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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Catholics are Doing it Right!

Catholic groups are up in arms about C4's plans to air an episode of the cartoon show "Southpark", which will depict a menstruating statue of the Virgin Mary.

Family Life International has gone so far as to set up a website to co-ordinate efforts to boycott advertisers on C4 and TV3.

You know what? I applaud them for it.

I watched almost the entire first series of Southpark and loved it. I believe in complete freedom of speech, with NO restrictions, beyond defamation and incitement to criminal activity. I'm not a Catholic and have no particular interest in the divinity or otherwise of Virgin Mary.

I applaud the Catholic groups involved, partly because they are standing up for their beliefs, but mostly for the way they are going about it.

The Virgin Mary is central to the Catholic faith. If I were a Catholic, I'd be livid that some cartoon was going to treat that which I hold divine, in such a disrespectful way.

But here's the difference. The Catholics are not attacking the US embassy. They're not burning cars or rioting. They're not threatening to behead C4 staff or the shows producers.

What they're doing is withdrawing their support from those who they believe are offending them.

This is the civilised way to deal with perceived offence. You back off. You do not threaten anybodies life or property. You take away what is yours.

Catholics have money-they are legitimately threatening to stop spending it with C4 and TV3's advertisers. Catholics have "goodwill"-they are legitimately threatening to withdraw that goodwill from those who offend them.

That is the way a civilised society should work. Everyone should have the right to express whatever views one's conscience (or lack of) dictates. Everyone else should have the right to ignore, boycott, criticise, debate or not debate, the person or persons stating those views.

I personally hope C4 sticks to their guns and airs the episode. I want them to resist all pressure, put principle before possible commercial damage and air what they see fit on their channel.

I also hope that Catholic groups continue to stand up for their beliefs in the legitimate and ethical manner they have employed thus far.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Trevor, after all the Prophet cartoon made-for-TV riots of muslims around the world this is a breath of fresh democratic air. Just use the off button if you hate the message, as I have incidentally been using on TV One for years.

10:19 PM  
Blogger miss_seph said...

Hooray for C4 and sticking up for what you believe in - and the same for the Caths too!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Rebel Heart said...

exactly, now we just have to get rid of that bloody right-wing party that seems to have this bigoted, intolerant view on crime and have something against letting people raise their families in a paedophilic way

3:32 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hail Trevor,
Full of wisdom,
The smart are with thee,
Blessed is the fruit of your keyboard and of thy blog, New Zeal,
Pray for us Catholics, now and in the hour of offence.

8:59 PM  

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