Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Christ on cross ‘could be porn under Indon law’

Even the naked body of Christ may be considered as pornography after Indonesia’s Constitutional Court approved a new anti-porn law, Catholics fear.

The fears arose after the Constitutional Court declared the anti-pornography law (enacted by the Government in 2008) to be compatible with Indonesian public policy, Fides reports.

Fides sources say that in Indonesian civil society, among moderate Muslims, Christians, and Hindu groups, as well as associations dedicated to protecting freedom and human rights - especially in eastern Indonesia- have challenged the document.

“It is not that we are pro-pornography,” explained Catholic sources of Fides, “but because it is feared that this law - accepting a controversial generic definition of ‘pornography,’ which includes ‘any attitude and any artistic-cultural form of communication that excites a sexual instinct or is contrary to morality,’ lends itself easily to exploitation: the fundamentalist Muslim fringe can use it to penalize non-Muslims and, ultimately, seek to impose strictly traditional customs, even the Sharia.”

“Our angels are naked,” an Indonesian priest told Fides ironically. “Will they be outlawed? This law comes at a time when the country is also debating the blasphemy law, which carries similar risks.

Many Islamic leaders and intellectuals have called for a review of the measure on blasphemy, saying it is the wrong weapon to leave in the hands of radical Islamic groups.

In the case of the anti-pornography bill, however, threats and insults have hit Catholic Judge Maria Farida, one of the nine judges of the Constitutional Court (the only woman and the only Catholic of the Court) because she courageously voted against this bill. We wish to express our support and our prayers for her.”

Even when the text of the law was drafted two years ago, the Indonesian Bishops expressed strong doubts and misgivings, in part because the rules that regulate public morality and decency in Indonesia are already contained in other legislation.
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