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back to article Sex Party's down-under struggles with dominant Catholic priests

The Australian Sex Party has called for state and federal electoral commissions to stop using church properties for electoral purposes, after apparently running into problems with the putting up of posters. Others are likely to join them, with the Greens also reportedly affected by what is seen as church bias in respect of state …

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Joke

Perhaps.....

....they should put it in the hands of their solicitors....but still it may not stand up in court!

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My internal spell checking...

...kept reading that as "The NSFW Electoral Commission".

Is it Friday alrea... shit.

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WTF?

You are free to vote for...

... any party we approve of.

If you vote for anyone else you're DAMNED TO HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY, SINNER!!!

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Curb the Church

So despite their tax-free status and supposed position of neutrality, the Church now feel able to decide who gets to be seen in the polling stations and who doesnt?

How is that fair?

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Fair?

The Catholic church doesn't do fair - unless covering up of systematic child abuse is considered fair, of course.

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Stop

Proves the requirement for permanent and absolute separation of church and state

Irrespective of the right of individuals to gather and mumble any brand of hocus pocus mumbo jumbo to each other they do not have any right to export or force upon anyone else their particular version of "morals", "decency" or any other perversion of the course of general society and specifically democratic process.

We must permanently and absolutely separate church from state, no involvement in politics and no "faith schools", if you want to indoctrinate your children then we can't stop you, but we won't pay to help you either. This isn't about religious freedom or any other bullshit you want to hide behind, the very definition of a lack of religious freedom is an innocent child locked up in a school where the only acceptable belief system is the single brand of mumbo jumbo that infects that school.

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Australian churches

don't get the same tax breaks that UK ones do. But don't let that stand in the way of a good rant.

Not that that should give them a licence to interfere. Surely no one should get to put up posters in a polling station, except the election officials.

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Re: Australian churches

>>don't get the same tax breaks that UK ones do. But don't let that stand in the way of a good rant.

Different countries, different tax laws, but they certainly get as good tax breaks as most other countries;

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/churches-reap-the-benefits-of-belief-500-million-in-taxexemptions/2006/04/28/1146198351877.html

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Anonymous Coward

FTW

Plonkybear FTW. That joke sums it all up.

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@Curb the Church

Exactly - who died and made them God?

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Big Brother

Meat balls

According to them, Jesus. But then, the Flying spagetty monster made me the apostol of meatballs and I don't go bugging people about it.

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RE: Meatballs

I misread your post and thought you said

"But then, the Flying spagetty monster made me the apostol of meatballs and I don't go buggering people about it."

Easy mistake to make, eh?

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Headmaster

Spagetty?

Erm, I always prefer spaghetti.

Ramen!

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El
Jobs Halo

Touche

In the context of criticizing the Catholic church, the term "buggering" does seem much more appropriate, doesn't it?

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Headmaster

apostol?

(Don't go apostal on me.)

Always hoped that I'd be an Apostle. Knew that I could make it if I tried.

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Go

Re: Erm, I always prefer spaghetti.

Oh noes! I see a split in the FSM church comming!

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@Blake St. Claire

Ten points for a totally sweet reference that most people will probably miss...

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Anonymous Coward

Catholic Church

I hate it when jokes are taken seriously.

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hmmm

But according to a post by Viktoria Csoma on the end of that article you linked to:

As the polling place manager, two major parties were also asked to take their a-frames and corflutes from the stairs of the church - by the priest Fr Milsted and by me. The church was NOT part of the polling place - only the parish hall. Stop trying to blame the Catholic Church for all your woes. A formal complaint was not lodged with the AEC

I thought The Reg took pride in getting the real story, not an untruth that made for a good headline. Bit disappointed that you couldn't have just scrolled down the page and read that yourselves.

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Story?

In cases such as these, the "story" tends to consist of official statements and what is given to us from attributable sources.

Where we don't have direct statement, we stick in signpost words like "alleged" and "reported" as we have here. A comment from someone claiming to be an election official is interesting, and worth following up if the story turns out to be more than a storm in a teacup: but since anyone can post on a site claiming to be pretty much anyone they like, comments don't generally get regarded as evidence of anything.

Unless they are from a moderator or similar.

jane

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Whups

I'm sorry, which part of the church, including the stairs, is not tax-free, again?

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Anonymous Coward

slow down, hoss

Sean:

1) we have no idea in whose employ Ms Csoma was but I suspect the suggestion "Stop trying to blame the Catholic Church for all your woes" gives us a steer.

2) we have no reason to believe that Ms Csoma's version of events is any more or less reliable than that of Fiona Patten or the other person who posted on the newspaper's website, May Stix, who contradicted Ms Csoma about the location of the posters.

3) Ms Csoma's statement "A formal complaint was not lodged with the AEC" was made at midnight on Sat 26 March, the day of the election, and before the "Monday morning" referred to by the Sex Party as the day on which they would be contacting the AEC.

