech said in his appeal against the writer's acquittal.
Alex Vella Gera was accused of distributing pornography and offending public morals through his short story Li Tkisser Sewwi, which was published in the October 2009 edition of student newspaper Ir-Realta . The newspaper's editor,
Mark Camilleri, was similarly charged.
Both were acquitted by Magistrate Audrey Demicoli on March 14. In her decison, the magistrate noted that the story adopted an in your face style to make readers uncomfortable and make them think, and said that the writing could not be
considered pornographic or obscene under the legal definition -- which states that obscene material is that which simply aims to corrupt its reader.
The magistrate added noted that the prosecution did not prove what public morals were or how these were offended. She also said that the 2 were exercising their freedom of expression, and that the newspaper's intended audience, university and
Junior College students, were mature enough to process it.
But the Attorney General has filed an appeal against both acquittals, stating that Magistrate Demicoli's verdict was erroneous and unreasonable. He dismissed claims that the writing in question had any artistic merit or was in the general
interest, stating, at one point, that not every writer could compare himself to DH Lawrence, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce.
This writing is, from start to finish, without pause, without a change in style, an explicit reproduction of sexual acts, including some violent ones, anal and vaginal, with a clear erotic meaning apart from a detailed description of sexual
organs and diseases with disgusting consequences which are the result of sexual abuse, Grech wrote in his appeal.
He said that freedom of expression was far from absolute and could be made to bow down completely in the interest of defence, public security, public order, morality, public decency and public health.
He also criticised the drawing attached to the controversial story, a tube of glue, stating that it was evocative and could be understood as a representation of a phallic symbol with semen coming out of it.
He insisted that the charges brought against Vella Gera were proven beyond doubt, and urged the Court to find him guilty and sentence him accordingly.
School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 is an upcoming Source modification for Half-Life 2 developed by Checkerboarded Studios in association with METOKUR.
In something of a controversy wind up the game is described:
You play a disgruntled student, fed up with something (we're not exactly sure), and after researching multiple school shooting martyrs, he decides to become the best school shooter ever. You decide to arm yourself with the
exact same weapons as a previous school shooter such as; Eric Harris' TEC-9, Dylan's sawed-off shotgun, Seung-Hui Cho's akimbo pistols, Nevada-Tan's...box cutter? The possibilities are endless, you are free to do whatever you want. As long as it
involves shooting people.
Predictably US games nutter Jack Thompson has risen to the bait.
Presumably the creators of the mod game aren't likely to respond to pressure in the way that Thompson would want, so he has turned to the host game Half-Life 2 and its online environment Valve.
Thompson has written to Valve boss Gabe Newell, who previously ran the company that created Half-Life 2 in 2004:
Dear Mr. Newell:
You either know or should know that the more moral midgets who run Checkerboarded Studios have created a mod for your company's Half-Life which they call School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. This mod is a full-blown
Columbine massacre simulator which cannot function without your company's assistance and acquiescence.
Given the fact that your company has the technological ability to stop the operation of School Shooter, you must undertake steps immediately to do so.
Speaking for myself alone (for now), you have until five o'clock pm Eastern standard time this Friday, March 18, 2011, to shut down this public safety hazard I predicted years ago this school massacre game would arrive. I
hate being right all the time.
Mod hosting site ModDB has succumbed to pressure from outside sources and has removed the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 , from its database.
In an open letter to its community, ModDB founder Scott Reismanis said that the site pulled the mod down after getting quite a bit of mainstream press due to the controversial nature of the content. He went on to say that he got a lot of
threatening mail from various sources and the authors of that mail believed that ModDB were the mod's creators.
Ever since Apple set themselves up to be moral censors then there was a danger of being caught up in moral conflicts. The latest example perhaps shows where conflicts can arise that simply would not occur in an uncensored system.
Exodus International claims to be the world's largest Christian ministry dealing with homosexual issues. It has a website featuring lots of anti-gay sentiment that surely reinforces the general religious perception that being gay is a sin.
However, it does not call for anything in the way of violence, nor is it threatening, nor is it likely to fall under any gay hatred legislation.
But as soon as it branches out from its tolerated and legal website into the world of Apple apps, it opens itself up for censorship, just because a moral censor has previously established a private moral test.
The LGBT rights group Truth Wins Out has established a petition on Change.org:
Exodus International, the notorious ex-gay organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.
The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains no objectionable content.
No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes
and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called reparative therapy to change the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of therapy has been rejected by every
major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the
self-esteem and mental health of its victims.
Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a sin that will make your heart
sick and a counterfeit. This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences.
Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. Stand with Truth Wins Out -- demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.
Currently the petition has attracted about 26,000 signatures.
There's no such measure of support levels for Exodus International but surely being a major example of a US christian group suggests that it has massive support too.
