Recently in Censorship Category

September 27, 2011

"God" (or a farmer?) offended by covered breasts ....

Northern Ireland:

But the sight became too much for Mr Graham's Christian beliefs and he politely asked the filming to stop."

SO, a good-looking pop singer, is, by beach standards, even in N. Ireland, dressed, but it's too much for a christian.
One wonders about "god".
Given that he's supposed to have created men and women, do we think he'd be offended as well?

I think my brain hurts.

Rihanna ordered to cover up by Christian farmer
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 27th September 2011

June 8, 2011

Pratlets for 8th June 2011

February 5, 2011

Oswiecim isn't in Poland!

Poland: Poland wants Auschwitz website to drop .pl suffix

Right-Wing Catholic Vileness

Bogdan Zdrojewski, the Polish culture minister, said he had asked the authorities at the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, along with their counterparts at the Majdanek and Stutthof concentration camps, to change their domain names to either .com or .eu.

I’ve asked them to be consistent in using the appropriate German names of the camps and this applies also to the internet, the minister said. At the moment the .pl is misleading and might make people associate the camps with Poland.

Not only is this right-wing nationalism trying to re-write history, it is an obvious attempt to whitewash the Catholic church, see HERE (go to “Nazi Photos” if pictures don’t appear immediately) and it’s enough to turn your stomach.

One wonders if the so-called “culture” minster has heard of MAUS and whether he’d like to deny and erase that record, as well? Telegraph, 2nd February 2011.

October 27, 2010

Neopaganism as stupid as all other religions: official

Way back when I was young, naïve and Pagan, the pub where we held our local moot used to go out of its way to have appropriately themed beers available when we were in. This was particularly easy in the run up to Hallowe'en, but at other times, Pendle Witches' Brew made regular appearances. And we loved them for it. No doubt if Lost Abbey Witch's Wit had been available then, we'd have made a beeline for it.

But is seems that these days, there are some Pagans out there who seem to think that they need to behave like other religions to get respect, including whingeing and kvetching about the tiniest perceived slight. One practitioner of Delicate Flower Wicca is Vicki Noble, allegedly expert in astrology readings and shamanic healing but not, it seems history. She's objecting to the label featuring a witch being burned at the stake.

Those against the label condemn the image as offensive to practising pagans, and women in general, and argue that it is inappropriate to use a violent historical reference to sell beer.

The problem here is that the past was an incredibly violent place and, in parts of Europe, people accused of witchcraft were tortured and killed by burning them alive. None of them were Wiccan, but that doesn't matter. In a time of increasing religious lunacy, it's always a good idea to draw attention to the atrocities committed in the name of religion, and this is something the brewer understands far better than the fluffy bunnies:

I encourage you to look at all of Lost Abbey's beers and consider them in context. Each of the Lost Abbey beers features a label which depicts a theme of Catholic excess -- good and bad -- on the front, and tells a moral story on the back. (Our founder is a recovering Catholic.)

In the case of Witch's Wit, the back label is a story of the bad consequences of religious intolerance and oppression. The woman on the front is referred to as a healer on the label and accuses the Church of being narrow-minded and violent, threatening the same fate to anyone who would help the woman. The label ends with a note that this beer -- a light, sweet and golden ale -- is brewed in honor of that woman (and all those who died for their convictions).

I'm also intrigued as to why one of the articles cited below keeps mentioning the Helen Duncan case in 1944. Contrary to popular belief, the 1735 Witchcraft Act abolished the crime of Witchcraft on the grounds that it didn't exist. It replaced it with an offence of claiming to have magical powers, which was obviously fraud. It wasn't the law used to execute people in England, where hanging was the method used anyway.

I wonder if my local specialist beer shop has any?

Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit Ale may Change Label Due to Wiccan ProtestsRightJuris, 25th October 2010; Lost Abbey Burning Witch Beer Label Riles WiccansWashington City Paper Blogs, 26th October 2010.

