Monday, December 20, 2004


But you can say anything you like about Christianity

An evangelical Christian ministry has been found to have vilified Islam during a seminar and in a newsletter which mocked the religion. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) today blasted the Catch the Fire Ministries, its pastor Danny Nalliah, and speaker Daniel Scot over the March 2002 seminar in Melbourne and several articles in the church's newsletter. In a decision handed down today in a key test of Victoria's three-year-old racial and religious vilification laws, Judge Michael Higgins found in favour of the Islamic Council of Victoria, which took the action against Catch The Fire.

Judge Higgins found that Catch the Fire and Pastor Scot had breached section eight of the Religious and Racial Tolerance Act. Also found in breach was church leader Pastor Nalliah, who was an unsuccessful senate candidate for the Family First party in this year's federal election. Judge Higgins will decide on penalties, which could include orders for an apology or damages, early next year. Judge Higgins said the seminar run by the ministry, a newsletter on its website, and a website article written by an author identified as Richard all breached the Act.

In a summary of reasons for his decision, Judge Higgins said Pastor Scot had throughout the seminar made fun of Muslim beliefs and conduct. "It was done, not in the context of a serious discussion of Muslims' religious beliefs," Judge Higgins said. "It was presented in a way which is essentially hostile, demeaning and derogatory of all Muslim people, their God, Allah, the prophet Mohammed and in general Muslim religious beliefs and practices." Judge Higgins said that, during the seminar, Pastor Scot had claimed that the Koran promoted violence, killing and looting and that Muslims were liars and demons. Pastor Scot also had said Muslims had a plan to overrun western democracy by violence and terror and wanted to turn Australia into an Islamic nation, and he exaggerated Muslim population numbers in Australia. "I find that Pastor Scot's conduct was not engaged in reasonably and in good faith for any genuine religious purpose or any purpose that is in the public interest," he said. Judge Higgins said an article in the church's newsletter, written by Pastor Nalliah, incited fear and hatred of Muslims, as did a third article by a person identified as Richard, which claimed it was not possible to separate Islam from terrorism.

More here


In February we noted that a kerfuffle had erupted at the University of Oregon over a production of "The Vagina Monologues," with protesters objecting to the lack of "diversity" in the show. We're pleased to report that hilarity has ensued as a result of the efforts to head off problems in this year's performance. The result, as recounted in the Daily Emerald, a student newspaper, is a perfect story of political correctness:

* The producers will not hold auditions. Last year, says "Women's Center spokeswoman" Stefanie Loh, "the fact that they had auditions means that some people are automatically excluded." Instead, the "Women's and Gender Studies Program" will nominate potential cast members.

* Producer Nicole Pete says that last year, "the queer community, the women of color community and the plus-size community did not feel represented," and she plans to remedy this by selecting performers who are " 'not necessarily drama-oriented' in favor of 'people who work (toward) 'The Vagina Monologues' mission of ending violence against women."

* "All parts in the script calling for women of color will be played by women of color," reports the Emerald. Says Pete: "That was one of the big concerns last year was that a white woman portrayed a woman of color." Presumably it will be all right for a woman of color to portray a woman of pallor.

* There's one big problem, however: "It will be more difficult to ensure that women who identify with the queer community participate in the production. 'That's where it gets kind of tricky,' Pete said. 'I don't think we can legally ask anyone what their sexual orientation is.' Instead, the producers will inform a potential actor that a particular part is a 'queer role' and ask, 'Do you feel that this represents you?' "

This whole story is wonderfully rich, but our favorite part is the bit about "the plus-size community," a euphemism for fat women. Will anorexics now demand to be called "the minus-size community"?

Post lifted from Taranto. The original of the story is here.


In August 1998, Storey placed a Confederate flag sticker on his lunch box and put two Confederate flag bumper stickers on his pickup truck. One bumper sticker included the slogan, "The South Was Right," and the other proclaimed, "Heritage not Hate."

In 2001, supervisors at Burns told Storey that the company was about to implement a "diversified hiring program," and that Storey would have to remove his Confederate flag stickers. When Storey refused, they explained that Sony and Burns had a "zero tolerance" policy with respect to the display of Confederate symbols, according to court papers.

Top managers tried to persuade Storey to remove or cover his stickers because other employees might be offended by them, but Storey refused, saying that, as a Christian, he was offended by things that occurred at work -- such as the use of profanity -- but that he accepted it as something he had to deal with, according to court papers.

The next day, Storey was told that the company had concluded that he had voluntarily resigned

More here

No comments: