Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lessons Learned - Or Not

The yearly sexpo in Cape Town once again drew the ire of the fundamentalist Christians in the city, notably one little group calling itself "Christian Action Network" (CAN) whose spokesman Taryn Hodgson, once again laid into the organizers and those supporting the sexpo.

Some may remember this group as the one whose leader (Peter Hammond) along with another member of this group, co-authored a book called 'the Pink Agenda' - which was no more than a piece of hateful anti-gay fabricated junk-science propaganda intended to incite hatred against the pink community in SA. Back in 2001 this made national headlines - but today this group is reduced to taking on other issues vital to the South African fundamentalist, such as abortion and "blasphemy" in the media, people watching (boring) soft porn on late night TV in the privacy of their own homes - and their main grudge that their god has been left out of the Consitutiton and consequently, the government. Boo hoo.

Some rather odd and insubstantial claims were made in the media by this group that the content of the show was detrimental to women and encouraged abusive behavior and rape and so on. Their reason for objecting to this event seems curiously yet unsurprisingly tainted with religious posturing and smoke blowing. Interesting, don't you think? That they focussed on the needs of women only? No mention of the negative aspects of the sex industry which may affect men? Or of the overwhelmingly positive aspects such as many of the products or services featured at the sexpo are aimed at people with healthy sex lives and relationships - and aimed at keeping them so. But then, these folks are generally the type who frown on sex as a hole - um, whole (blush) - other than for purposes of procreation - and it is most certainly not something people should talk about outside the bedroom - 'skuus, dominee.

Seems to me the fundamentalists are keen on crying "wolf" every time some opportunity comes along to pretend their religion is "under attack". "Christians find this offensive." "Christians find that offensive." The sexpo wasn't televised live, nor was anyone forced to go. And yet I am sure these nice folks would be surprised to find many Christians among those attending the sexpo. Well, Christians have sex too, don't they? Otherwise they would all have died out long ago *wink* surely? And yet this tiny group siezes every chance it can to speak for ALL Christians in attacking other people and groups which in fact have nothing to do with them or their narrow view of their own religion at all. And funny enough, despite their vocal campaigning in this one issue, the vast majority of Christians - even the fanatics (to their credit) - ignored them flat.

The religious fundamentalist right wing in SA is curiously obsessed with sex, defending the so-called 'traditional family', declaring war on gay people taking over the government - and deciding what other people can or can't do in the privacy of their own homes. Frankly I am surprised I didnt see a poster there proclaiming "Parents - DO your children KNOW you are having SEX?". Shame!

In the end, after all this posturing, taking of doom and gloom, wailing and gnashing of teeth, only 12 "Christian" protesters turned up to demonstrate at the entrance for about half an hour - and all their negative publicity achieved was even more visitors to the sexpo than last year. (15000 on that day!) Hmm. There is a lesson in there somewhere - for those without blinkers on, of course.

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