Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Tom S - 40th post - 22 Dec 2004 11:41
BBC News website this morning:
An advert for a contraceptive pill has been withdrawn after Catholics and other groups complained to the advertising watchdog. The poster for morning-after pill Levonelle One Step used the phrase "immaculate contraception".
Seems like an excellent slogan for an advert. But, of course, the extremists manipulate The Advertising Standards Authority to defend their superstitions, myths and supernatural nonsense. It seems that they had only 179 complaints on which to base this censorship. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 501st post - 22 Dec 2004 12:29
So the next thing will obviously be demonstrations outside churches to prevent them spreading their Stone Age fairy tales.
Except it won't. Because people who don't believe in god are always more tolerant and British than those who do. Especially when those who do are stranded by the tide of education and medical advances and begin to realise their days are numbered as a political force, and lash out in their own defence.
These advances convince everyone who's ever benefited from them that death means a stain in a graveyard, not eternal life and judgement.
We are prepared to accept that some people are not able to advance beyond the emotional level of nine year olds because they have NOT fully benefited from improvements in education and medicine. That is a great shame for them and all society. But we don't BLAME them for their ignorance or their childhood traumas.
There seems to be an element of co-ordination going on in the complaints we have seen lately against advertising hoardings. And the less advertising the better says I. So I suggest that the next time you see one of the Neo-Nuremberg FaithFests advertised in 48 sheet 4 colour near to a school or hospital you make a severe complaint to the ASA about children's minds being poisoned by this - well, poison.
Complain to the local council about the badly-spelt propaganda splurging across the front of your local church: 'WITHOUT JESUS YOU ARE NOTHING' I remember seeing a few months ago. That's offensive and very dangerous to young minds.
If they want a fight, fine. But they must understand that they shouldn't trust opinion polls. Trust the attendances on the Boxing Day sales. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1658th post - 22 Dec 2004 12:48
A fine example of secular tolerance - not. Just a fascist rant. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 509th post - 22 Dec 2004 13:51
The only facists in this debate are those who want to constrict human thought to the agenda of prehistory.
Who are willing to destroy freedom of expression in the name of a greater wisdom which only they hold the key to.
Who are now feeling more threatened than ever before, especially at Xmas, which is the ultimate slap in the face to believing Christians. Or so you'd think.
The logical reaction from the majority of non-believers would be to retaliate in kind. My point was that non-believers are above that.
If you call that fascism, you have no concept of political realities and absolutely no regard for the things which actually rescue this society from pure barbarism.
If destroying language and the freedom to associate ideas doesn't make you angry, then it is already too late to save you. You are lost to whatever mystical brain-death ideology you have been predominantly exposed to. Fascism was always good at that. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1665th post - 22 Dec 2004 14:00
Well that touched a nerve. Good.
You appear to object to people making their thoughts and feelings public simple becuase they happen to have a religious basis. Some people found the advert offensive. They expressed those feelings of offence through legitimate channels.
Why do you want to muzzle them?
And then you go on about how the religious 'unter-menschen' are corrupting the minds of our young people. Heard that one before somewhere. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 516th post - 22 Dec 2004 14:35
Muzzle who? No, I want to stop you destroying the culture of this country. Simple as that. Of dragging us back to your Slavery.
I want to prevent your attempt to restore a system of values incompatible with democracy and freedom of expression and human dignity. Any problems with that? What happened today was ‘muzzling’. Very muzzling.
Religion is a primitive branch of philosophy, harmless in its way, and you are free to express it any way you like. Just don't complain when you are criticised or the icons you have enforced on the rest of us become part of the culture and therefore fair game for any media purpose. Don't complain - forgive. Your reaction to worldy criticism merely exposes your insecurity in your expressed beliefs. It is a wordly reaction.
You're trying too hard. Just have faith, and all this will seem meaningless. God, by definition, is invulnerable to the attentions of the advertising industry. I hope. Why am I saying this? I sound more like a priest than you do.
And don't moan when the church is criticised for subjecting children to the concept that Eternal Torture can only be avoided by LOVING the Being capable of inflicting the torture. That the capacity to inflict pain is a prerequiaite of respect and love. Love = Fear.
