Friday, September 05, 2008

Own Goal of the Week

HarperCollins has announced that it will remove a chapter on how to play the didgeridoo from the Australian edition of The Daring Book for Girls. The company has also issued a statement apologising for the inclusion of the chapter.

The chapter's removal follows accusations from Dr Mark Rose, general manager of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association, that the inclusion of the chapter was culturally insensitive. Dr Rose's comments, and HarperCollins response, gave Hun columnist, Andrew Bolt, a perfect opportunity to launch a fulminating attack on Dr Rose in particular, and aboriginal activism in general.

Bolt was also able to score points off Dr Rose by citing sources who said that, contrary to Dr Rose's belief, there was no traditional prohibition on women playing the didgeridoo.

Nice one Mark.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Gutless Bolt Has a Bob Each Way on Freedom of Expression...

... and he's not the only one.

Emily Mapfuwa, a devout Christian, has launched a private prosecution against an art gallery for displaying a statue of Jesus Christ with a beef bugle. According to the good Emily's lawyers, the Baltic Centre for Conteporary Art committed an ‘act of a lewd and a disgusting nature and outraged public decency contrary to Common Law’ by displaying the statue.

The private prosecution is funded and supported by the Christian Legal Centre, an organisation whose aims include:

To promote and protect the freedoms of Bible believing Christians in the United Kingdom; to promote religious freedom as a fundamental right by means of legal action and public promotion.

The Centre's support for freedom of speech is evidently highly qualified and selective in its application, as this private prosecution shows; the Centre will obviously defend the right of Christians to 'freedom to speak and live in accordance with truth'; they take a very dim view of the right of unbelievers to depict their personal saviour with a boner:

The Christian Legal Centre believes in freedom of expression but this statue served no other purpose than to offend Christians and to denigrate Christ.

In plain English, the Christian Legal Centre believes in freedom of expression for Christians only. A private prosecution on criminal charges remains an option for those who offend Christians and, in doing so, infringe on their 'biblical freedoms'.

Andy Bolt isn't too keen on the court action, but with all those adoring Christian readers and fans to pander to, he'd much rather 'despise the cheap shot cowardice' than defend freedom of expression. Once again, it's 'Where are all the blasphemous pictures of Mohammed' time.