Religious belief – a gift of the Press Council

Read this article – an opinion piece – published in the Herald Sun on January 25, 2012. Notice slap-bang in the middle a ruling of the Press Council that states, inter alia, (emphasis added)

The Council concluded that the newspaper was entitled to publish the article, even though it was likely to cause widespread offence, provided that it gave opportunities for prompt and extensive expression of other views.

Simply astonishing. Note what the person said.

Let me be clear. I believe that a person’s sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh. It is not something you are born with.

The ruling continues

As the factual assertion about choice of sexuality was very probably inaccurate and potentially dangerous, the newspaper should either have edited it or published accompanying rebuttal (preferably from an authoritative source).

As far as I can see there was no factual assertion – the author is saying what she believes to be true and then asserts what the bible says on the issue. The only ‘authoritative source’ I can imagine is a Minister/Priest/Rabbi telling us that the bible says no such thing.

(HT: Chris Berg)

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101 Responses to Religious belief – a gift of the Press Council

  1. rafiki

    Well, I think the statement can be read as adopting the assertion of fact made in the Bible. What I find offensive (to freedom of expression) is the notion that a publisher of a contestable assertion of fact, being one that might give offence, must seek out some authoritative source to rebut the assertion.

  2. daddy dave

    “the newspaper was entitled to publish the article, even though it was likely to cause widespread offence”

    Causing offense is not a criteria for publication. Comedians frequently strive to cause offense. So do protestors, agitators, professional stirrers, anti-Christians, anti-Muslims, anti-anti-anti-cause people, you name it. The film “Someone is coming to dinner” caused offense, but we are now offended at the idea of someone being offended by that film.

    Offense is part of the deal. Offense comes with the territory. The road has traffic in both directions.

  3. daddy dave

    the factual assertion about choice of sexuality was very probably inaccurate

    Weasel words. Was it inaccurate? Or not? And if so, why is the press council policing “accuracy?” That’s a very dangerous precdent. Will the Press Council crack down on puff pieces from Fairfax journalists about the wonderful performance of the Gillard government on the grounds that they are inaccurate?

    and potentially dangerous

    The view is “dangerous.” Here’s the totalitarian instinct at work, folks. The Press Council believes that the public can’t be trusted to even be exposed to certain views, they are so likely to cause them to behave in irrational and dangerous ways.

    Thus, journalists (in the view of the Press Council) must play guardian at the gate of knowledge, deciding what views are safe for the populace to hear, and what views might drive them into an animalistic frenzy.

    This is against everything a free society stands for.

  4. dover_beach

    Why is it ‘dangerous’ to say that conduct X may be a choice? Further, why should different interpretations of a ‘fact’ require an “accompanying rebuttal”, which would simply be another interpretation of the said ‘fact’. A very strange ruling.

  5. C.L.

    As the factual assertion about choice of sexuality was very probably inaccurate and potentially dangerous

    LOL.

    Look, the really funny thing here is that up until the 1980s the homosexual Thought Gestapo insisted that homosexuality was a function of choice, not genes. They were extremely militant on this point. Chosen homosexuality was considered the most dignified and identity-affirming explication of who and what they were. How dare anyone suggest they couldn’t help themselves! That was degrading.

    Ipso facto, these apologists caused many deaths.

    Owing to the AIDS holocaust in the West – caused directly by sodomy – as well as the scientific and cultural buzz surrounding genetics, homosexual apologetics needed to Move Forward. Suddenly, sexuality wasn’t a choice. It was simply a genetically received tendency. This development had the added advantage – insofar as propaganda is concerned – of being cited as ‘proof’ that homosexuality was ‘natural.’ This, of course, had only limited polemical utility because all manner of bodily faults and conditions are genetic. In this sense, Down Syndrome is also natural and normal. When confronted with this problem, homosexual controversialists had an answer. “Shut up,” they explained.

    Parenthetically, it’s worth remembering that more than 90 percent of screened Down Syndrome babies are now slaughtered in utero. If screening for genetic homosexuality becomes possible, should they also be exterminated? If not, why not?

    Anyway…

    Mrs Court is entitled to her beliefs and is entitled to express them. They are certainly less “offensive” than the idea that homosexuals should be permitted to adopt or manufacture children, for example. Sadly, however – credibility-wise – she abandoned Catholicism for wacky protestant pentecostalism in the mid-1970s. Exercising that protestant right par excellence – the ‘right’ to interpret the Bible by her own lights and publicly expound on the results – she began beclowning herself on all manner of subjects. There is, for example, a rather famous biblical passage reinforcing the idea of born homosexuality (Matthew 19:12). Arguably, it also reinforces both the idea of choice and the role of influence by others. So it covers everything.

    I’m not surprised she hasn’t heard of it.

  6. Mk50 of Brisbane

    That’s…. very impressive, CL.

    Well done.

  7. John Comnenus

    Section 116 of the Australian constitution says:

    ‘The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.’

    Seems like the Press Council is trying to do what the Government is prohibited from doing. The Herald Sun should tell the Press Council where to go. A Government Press Council should not be able to make this ruling but I believe it will.

  8. Alexander

    Interpreting “eunuch” as “homosexual” seems a little novel, surely. I doubt you could find a lineage for that going back more than a century, and the notion that “homosexuals” exist and ought to be celibate would be even younger.

  9. Section 116 of the Australian constitution says:

    ‘The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.’

    So they pretty much cribbed off the US Constitution?

    Kinda wild, when that amendment was written by the Yanks specifically to reject their former colonial oppressors’ law of the land at the time. And said former colonial oppressor is still – by consent – Australia’s bossman.

    Still. Whatevs. Though perhaps y’all should have ‘borrowed’ a few more chapters as long as you were at it. *cough*freedomofspeech*cough*

  10. C.L.

    It was Christ speaking, Alexander. Novelty was very much His thing and he wasn’t bound by literary traditions or erstwhile social norms.

    That said, you make a good point – one I’m not able to address professionally because I’m not a linguist or a biblical scholar.

  11. Hugh

    Well put, C.L.

    Press Council: “or published accompanying rebuttal (preferably from an authoritative source).”

    Excuse me Mr Press Council, but what “authoritative source” did you have in mind, given that many gay groups would agree with Mrs Court on this point, and indeed would hurl expletives at those who disagreed with her?

    And I note you said “”preferably” from an authoritative source.” So, if stretched a bit, any non-peer reviewed slag-off would do? Thanks for keeping our MSM press standards up to the level to which we’re accustomed.

  12. Geoff Honnor

    I agree with CL that Mrs Court is entitled to her beliefs and to publicly express them. With pretty much everything else he says, I disagree.

    For instance:

    AIDS isn’t ’caused by sodomy’. Leaving aside the epidemiological absurdity inherent in the proposition, most people living with HIV globally are heterosexual and very few people living with HIV in Australia in 2012 develop AIDS. Gay men are much more likely to acquire HIV than comparable populations for two main reasons: – The prevalence rate among gay men is much higher; gay men tend to have more sex with more partners concurrently than their heterosexual comparators. The good news is that the overwhelming majority of Australian gay men don’t have HIV and I’m sure CL will salute that achievement.

    There is no ‘homosexual thought gestapo’
    There was no ‘unitary belief’ of chosen homosexuality replaced in the 1980’s by some equally ‘unitary belief’ belief in a genetic origin. FWIW most gay men I know indicate they’ve always been gay, women are less definitive. But there’s a diversity of views as you’d expect.

    On that basis, I don’t think it would be good to slaughter ‘gay babies’ in utero – you may not be, etc But I reckon Mk 50 would probably be prepared to give it a shot.

  13. There is no ‘homosexual thought gestapo’

    Yeah. Tell that to anyone – including gay conservatives – who’s been the subject of a pile-on by the angry gay left.

  14. C.L.

    AIDS isn’t ’caused by sodomy’.

    The spread of it in the Western world in the 1980s was. That’s what I clearly meant.

    Even Phillip Adams acknowledged this when he ridiculed the infamously stupid Grim Reaper TV ad.

  15. Hugh

    “But there’s a diversity of views as you’d expect.”

    Us, yes, but not, apparently, the Press Council, which pretends to know of “authoritative” views, and which under Finkelstein, will have power to coercively enforce the propagandization of same. Grand, ain’t it?

  16. daddy dave

    It’s really not important whether the article is right or wrong, whether homosexuality is genetic or whether it’s a choice, or whether it’s a sin, or whether society is in decline and “losing that sense of discipline.”

    The point is that it’s one person’s opinion and she’s entitled to express it. To have government regulators deciding what opinions may be expressed in print is farcical.

  17. The point is that it’s one person’s opinion and she’s entitled to express it. To have government regulators deciding what opinions may be expressed in print is farcical.

    This.

    If you don’t believe in this, you are required to take the acetone to your “TOLERANCE!” and “CO-EXIST” bumper-stickers at the very least.

  18. Pedro the Ignorant

    The point is that it’s one person’s opinion and she’s entitled to express it. To have government regulators deciding what opinions may be expressed in print is farcical.

    Nailed it, Daddy Dave. Orwell’s Ministry of Truth is slowly hatching in Oz.

  19. Gab

    If you don’t believe in this,

    the thing is, they say they believe in tolerance and freespeech, however they always, always head off on the qualifier roller-coaster with a great big ‘BUT’..

