Red Bull gives you… “wingnuts”

Red Bull GmbH

Image via Wikipedia

They’re at it again. Will these wingnuts never learn that the parochial views of a minority of the population cannot be used to hold the majority to ransom?

In the most recent in a long list of attacks on the freedom of speech, Red Bull has been forced to pull an advert from television which supposedly mocks their faith. In a population in excess of 20 million adults, less than 1000 complaints seemed to do the trick. Go figure!

Errol Naidoo, director of the Family Policy Institute (otherwise known as the Self-appointed Guardians of Morality), offered up a typical response* from that side of the fence:

The advert is meant to offend as it depicts the Jesus character in the cartoon using the name of Jesus as a curse word

Red Bull wouldn’t dream of mocking religious figures of other religions. Christianity and Jesus in particular are singled out for mockery by secular humanists and other anti-Christian bigots

FPI is launching a nationwide boycott of Red Bull products in response to this blasphemous attack on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh please Errol, fly off that high horse of yours, drink some Red Bull and learn to laugh. It’s called satire.The advert was designed to sell a product, not mock your religion. Your religion does a bang-up job of attracting derision all by itself; Red Bull couldn’t hope to compete with that.

Every time these bigots try to draw attention to their imagined plight by forcing banning and censorship, they actually wind up creating more publicity for that which they attack. Here is the advert which has been uploaded to YouTube, for the more broad-minded people out there:

* Another response from Chantell in the comments column of the article: “I have told many people that did not even see the ad about the mockery, they immediatly said they wont buy red bull again!” Sound familiar? Yes, that’s typically what the religious do – believe what they’re told.

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Media Freedom Day

Freedom loving South Africans commemorated Media Freedom Day today, in South Africa. Today marks that fateful day in 1977 when the former Apartheid government shut down newspapers, banned civic organizations and arrested journalists and activists; the same actions being pig-headedly contemplated by the so-called liberation government in power, today.

While it seems that this same government are about to backtrack on the implementation of that disgraceful piece of legislation known as the Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT) in its current form, there is no absolute guarantee of that. Freedom loving South Africans need to remain ever vigilant and in united opposition to it ever seeing the light of day.

While MAT may indeed wind up as still-born, the implementation of that other sinister piece of legislation known as the Protection of Information Bill (POI) which continues to threaten our basic freedoms, is still very much on the cards. The same opposition we have shown towards MAT, needs to be gathered up again twice and thrice-fold, to defeat those who dare meddle with our freedoms.

We must not allow ourselves to be mislead by government propagandists such as Aziz Pahad, whose call for “a greater variety of voices… to be heard more often in the South African media…,” is nothing short of a smokescreen to give credibility to that new pro-government rag that is about to be published by the Gupta’s, The New Age. Sure we need a greater variety of voices in the media, but not those that toe the ruling party line, or suck up to the politicians, in anticipation of favors.

And perhaps as a sign that Media Freedom Day did prick some consciences, five senior editors of the propaganda rag, The New Age, resigned this afternoon, just  hours ahead of its launch tomorrow. Hopefully these journalists will now join a truly free newspaper publisher.

Let’s all stand firm against any legislation that threatens media freedom.