May 20, 2010

Everyone Draw Mohammed Day: my contribution.

Over on Facebook, someone declared today to be Everyone Draw Mohammed Day as a protest against religious groups censoring, through violence and threats of violence, people not of that faith and who therefore do not abide by its rules. The best explanation I've seen comes from Greta Christina.

Many of the contributions are deliberately rude and offensive. I don't see the point of that when apparently a simple drawing is enough. The physical appearance of Mohammed in my drawing is based on a 14th century miniature of the Prophet receiving his first revelation from Gabriel. It is one of many illustrations of Mohammed, by a Muslim artist, in the book Jami' al-Tawarikh, which is now in Edinburgh University Library. It can be seen at the Mohammed Image Archive. I drew it in an Insular style, inspired by depictions of Jesus and other Biblical characters in the Book of Kells.


May 28, 2009

Prattle sweep time again!

United Kingdom: How long before the superstitionists complain about this? I'm going for before the programme is even broadcast.

EastEnders is to tackle one of the last taboos left in soap, with a storyline featuring a Muslim character embarking on a gay love affair. can reveal that the plot, which will hit screens in mid-June, will see Syed Masood, a Muslim property developer with a girlfriend who arrived in Albert Square six weeks ago, fall for openly gay Christian Clarke. The pair will share an on-screen kiss.

The BBC has billed the storyline as a traditional love affair, albeit with a modern multicultural twist.

Extra bonus points if the Daily Mail declares this to be explicit gay sex, or similar.

EastEnders: Muslim character to have gay love affairThe Guardian, 28th May 2009.

February 19, 2009

Git orf moi land!

United Kingdom: The UK government is on a bit of a roll at the moment, what with letting in people with manslaughter convictions who then go on to commit murder, whilst banning obnoxiously opinionated but non-violent politicians, regardless of the opinion of at least one Muslim organisation, which believes in dialogue and was looking forward to an opportunity to engage in such a subversive activity. Meanwhile, an Islamist bampot is being chucked out, but being sent somewhere where he will be tortured.

The latest preachers of hate to be banned from the country are Fred Phelps and his Merrie Men, who wanted to picket a Basingstoke sixth-form college's production of the Laramie Project.

A father and daughter from a US church which preaches hatred of homosexuals have been banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church had urged protests against a play being put on in Hampshire.

Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke is staging The Laramie Project, a play about a man killed for being gay.

So, no opportunity for the London Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to organise sponsorship of the picket, whereby cash is raised for HIV/AIDS or LGBT organisations based on how long the Westboro Baptist Church hangs around, and no chance for the fundie bampots to remind the British public why the nation is not very religious at all. No doubt a tirade against our royal family will follow, just like when the Queen Mum died, seeing as they don't realise that the British attitude to royalty is as far removed from the Thai one as you can get without chopping the monarch's head off (very often).

Anti-gay preachers banned from UKBBC News, 19th February 2009.

July 29, 2008

Equality: you're doing it wrong

England: Birmingham council appear to have failed to have paid any attention to the requirements of the law on religious discrimination when they decided to censor the internet for their employees.

The authority's Bluecoat Software computer system allows staff to look at websites relating to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions but blocks sites to do with witchcraft or Satanism and occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism.

Under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their religion or belief, which includes atheism.

One also wonders what Birmingham's social workers are expected to do if they have, for example, a Wiccan client, and they need to learn more about that faith in order to deal with them fairly? Perhaps they are expected to dig out those fundie dossiers from the late 80s' Satanic panic?

Council ban on atheist websitesBBC News, 29th July 2008.

July 31, 2007

Religious vandalism in the Netherlands

The Netherlands: A Dutch channel is broadcasting David Attenborough's Life of Mammals, but something is odd about it, as Martin Wisse explains:

However, something strange has happened with that series when it crossed the Channel: for some reason the Dutch version only has nine episodes, while the original has ten --and that's not the only difference.