  20. wreckage

    To have government regulators deciding what opinions may be expressed in print is farcical.

    Of course it isn’t! One is for free speech as long as it serves one’s own ends, and thereafter, it is discarded as useless or suppressed if a perceived threat.

    Farcical would be passing up the opportunity to use political force to silence, humiliate, or hinder one’s perceived enemies!

    Ya see how that works, now?

  21. Chris M

    Wow, this country really has gotten Orwellian! The media were lame enough here before they introduced this Ministry of Truth stuff.

    On the article subject until relatively recent years the DSM listed homosexuality as a treatable mental disorder; press council would probably be apoplectic about that one.

    I certainly know some former homosexuals who are no longer, by no means uncommon. Also the geographical distribution rules of genetic predisposition; not so popular where folk just get by & work to make a living.

  22. Chris M

    But a moot point anyway when the government is importing hoards of foreign people on a daily basis who will be looking to behead the homos once they get sufficient numbers and authority. The open borders for all ‘refugees’ policy will be a real triumph for Bob Brown in the long run…

  23. Eunuchs are not homosexuals. They are castrati.

  24. Fisky

    Gay men are much more likely to acquire HIV than comparable populations for two main reasons: – The prevalence rate among gay men is much higher; gay men tend to have more sex with more partners concurrently than their heterosexual comparators.

    Let’s be a little clearer on this – you are much more likely to contract HIV per act through sodomy than normal sex. Much, much more likely.

    It’s not entirely clear why, but we cannot entirely discount the design and wishes of the Almighty, well known for His opposition to sodomy.

  25. C.L.

    Eunuchs are not homosexuals. They are castrati.

    That’s clearly not what Christ meant.

    “For there are eunuchs who were born that way.”

  26. Yobbo

    CL really dislikes teh gayz

  27. CC

    “For there are eunuchs who were born that way.”

    I am not an expert but I would suggest ‘eunuch’ is not an easily defined nor stable category – even in the Christian tradition. By late antiquity, at least in the Roman Empire, “eunuch” could refer to all sorts of people who were unreproductive or who were voluntarily celibate. There is evidence that “eunuchs born that way” were understood to be men with undescended/deformed testicles (ancient medical literature suggests this was more prevalent than what it would be today) or just those lacking sexual desire. This does not preclude other men or women being considered “eunuchs born that way” but it may be a stretch to say that meant or included homosexuals, however you want to construct the term ‘homosexual’.

    Some aspects of eunuchism appear to be stable. For example voluntary physical castration was derided by the Jews as too, any form of bodily mutilation and remains so. While the Christian church made room for eunuchs – however defined – voluntary physical castration and bodily mutilation was also strongly opposed by church fathers and continues to be so (no Origen did not castrate himself). Interestingly some church fathers would refer to voluntary physical castration as ‘cheating’ in the sense of trying to escape the battle against the lusts of the flesh. By the fourth century, a ‘true eunuch’ in Christian thought would be an unmutilated, whole man or woman who practiced celibacy. Both Roman and Byzantine law outlawed the making of eunuchs within the empire.

    Both Jews and Christians frowned on sex outside of marriage – and marriage was always opposite gendered, as it has been in all human societies and cultures, pagan, Christian or otherwise, throughout history. What is striking about the early Christians, as compared with their pagan contemporaries, is the absence of double standards. Even pagan society expected women to be chaste, but Christians expected their men to be as chaste as women, and early Christian literature includes constant exhortations for men to lay off boys. This did not sit well with pagan converts, yet while things didn’t change overnight, they did change, and for the better (contrary to popular misconception, there is much that can be said about how the lot of women and children improved with Christianity). Early Christians were particularly scathing of Hadrian and his boy lover Antinous, an ‘unnatural passion’, particularly after Antinous died in unusual circumstances while still a youth, and Hadrian set up a cult in his honour and demanded he be worshipped as a deity.

    As for the Press Council ruling, it is a load of pompous poppy cock and the sort of nonsense one has come to expect from kangaroo courts like the AHRC and self appointed arbiters of truth. As you have pointed out, the author was stating a belief. Even if she had made an assertion, so what? Does the Press Council seriously believe that we are all too stupid to determine for ourselves who to read, what to believe, and who is, and isn’t an authoritative source? Or are they saying they alone can determine who is an acceptable authority and what facts are acceptable? No don’t answer that. I know it’s all of the above.

    Could the Press Council also explain how speaking about a “choice of sexuality” is “potentially dangerous”? Potentially dangerous to whom, and how? Does Cynthia Nixon know given she has out and proud, loudly proclaimed she is “gay by choice” (I dare not add Penny Wong or Bob Brown)? Just who is making what sort of assertions here? Or does the Press Council intend to resurrect the cult of Antinous in the twenty-first century?