Great formula for a healthy democratic society. That message alone is surely responsible for hundreds of generations of degenerates and weirdos. The very criminals that religions then condemn to hell. In one end out the other. A self-feeding conveyor belt of sinners and converts.
Sickness incarnate. And one tolerated at the tax-payers expense no less. Organisations which might have been designed as Drug-money Laundering Operations are allowed to do their daily cash deals without any adequate scrutiny, and to poison young minds in the process AND to make lots of money from doing so.
Nazism inherited most of its basic techniques (the Leader who must be feared and loved at the same time) from its religious predecessors. The only difference was that their commandents began with Shou Shalt Not, whereas the C20 totalitarians began theirs with 'Thou Shalt'.
The trouble is, Thou Shalt Not Offend means Thou Shalt Shut Up or We Shalt Throw Bricks Through Thy Theatre's Windows'. Or if thou makest any wordplay which offendeth, the heinous article shall be removed from sight and destroyed.
THAT is fascism.
Now if you want to extoll the virtues of your faith, go ahead. No-one's objecting. But stay out of things you don't understand, like modern democratic societies in which people want to have a life while they ARE alive. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1670th post - 22 Dec 2004 15:39
"No, I want to stop you destroying the culture of this country. Simple as that. Of dragging us back to your Slavery.
I want to prevent your attempt to restore a system of values incompatible with democracy and freedom of expression and human dignity. Any problems with that? "
Scaremongering which Mr Goebbels would have been proud of. Keep it up - no doubt like minded people will help your campaign to rid the country (my country as well, BTW) of these evil subversives.
In fact, you have no evidence of any attempt by any of the people involved to do anything of the sort. I, and all the catholics I know, are committed democrats and champions of free speech - which includes the freedom to make our views known.
In this case, as it happens, the advertisers were not made to remove the advert - they did so voluntarily when they realised that many people did find it offensive. Some people, believe it or not, prefer not to gratuitously offend others (present company excepted clearly).
Live your life however you want to live it - just don't go around dumping on others and getting all 'holier than thou' when they object.
"If destroying language and the freedom to associate ideas doesn't make you angry"
We are talking about a drug comapny advert, BTW. Now there are some real friends of fascism. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 519th post - 22 Dec 2004 16:07
That would be the Goebbels who was the mate of the Catholic Hierachy in the 30s.
That would be the brand of freedom of speech peddled by the Inquisition.
The brand of free speech which bans the dissemination of information about contraception among the people who need it most.
The brand of free speech which opposed elementary truths about the nature of the universe and the facts about the force of gravity itself.
As a true believer in an omniscient and omnipotent Being, you have no need to make your opinions known. And because of Faith, your beliefs are above intellectual dissection. So why should anything anyone says about your beliefs be of any consequenceto you? What difference can the desolate wailings of a few lost souls have on your confidence in a glorious eternity of peace and celestial love? None.
But quite a lot apparently. So the only conclusion is that you are NOT a believer. You are a product of your time like the rest of us. Your adoption of a religion as a basis for your identity is either a perverse choice made out of an inability to come to terms with the realities of the time, which are pretty terrible, I admit. Or a cultural accident. Probably the result of the childhood indoctrination already mentioned (Tomorrow Belongs to You).
It is obviously not working as a source of spiritual comfort. I personally doubt if it ever has.
As for evidence. The campaigns against advertising ARE a step backwards because they do place taboos of thought on everyone. If advertisers can't get away with it, how can the rest of us. And as for the creative writer, his days are numbered. Any taboo will instantly clog up the creative flow.
How do I know if I am about to stray into forbidden territory? I don't. So play it safe and be a hack instead. Tell lies, at least I'll know where I am. It's like telling a jazz musician 'You are forbidden to play Bflat and Csharp. Everything else is OK.'
That is censorship and the end of all freedom, not just of artistic expression.
But then, true believers don't need freedom. All your decisions are already taken for you and your only expression should be to the glory of god, so why do you need to express yourSELF? You don't have a SELF - only a soul. And that's god's property anyway.