Perhaps Exodus is justified in its concern that Apple is in danger of failing to meet the diverse needs of their customer base by denying them access to all viewpoints regarding sexuality.
Update: Apple chooses gay rights over christian anti-gay nonsense and free speech
Apple appears to have pulled an iPhone and iPad app promising freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus after coming under fire from gay rights activists.
More than 146,000 people signed a petition calling on Apple to remove the so-called gay cure app backed by Exodus International, a Christian group that describes itself as the world's largest worldwide ministry to those struggling with
unwanted same-sex attraction.
The app has been on sale since February 15 but was last night no longer available. Apple has yet to comment on the furore that the app sparked.
The Parents Television Council is up in arms about the latest episode of TV show Glee , which featured Gwyneth Paltrow opening up her shirt, provocative dancing provocatively and two students talking about making a sex tape.
Dan Isett, the group's director of public policy, tells The Hollywood Reporter the scenes he watched were pretty appalling.
Most notably was the discussion between a couple of students about wanting to become famous by making a sex tape, said Isett, referring to a couple who decided not to make a tape after a teacher informed them it would be child pornography
because they're under 18. Exactly what kind of message is that?
Isett also whinged about the scene in which Paltrow and several students ripped open their shirts while dancing suggestively to Do You Wanna Touch Me:
If you had a real-life instance of that, I think it's fair to say the teacher involved would no longer be a teacher. But somehow it's acceptable for a fictional teacher to do this. Again, this is a real problem. Real-world
teachers don't lap dance with their students.
The Parents Television Council didn't appreciate the show mocking the celibacy club.
From the beginning of the episode, it was pretty clear the gist of it was going to be that abstinence is off the table and we're going to make the celibacy club look like the nerds convention essentially. There was very
little doubt -- despite the sort of lip service the show gave to responsible sexual activity -- that the gist of the show was lap dances with students is cool, the celibacy club is not, and when it's presented in that way, it really cheapens
whatever discussion there is about consequence and responsibility.
The episode of Glee has also hit the new for the use of the Gary Glitter's Do You Wanna Touch Me
Channel 4 has confirmed that it will go ahead with the screening of the episode complete with the song. A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: The scene is editorially justified within the programme and we do not seek to censor material in the proper
The song will also feature on a forthcoming album of music from the series to be released in the UK next month.
The song has already made it into the American iTunes top 30. Shamed Glitter is expected to pick up royalties from sales.
Children's charity Kidscape has said the inclusion of the song is wholly inappropriate .
Epic Games' president Mike Capps was asked whether the Fox news nonsense (ie games cause rape) helped or hindered early sales of Bulletstorm ?
There are two ways to answer the question. The first is what it does for Bulletstorm and the second is what it does for the industry. For what it did for Bulletstorm... yes, there were people who were very excited about any
attention at all. For a game that's over-the-top, they probably helped sell more units than they convinced people to pick at us, he said. What was most exciting about it for me [was the reaction from the media in the industry defending us]. Every
journalist said this Fox report is junk... It's wonderful to see a media that's defending free speech.
As for what it does for the industry as a whole I think it's terrible, he noted. There are people who really respect Fox News' opinions and look at that and are convinced that video games are bad.
Due to be released on Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 later this year, We Dare features over 35 mini-games that take a distinctly adult approach, with marketing materials encouraging two players to kiss a Wii Remote simultaneously,
spank each other to control on-screen avatars, and striptease to a variety of songs.
With its highly suggestive trailer and product description, Cubed3 queried PEGI on the seemingly low 12+ age rating.
PEGI stated that they do not look at the surrounding context of a game, only the in-game content. The suggestive naughtiness by the human actors in the YouTube trailer did not figure in the decision for the game rating:
PEGI does not take into account the context of a game when rating it, we only look at the contents of the game. [We Dare] has been rated as a PEGI 12 because it contains mild swearing, minor assault on a human-like
character and words/activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo, explicit sexual descriptions or images and sexual posturing.
Do demand that these types of artwork [are] on the same level as the game. In the case of We Dare, the cover and trailer are in correspondence with our guidelines.
It was considered that We Dare might justify a higher rating due to a specific (sexual) atmosphere , but this proposal was rejected by the Video Standards Council, an independent organisation that verifies PEGI ratings for use in the UK:
The game itself is in fact less sexual/offensive than the marketing campaign leads us to believe (for example, you cannot see real spanking in the game. There is a 'stripping game' but you don't have to undress; throwing
away keys or anything that reduces your weight is good enough).
An ABC pilot called Good Christian Bitches has religious and women's groups up in arms over what they describe as an extremely offensive and distasteful show title.
The comedy drama, based on Kim Gatlin's novel of the same name, centers on the life of reformed mean girl Amanda who returns to her hometown of Dallas to find herself fodder for malicious gossip from the women in the Christian community.