It turns out that the EO has deliberately removed all references to evolution from the series, as demonstrated by the three videos below. Which is not too surprising, considering the EO is after all a fundamentalist Christian broadcaster and adhers to the doctrine of the literal truth of the bible. What exactly the EO has censored in Attenborough's series is now documented in several youtube movies, uploaded by somebody called Odurodon:

As Martin observes, despite their obvious lunacy, the broadcaster receives public money, and suggests it would show greater integrity to have simply declined to broadcast the series. As they have exclusive rights, no other Dutch broadcaster may show the series, and the Dutch who want to see an unbutchered version will have to resort to their legendary language skills.

Dutch broadcaster censors David Attenborough on evolutionWisse Words, 30th July 2007.

July 17, 2007

Pagans threaten to flood England (more)

The Long Mohammed of Wilmington United Kingdom: Britian's neopagans are upset again. First of all it was Trinny and Susannah daring to change the sex of the Long Man of Wilmington, and now they're upset that a figure of Homer Simpson has been painted in biodegradable paint in the vicinity of another 400-year old cartoon, the Cerne Abbas Giant.

It's not King Kevin complaining, either, but the middle class ladies of the Pagan Federation. And, just like the Mohammed cartoon protesters, they're making threats and promising to get their imaginary friend to fix the problem.

Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation, said: We were hoping for some dry weather but I think I have changed my mind.

“We'll be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away.

Well, that should solve the problem of heavy rains and flooding in England. It's enough to make you want to turn the Long Man of Wilmington into a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.

Wish for rain to wash away HomerBBC News, 16th July 2007

Update: This image by HappyToast at B3ta is glorious:

Further update: The Grauniad is running a caption competition.

May 30, 2007

LiveJournal say fans are pædophiles

LiveJournal: because reading fan fiction makes you a pedoThe People's Republic of LiveJournal: Internet Jihadists have declared war on LiveJournal, ostensibly for the sake of the chiiiiiiiiildren. The bampots at Warriors for Innocence (read the comments before clicking this link) claim to be dedicated to hunting pedophiles where they fester but in reality, they hate fandom and fan fiction. At least the effect of their actions has been to shut down a number of fannish communities devoted to writing about romantic trysts between fictional characters. Most badly affected has been Harry Potter fandom, even though Harry Potter has been over the age of consent in the country in which the stories are based since book 5. A list of banned fannish communities shows a number of Harry Potter related ones.

They also hate literature. One of the banned communities was a Spanish language one discussing the work of Vladimir Nabokov. Nor do they like discussion of sex and censorship, as the banning of porn_debate demonstrates.

And, as you might expect, our crusaders demonstrate a remarkable lack of intelligence. One of the banned communities was called lol_porn, but obviously they didn't look at it before complaining as it was for lolcat style postings using porno as a basis.

Other subcultures are worried. Fans of yaoi are concerned that they will be targetted, not just because of the existence of shōta (where the characters are underage), but because the somewhat effeminate characters can appear younger than they are in the story. The moderators of yaoi_daily and yaoi_daily_cafe have felt the need to set up a status page and make back-up plans.

So far, the Jihad has not noticed Gothic Lolita, which they are bound to misinterpret as soon as they do. The number of actual child abusers affected by the purge appears to be zero. Their victims, on the other hand, have grounds to be worried:

This is not a fandom-only issue. LJ's heavy-handed response threatens support groups and researchers. By telling users (after that fact and in contradiction to their own FAQ) that you can receive a permanent suspension, proactively, for having an "illegal" interest, pretty much everyone's at risk.

A Jihad Against Innocence LJ community devoted to protesting and fighting back against the extremists.

(written with a lot of help from Red Wolf)

Update (from Red Wolf): Naruto fandom is scared and the Jihad denies attacking innocent sites. They're all guilty. We're never wrong. And this list of naughty words suggests that Gothic Lolita has, indeed been noticed, and the comments suggest support communities are worried. The last comment references a 12th century Georgian poet—Shota Rustavelli.

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