What on earth would you do with freedom? It would be like giving a Ferrarri to a parrot. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1675th post - 22 Dec 2004 16:15
Go ahead. Ignore the issues and carrying on spouting your ludicrous parodies. Defend those nice drug companies to the hilt, those poor persecuted advertising copy writers. Push the drugs, promote the baby-milk, obese children? no problem - its freedom of speech.
Each post simply confirms your irrational hatred and complete ignorance of what I do and do not believe. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 521st post - 22 Dec 2004 16:30
It may be hatred but it is rational.
And I'm completely informed about the Catholic Church's position on condom use in Africa by wives of men who are HIV positive, thank you.
And of the bloody history of the Catholic Church. There isn't room on a hundred Boards for that appalling lists of obscenities to be spelled out for your education.
Your tactic of trying to confuse a defence of freedom of speech with a defence of multi-national corporations that bleed the strength from the most unfortunate members of society is very fitting, given the historic global role of the Catholic church. Despicable, but fitting.
I will repeat the point for your benefit.
If Advertising agencies with their massed ranks of lawyers and friends in political high places can't get away with a simple pun on a common English expression, then no-one is safe.
Especially not children, the damaging of whom as early as possible has probably, by it's own standards, been the single greatest achievement of the Roman Church.
'Give me the child and I will give you the man.' [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1667th post - 22 Dec 2004 17:23
I'm afraid if you think that drug companies should be able to offend catholics with impunity because 'freedom of speech' is inviolable, then rationally you should allow them to offend however and whomsoever they wish. No boundaries.
The history of mankind and its institutions, including the church, is indeed bloody. But also irrelevant to this debate which is about what catholics in this country are, or are not, doing now . And they are not attempting to subvert the culture of this country - they are part of it and have as much right as anyone else to contribute to and influence its future.
So now we are all child-abusers - heard that one before as well. You can excuse almost anything if its directed at child abusers, can't you? [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 522nd post - 22 Dec 2004 19:17
The question is not who should be allowed to offend whom but why you are offended in the first place.
Everything you say convinces me that your faith is very shaky indeed if it is challenged by an infantile pun. The moral, ethical and epistemological control centre of all reality throughout time and it's threatened by an advertising jingle??
And if something as trivial as that can stir other insecure catholics into political action, then what will you do when, say, an abortion clinic is opened next to a church? Why should you have a right to prevent a vital service like that simply because of physical proximity?
If you want to be part of society, then your beliefs either have to be compatible with it or you accept that your private mystical beliefs should stay within your faith community. That shouldn't bother you because you are sure that you are right and that ultimately you will be proved right, on the day of judgement, and then what silly asses we shall all look.
Bombing abortion advice centres is not compatible.
Poisoning children's minds is not compatible.
Sanctioning the massacre of trade unionists in Spain is incompatible.
And claiming copyright and reproduction rights on the phrase 'immaculate conception' is also incompatible.
You do not own it. And your propietorial attitude merely emphasises your further insecurity in your faith. If someone else uses the term, they steal a bit of your religion from you? Please.
You have the same rights as everyone else as people, but your religion has no right to special treatment. How would we ever cater for the entire range of crackpot sects if we were to give you all equal deference?
Especially in those parts of London where every other ex pub is now some cockamamie temple or other. The use of almost any imagery would become almost impossible.
Worse than that, there is then the real risk, perhaps for the first time, of a genuine popular reaction against religion. Which I do NOT relish.
The Sikhs in Birmingham are beginning to realise the mistake of being a spiritual organisation trying to meddle in politics. Catholics and the C of E types think that because they've been around longer in this country than Muslims that they can get away with it. Tony Blair obviously thinks the same. But the people value their freedom from religious interference. They won't have their culture constrained by mystical entities. They will play ball with you and treat you politely as long as you keep your religion off the streets.
In other words, for as long as you behave as if you believe. Whether you do or not is a matter of supreme indifference to most people, as long as you behave as if you do.
You don't, and neither does anyone else who sees insults and blasphemy on every cornflake packet. You 'want to be part of the culture and contribute' but you don't want any of your terminology used by the host society in ways you do not approve of?
Either you're part of society or you're not.