    For the record, nature versus nurture arguments about homosexuality and most other things, are rather misguided in my view. My apologies too, for the length of this comment.

  28. Abu Chowdah

    It’s not entirely clear why, but we cannot entirely discount the design and wishes of the Almighty, well known for His opposition to sodomy.

    He, she or it made the colon susceptible to tears to stop bungholery?

    What attention to detail!

  29. blogstrop

    For many in the media it is ok to proselytize for gay marriage, even though as Geoff Honnor says above (and many gays will celebrate this aspect of their lifestyle when not similarly campaigning) “gay men tend to have more sex with more partners concurrently than their heterosexual comparators”. That tendency in the media to propagandise goes way beyond just gay marriage – they are actively promoting that lifestyle as a valid alternative. A former justice of the High Court reportedly even took this message to a prominent boys school back in 2000, assuring them that they could make this choice if they wanted to.
    As with other areas of education and moral training, if the conditioning is affirmative during the teenage years when sexual identity is really starting to translate into action, the adage get them young holds true.
    For the same media folk, it is uncool to ever proselytize for the regular, boring old Christianity, and more often they seek to critique and denigrate it, particularly Catholics. No sympathy there for anything untoward in the sex department, or any perspective. Nor would they ever cast nasturtiums at the Islamic fundos who, despite their public position of punishing homosexuals – usually by hanging or some other capital method – have all manner of things going on including boys dressed as girls providing dancing and other late-night services. One hour marriage to young girls? No problemo. Four wives, ditto. Marry your cousin? It’s the done thing.
    Sexual response is more about conditioning than genes. We do have and do make choices. I can easily find that cute female at work incredibly attractive, but I have a choice about whether to act on it, and being already married, I don’t. I’ve been taught that it’s morally wrong, but I also have social conditioning and insights that it could cause emotional scarring to people in all directions. The “business judgement” says don’t do it. Which works fine as long as it’s the brain driving the bus.
    If the Press Council is going to weight in on such a touchy-feely topic, they are on shifting sands both from a censorship and a social commentary point of view. Best stay right out of it, otherwise they might be asked to rule pro-homosexual opinion out of order as well. That could have a serious impact on the content down at the ABC – oh, wait, nobody’s wanting to censor them, except conservatives who think they’ve stepped over so many lines it’s now open war.

  30. Cory Olsen

    I’m glad catholic hour is over…

    I’m assuming HIV from sodomy is due to greater risk of tearing (ie gay sex)?

  31. CC

    I’m assuming HIV from sodomy is due to greater risk of tearing (ie gay sex)?

    Yes anal sex is risky, whether you’re gay or not.

  32. For the record, nature versus nurture arguments about homosexuality and most other things, are rather misguided in my view.

    Perhaps they would be… if ‘people don’t choose to be gay/they are born that way’ were not the de rigeur explanation dragged out by the media.

    Would have commented that ‘gay by choice’ is an identification actively used by a number of homosexuals. Anyway, it would be rather difficult to explain some of the wilder and stranger forms of human sexuality as occurring simply due to nature… humans are endlessly creative.

  33. Sinclair Davidson

    Let’s not get sidetracked.

  34. PJG

    Capital “B” for Bible, Chris, if only for grammatical reasons. (I wonder if you call the Koran the “koran’?

  35. PJG

    Sorry, I meant Sinclair, who wrote this piece, which is otherwise a good one.

  36. C.L.

    CL really dislikes teh gayz

    Why do you say that, Yobbo?

    Did I invent the link between AIDS and sodomy, or something?

    I really dislike the gay lobby. That’s what I really dislike.

    So do the blacks, Christians and Mormons terrorised by them in California a few years ago.

  37. William M

    Please everyone, write to the APC and complain about their ruling.

  38. daddy dave

    It’s beyond the ruling though, William, isn’t it? It’s the fact that they sit around making decisions about what newspapers are “entitled” (their word) to print.

  39. The Climate Realist

    I guess it’s only a matter of time given the intended widening of control under the Finks report until publishers of the Bible will have to provide rebuttal and authoritative people to give the opposing view since their copies published would fall well within the “acceptable” number for oversight

  40. m0nty

    The point is that it’s one person’s opinion and she’s entitled to express it. To have government regulators deciding what opinions may be expressed in print is farcical.

    The Council concluded that the newspaper was entitled to publish the article, even though it was likely to cause widespread offence, provided that it gave opportunities for prompt and extensive expression of other views.

    This straw man of yours, it is made of straw.

