Jun 242007

Extend Aboriginal porn ban to ACT, say Christians

When we hear about knee-jerk reactions to particular problems, this one has to be right up there with the jerkiest.

I can’t say I’m aware of any dysfunctional indigenous communities abusing small children in the heart of the ACT. Perhaps the Christian community does, but the rest of Australia doesn’t.

Paedophilia is NOT driven or initiated by availability to adults of non-violent erotica. This is the type of pornography which is available to adults by across-the-counter sale in both ACT and NT. Not paedophilic pornography, not visual portrayals of sexual violence against women, not necrophilia or ’stick flicks’. Visual and literary media classified by the Office of Film and Literature Classification as Non-Violent Erotica.

The censorship system in Australia is often quoted as being underpinned by these principles:
  • adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want
  • minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them
  • everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they find offensive, and
  • the need to take account of community concerns about depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexual violence, and
  • the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner

The censorship system in this country is not beholding to fundamentalist religious groups acting on behalf of minority interests. The six month ban, proposed by the Federal government, on alcohol and pornography sales in aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, while draconian on the face, is doubtless a necessary tactic to employ in gaining the support of those currently under duress. What happens after that moratorium period remains to be seen, but the current disgrace within aboriginal remote communities is not a carte blanche excuse for minority religious groups to be agitating for blanket legislation which directly impinges upon the constitutional rights of all Australians.

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