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Sep 08 2010

Indonesian Hugh Hefner in hot water

I have a love-hate relationship with pornography (well… more like a “love-love-love-love-cleanup-self loathing-hate” relationship, but that’s probably more information than you really wanted about me). On the one hand, it demeans women by treating them as essentially walking masturbatory aids. On the other hand, it’s a fairly handy barometer of a society’s relationship with free speech.

Indonesia isn’t doing so hot:

The former editor of Indonesian Playboy could face two years in jail after Indonesian prosecutors said they would enforce a 2009 Supreme Court ruling.

Regular readers will remember that our globe-trotting tour of finger-wagging at other countries has stopped in Indonesia before. Indonesia has a pretty crappy human rights record in general, and continues to struggle to protect free speech. This latest development, of course at the behest of conservative religious groups (so common as to be eye-rollingly cliché), is yet another illustration that religion stands in direct opposition to free speech. In order to believe in free speech and freedom of religion, you have to violate your religious precepts (particularly for Abrahamic religions) and consider the possibility that your god or gods is/are not immune from criticism.

Far easier, it seems, to trample on human rights and lock up those who violate your religious sensitivities than it is to examine your beliefs critically.

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