  41. Here is another example of how this works. Those who hold a minority view face this all the time. Creationist geology field trip in the media—just

  42. hammygar

    Offense is part of the deal. Offense comes with the territory. The road has traffic in both directions.

    We ought to be trying to become a better society. Offensive behaviour has been a crime for a long time, but for some reason we’ve absolved media from that offence for no good reason. The comment I’ve quoted is barbaric.

  43. daddy dave

    This straw man of yours, it is made of straw.

    The Press Council is a straw man?

  44. hammygar

    “Down Syndrome is also natural and normal”

    Yes and its sufferers were called “mongoloids”. This has now been almost universally recognised as offensive and hurtful, and civilised people don’t say it any more. We must allow gays the same respect.

  45. daddy dave

    We ought to be trying to become a better society. Offensive behaviour has been a crime for a long time, but for some reason we’ve absolved media from that offence for no good reason.

    1. “We ought to be trying to become a better society.”
    Sure. If people want to, they should try to do that. The question is, what do you want to do to people who aren’t (in your eyes) working towards a better society.
    As I said earlier, this is the totalitarian instinct.

    2. offensive speech should not be a crime. I’m offended every time I hear the words “clean energy future”.

    3. The good reason for “absolving” media (how kind of you to absolve them and not try to punish them through the law) is that there are only two ways of holding the media to account: laws, and market forces. The latter is benign; the former malign.

  46. m0nty

    The Press Council is a straw man?

    My point is that complaining that the Press Council is preventing the expression of opinion, when the Press Council actually explicitly endorsed the expression of opinion, is a straw man.

  47. daddy dave

    This has now been almost universally recognised as offensive and hurtful, and civilised people don’t say it any more.

    The reform of societal attitudes toward Down’s Syndrome did not happen because of the name change, you ignoramus.

    Also, you misunderstood CL’s point. Which, admittedly, was a derailment into the topic of abortion but you nonetheless misunderstood it.

  48. daddy dave

    the Press Council actually explicitly endorsed the expression of opinion

    actually they didn’t. What Sinclair didn’t make clear was that they ruled the article must have a link to another article explaining why it’s wrong.
    specifically the last line of the ruling is:

    Accordingly, the complaint is upheld on this ground in relation to the online version but is not upheld in relation to the print version.

  49. hammygar

    explain how speaking about a “choice of sexuality” is “potentially dangerous”? Potentially dangerous to whom, and how?

    There’s no doubt that opinions like the one complained about may lead to even more physical assaults on gays. This is a proven phenomenon. Incitement to violence is a matter for criminal investigation.

  50. m0nty

    actually they didn’t. What Sinclair didn’t make clear was that they ruled the article must have a link to another article explaining why it’s wrong.

    Actually they did, dd. Requiring the publication of an opposing viewpoint does not change the fact that they ruled that the Herald-Sun was entitled to publish the original article.

  51. Toxic

    If you add forced speech to free speech, you end up with free speech.

  52. Ellen of Tasmania

    Offensive behaviour has been a crime for a long time, but for some reason we’ve absolved media from that offence for no good reason.

    But it’s pretty hard not to offend someone in our ‘multicultural’ society isn’t it, Hammygar? The greater the degree of societal agreement (ethics, morals, tastes, manners etc.) the less offensive we are to each other.

    In our current society we are bound to offend one another with our views. We can fight it out in the public square, or we can have some ruling power telling us what monocultural truths we are allowed to hold, or we can pretend that we all believe everything, all at once, and there is no truth, no better, no greater, no preferable anything.

  53. Rococo Liberal

    CL is right, what offends is the gay lobby, or gaystapo, those sanctimonious, self-righteous dickheads that poison the relationship bewteen homosexuals and the rest odf the community, by insisting on differences whilst complaining about them at the same time.

    Even the brightest homosexuals I know can unfortunately fall for the gaystapo line, and become knee-jerk lefties, even though they are natural Tories or libertarians by nature. One I know is the homosexual mirror-image of CL: articulate, Catholic, passionate , terrible taste in pop music. But every time we meet he seems anxious to say something derogatory about Tony Abbott. But I can tell that such remarks lack conviction; it’s almost as if he is mumbling some enforced catechism that must be said if he is to keep in with the pillow-biters’ union.

  54. CC

    “There’s no doubt that opinions like the one complained about may lead to even more physical assaults on gays.”

    Saying “I think being gay is a choice” is not the equivalent of “hey everyone, run out and bash a gay”, nor does it make one culpable for any idiot who thinks it means that, nor does it make one responsible for any idiot who then obeys those little voices inside their head. You might think it means all that, but no normal person does, and I don’t see Bob Brown, Chris Pearson, Kerryn Phelps, Alan Joyce or anyone else running for cover either.

