"Family Policy Institute" - Deciding For You What You Can And Can't Have Access To.

Christina Engela's picture

Like me, you might not like porn - I really have other interests, and I wouldn't waste my bandwidth on it - but certainly don't place myself in the position where I think I should tell people what they should be allowed to do or watch in private and on their own time - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, of course. Now, aside from murder, rape, pedophilia and grand theft, I can't think of any reason why adult porn could be harmful to anyone. In fact, even smoking is more harmful. However, I do know that opening the door to censorship legislation opens a whole other can of worms that may prevent you from seeing, saying or even doing other things which you take for granted now - and that you may actually WANT to. And that to me is far more harmful than anything people like Erroll Naidoo spend most of every day bitching about.

It is freedom which aggravates people like Erroll Naidoo. Freedom of choice - the freedom to choose something which he happens to disagree with. The freedom to be who we are born to be - and to embrace it instead of crawling at his feet on all fours, beating our chests in misery and begging him for forgiveness. The freedom to defy his annoying need to tell other people how to live their lives. How dare we?

As I have always said - more freedom is always a good thing - as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I have to wonder how people like Erroll can justify his claims that granting other people the freedom to be happy can possibly be harmful, if he cannot even substantiate his claims? Oh, we know the things he says, about how "harmful" it is to be gay, and how much of a "threat" it is to "allow" gay people to be treated like equals and how much worse it is to "allow" them to be happy as well as gay or transgender.

The freedom to get married to a partner of the same gender is there - although it is primarily people who don't need or want it who are against it - and who see the freedom and right of those who do as some kind of insult to their all too fragile belief system.

Like all freedoms, there is no enforcement of these on people who do not wish to make use of them. For instance, just because you may own a gun, does not mean you have to. Likewise, with same-gender marriage - just because you CAN get one, doesn't mean you HAVE to. Just because you CAN go to church on Sundays does not mean you HAVE to - at least, not yet.

And yet, this strict moral enforcement is exactly what fundamentalists say in their own words they want to build into the government of this country - a Constitutional Christianity - a country governed by the Christian Church - but not just any old church - a fundamentalist Christian fascist state. Oh, of course they may say it isn't true - they don't want to take away freedom, equality and democracy - never! - they just want all people to worship their God (or their version of God), regardless of what faith you may follow. They just want to stand on higher ground and point their fingers down at you to tell you how wrong you are and how right they are - while gagging you so you can't argue without breaking the law. They don't want to disempower anyone - except those whom they deem to be "unsuitable" to hold any positions of social standing. They don't want to take away freedom of religion, but want to reintroduce the archaic religious concept of "blasphemy" in the country's laws. They only want to close all businesses on Sundays, regardless of your beliefs or needs as a business owner or consumer. They want to ban alcohol, control education in schools, replace science with fiction and fairy tales, register all HIV sufferers like criminals, replace safe-sex education with dodgy and fanciful "abstinence-only education" and regulate the media (read censor) and turn it into a tool of indoctrination. They only want to change the SA Constitution to enshrine their fanatical religious views above all other people's beliefs and remove from it the legal protections of just the minority groups they hate and even think should be killed for existing - like us, of course.

Oh, they might not say that, much, but many of their sort do, and have in the past. (Look at Uganda as a prime example of this madness.) Think it is a coincidence they want to return the death penalty to the books in South Africa? Think it will stop with crimes such as murder and rape? And we can be 110% sure that the person being murdered by the state will be guilty and deserve it? We can be sure that this will not be used by the fundamentalist state as a tool of control and an instrument of terror? Hmmm.

"Defending faith, family and freedom" - I'm sure.

Freedom. Not much to give up, is it? But it sure is a lot to win back once you don't have it anymore.

This group of his, of questionable size, is clearly linked to a horde of other fundamentalist groups - both South African and foreign - and they are keenly pursuing avenues to influence government officials and to advance a "Christianist" hijacking of religious and civil society - and the current secular status quo.

Haven't you noticed how much the ANC, the SA Government, and the President and his Ministers seem to be agreeing more and more with Erroll and his fundie friends lately? They give no consideration to human rights aspects - giving the pink community a flat ignore when it comes to issues that affect us. I wonder why? What gives them the right to take our tax money, trade with abusers of human rights - supply them, support them in our name as citizens - and ignore our objections and not even acknowledge us?

Do they really think they will "rule until Jesus comes"?

I would like free-thinking people to take a stand against the Nanny State - and see why South Africa's supporters of freedom, equality and democracy need to have a Parliament Watch to safeguard against "advancing Christian values", as Errol Naidoo puts it. They way he describes it, it sounds like he is a general leading a military advance, along a broad front - in a war against diversity, freedom of choice, expression and conscience. In fact, I am at a loss to describe Naidoo's hostility as anything else other than a war.

Please take a moment to read extracts from the message sent out by Erroll Naidoo and his Cape Town group - the Family Policy Institute, to see for yourself what this homophobe has to say - I am sure you will see where his focus lies - and also the clear threat they are trying to pose to equality in South Africa.

"Multichoice proposed 24 hour porn channel elicited an overwhelmingly negative response from outraged Christians across the country. They heard us and ditched their ill conceived plans." Yes - a handful of disgruntled fanatics emailing and faxing the DSTV offices - despite the omitted fact that such a channel would have been available only to subscribers who registered for it - and suddenly churches are in the business of deciding what people over 21 can and should be allowed to watch?

