Friday, 11 July 2008

Protest against the Pope

Sydney, NSW celebrates World Youth Day with hundreds of thousand visitors expected to flock to the Capital city and join Pope Benedict in religious ceremony and prayer. One group has taken it upon themselves to go to the Federal Court on Friday to challenge police powers on World Youth Day.

Rachel Evans and her NoToPope partner Amber Pike will front the Federal Court in Sydney on Friday to challenge World Youth Day police powers.

Under legislation passed for the six day event, police, emergency and rural fire service volunteers have the right to move on people deemed to be causing "inconvenience or annoyance" to pilgrims.

"These laws are very draconian and we have the right to protest and to say our piece," Ms Evans told reporters outside court.

Whilst emphasising that she was "not going to force a condom on anyone", Ms Evans said she should have the right to made a peaceful protest about the Catholic church's opposition to contraception.

After the last World Youth Day event in Italy, pilgrim campsites had been covered in a "carpet of condoms", Ms Evans said.

"We think this is great, that young people are using condoms," she said.

"Pre-marital sex is not a sin.

"We are going to hand out condoms to young people, this is not a crime and it should not be a crime."

"This is a life and death situation in Africa and Latin America," she said.

"It is a very dangerous message from the Pope Benedict and the papal leadership, and we should have it overturned."

Hundreds of thousands of people were dying from AIDS every day, and the prevalence of the disease in Australia had increased 41 per cent in the past four years, she said.

Ms Evans accused the Iemma government of turning NSW into a police state.

"Our main message is that we have the right to protest, or that we should have the right to protest and the Iemma government is attempting to quash that right," she said.

One would think that peaceful protest would mean just that. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing to be able to do but how many of these young people really do protest peacefully? You only have to look at the tree huggers who throw themselves in front of machinery, chain themselves up trees and look as if they haven't had a bath in weeks. And then there are those who drag their children along to protests and get them involved where most likely they have no real concept of why they are there in the first place, only what their parents have told them.
As most of the readers who come here know, I am not a religious person as such and don't have same beliefs as many church states but one point made by the NoToPope group is that:
"Pre-marital sex is not a sin."
In the eyes of the church, isn't that what they believe? If we are to respect the right of NoToPope to protest, then they should respect the rights and beliefs of those attending World Youth Day.
Sexual activity is a personal issue and there is plenty of educational material out there to inform us of the risks. It is just ignorance and/or lack of education to not know about the choices we have in the modern world.
To use condoms and pre-marital sex as a platform to protest against the visit of Pope Benedict and followers of the faith in World Youth Day is not very convincing and more likely than not, people will take the free condoms and move on not really paying any attention to what the protestors are saying.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree with you on people who drag their kids to protests. Leave it till they are old enough to make their own minds up!

Crushed said...

Well, you could argue that if they get people attending the day to take the free condoms, they kind of prove their point.

One of several issues where I have a complex position, vis a vis the position of the Church.

The Church has no actual power to enforce its teachings, its a decision left to the conscience of the individual. I've always had mixed feelings on contraception on a number of grounds, because in some ways we push it too much, but in other ways, we could see its the fault of our society for pushing it where we don't want it used, and not where we do.

That would be my sole issue with it, that it acts as a kind of reverse survival of the fittest.

But I really don't understand why Non-Catholics love Pope-bashing so much.
Myself, I see it as rooted deep in Anglophone culture, it is the acceptable face of a long standing tradition of hatred of Catholicism in the english speaking world.

And that, I object to.

Nunyaa said...

The NoToPope group will not be allowed inside the venue. Most people these days will take something if it is offered for free.

"I've always had mixed feelings on contraception on a number of grounds, because in some ways we push it too much, but in other ways, we could see its the fault of our society for pushing it where we don't want it used, and not where we do."
What do you mean ? I think there is a very real need for contraception. With all the "accidental" pregnancies and S.T.D's beomg transmitted then yes. But to use free condoms as a platform for protest and saying pre-marital sex is not a sin, then they have no regards to the wishes of worshippers. It's not like they are protesting against the Texas cult of recent news. Although some have theories about how evil the church is, I think this particular group are going to look more radical and stupid and any point they are attempting to making is going to be lost.

Crushed said...

What I mean is that contraception serves a useful function in freeing sex from a lot of the dangers once attached to it, so yes, its a social advance.

But in many ways, its a negative solution to the problem, and one which shows how early on we are in dealing with these issues.

OK. Let me put it like this. Without contraception, the earth would become a warzone. Of course it would. Modern science means that so many more of us live. We'd literally HAVE to fight to the death to live.

This is what has always happened.

Evolution occurs, because the best survive and breed, the least fir die off and don't.

What we have now is a situation where we prevent this, in the main, by the very one nature would select to breed most, breeding least, and more often, those who wouldn't survive if life was more brutal, breeding most.

Taken from a simple genetic point of view- and I'm trying to be careful wording this, to avoid the negative connotations of this- using contraception as we now use it, over a prolonged period of time, is not in the interests of the species.

You see, we don't actually have birth control, because we aren't actually regulating the births. Contraception only really makes social sense if you have a societal policy to regulate its application.

Long term, tryig to impose limits on our numbers by getting the most socially responsible NOT to breed, whilst the socially irresponsible continue to breed like rabbits, is madness.

Part of the problem, is lack of space to live and the inadequecy of our current arrangements for bringing up children.

The problem is, we use contraception bottom end up.

We haven't yet accepted the logical implications of what our ability to separate sex from childbirth means., and whilst I actually think its a good thing, the way it is used now is damaging long term.

I see it as a stop gap solution to deal with current problems, and as such its obviously better than the alternatives.

OK, I could go on for ever on this, but it's probably best I actually post on it myself, it will make more sense. :)