A little media item:
Some of you may recall the suit that the Australian COTO took out against a couple from New South Wales who ran a silly website. The suit resulted in them being imprisoned for seven weeks in early 2008 e.v. (for contempt of the Victorian court; i.e a separate state with separate laws). The Anglican Church and the Catholic Church and other guardians of civil liberties have been so concerned, by the type of anti-religious-vilification laws that the COTO used, that they have started up a lobby group to campaign against them. There was a discussion of these issues on this (Australian) ABC radio program last Sunday night:
An mp3 of it is available; on the "First Hour: Religious vilification laws" page.
In that discussion, a Bishop Robert Forsyth, the Anglican bishop of South Sydney and one of the Sydney conservatives who has been involved in the near-split from the liberals in the Anglican/ Episcopalian communion worldwide, referred dismissively to the COTO case as having been brought by "Satanists". He made this statement in challenging his opponents on the panel to cite a single case in which the anti-religious-vilification laws could be said to have worked. However, the bishop then pre-empted the possibility that this case could be cited by disallowing "trivial" cases. There was the case brought by "Satanists", he conceded, but it was a trivial case that did not count. It is still the only case, so far as I am aware, in which a definite judgement has gone against a defendant, rather than going to mediation or being overturned on appeal - yet his two opponents on the panel let it pass. Apparently scummy, COTO Satanists are of no account - whatever some odd, Victorian court has to say about the matter!
I have written at length to the program telling them that I agree with the Bishop - in that I am against that sort of law - but I also pointed out that so far as I am aware, the three COTO'ers are not self-confessed Satanists but that there might be such an inference drawn. And if he didn't mean to call the individuals Satanists, then he was, apparently, implying that all Thelemites as Satanists. But I agreed that in the spirit of free discussion, I didn't object if that was his meaning, and that he was entitled to his opinion.
P.S. The two references to the "Satanists" are at 13:30 & 15:00 on the mp3 file.