Still in the early stages of production, the show's title may still change before it goes to broadcast.
Christian publisher Tessie DeVore told FOX411's Pop Tarts column that the show, which features the tagline For Heaven's sake, don't let God get in the way of a good story! could put Christians in an unfairly bad light:
I find the title offensive. I don't think those two words should be combined. A show like this can damage perceptions [of Christians in this country].
Melissa Henson of the Parents' Television Council tells Tarts.
In the past, we've raised concerns about changing language standards for television. Once a particular profanity or obscenity has been embraced by a particular show, it quickly becomes mainstream.
And Yana Walton from the Women's Media Center said Christians aren't the only ones who should be upset.
It is not an appropriate term to use to describe any woman, regardless of their faith. Entertainment media, especially music and films, have been normalizing misogynistic language for years.
Activists of Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) were arrested when they tried to stage a demonstration before director Gautam Menon's house to protest an alleged objectionable scene in his newly released Tamil film.
Carrying banners, 20 activists led by the HMK's organisation secretary Kannan demanding that a scene be deleted from his latest release Nadunisi Naigal . The said scene showed the relationship of the hero and his foster mother in bad
light. However, the protestors were arrested before they could reach Menon's residence.
Kannan told reporters that foster mothers enjoyed pride of place in the Hindu Puranas and epics. Krishna nursed a lot of affection for his foster mother Yasoda and so did Rama for Kaikeyi. Hence, the director must delete the objectionable
scene from his film and express regret. Otherwise, his outfit would hold demonstrations before theatres screening the film, he said.
In his reaction, Menon said the film was based on a true story and the hero was a mentally affected person, who could not differentiate between right and wrong. The director clarified that the film was not intended to hurt anybody's feelings.
FamilyVoice Australia have again petitioned the Federal Court to ban Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom again. They are claiming that its release last year on DVD was an improper exercise of power by the
Classification Review Board.
The Christian activists led by the Not So Liberal senator Julian McGauran, have got Salo banned in Australia for most of the last 36 years.
Salo follows a group of young men and women abducted by fascists and subjected to rape, torture and death in an Italian palace. Described by the board as a serious study of corruption which accompanies the exercise of absolute power , the
film was released last year in a boxed set with additional documentary features that the board thought would mitigate the level of potential community offence .
But this did not impress Senator McGauran and FamilyVoice Australia. They moved against the film again, this time in the courts.
The barrister Anthony Tudehope accused the board of a long list of failings when judging the film, in particular the failure to separately identify and assess elements of violence, cruelty and fetishes - even bestiality, though Salo contains no
congress with animals.
Tudehope questioned the age of the victims and the actors playing them. Along with a minority of the Classification Review Board, he argued they are children being subjected to child sexual abuse, which was simply not acceptable , he told
But that was not the view of a majority of the board, which found Pasolini's victims clearly sexually mature and that their fate at the hands of the fascists would not offend reasonable adults given the context, purpose and stylised,
detached cinematic techniques of the film.
The board's solicitor, Nick Gouliaditis, denied any failures of process in Salo's release. He told the court that assessing the merits of a film required highly subjective judgments which the Classification Review Board has been
entrusted to make .
Justice Margaret Stone has reserved her decision for a later date.
A coalition of Hollywood studios has acted against a company that has been marketing and distributing films stripped of supposedly objectionable content.
Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, Universal and Fox filed a lawsuit against Family Edited DVDS Inc. and its boss, John Webster, with claims that the company took hit movies, altered them, and was distributing them to consumers as family-friendly.
The studios alleged that by selling its films in DVD-R format and stripping away copyright protection measures, the company had violated copyright laws and made them susceptible to further infringement by pirates.
According to the terms of the agreement, Family Edited DVDS has agreed to pay $274,000 to resolve the claim. Per the agreement, a judge has also permanently enjoined the company from further distribution of unauthorized edited versions of its
A party game for the Wii, We Dare , has been given an Australian PG rating even though the game promotes spanking, stripping and sexual partner swapping.
The Australian Christian Lobby said the We Dare decision showed the classification system was broken . Even the game's publisher, Ubisoft, says the game is intended for an adult audience. Ubisoft had recommended it be rated M.
The Classification Board has defended its decision. It said that despite We Dare encouraging players to engage in spanking, striptease and other risqué mini-games, the visuals on the screen itself are cartoony and tame. The Classification
Board is only able to classify games based on the content displayed on screen, not what people do in their living rooms. The Board said: At the PG classification, discreetly implied sexual activity is permitted if justified by context and
where the level of impact does not exceed 'mild'.
The Australian Christian Lobby said the game encouraged players to engage in sexual activity not suitable for a child. It said it hoped loopholes in the classification system would be closed following this year's classification review by the
Australian Law Reform Commission.