"However, Multichoice continues to flight pornographic movies on their various DStv movie channels despite hearing from the majority of the public that pornography on national TV is unacceptable." I'm sorry, but since when does Erroll Naidoo and the FPI speak for the "majority of the public"? If that were true, then would he not have been President after the last elections? I'm sure that is not far out of the scope of his ambition - that is why he and his comrade Peter Hammond of the CAN tried desperately to facilitate a coalition of all the Christian fundamentalist political parties before last years elections into a "Republican Party" for SA. And as a pay-channel why should DSTV give a toss what non-subscribers think?

"DStv also has a curios habit of airing documentaries, especially in the lead up to Easter period, that question the validity of the Bible & the divinity of Jesus Christ on their History & Nat/Geo channels."

Well unlike Erroll, I hope other "Christians" excuse the rest of the world from having open minds and not subscribing to fanatical fundamentalism as he does. Not everybody feels comfortable just blindly believing in everything some people will gladly swallow hook, line and sinker - and not everybody is a card-carrying member of the ACDP either. Besides, where is the harm in asking questions - or is that why fundamentalists want to hijack schools and the educational system too? Is their faith so fragile that it can be shattered by a few TV documentaries asking intelligent questions?

He continues by saying: "Significantly however, no other faith group is subjected to the same intense scrutiny." Perhaps this is because other religions don't as a rule go around telling society - at least western society - how to live and what to think.

And, speaking of telling people what to think and how to live; "I attended the annual Association of Christian Broadcasters (ACB) Conference in Strand, 9 – 11 March. The event was opened by Angus Buchan who delivered a powerful message to Christians in media."

We all now that demagogue "Oom Angus", who also regularly takes on the "sin" of homosexuality by insisting that gays "can" and "should" be "prayed straight" depsite the entire premise being utterly laughable and also offensive. And let's not forget his regular message - in fact, probably his only message - that women belong in the home playing servant to the "man of the house" and raising "his" kids, not "disempowering men" in the workplace. Silly feminists, what would they want a job and a career for - when they can be on their knees in the home, the way "God intended"? When I see or hear rubbish like this, I tend to agree with the feminist credo, that women who strive to be equal to men lack ambition.

"On Thursday 11 March, Clive Human from STOP, Taryn Hodgson from Christian Action Network and I met with Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba & Film & Publications Board CEO, Yoliswa Makhasi at Parliament, to discuss legislation that will remove pornography from the public domain."

Did you notice that? "to discuss legislation that will remove pornography from the public domain" And of course, this would never be followed with a little caveat that says something on the lines of "...and anything else fundamentalist Christians find offensive"? Who else can see that such a law would open the door to censorship of the media - something Erroll regularly claims is happening because the general media do not wish to ruin their reputations by putting his paranoid and fanatical diatribe in print?

And we know Taryn Hodgson as the spokesperson for CAN - the group which released that homophobic bible - "the Pink Agenda" which was descibed in 2000 as "the most hateful anti-gay book ever sold in South Africa" - and they have been opposing human rights for gay people since as far back as 1993 - making their lunatic submissions in Parliament that homosexuality should remain illegal just because it is illegal everywhere else in Africa - and of course, "because God says so".

"On 16 March I had a lunch meeting with Focus on the Family Africa CEO, Dr. Amon Kasambala to discuss ways Focus and FPI can collaborate to defend the family and advance Christian values."

Focus on the Family and the American group mentoring Naidoo and his FPI - the Family Research Council, are joined at the hip, the FRC having once been a branch of FOTF - and while FOTF may not (yet) have been declared a known hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the FRC has. Who do they hate? Why, anyone who is not a Christian fundamentalist of course. What is a Christian fundamentalist? Well, an article in last week's Herald should give you a pretty good idea - a Nigerian fanatic describing himself as a "Christian" drove his car through two security gates and into a parked airliner at a Nigerian airport because "Jesus Christ told him all Nigerians were sinners and to punish them". Ahem.

Where I come from, people who hear voices telling them to do nasty anti-social things to other people, belong in neat padded cells. And inside nice little white waist-coats with lots of straps and buckles so they can't hurt anyone. Fundamentalists! As far as I am concerned, the only difference between Muslim and Christian fundamentalists is that those calling themselves "Christian" haven't started blowing themselves up... yet.

"...defend the family"? He rants. Against what exactly? Against people who are an intrinsic part of "the family"? And this from a man who has been directly quoted in the press as saying how much he hates gay people? "...advance Christian values"? He raves. Ah now we're talking turkey. And speaking of turkeys, the following should give you an idea of where this fanatic and his group are heading: "I was honoured to participate in God TV’s annual Mission Drive that was broadcast live across the world on 18 March. I was interviewed about the vision of FPI during the live telecast and pre-recorded an insert in which I thanked Rory & Wendy Alec for taking the Gospel to every nation."

Suddenly I have this urge to watch an episode or two of "Pinky and the Brain". "What are we going to do tonight, Brain?" "What we do every night, Pinky - go back to the lab and try to take over the world!"

My favorite part? "Narrf!"

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