4) it's unlikely that any story involving the Sex Party is going to go beyond making a good headline...

Now having said all that, " volunteers feared an altercation and agreed to take down the campaign posters". If they believed they were right, they should have toughened up and refused to take the posters down. You would have thought that if you were standing for the Sex Party, you wouldn't be so compliant when it came to taking orders from a priest...

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kinda my point

> we have no idea in whose employ Ms Csoma was

Yes, exactly. My point is that as The Reg is written by journalists I'd have thought they'd have gone to some effort to find out if she was who she said she was and what the truth was behind the story. Seems like the Sex Party is saying one thing and this poster who says she is a polling place manager says another. Surely it's a journalist's job to find the real story? I understand that a tabloid might just go for a catchy headline but I like The Reg and I thought it was above that.

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eh

Are you saying El Reg has to spend time and effort investigating every possible claim.

I am the Polling Station manager and I say the story is 100% true - I have never heard of Ms Csoma.

Feel free to investigate away - dont post back here until you can conclusively prove me right or wrong.

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yes

Well, as they are journalists I'd say investigating a story is part of the job description. My bet is that the Sex Party PR department is leading you by the nose on this one.

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Paris Hilton

Bets are on

I suspect someone is being led by the nose by a PR department but not sure I agree who... I mean its not like the Catholic church doesnt have a good PR machine of its own....

You might want to see what the AEC has to say about it.

Paris - for obvious reasons...

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Penalty points...

so what can you buy with them?

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Re: Penalty points... so what can you buy with them?

I believe they are good for Papal Indulgences.

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So...

The don't like posters from the sex party, but it's okay to have a 16 foot sculpture of a man nailed to a cross?

Niiiiiiice.

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Typical

It's the typical Violence is good; Sex is bad.

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Just because

sex is a no, does not mean that BDSM is not on the manifesto.

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@ Sean O'Connor 1 - petard/hoisted?

"I thought The Reg took pride in getting the real story, not an untruth that made for a good headline. Bit disappointed that you couldn't have just scrolled down the page and read that yourselves."

And 5 mins after 'Viktoria Ksoma' posted her opinion and second member of the public wrote:

The Sex Party signage was on the fence, not the church stairs. And even if it was in the wrong place (which I'm not sure it was,) there was no reason for the priest to be rude, aggressive and intimidating toward the young people who were volunteering for the Sex Party.

I don't know which is accurate, but I don't automatically write off and deride any commentator that dares to differ with my opinion or beliefs.

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Happy

my beliefs?

> don't know which is accurate, but I don't automatically write off and deride

> any commentator that dares to differ with my opinion or beliefs.

Look, I think you're misunderstanding me - I'm slightly less religious than Richard Dawkins so I'm certainly not trying to stick up for the Catholic Church here!

If someone is claiming to be a polling manager (ie not just a member of the public) who was present when this happened and is saying that the Sex Party's take on this is wrong then perhaps a journalist should investigate this and not just parrot the story.

I've always admired The Reg's sceptical take on any news story and I don't think they've done that here. That's all I'm saying.

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Re: my beliefs?

No need to apologise or explain, Sean. Your original point was perfectly valid and well presented. What you need to understand is that here on EL Reg we sometimes descend to the level of the medieval church scholars who enthusiastically debated topics such as "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin." Completely and utterly pointless but what the hell, it makes life briefly more interesting.

Have a nice day!

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Stop

Polling in Churches?!

Wassamatter, don't they have schools in Oz? Why are they using churches (or even parish halls) as polling places in the first place?

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Maybe because the schools are being used for teaching during the week and full of children, whereas church halls tend to be free for community use exery day except Sunday.

That's how it works in the UK, at least - my local church hall has loads of community stuff going on during the week, farmers markets, women's groups, etc. it's also the local polling booth.

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FAIL

Sky Fairy influence in Aus politics...

...it's truly scary:

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/04/06/3184075.htm

Our Prime Ranga claims to be an atheist but has yet to realise that, in the words of Frank Zappa, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

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Another appropriate Frank Zappa quote:

"Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? Who wins?"

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Grenade

Improper attempt to influence

Sounds to me like this Church org is trying to influence the election through bias at the polling stations.

I would look at trying to get some sort of injunction to prevent the use of buildings that are subject to religious constraints that are different from a standard commercial relationship.

A civil election should not be a source of financial gain for religious groups.

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I agree with the catholic church in this instance!!!

I am by no means a friend of catholisizm, but I do agree with the priests!!!

I actually come from a pentecostal background, and yes I know the lot of you would love to shred me now!!!

But that is not what it's about!!! It is a place of worship, so whether it is a mosque, a church, a synagogue or a hindu temple. These are places that are holy to many people and that should be respected!!!

If these sex party people feel like presenting themselves and telling the world, that they think everyone can screw around and get all sorts of STIs then that is their business and their oppinion, which I don't like, I totally disagree with, but I will respect it.

At the same time, I expect from them, that they will respect places of worship.