The Australian Christian Lobby said the game encouraged players to engage in sexual activity not suitable for a child. It said it hoped loopholes in the classification system would be closed following this year's classification review by the
Australian Law Reform Commission. Parents can have no faith in a classification system when these loopholes are present, said ACL spokesman Lyle Shelton.
A US web hosting provider BlueHost has taken down a US-based Christian website that blamed the recent New Zealand earthquake on gays and lesbians.
The US-based ChristchurchQuake.Net claims the quake was the vengeful act of God, punishing homosexuals for their lifestyles and actions. They wrote:
Do we really want to tempt fate and risk another quake? The morning of the Christchurch earthquake was the opening of 'Gay Ski Week'. The highlight of the week was a party featuring two of NZ's ugliest and butchest lesbians
as the main event in Queenstown. Squadrons of imports were to have been brought in for the week --- from Sydney's now booming gay and lesbian area around Oxford St, between the CBD and Kings Cross.
Thousands of angry Internet users emailed and sent complaint letters to BlueHost regarding the website, which was then taken down.
There were two shows going on at Cleveland's Beck Center for the Arts last Friday night.
Almost 100 people, from babes-in-arms to grandparents, were gathered outside the theater in protest to what was going on inside the theater. Placards carried by children and grandparents alike screamed Beck Center Promotes Blasphemy and
Just Say No to Jerry Springer in opposition to the regional premiere of Jerry Springer The Opera , a show that pokes fun at Christianity among other subjects.
It's not fair to Christians, said one picketer: If this were about anti-Semitism or anti-Muslim, the place would burn to the ground, stated another.
A few supporters among them bore signs spouting It's Satire, Not Satan and Pray for a Sense of Humor, while advocating free speech and freedom for the arts. They were all but drowned out by bagpipes, The Lord's Prayer and other
So, what was the ruckus all about? Jerry Springer The Opera, a musical riff on the titular Springer and his trashy talk show, has attracted naysayers wherever it has been produced. It's at Beck through to March 27.
Nutters and congressmen declare war against people who enjoy porn
The church has invested centuries of effort into controlling society via their man made rules on sexuality. They presumably see sexual liberation by porn fans (and similarly for gays) as 'disobedience' demonstrating disbelief. And when a religion
loses general consensus it is deep shit.
So for them it is imperative that people are forced back into the fold and made to concur about their king's wondrous clothes. Sexual repression is the membership badge of religion, and the number of returned badges is starting to make religious
bigwigs feel very naked indeed.
Don't worry about God, Heaven,
the meaning of life, and all that stuff...
Just keep banging on about the evils of porn
Christian nutters and members of Congress are urging the Obama administration to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws against illegal pornography.
Groups including, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and CitizenLink (Focus on the Family's family advocacy arm) sent out an 'urgent' memo asking supporters to put pressure on the Department of Justice.
Regrettably, our government is not enforcing existing federal laws against pornography. We ask for your help right now to reverse this course, said ERLC president Dr. Richard Land.
The ERLC and CitizenLink are among nearly 60 national and state groups that have formed a coalition called the War on Illegal Pornography. It exists to press the Justice Department to prosecute mainstream porn that is widely available to the
The leaders of the mean minded campaign are Senator Orrin Hatch and U.S. House Representatives Mike McIntyre & Randy Forbes. They sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder, calling on him to combat the growing scourge of obscenity in America.
They lamented that though evidence of the supposed harms - such as violence, addiction and sex trafficking - of hardcore adult pornography is greater today than ever, current laws are not being enforced. [Perhaps they
should compare these supposed harms with the recorded death and destruction resulting from the growing scourge of religion in the world] .
Congress has put laws on the books, but those laws will not be effective until they are enforced, Hatch said simply. McIntyre and Forbes echoed the sentiment. Congress has for decades passed laws seeking to curb the production and
distribution of obscene pornography, including on the Internet. A consistent and strong commitment to enforcing these laws can have a significant impact. They also noted in their letter that adult obscenity is not protected by the First
Amendment. We believe it is imperative that the Department, with cooperation by the FBI, investigate and prosecute all major producers and distributors of adult obscenity. We need your leadership.
Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, according to Internet Filter Review. An estimated 28,258 people, mostly men, view pornography every second. And every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is being created in the United
States. Pornographic websites number 4.2 million, making up 12 percent of all websites. [Given this massive scale, then perhaps they should wonder how on earth it is so hard to record the harmful consequences of porn or
even show any real correlation with harm].
Coming out strongly against pornography, the ERLC, which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, calls it the satanic counterfeit of God's perfect design for us sexual beings.
