I guess I should be thanking the Australian Christian Lobby. Not being an avid watcher of commercial television, I completely forgot that Californication was being shown last Monday. Never fear, however, the ACL’s predictable bleating about the show’s “gratuitous sex” generated considerably more media coverage for the show than it otherwise would have received, which prompted me to, err, obtain the first episode – and as far as black-comedies go, it wasn’t too bad.
I’ll leave aside the issue of why these holier-than-thou organisations are forever whining about sex on TV, yet so very rarely make a peep about violence – although I will note that the ACL did bang on about Channel Seven’s “City Homicide” show, also. I don’t recall them ever making any noise about the very excessive violence and torture in 24, but I guess it’s just possible that they were elated that the bad guys were almost always of Middle-Eastern appearance.
What I would like to know, though, is why the Australian Christian Lobby even exists? This is Australia. Our constitution guarantees freedom of religion. There’s probably not a better place in the world to be a Christian, because our society tolerates pretty much any belief, provided that you don’t go trying to ram it down their throat. We certainly don’t have the sectarian violence that Northern Ireland put up with for so many years. We give religious organisations tax-breaks. We even put up with the religions that are racist, sexist and aren’t particularly tolerant about non-believers.
I can only conclude that the ACL exists because these people, not content with living their lives as they see fit, feel a need to force the rest of us to live that way too. In a liberal democracy, there is simply no need to argue for stricter laws to match those of your religion; there’s nothing stopping you from adhering them as you wish (with the usual caveat of not hurting anyone else).
Don’t want to work on a Sunday? Well, don’t. But don’t stop me from shopping on the only day I find it convenient because your supreme-being tells you it’s a day of rest. You don’t want your kids given sex education? Fine, have them removed from class – and accept the consequences of an increased risk of teenage pregnancy, because no amount of your god-bothering is going to stop them if they want to. If other parents are happy about it, then there’s no reason for you to oppose it. Don’t like Californication? Well, for Christ’s sake, don’t watch it. Surely the name would have been enough of an indication that it might offend?
Want your kids protected from the evils of teh Interweb? PUT THE DAMNED COMPUTER IN YOUR LIVING ROOM WHERE YOU CAN WATCH WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING! Sheesh, does social conservatism always come with a free frontal lobotomy?