Yachting Clubs are part of society. When I use or misuse the term 'sailing close to the wind' do I have to get approval from the Isle Of Wight?
How about the term 'Christmas'? Aren't you mortally offended to see it splurged over every concievable tawdry nick-nack you can imagine in your worst nightmares? Erotic Christmas Split Crotch Panties for that SPECIAL Madonna!!
Christmas Special Offer on Flavoured Condoms!!!
Why aren't you complaining about that?
I'll tell you. Because the birth control issue is still one which you think you can squeeze some political juice out of.
To let a contraception campaign get away with use of the holy words Immaculate Conception would have trumped what remains of your marketing strategy on that issue. Simple as that.
Objecting to the gross abuse of the term 'Christmas', of course, would be impossible. So pick on something smaller..
Take my advice, don't mess with commercial Christmas. There wouldn't be a nun in Nantes or a candle in Kilkenny.. Because, after all, you ARE part of the grubby materialistic world we all live in. Most of us are prepared to admit it, that's all. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1676th post - 23 Dec 2004 09:33
I personally am not 'mortally offended' by the particular advertisement in question. However, I will defend the right of anyone who is offended by an advertisement to object to it.
I personally am not against contraception so I'm afraid you are shooting at a target that isn't there. Like I said, you are profoundly ignorant of what I do and do not believe.
I don't know where you saw the panties ad but presumably not on a billboard or a TV ad. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 527th post - 23 Dec 2004 11:24
I'm afraid you are NOT in favour of contraception.
Or, as I thought, you are a typical, C21st religious cherry-picker, who feels comfortable with a religious identity but who doesn't for one minute accept the supremacy of the church over your own individuality.
This is religion as a lifestyle. Nothing more.
I said that everything you say belies your proclamations of faith. And then you go and say that you defy the spiritual authority for that faith.
How do you expect me to take you seriously as a Person of Faith?
It's at times like this you begin to almost admire the principles of the Taliban.
They would not allow one of their holiest celebrations to be besmirched by commercial exploitation. You would. But then, as children they lived through some of the most obscenely bloody times of the C20. Saw their relatives and friends butchered by successive bands of murderers in a devastated country without adequate education or basic civic infrastructure.
Now I'm assuming you don't have those excuses for blind religious faith. If so then your relative comfort enables you to adopt your doctrine of Religion-Lite and fit it into your typical Western schedule. But this is not true belief, this is recreational religion, one step removed from the career conversions once so popular in Elizabethan and Stuart England and in Hollywood now.
One expression of this fraternal e-faith is the adoption of a 60's civil rights mindset which, spiced with just a hint of good ol' corporate US litigancy, provides a temporal campaign to motivate the flock and give them a reason for Believing which shows results NOW. Not when you're dead. A dramatic struggle to give a sense of identity with the martyrs of the faith and a feeling that it is possible to make a contribution to the defence of the faith and its advancement... Evangelism, if you like.
But if you were to truly believe in the cosmic entities of Catholicism, that they were real and ever present and eternal, you would find that you would not need to descend to this level to maintain the morale of the flock.
Faith is the key. Ask the Pope or anyone. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1680th post - 23 Dec 2004 12:01
We were discussing an advert yet you continue your polemic. As you continue to reveal, you know nothing of what I believe and it is, in any case, not relevant to the question. I frankly do not give a damn whether you take my faith seriously or not.
I have not descended to any level - I have simply defended the rights of certain people to express their opinions and have them heard. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 529th post - 23 Dec 2004 12:50
With true faith you don't need 'rights'. That is the point. Again I have to get theological with you.
And anyway, you are guaranteed all the civil rights you need, those which protect your right to practise your religion.
All religions have that basic right, as long as they do not offend any greater social restriction. Sacrificing babies might be one. Or hampering the general freedom of the real community to express its feelings and go about its business within those same parameters.
And I'm afraid that satire, lampoon, ridicule and even honest abuse are an inevitable and creative part of that culture. Our culture. And accomodating the fickle sensitivities of each generation of each faith is not something it is designed to do. You're thinking of the culture of Stalinist Russia.