Relaxed attitudes toward human sexuality have turned the biblical notion of wholesome and monogamous sexual relations between husbands and wives on its head. . Scriptural standards of sexual morality have been abandoned; God's design
for sex has been perverted beyond recognition. Pornography perverts and distorts all of the God-given purposes for sexual intimacy.
The War on Illegal Pornography coalition is asking the public to contact their senators and representative to endorse a letter addressed to Holder for the sake of our families and community.
Super Bowl Sunday, is being dubbed Porn Sunday by more than 300 pastors, who will talk openly about pornography with their congregations.
Event organizer Craig Gross, founder of XXXchurch.com, said the centerpiece of Porn Sunday will be a 39-minute video featuring him and several NFL players talking openly about the problems created by the $13 billion-per-year industry.
About 95 million people will watch the Super Bowl, Gross said, but research indicates that 40 million people visit porn websites every day. And 47% of Christians say pornography is a problem in the home. Porn revenue, he said, is bigger than the
combined revenues of football, baseball and basketball leagues in this country.
But pornhub.com, which describes itself as the leading provider of adult content online, believes these types of public discussions lead to greater awareness of adult offerings online and likely will result in greater traffic on the site, Pornhub
marketing Vice President Corey Price said.
The India Art Summit has been called the world's biggest fair of modern and contemporary Indian art . With 84 galleries exhibiting the work of about 500 artists, it has grown in both size and stature since its inception in 2008.
For the third event running (there was no summit in 2010), the organisers had to take down the works of India's best-known artist, MF Husain, after threats of violence and vandalism.
Delhi Art Gallery's Ashish Anand, who exhibited the paintings, said he received more than two dozen threatening emails, some containing abusive language.
Could you please stop exhibiting this bastard's paintings? I am very disappointed being an Indian and definitely look for revenge in case of any such artworks being allowed to exhibit, read one email.
Considering the violent record of various Hindu right-wing groups it was inevitable that the organisers would remove the 'offending' paintings.
However the following day, the organisers of the summit remounted Husain's work citing assurances from the police and Ministry of Culture that there would be adequate security. This was seen as a victory against Hindu extremists.
The intimidation of artists, writers, intellectuals and journalists by right-wing extremists is now an accepted fact of day-to-day life. Earlier this year, young Aditya Thackeray, the 20-year-old leader of the Yuva Sena, the youth wing of the
right wing nativist party Shiv Sena, demanded that Mumbai University remove Rohinton Mistry's 1991 novel Such a Long Journey from its syllabus because, he claimed, it offended Maharashtrians. The University's vice-chancellor fell over himself to
comply. When the Shiv Sena demanded that producer Karan Johan change the name of a fictional magazine, Bombay Beat, to Mumbai Beat, in his equally fictional film, Wake Up Sid, the producer rushed to grovel in apology. It bears repeating that
India was the first country to ban Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses.
An American exorcist has blamed the internet for rising numbers of young people who say they are possessed by the Devil.
Websites dedicated to the occult, witchcraft, Tarot cards, psychics and séances were increasingly exposing young people to demonic influences, claimed Fr Gary Thomas.
The priest, whose story has just been made into a major Hollywood film, The Rite starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, claimed that pornography and drug abuse were also doorways to harassment by evil spirits.
He said there were no statistics on how many people might be possessed but said there was a definite increase:
What I can tell you is that there are more and more Catholics involved in idolatrous and pagan practices. That's really why there's more demonic activity. There's the absence of God in the lives of a lot of people.
A lot of parents today have no critical eye of faith with which to even recognise the dangers their children are in. A lot of this is going on with the internet. There are lots and lots of demonic websites.
A demon doesn't show up. He has to be invited in … The involvement in pagan, satanic, or occult practices are the classical ways.
Pornography is a doorway. But addictions of any kind can be – not are, but can be – a doorway, but it's coupled with other things. For instance, drug use alone isn't going to invite the demonic in, but coupled
with the occult it could.
The Rite will be released in Britain on February 25.
Another advertiser has left MTV's Skins after pressure from Parents TV Council about the shows supposedly provocative and controversial nature.
Skin care product Proactiv said: We have officially requested that MTV revise our traffic schedule so that Proactiv spots cease airing during Skins, declared Kendra Elliot, the vice president of Proactiv.
Proactiv had been receiving complaints from 'perturbed' viewers. Elliot added, While our spots may air inside a particular program, it is not representative of our specific desire to support the programming and content of that particular show.
Family First New Zealand is joining other groups in Australia and the US in calling for a ban on the upcoming release of Kayne West's hit song Monster .
Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ said:
HipHopConnection.com has leaked a video teaser for the Kanye West hit song Monster, featuring images of eroticised violence against women. The full six minute video includes dead women, clad in lingerie, hanging by chains
around their necks; West making sexual moves toward dead or drugged women propped up in a bed; West rapping while casually holding a woman's severed head that is still dripping blood; and a naked dead or drugged woman laying sprawled on a sofa.
