Wonders never cease. For once I find that I am in complete agreement with arch-conservative Miranda Divine. There are some boundaries a society should be very wary about crossing. Very wary.

This controversy over Bill Henson's exhibition of naked underage adolescents reminds me of a conversation I had with someone some weeks ago. He recalled a conversation with an unrepentant paedophile, who had claimed it was only a matter of time before man-boy love became acceptable once more. Sadly, I think he may be right. Our relativistic society lacks the strength to say: no, absolutely no. With its moral codes founded on a religion it no longer trusts it is only a matter of time before they start toppling over. Back to the old Roman days soon I'm afraid.

7 thoughts on “Art? Or sophisticated kiddie porn?

  1. First of, what exactly do you mean Roman days? Just curious what you mean.
    Also, do you think Christians sometimes like to view society as going to hell? That way we feel better about our faith, if it’s our faith vs. destructive nihilism.
    I remember a couple weeks ago on Alan Hirsch’s blog he mentioned a common misconcpetion that Sweeden has the highest suicide rates in the world (which it does not).
    It got me thinking on how Christian’s sometimes project on to secular societies in order to feel secure about there own beliefs.
    Do not get me wrong, I’m a Christian, but something does not sit right with me when we view the evils of lets say, European secular society, and to ignore the good of those societies and even possibly ignore the evils of all societies.

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  2. Actually I should have said Greek and Roman but for a run down of ancient western pedaristic mores see:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/homosexuality/
    “The central distinction in ancient Greek sexual relations was between taking an active or insertive role, versus a passive or penetrated one. The passive role was acceptable only for inferiors, such as women, slaves, or male youths who were not yet citizens. Hence the cultural ideal of a same-sex relationship was between an older man, probably in his 20’s or 30’s, known as the erastes, and a boy whose beard had not yet begun to grow, the eromenos or paidika. In this relationship there was courtship ritual, involving gifts … The relationship was to be temporary and should end upon the boy reaching adulthood … Ancient Rome had many parallels in its understanding of same-sex attraction, and sexual issues more generally, to ancient Greece. This is especially true under the Republic.”
    Basically I am saying, it has happened before, it can happen again. Should it really surprise us? A cursory glance at my site should show I am not the apocalyptic alarmist type, nor inclined towards black-white views of culture. Sure other societies have their evils, but that is academic, I am asking what about this one here right in front of us? I know people who were damaged as kids and I know how important boundaries are for kids. Children should not be up for consumption.

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  3. Certainly not!
    But what I mean, and it was bit of track I’ll admit, was that sometimes Christians seem to over-demonize secular culture. Of course there are things bad with it, but it seems as if we try and see (and sometimes over-exagerate) issues with their culture.
    I don’t believe Western sexual ethics are healthy, but I think it seems like an exageration that we’d allow something like that.
    Maybe I’m wrong. But I think it’s like pacifist using the argument “If you kill someone in war why not kill someone on the street?”.

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  4. Well, I am not so confident, not for the long run. Frankly I am not sure the charges will even stick. And with what seems like the entire Australian arts community behind him, Kate Blanchett, gallery directors, all them, some very mixed signals are being sent out. Someone is guaranteed to try it again. Give it 20 years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some slippage on age levels if things keep going this way. True, sometimes Christians have “over-demonized” culture, but sometimes non-Christians have over-romanticized it and I think to assume relativistic ethics has some sort of in-built break is potentially hazardous where issues like this are concerned. Where the consumer is considered all mighty…

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  5. That’s true.
    It’s unfortunate that that we either over-demonize or over-romanticize culture. It’s hard to really get a good look at it.

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  6. And there will always be differing opinions, particularly in a pluralistic culture like ours. But as a Christian I must look at it with Christian eyes and I cannot help being reminded of Jesus’ warning that, “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” (Mark 9:42) Where the safety of children is concerned, moral boudaries is not something which should be flerted with, for artistic fame or anything else.

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  7. Morality was created by nature and humanity’s place in it.
    It doesn’t ‘belong’ to religion – they stole it; to give their fairytale books some credence.
    Morals will be based on reality when we ditch religion.
    Children are hurt (physically and emotionally) by sexual encounters so that is the basis of its illegality.
    As to the question ‘art or porn?’ – I say art is something I would have on my wall so definately not that.

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