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Blasphemous Libel

Entry 292, on 2006-03-01 at 13:38:47 (Rating 3, News)

The fuss over the "Bloody Mary" South Park episode still hasn't gone away. Now a group are threatening to bring a charge of "blasphemous libel" against the TV channel who broadcast it. Wow, blasphemous libel. It sounds really evil, doesn't it? What has a modern society got laws of this sort for? It goes back to the days when it was considered that Christianity was the basis of law and society, and only evil criminal types weren't Christian. In fact there has only ever been one prosecution using this law about 85 years ago, and that was thrown out.

In fact the law states that anyone contemplating using this charge has to apply to the Attorney General first for permission. It seems rather unlikely that she would allow it to go ahead. The last time this was attempted was with the famous "Virgin in a Condom" artwork shown at New Zealand's national museum. That application was thrown out, but again I'm sure many people saw the work because of the publicity.

So this group are really just making themselves look like fools by continuing to show their opposition to the program. I know many people who would never normally watch South Park who watched this particular program because of the publicity about it. The interviewer on radio said something like she wouldn't have missed it for the world. In reality just ignoring the issue would have been more effective in minimising any real or perceived damage the program might have caused.


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