The music industry's portrayals of women being abused, objectified, sexualized, and victimised being valid forms of entertainment are unacceptable.
Some will argue for freedom of speech and that it is simply 'art', but freedom of expression should never be at the expense of the safety and welfare of women and families, and the attitudes and stereotypes which may be
normalised through this type of offensive material.
Family First is calling on New Zealand's Chief Censor to ban the video, and for Sky TV's music channels and other music shows on free-to-air channels to refuse to broadcast it.
Other groups supporting the call are Australian groups Collective Shout, Adios Barbie, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International, and the US-based Media Watch.
An Australian nutter group has called for the banning of school uniform costumes from adult shops.
Fiona Patten of the Australian Sex Party says that the nutters are misguided and that this is a further indication that Australia was turning into the nanny state.
Kids Free 2B Kids founder, Julie Gale, has called for the ban after a Melbourne adult shop featured a window display with a back to school theme, including adult sized school uniforms and a blackboard.
Ms Gale stated that the sale of school uniforms through adult shops legitimised child pornography .
Ms Patten said that this assertion was not only outrageous but detracted from the real issue of child sexual abuse by equating adult's dress ups with the real and actual abuse of children.
Ms Patten added that the school uniform display had absolutely nothing to do with children and was aimed at adult women who enjoyed dressing up and playing with fantasy roles:
These costumes are worn to a variety of events like school reunions and office parties where there is no sexual connotation at all. But even when they are being worn by women who enjoy dressing up sexually for their
partners, Ms Gale has no right to try and tell women how they should behave in the bedroom. This is the same as telling Muslim women they shouldn't be wearing burquas, nuns that they shouldn't be wearing habits or young women out for the night
that they shouldn't be wearing provocative clothing. Women should be free to wear whatever they want to.
According to industry sources the three biggest sellers in adult fantasy costumes were French maid, nurse and schoolgirl and that over the last few years sales in fantasy costumes have increased by 70%.
The new Christian Democrat candidate for the state seat of Sydney has pledged to end the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
At a meeting with the press in the lead-up a State Election, self-confessed reformed sex addict Peter Madden said ending the Mardi Gras was one of his main objectives.
Where once it was about rights, it now stands for violence and drunkenness, Madden said. Adding that it had become the worst day of the year for teenage binge drinking, a major problem facing the city.
Introducing Madden, Christian Democrat leader Fred Nile claimed his personal experience and desire to clean up Kings Cross made him the best candidate for the seat.
Madden said he was molested from the age of nine until 17 by an older female family member. The experience had left him with a seven-year sexual addiction: I was driven by sexual lust and pornography and for a season I visited prostitutes .
He said prostitution was out of control in Sydney and that tolerance, particularly by State Sydney Independent MP and Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the Greens had lead to hyper-tolerance : This in turn leads to anarchy .
Indie director Kevin Smith's new film Red State was picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday.
Red State is said to be a scathing satire on Christian fundamentalists and was making its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.
However, Smith was ready to exploit the picket. He and an estimated 200 supporters launched a counter protest. Smith, an astute businessman as well as a creative force, utilized the Westboro picket to create even more buzz for his film's launch
Red State is being billed as a different kind of horror movie, a movie exploiting the horror of Christian fundamentalism and ultraconservative right wing American values. The plot centers around three teenage boys in search of sexual
experience and their contact with a frightening clan of Christian extremists.
In fact the film features a gay-hating minister and a frightening band of homophobic Christian bigots remarkably similar to the Westboro Baptist Church.
Other leading companies, L'Oreal, Foot Locker, and Orbit chewing gum, are now being hard-pressed to follow suit as the president of Parents TV Council, Tim Winter, vocalizes the group's intentions to continue to monitor every broadcast and
every rebroadcast of Skins so that we can inform the public which corporations are underwriting underage teen sex, underage teen drug use and underage teen alcohol use.
But it looks as if MTV has found itself another hit. If the pilot episode was any indication of its success – 3.3 million viewers tuned in, including no doubt the whingers of the Parents Television Council (PTC). The 2nd episode will
introduce one of its lesbian leads, Tea. The vast majority of viewers so far have been the much sought after ages between 12 and 34, according to TV ratings figures.
Now Morality in Media, another nutter organization, is also calling for MTV and Viacom to halt distribution of the series to avoid 'exploitation of children'.
Advertisers are running for cover over MTV's lmuch-talked-about Skins .
Tax accounting company H&R Block, one of the show's largest advertisers, is the most recent to pull its support, following in the steps of Taco Bell, Wrigley and GM.
The company said in a statement: H&R Block is not an advertiser of the show. One ad ran by mistake as part of a rotation. Once we learned this, we immediately took steps to ensure it didn't happen again. This program is not brand right and
H&R Block did not select it to be part of our rotation.