  55. dover_beach

    There’s no doubt that opinions like the one complained about may lead to even more physical assaults on gays

    By this logic, publicly disapproving of Court’s comments “may lead to…physical assaults” on the Courts of this world.

  56. is a straw man

    you should know m0nty, with a zero, your whole life is a straw man.

  57. CC

    “Offensive behaviour has been a crime for a long time”

    Trawling for sex in a public toilet block may offensive behaviour which is deemed to be a crime but expressing an opinion is not. Get over it.

  58. m0nty

    Irving, that’s exactly the same as what Rommel said once in Egypt, you Nazi.

  59. Incitement to violence is a matter for criminal investigation.

    You should know, violence is something the left has preached and practiced since its very inception.

    To complain about being on its receiving end for the left is pure hypocrisy.

  60. Terence Shanahan

    This is an opinion piece I believe (the quoted topic). Since when do opinions HAVE to be argued? It is also surely up to the privately owned medium whether or it prints a response. The alternative is that every newspiece put out by Fairfax, the ABC or the various lobbies must have the right of reply pencilled in and without distortion.

    I suggest the people taking such articles to Press Councils or anyone else are using what I regard as their abominable PC arguments as weapons for coercion and censorship against what I would regard as otherwise personal opinions stated in the presumptive innocence that we have free speech rights in this country. The pompous nature of the Council opinion indicates it doesnt see that is being used to abuse a constitutionally but traditionally accepted right of freedom of speech in this country.

    Its the coercive power of shutting up anyone who has alternative opinions to put that I really intensely despise both in the people bringing the complaints and in the various councils that seem to have no idea that they are the ones responsible for the ongoing and increasing censorship that is happening in this country. This undermining of the mores of our society is diabolical and a hugely dangerous game we are allowing to be played upon us, especially when it seems to be supported by big chunks of our media.

    What happened to the mantra ‘I dont like what a person says but I will fight to the death for his right to say it’. Obviously the press itself and the various jurisdictional ‘councils’ and the few sensitive souls and dangerous institutions that bring the complaints dont believe in it. It is by having a compliant, large section of the media that allows these things to happen. No politician will survive a pan media campaign against him and no party will survive the same; hence, why does so much of the media pander to this hugely significant curtailment of the rights of Australian citizens as well as itself?

  61. hammygar

    We can fight it out in the public square, or we can have some ruling power telling us what monocultural truths we are allowed to hold

    This is a very fluid time in opinion-making. Until things settle down, the community needs guidance. Yes I strongly believe some opinions should be strictly controlled, even forbidden.

  62. you Nazi

    OMFG M0nty does a Goodwin!

  63. CC

    “Until things settle down, the community needs guidance. Yes I strongly believe some opinions should be strictly controlled, even forbidden.”

    Could the people who regularly comment here please confirm that hammygar is a (very bad) parody?

  64. Yes I strongly believe some opinions should be strictly controlled, even forbidden

    Another cuckold luving leftist, looking to be enbondaged. Have you considered Madam lash as an outlet for your perversion?

  65. C.L.

    Well, that’s the gay lobby’s work, Dave. They’ve been so effective at blackmailing and abusing people that the Press Council obediently issues a fatwa for them.

    I wonder if the PC will investigate Rodney Croome’s outrageous smear-job on Tony Abbott, by the way. For example, Croome argues that Abbott’s sister has been shunned by the Abbott family. This directly and maliciously contradicts what she said and is a deliberate lie. He also implies – he actually mendaciously uses quotation marks – to say that Abbott regards his sister as a “cross to bear.” This is also a deliberate, malicious lie.

  66. m0nty

    OMFG M0nty does a Goodwin!

    Leni Riefenstahl said something much like that once, Irving. You’d probably gas Jews if you had the chance.

  67. blogstrop

    We’d certainly piss you off Monty, given the opportunity. Waste of space.

  68. C.L.

    Yes and its sufferers were called “mongoloids”. This has now been almost universally recognised as offensive and hurtful, and civilised people don’t say it any more. We must allow gays the same respect.

    We don’t say “mongoloid” anymore but we do, as a society, slaughter 90 percent of Down Syndrome children in utero. This is exactly the morality of Joseph Mengele.

    But we’re not using a mean word.

    This is the grotesque, hypocritical sanctimony of our time in a nutshell.

  69. C.L.

    gaystapo

    I should have thought of that, dammit.

  70. m0nty

    We’d certainly piss you off Monty, given the opportunity. Waste of space.

    As a great man just said: This is exactly the morality of Joseph Mengele.

