why can’t the papists take a joke?

Well, I’m highly relieved that the Federal Court has agreed to declare the Don’t Annoy the Catholics Law 2008 (NSW) unconstitutional.

Justices Catherine Branson, Robert French and Margaret Stone today ruled the specific clause relating to annoying and inconveniencing pilgrims went beyond the intention of State Parliament.

In 2006, the Parliament passed the World Youth Day Act which allowed the World Youth Day Authority to pass the annoyance clause in 2008.

… However, [Justice Robert French] said the annoyance clause was invalid because it could not have been the intention of Parliament to make such vague and extensive limits to free speech.

Thank heavens for rationality and common sense. (The full judgment is online here.)

But I am not impressed by this:

In dismissing the other points of the [NoToPope Coalition]’s claim, Justice French found that parts of the act banning the sale of certain items including stickers, badges and T-shirts did not infringe upon the right to free political communication.

Humph.

I personally have nothing against Catholics (both The Boyfriend and The BFF are both of that particular variant of the Christian faith) but, having seen the lameness of the high levels of offendability at The University of Our Lady No Fun, I think it’s crap that, first, s116 of the Consitution is as weak as fingernails after a nice long bubble bath (’cause then Frenchy could find the fact that the NSW and Federal governments are spending stacks of cash to appease a bunch of boring over-pious pilgrims is highly wrong) and secondly, that the NSW Government decided they needed a bloody law banning funny t-shirts in the first place.

Fer Chrissakes. A t-shirt or a few bumper stickers ain’t gonna kill anyone.

And if we have to see and hear the media flooding on and on about the Pope this and a few pilgrims got the flu (oh, horror) that, surely it’d be good to see some pics of funny t-shirts among the masses at the Masses.

But frankly, it’s fricking lame that the government feels they need to protect all the Catholic kiddies from a few amusing bumper stickers (why the heck didn’t they give them all a free bloody flu shot, that’s what I want to know).

Funny t-shirts and slogans are the shizz, and Pope Benny and his Vat-City homeboyz* clearly have a sense of humour. When confirming that the Pope’s hot red shoes were made by his personal cobbler and not, contrary to media speculation, Prada, the Vatican said:

The Pope, in summary, does not wear Prada, but Christ.

Ok, it totally coulda been funnier had they employed me to write their media releases, but the point is they tried. I’m sure they even think the pics comparing Benny with Senator Palpatine is amusing and clever. I bet they totally wouldn’t care about a few funny t-shirts that say “The Pope Touched Me Down Under” or “WYD/SYD… proof that the rhythm method is flawed” or “Abstinence makes the Church grow Fondlers” or these:

Lucy Carter)

"The Pope Annoys Me!" (ABC News: Lucy Carter)

But it’s probably even sadder that most of the pompous, pious poof ponces really would have had a boo-hoo cry-cry over jokes such as these. Someone I work with, who’s in Sydney for the festivities, was vehemently offended when I forwarded an amusing pic that said something like “Sponsor A Lion for World Youth Day”.  She’s not even Catholic; she just jumped on her boyfriend’s bandwagon. (Dunno if the Pope really wants to bless them, though. They live in sin.)

Chill the frick out, people. It just a joke.

But, ah well, at least the Court got it right here.

*Pope Benny is “clrly” a gangsta. Duh, he drives around with bodyguards and bullet-proof protection and has a thing for shoes, just like Kanye and Jay-Z et al:

via News.com.au

K Rudd meets his hero; old men wear dresses and hot-pink hats (via News.com.au)

6 thoughts on “why can’t the papists take a joke?

  1. Oh it’s good news generally. If we can’t get door knockers banned then quid pro quo.

    Waiting on a chance to have a good read of the judgement though, as much as I like the outcome I’m wary of judicial overstretch. I think sadly we all know the parliament really could have ‘intended’ such a wide scope for the provision. Per se.

  2. Back in the 80’s when Pope JPII visited Perth, a guy turned up in a home-made “Devil” costume to join the welcoming folk at road-side. He was nicked by the cops for “disorderly” or some such. Fortunately the magistrate tossed it out. It was never disclosed as to whether the Pope had noticed “Old Nick” grinning and waving to him from the verge as he went by. Which is all he had done.

  3. all the Judge did was strike out the words ‘and annoyance’ from the Bill, but the police powers are still substantively intact. They can arrest protestors for ‘inconvenience’ or obstruction, however they wish to interpret that.

    not that the Australian police ever check the rule book before acting

  4. I was more annoyed by a yoof reporter despatched by the ABC to cover the opening yesterday:
    they kept asking her: “is this a big mass?”
    and she kept saying: “yes, it’s massive.”

    masses mass for a massive mass.

  5. Pretty much the only impact this has had on me is that triple j has a few sections about bible news in the morning : I did think it was slightly hypocritical, hearing about the annoyance rule, considering when I did so I’d just got out of a doorknocker’s spiel (don’t you think they might give it a rest when there’s an event like this taking the wind out of their sails/sales?). Other than that, nadda.

  6. Armangy – Yeah I have a feeling Parl intended just that, mainly because I wouldn’t be giving them the benefit of the doubt after all the other support that was provided.

    Retarius & skink – Ah the po-po, they always find a way, don’t they?. NWA said it well, I reckon…

    Toothsoup – Maybe the doorknockers thought they could surf the WYD
    wave?

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