If they can't do even that and just have to be offensive (and don't tell me that this wasn't a calculated act!!!), then they should also expect a defensive reaction!!!!

I for one am full on the side of the priests or any place that feels offended by the pictures of these people or even themselves.

But also please bear in mind: if you expect tolerance, then be be prepared to tolerate others.

It always goes both ways.

And it is absolutely no secret, that most faiths are offended by sexual depictions or their representations (or should I say representatives?)

And now feel free to rip me apart:

best regards from (currently) Finland.

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Pint

˙sʇıƃıp ɹo/puɐ sɹǝʇʇǝl uıɐʇuoɔ ʇsnɯ puɐ 'pǝɹınbǝɹ sı ǝlʇıʇ ǝɥʇ

I actually agree with that sex party posters are not appropriate for a religous property. This seems quite obvious really so you have to wonder why the priests would allow their properties to be used as polling stations knowing that the parties standing for election were likely to do exactly what they did. We don't have to wonder much though because they were just after the bag of cash they get for it. Lets stop subsidising these religions and let them fail.

Is it time to go down the pub yet?

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Tolerance...?

You are right, tolerance does have to go both ways, but why the demands for everyone else to be tolerant when the priest was being completely intolerant? The 'Get those posters out of this church!' reaction mentioned is anything but tolerant.

Tolerance would have been if he had allowed the posters, you know, as in 'tolerated their presence'. Doesn't mean he had to agree with, or even enjoy their presence, but by asking for their removal he showed just how intolerant he is of anyone not of his narrow views of the world.

The right thing to do would for him to have taken a deep breath, realise it was only for a day or two, and left them to stick their posters up. He might have come out looking good, and even helped to convince those of us outside the church that they aren't all preaching do-gooders with a chip on their shoulder.

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All very well,

but the place of worship in question was happy to take the money for hosting the polling stations, they can't then turn around and say "But..."

Also, I believe the signs were on the fence outside with all the others - it is illegal to post election signage within a certain distance of a polling station down here. That would place the signs abutting and facing on to public thoroughfare, though the fence itself is likely church property.

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Happy

What a sad bunch this is

And I always thought the Germans where deemend intollerant and the UK is one of the most tollerant countries in the world...

well looking at the number of thumbs down I got (and I will just assume, that most of them come from Britts), asking for tolerance doesn't seem to be tolerated.

Not even any decent followup comments...

Oh well...

You guys have actually just proven my point....

Thnx for that... at least I don't seem to be completely wrong....

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@ I agree

the problem is, of course, that the church was not on that day just a church - it was being used as a polling place. people went there to vote, not to pray.

Any other day, certainly, they can say who can & can't put posters up, but on election day, they either had to accept every party or none. If they felt there would be *any* party they didn't want having their posters up (within the electoral rules of course) then they shouldn't have volunteered to be a polling place.

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Respect democracy

Yes, it goes both ways. At the time in question, the location was being used as a polling station, it was not being used as a place of worship. Therefore the rules for polling stations should be observed, overriding the rules for places of worship. If the church didn't like this, they should never have agreed to hire out the place as a polling station. If the priest was interfering with an election, then he should be charged.

You also grossly misrepresent the policies of the sex party in an offensive manner, but I'll be tolerant and respect your right to voice your lies.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I really hope you're a troll...

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Stop

When is a place of worship not a place of worship?

When it is a polling station. Just temporarily for a day, it has a different purpose to fulfill.

If the owners of the church property can't in conscience abide by the secular rules of democracy, then they should not have volunteered their property for use as a polling station. They can be a polling station or not be a polling station, but they can't get to be a polling station for some parties and not permit others.

I'm not going to rip you apart and I'm not going to deny their right to run their church how they want to, but then they shouldn't intervene in the elections if they can't provide a neutral space to vote in.

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biased elections

perhaps you think that when a netural government polling station is chosen, the owner of the building should pick and chose who voters in their area are allowed to vote for, and remove anyone they don't approve of from the ballot paper? after all if their building is rented out for use by the government in holding an election then they have every right to interfere with people trying to vote for someone they don't approve of!

I don't think political parties should be able to put up propaganda pieces at polling stations and they should be completely neutral, but if australian law allows political parties to do that then all political parties should be treated equally, it should not be restricted to only allowing parties you agree with to put up propaganda and anyone you don't agree with should be silenced, that's not how democracy works!

If they were complying with the law then they really should have refused to take them down, and if the priest attempted to vandalise their posters they should have called the police to arrest the criminal for interfering in an election, it's what I would have done.

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Bad troll

None of that would be an issue if this was just a case of sex party volunteers lobbying to be able to put posters up in a place of worship.

When that place of worship is also the polling place for an election, and the church is paid for that service, it becomes an entirely different matter. It becomes the church interfering in the democratic process.

And the sex party isn't about being promiscuous, it's about protecting people's rights to keep the government and religions out of their bedrooms and marriages.

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