Friday, May 16, 2008

What rhymes with 'Pope'?

Pictured is a bookmark for World Youth Day, being distributed throughout Catholic schools. Did they really think this through? No wonder they're having trouble getting the numbers.

It gets weirder though. Not only are they bringing a corpse out for the kiddies to worship, but The Pope appears to be collecting virgins. Seriously. Apparently sacrificing one's sexuality for a lifetime is a good thing.

For this sectarian promotional event, on top of more serious imposts on the public purse, they are also taking away the cycle lanes in Park St in favour of buses which will bring the sheep to their shepherd in Hyde park, downgrading the William St cycle route from laughable to ludicrous.

Maybe His Holiness will sort it by praying for cyclists -- but only after the Holy Spirit has come upon him.

Postscript: We locals are now informed that this arcane religious recruitment drive will cause the closure of College St in the city for 7 days, George St between King and Argyle 10am–midnight for 3 days, Macquarie St southbound between Hunter and St James for 5 days, ANZAC Pde between Moore Park and Alison for 3 days, Cleveland St between South Dowling and ANZAC for 3 days, South Dowling between Cleveland and Flinders for 3 days and Alison Rd for 4 days.

So much for the separation of church and state. Next, they'll be prosecuting artists and photographers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

July 2 Editorial Herald

Mr Watkins's war on everything

WORLD YOUTH DAY, the mass gathering of mostly Catholic young people in Sydney later this month, is supposed to be "a happy and positive celebration of youth", according to the State Government. But it is shaping up as a festival of intolerance, not so much on the part of the Catholic Church as on the part of state authorities.
We suddenly learn that under regulations which were gazetted by the Police Minister, John Watkins, last Friday, the police and thousands of volunteer marshals have sweeping powers over the behaviour of citizens at hundreds of sites around the city for the entire month of July. Police and marshals from outfits like the State Emergency Services or bushfire brigades are empowered to stop such personal expressions as wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a message, carrying out Chaser-style spoofs, or handing out condoms.

Those who defy orders to desist from conduct that "causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event" will be liable to a $5500 fine - which, it has been pointed out, is five times the maximum fine for indecent exposure, though at least the alternative of six months' jail is not attached.

The assumption that participants in such an event need to be protected from embarrassment is misplaced, repugnant and dangerous. This is not a gathering of the world's top leaders, like last year's APEC summit, that might attract the attention of terrorists and assassins to all participants. Specific security arrangements can be made for the focus of World Youth Day, Pope Benedict. If there is a perceived threat of a terrorist mass atrocity, there are adequate laws empowering police and intelligence services already. Volunteer marshals would be better tasked to look for suspicious packages or search bags than vet T-shirts or decide whether an object is a balloon or an inflated condom.

Naturally, the NSW Government wants this event to be a resounding success, "badging" Sydney for future extravaganzas. We suspect Mr Watkins and his policemen are also still smarting over the humiliation given by the Chaser comedians at APEC, when a car carrying a passenger dressed as Osama bin Laden managed to penetrate deep into the heart of the security zone. They should try to recover their sense of humour. The regulations should be refined forthwith. No one should object to sensible measures like bag searches, pat-downs or metal detectors at the entry to venues. But Mr Watkins has gone over the line into enforced orthodoxy.