A similar denial was reported from General Motors and Wrigley who again claimed that they had advertised during the show as a general MTV booking.
Nutters show an alarming interest in actor's bare bottom
MTV is sticking to its guns, insisting that Skins hasn't crossed any line. Rumours of a 17-year-old actor alternating between being slightly naked and appearing aroused for a length of time in the Jan. 31 episode has prompted outrage from
the Parents Television Counci
MTV said in a statement:
We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards. We are confident that the episodes of Skins will not only comply with
all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers. We also have taken numerous steps to alert viewers to the strong subject matter so that they can choose for themselves whether it is appropriate.
Meanwhile, Father John Malo, director of pastoral care at Toronto's St. Michaels' College School where Skins actor Jesse Carere, 17, was a student before stripping down and showing his bare bottom for the series, says we would not
encourage students to watch Skins . We have a very strict code of ethics, adding that for a student to star in such a series would be unacceptable.
MTV officials would not answer questions about whether the Jan. 31 episode would be edited to eliminate the controversial bare bottom.
The Parents TV Council sent out an alert to their members:
The Most Dangerous Program Ever
The following is the most urgent alert the PTC has ever sent to parents.
It is absolutely crucial that you be aware of the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children!
Next Monday, January 17th, at 10:00 p.m, MTV will debut its new series Skins . Here's why this program is so dangerous to your kids:
Skins is filled with graphic content involving high-school children, including depictions of teens drinking, smoking marijuana, and using massive quantities of drugs, engaging in violent acts, and having
irresponsible sex with each other, with their schoolteachers, and with other adults.
Skins is about high-school children. Mixed in with the graphic drug use and sex scenes are storylines about falling in love and problems at school – elements sure to generate interest from teens. The show is
being written, in part, by teens. And the Skins cast is actually made up of teenagers, not adult actors playing teens. One cast member is only 15 years old.
Skins has been extensively marketed to high-school children. Internet sites like Teen.com have carried dozens of promos and stories about the new show. Many of the Internet ad campaigns have shown how Skins
blatantly urges children to lie to and defy their parents, and engage in risky and dangerous behavior.
After the screening they then targeted the sponsors, Taco Bell:
The Monday, January 17 premiere of MTV's Skins proves the PTC was right when we said it was the most dangerous program ever for children -- and the content was made possible by Taco Bell.
Skins not only featured dozens of instances of high-school children using foul language; it also contained depictions and descriptions of high-school children discussing and engaging in sex; high-school children
discussing and engaging in the use of illegal drugs; high-school children discussing and engaging in the use of alcohol; high-school children stealing an automobile and then crashing it into a lake; and countless other descriptions and
depictions of graphic, adult-themed activity.
That's why your action is so important! YOU can stand up to dangerous, corrosive programming like Skins – by letting advertisers know what will happen if they sponsor it!
Use the form below to send an e-mail to Taco Bell, one of the biggest sponsors of last night's broadcast of Skins .
And if you REALLY want to make an impact, here's what you can do: print off a copy of this e-mail and take it to the manager of your nearest Taco Bell. Tell him or her what you think of their company promoting casual sex,
drug use and alcohol abuse to children. And let them know that Taco Bell's actions have an influence when it is time to vote with your wallet.
The Parents Television Council has called on lawmakers and law enforcement officials to open an investigation regarding possible child pornography and exploitation on the cable network's new series Skins .
On January 17, the Viacom-owned cable network MTV aired a teenager-based drama, Skins . The episode included all manner of foul language, illegal drug use, illegal activity as well as thoroughly pervasive sexual
content, PTC President Tim Winter said in a letter sent to the chairmen of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees and the Department of Justice: Many of the actors appearing in the show are below the age of 18. It is clear that
Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of [several] federal statutes.
Since it is not necessary for Viacom or MTV to distribute the material in order to be in violation of the law, we call upon your committees to immediately investigate Viacom and MTV for the production of this material,
Winter said in the statement. Furthermore, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to compel the attorney general to mount an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the production of Skins has violated federal law
meant to protect minors from exploitation.
MTV is stating they have not broken any legal requirements and are currently meeting to discuss the issue.
The World Congress of Families released its list of the 10 best and 10 worst developments for the family in 2010.
Among the worst developments are Hollywood's consistent sexualisation of teen girls; a court's attempt in Ontario, Canada, to lift laws that criminalise prostitution; the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Mexico City, WCF listed in its January
On the positive side, some of last year's best developments for the family include the November election of a pro-family US House of Representatives; Spain's massive pro-life demonstrations in March against the expanded abortion law; and the UK
government's efforts to ensure that children do not have access to Internet pornography.
