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Old 07-07-2008, 08:40 PM   #1
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Roman Popery Comes To Oz

With World Youth Day coming up basic rights and taxpayers money are being funneled away for sponsership of a nice religious event

First off with special laws to deal with protestors, just like with Bush the cops get given extra powers, probably not worth complaining else somebody suggests to make them permanent
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Protesters say they are willing to break the law and hand out condoms to Catholic pilgrims during this month's World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.

Powers approved by the NSW government allow for people who continually annoy or inconvenience pilgrims during the event, to be staged in Sydney from July 15 to 20, to be arrested and possibly fined $5,500.

Protest group, NoToPope Coalition are concerned the regulations will be used to stop demonstrations during World Youth Day events, but that they could also effectively ban things like wearing a T-shirt with a slogan considered to be anti-Catholic.

NoToPope spokeswoman Rachel Evans said the group was seeking legal advice on whether it could challenge the "thou shalt not offend" laws.

But she said the group would still carry out its protest in the CBD on July 19, and go ahead with its plan to hand out condoms to young pilgrims.

"We are not anti-religion," Ms Evans said.

"We expect the police will allow us to distribute condoms to the young pilgrims and talk with them about human rights issues."

The NSW Bar Association said the laws attacked the right to freedom of speech and appeared to be completely unnecessary.

Association president Anna Katzmann, SC, said they were not necessary when Sydney hosted the Rugby World Cup or the annual Mardi Gras parade.

"If I were to wear a T-shirt proclaiming that "World Youth Day is a waste of public money" and refuse to remove it when an officer of the Rural Fire Service asks me to, I would commit a criminal offence," Ms Katzmann said.

But the police and government have defended the additional powers, saying they were needed whenever large-scale events were held in Sydney.
Youth Day protesters 'to offer condoms' - Breaking News - National - Breaking News

And the other Christian element is out in force
Quote:
CATHOLIC pilgrims and the public will be able to buy papal mementos after Sydney's archbishop gave his blessing to indulging in "a little commercialism".

Shoppers will be able to buy World Youth Day (WYD) souvenirs such as special WYD rosary beads, Pope Benedict XVI baseball caps, rugby jerseys and even teaspoons featuring a photograph of the pontiff.

Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell opened one of at least four merchandise stores to be erected in Sydney for the six-day WYDay event.

Cardinal Pell said the church was not looking to make a profit from merchandise sales.

“The church doesn't expect to make a profit,” Cardinal Pell said.

“It was never a moneymaking venture.”

He said he hoped the company established to run WYD merchandising, Event Merchandising Group, made a profit.

“There's nothing immoral with a little commercialism,” Cardinal Pell said.

“Our way of life is built on commercialism, on trade, on industry, on finance and people have got a right to make a living out of doing a good thing, which is spreading Christ's message in a modern way.”

He said he expected merchandise, such as the “WYDGET” token trading bracelet, to be a big hit with pilgrims.

Chief Executive of Event Merchandise Group John Cooper said a “small percentage” of merchandising profits would got to the Catholic Church to help fund World Youth Day.
Blessing to buy papal souvenirs | The Australian



And what pisses me right off
Quote:
Jim Hanna, a spokesman for the church's World Youth Day organising committee, insists NSW taxpayers will not be asked to top up the $108.5 million they are already contributing. "It's not taxpayers who meet any shortfall," he said.

But he could not say for certain that the church would cover any deficit, as happened in Canada.

With a further $55 million in Federal Government funding for the event, Father Tom Rosica, who was Canada's national director of World Youth Day, said Australian organisers have enjoyed far more government backing than did his team, which received about $C18 million in cash and support.

This large taxpayer contribution and heavy government involvement has echoes of the model the NSW Government used for the Olympic Games, where taxpayers bore the financial risk.
Who pays up for a loss? It's a secret - National - smh.com.au

Public funds for religious events, it's on the level here and who knows, maybe some day I'll have no right to complain.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Will they be selling Pope on a Rope soap?

Sort of funny story - WYD was in Toronto a few years ago, maybe 4? Anyway, so they had the open air mass at a huge park and obviously there were dozens of port-a-potties. So they emptied them out incorrectly after the weekend was over and the shit flooded a rather famous furniture store. The owner showed up on Monday and found himself knee-deep in feces.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #3
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I'm far from anti-religious per se, but frankly I don't see why any level of government should be providing a cent to this event. I really don't. At a guess though, I imagine it is probably based on some general sort of tourism/bringing in visitors to the state kind of thing. Just like they chip in support to the Indy car races or whatever.

As a somewhat lapsed (but not non-) Catholic, I have to say I find Cardinal Pell a fairly bad example of the faith. But not all of us belong to the Sydney/Melbourne axis, so they're welcome to him.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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It would be disingenuous to argue that it goes against the secular principles of Australia given how unprincipled it is in practice.
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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I think the revenues end up being pretty sizeable...not sure if that's a justification, but the local governments obviously love it.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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I'm not opposed to so-called "do not offend" laws, in theory, as the freedom to practice religion should mean freedom from harassment during religious events.

However, considering how many "religious people" have felt free to protest and disrupt gay events any chance they've gotten, I find it very hard to feel sorry for them if people come up and disrupt their event.
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