  71. Ellen of Tasmania

    This is a very fluid time in opinion-making. Until things settle down, the community needs guidance. Yes I strongly believe some opinions should be strictly controlled, even forbidden.

    And exactly who gets to make those decisions, hammygar? On what basis? By what standard? And how do we know when things have ‘settled down’ if we force silence on all the dissenters? Can you really ‘forbid’ an opinion?

    If the ‘fluidity’ of our cultural opinions is busy running down hill – as fluids often will – is no one allowed to point this out? Are we never allowed to point out that our ‘opinion-makers’ are bottom-dwellers?

  72. CC

    “We must allow gays the same respect.”

    OK hammygar I promise never to call you mongoloid- which is easy because I’ve never called anyone that in my life.

    Next.

    (Thanks Tal)

  73. St Hubbins

    We don’t say “mongoloid” anymore but we do, as a society, slaughter 90 percent of Down Syndrome children in utero. This is exactly the morality of Joseph Mengele.

    But we’re not using a mean word.

    This is the grotesque, hypocritical sanctimony of our time in a nutshell.

    Very well said, C.L. This sums up current times perfectly – it’s all about perceptions and appearances rather than reality.

  74. MichaelC58

    —————————————–
    The New Press Council Ruling:
    This forum, exceeding 15,000 hits p.a., is subject to regulation. Consequently the New Press Council has considered complains from its members and concluded that this blog contains many inaccurate criticisms of the New Press Council in its derision of the Council’s rulings, which in the Council’s authoritative view really defends free inoffensive speech.
    It is likely to cause wide offence to the supporters of free speech and is dangerous by opposing the good Press Council’s mandate of maintaining a society free of offence, which otherwise might lead to unhappiness, violent thoughts and societal disintegration.

    The few token defenders of the Press Council notwithstanding, the failure by Mr Davidson to secure and publish an authoritative rebuttal of said inaccuracies breaches the guidelines and he must publish a retraction, an apology, a commitment not to repeat the offence, attend anger management training, pass the new Inoffensive Journalism Certification course and print an article explaining correctly the good work of the New Press Council.
    “Long Live Free Speech.”
    ———————————————-

  75. Could the people who regularly comment here please confirm that hammygar is a (very bad) parody?

    Yes.

    He’s like an Alene Composta wannabe, but he’s too excruciatingly over-the-top to pull it off.

    NUANCE: Our Hammy ain’t got it. Wish he’d stick to his day job.

  76. rodclarke

    We don’t say “mongoloid” anymore but we do, as a society, slaughter 90 percent of Down Syndrome children in utero. This is exactly the morality of Joseph Mengele.

    But we’re not using a mean word.

    This is the grotesque, hypocritical sanctimony of our time in a nutshell.

    Mind = Blown. Best comment ever!

  77. The New Press Council Ruling:
    This forum, exceeding 15,000 hits p.a., is subject to regulation.

    I’m curious what they plan to do about Twitter, which is classed as a micro-blogging platform.

    If you have just 42 followers who read just one tweet a day from you, you’ve passed the threshold.

    Trying to regulate Twitter would be like trying to herd cats.

  78. m0nty

    Twitter servers are in America as is the company, bit of a different situation.

  79. Twitter servers are in America as is the company, bit of a different situation

    Where are WordPress and Blogger servers?

    And is the jurisdiction where the blog/tweet was originally published/submitted from; where it is stored and on-transmitted from; or where eyeballs are reading it?

    A British Twitterer was jailed for 56 days for tweeting something the UK authorities decided was “racist,” even though what he said wouldn’t have been an offense in the US.

    I don’t think getting away with violating Australia’s new regulations is going to be as easy as storing the “offensive” things you wrote on a foreign server somehow.

  80. Listen to the view of Dr Robert Spitzer – NOT a Christian – and who was responsible for altering the diagnostic category relating to homosexuality in 1973 in DSM III. He has since reconsidered his original view, and due to the evidence has seen that SOME homosexuals can change their orientations. I bet this is too hot to handle for the press too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr6T4ka7TxU

    And more on Spitzer:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html

    LIke a true scientist, he offers his observations, he is not heavy handed or anything. Those who are open, will consider his views and are free to accept or reject them. But given that he had a leading position in the DSM III recategorisation of homosexuality, his views come from one who has considered the matter carefully.

  81. An Australian suing the American-based American company Twitter for the Australian version of “defamation”? Though I’m only a layman with no legal training, just out of common sense I don’t give him very good odds.

    But that doesn’t answer my question as to whether Australian users of the microblogging site who have more than 41 followers will be subject to this new Australian regulatory authority. That’s mainly what I was curious about.