WCF Managing Director Larry Jacobs acknowledged that anyone can draw up a list of 10 best or worse trends . But he assured, Ours is validated by the Congress' experience and expertise. We've been dealing with family issues
internationally for the past 14 years.
Here are the WCF's top 10 worst developments for the family:
Ontario court tries to legalise prostitution in Canada
Mexico City institutes same-sex marriage
New Kenyan Constitution undermines right to life
Ted Turner calls for worldwide one-child policy
Hollywood is sexualising teen girls
In US, high levels of out-of-wedlock birth among less educated
Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Planned Parenthood says abortion and contraception are economic stimulus
Growing anti-Christian bigotry in Europe
EU tries for stealth recognition of same-sex marriage.
The 10 best developments:
The US elects a pro-family House of Representatives
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev begins discussion of his nation's demographic crisis
California voters reject marijuana legalisation
Canadians refuse to legalise euthanasia
Spain holds huge pro-life rallies challenging expansion of abortion
UK plans to block children's access to Internet porn
Developing nation reject EU sexual orientation mandate
Regarding abortion, Europe preserves right of conscience for medical professionals
Hungary's new government considers pro-life/pro-marriage constitution
UN members reject special rapporteur's recommendations on sexuality education.
Grande Fratello , the Italian version of Big Brother , has disqualified three contestants after the Catholic Church complained about blasphemy.
Big Brother, a flag ship programme on Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset network, has been forced into a humiliating climb down after the Church objected to contestants on the reality television show uttering blasphemous insults.
The swearing by three male contestants infuriated the Catholic Church, with the attack led by Avvenire , an influential daily newspaper owned by the Catholic Bishops' Conference.
The offending remarks were bleeped when they were broadcast, but according to media insiders included Mannaggia la Madonna – Damn the Virgin Mary – and Dio maiale , which literally translates as God pig and is
considered highly offensive by Italians.
The show's presenter, Alessia Marcuzzi, read out a statement saying the programme would not tolerate language that offends the sensitivity of the public .
For the powerful Catholic lobby, the matter was made worse by the fact that one of the offending contestants, Massimo Scattarella, had been kicked out of the previous Big Brother series for blasphemy, but had been readmitted by public vote for
the 11th season.
A Catholic youth group has 'shocked' nutters in Mallorca by producing a calendar that features a slightly nude version of the passion of Christ.
The wrath of the bishop of Mallorca has fallen on the Davallament youth group from the Spanish island's town of Sant Joan after they decided to make the stripped-down version of the Easter week story to raise funds.
The calendar features a slightly-naked trio of young men raising the cross on which Jesus will be crucified and a Last Supper whose protagonists wear crotch-hugging underwear. In other shots the guys cover their genitalia with plumed roman
It is a daring and original idea that emerged because we are young and wanted to do something new, a group member, Antoni Company, told Ultima Hora newspaper.
The bishopric of Mallorca, however, has criticised them saying It turns Easter week into something banal . It does not respect Christian symbols and is insensitive to Catholic feelings.
The town's mayor, Joan Magro sees it differently: The calender is very original, he said. The pictures are artistic and the models show what they have.
An entry in the annual Pepsi-owned Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest will never air after it caused a bit of easy offence.
Feed Your Flock sees congregation challenged priest get divine inspiration to use Doritos to replace the more usual wafers. And Pepsi Max replaces the wine. And of course throngs of Doritos freeloaders descend en-masse.
But of course the body and blood of Christ are no joke to those who believe they are in Communion with their God when they accept the Eucharist and the wine during Mass.
Dave Williams, president of ad makers, MediaWave, says he pulled the ad from Pepsi's site and from YouTube. We felt bad, he says. Our intention was to win, not to offend.
The video now seems to have been taken down from all major video sharing sites.
An international Islamic organization has declared war on cinematic depictions of Muhammad and his companions, arguing they denigrate Islam's most revered characters.
The Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) Council, a body of the Muslim World League, said in a statement that the images not of the prophet himself but of his companions were creeping into films and television series and prompted the new ruling.
The council reiterates its previous decision banning the production, promotion … and viewing of these films and series, the statement read. These [portrayals] may cause the denigration and devaluation of the figures and be used as
an excuse to ridicule them.
The statement dismissed the argument that the films were a means of educating the public about Islamic figures, saying the holy scriptures contain sufficient information.
Based in Mecca, the Muslim World League is one of the largest Islamic NGOs. Its missions include Islamic proselytizing, coordination of Islamic preaching and support of needy Muslims worldwide.
Film industry officials and observers said the council had nothing to worry about because producers and directors wouldn't dare test the ban. Mousaad Fouda, president of the Egyptian Film Syndicate, said: There are no producers in Egypt that
would make a film depicting the Prophet or his companions. They would be too worried that such films will not succeed commercially.