Organising lobby groups to censor a simple pun out of existence crosses the line and advances the political power of an organisation which should have nothing to do with politics. Ever. For its own good.
If this new Religious Rearguard have their way there will be a rationalist backlash. What would there be to prevent me buying advertising space to specifically highlight the crippling, pernicious effects of religion on the growing mind. Why should I allow any religious advertising near schools in my area?
By seeking a higher profile for your faith, possibly with a view to attracting more tithe revenue, possibly not, you are opening a can of worms. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1681st post - 23 Dec 2004 13:04
If you don't like religious advertising near schools, fine. You can write to the ASA as much as anyone else can. If you can convince them that it offends a reasonable number of people, you can get it removed.
Your 'pun' can still be used in books, films, plays, conversations, TV shows etcetera - anywhere where people can choose whether or not they see or hear it.
Our society, through its democratically elected government, decided it was going to put limitations on what material advertisers can use. If you don't like it, campaign for a change in the law but do stop whining when other members of society exercise their legal rights. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 532nd post - 23 Dec 2004 14:48
So you'd be happy to see a sitcom called 'The Immaculate Contraception' about the ups and downs of a disfunctional family of disaffected catholics wrestling with the absurdities of church doctrine in the face of the real world, aired after 'Songs Of Praise' on a Sunday night?
Or the tragic story of an inmate of a 1930's Convent School impregnated by a visiting curate and faced with institutionalised hostility to her plight?
Because if your campaign stops with advertising that would be one thing - if impossible to apply consistently across the board to all peculiarities of belief - but I get the distinct feeling that this is the edge of a slippery slope. Religious groups in this country are emboldened by the triumph of Bush's election, and mean to have some of the same.
This is a totally irreligious, material impulse and threatens both their own faith and the tolerance of the long-suffering British public. As is the need of the catholics you mention to 'exercise their legal rights' in this case.
What threat did the words pose to the Holy Roman Catholic Church? None.
What it did threaten was the self-image of those whose belief is not secure enough to sustain the random vagiaries of a secular culture.
So it had to go.
So what's next? Can we please have a list of words and phrases which the church agrees may be displayed in public?
It would save everyone connected to the print media a lot of time and expense. After all, how do we know which remote corner of the Vatican pantheon is going to be desecrated by some unnecessarily clever, but apparently harmless slogan or piece of publicity copy.
A catalogue of banned images would also be useful for graphic artists. Theatre poster designers, for instance could waste huge amounts of time and effort producing a stunning image for a particular play, only to find that on displaying it on sites all over London that it transgresses some catholic taboo know only to the initiated.
So a list of what we may or may not display, please.
C.C. to Rome, Mecca, Jerusalem, Tibet, Seattle. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. David Mottram - 1687th post - 23 Dec 2004 15:03
I believe the second of your ideas for a TV programme has already been done.
I have still had no answer from you on one simple question, despite all your verbose bluster. Do you recognise the need for any limits on what advertisers do?
Did you attack the RSPCA for objecting to a WKD advert? [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Religious Extremists Stop Pill Ad. Little Richardjohn - 533rd post - 23 Dec 2004 15:29
After saying that the less advertising the better all round, I certainly believe that PEOPLE should be respected in advertising. But ideologies? Why? They can stand up for themselves.
Or, like Christianity, turn the other cheek.
Insulting images of women or children or racial groups should be barred because they pose an actual threat to likely welfare of real people.
A religion is a collection of ideas, not a human being of flesh and blood. And therefore its theoretical sensitivities deserve less coddling, if any.
If the image had been a humiliating or degrading picture of identifiably catholic people being depicted as worthy of persecution or disenfranchisement because of their religion, as appeared in the Ulster of the Carson era, then I would cheerfully light the fires myself. The nazi depictions of Jews as rats obviously also spring to mind.
In this case, we are talking about the appropriation of an obcure theological term to publicise a method of breaching catholic doctrine. A particular piece of doctrine (the contraception encyclical) which just happens to provide the Vatican with its last real hold on the loyalties of the poorest people in the world. The people who it needs to KEEP poor and desperate in order to survive as the oldest global corporation. [reply] [Complain about this post]