  82. Meshenhuggener

    The press council makes the claim that modern scientific knowledge indicates homosexuality is not a choice. Note that there is no reference because this is a fallacy. There was one very poorly conducted study some years ago and that is about it other studies indicate it is a choice. Could I also point out if one is born that way how do you explain the tens of thousands who by an act of their will turned their back on their homosexual behavior to go on to marry and have families. Beyond any question sexual orientation is a choice. Of course some are more inclined this way from their upbringing circumstances personality etc but that doesn’t make it inherit Some are also inclines towards adultery and other things we all have inclinations we need to resist because they are wrong, same with homosexuals.

  83. dover_beach

    Well said, CL; well said.

  84. Tapdog

    Complaints to the Council from several sources said this passage was inaccurate because modern scientific knowledge indicated that sexuality was not a matter of choice.

    With this pronouncement, the Press Council takes the primacy of state approved science over religion to an authoritative and potentially dangerous new level.

  85. m0nty

    You will note that the 2002 Gutnick case has not led to a slew of similar cases. It has probably been superseded by the 2004 FTA with the US in relation to American Web sites, in practice if not in law.

    Generally these days you’d be suing whichever party is in your jurisdiction. Very difficult to make it stick otherwise.

  86. CC

    Well Tapdog, it is. So do we talk about how bad it is or get into the trenches? It takes 2-3 minutes to lodge a complaint here , here, at Fairfax and elsewhere. There’s plenty to complain about this particular lunacy, Croome’s smears at the ABC, Flanagan and Howden’s smears at Fairfax…you won’t run out of things to write. It also takes only a few minutes to ring a radio station, complain to the luvvies favourite advertisers, sponsors, funding body, and also to their competitors. There’s no need to stop at media organisations, there are plenty of self appointed PC police in councils and state and federal government bodies who need a boot up the backside.

    Work out who has the most influence or does the most damage (it isn’t necessarily the most visible, it may the editor rather than reporter)and start getting some attention and hitting them with a piece of your mind. Hec if you have a lawyer in the family use them. One letter can generate a lot of fun.

    They won’t get serious until we show that we’re serious.

  87. daddy dave

    The press council makes the claim that modern scientific knowledge indicates homosexuality is not a choice. Note that there is no reference because this is a fallacy. There was one very poorly conducted study some years ago and that is about it other studies indicate it is a choice.

    Back up a moment. There is a ton of research on this question.
    The answer seems to be – (drum roll) a combination of nature and nurture. It’s a real surprise, isn’t it? (not)

  88. daddy dave

    By the way, my take on Hammygar is that his views are sincere.

  89. JC

    I don’t think he’s ever been insincere, Dads…. even when he said he was going to whack himself out over the guilt with social justice issues.

  90. Abu Chowdah

    Twitter servers are in America as is the company, bit of a different situation.

    Still here, Monty? Oh well, I guess that means Hitch isn’t coming back and, the corollary, there is no such thing as God.

    [/hope]

  91. m0nty

    The hell are you going on about, Apu?

  92. JamesK

    So he’s a fuckwit who sincerely changes his mind even when circumstances don’t?

  93. I think it’s imperative to really rub the lefts face in the idea of progressive taxes by moving the rates to zero as the rate goes up. The top marginal rate say at $1m should be zero. I see no reason why anyone should have to subside cuckolded perverts like hamster and M-zero-nty.

    When the government makes from a business then you do, through its myriad taxes then that is basically owning the means of production via stealth with zero risk. Having a truly progressive system where taxes over incomes of say $1m become entirely voluntary is something to strive for on the road to eliminating income and capital gains taxes altogether.

  94. Abu Chowdah

    You must have missed it during your sulk, Muntz. I offered you in trade for the Hitch. It was a triple good deal for earth.

    1. We get Hitch back.
    2. You get to fuck off to the Elysian fields where there is no internet, bringing blessed relief to denizens of the Cat.
    3. I’d be convinced there is a God.

  95. wreckage

    This is a very fluid time in opinion-making. Until things settle down, the community needs guidance. Yes I strongly believe some opinions should be strictly controlled, even forbidden.

    Yes. In particular, people who advocate placing any legal strictures on peaceful free speech – ie., any that does not advocate violence – need to be prosecuted.

  96. Winston SMITH

    “By the way, my take on Hammygar is that his views are sincere. The issue is that he is as mad as a cut snake.”

    FIFY DD.

  97. daddy dave

    Well, yes. I wasn’t endorsing his views.

  98. Finally found it, about a week too late. An old website about Christianity… and fisting. Link here.

  99. Hey, what’s the big idea Tim? I’m supposed to be the specialist here in posting obscure and somewhat off-putting links about sex practices.

    (And, as it happens, I have seen that very odd bunch of links before.)

Comments are closed.