Quote of the week

It is necessary that the integrity of the electoral process be maintained. Indeed, the acceptance of the election as being free and fair depends upon that integrity. Elections must not only be free and fair but they must be perceived as being free and fair. Even-handedness in dealing with all political parties and candidates is crucial to that integrity and its perception by voters. The Commission must not be placed in a situation where it has to make ad hoc decisions about political parties and candidates who have not complied with the Act. The requirement that documents must be submitted to the local offices of the Commission does not undermine the right to vote and to stand for election. It simply gives effect to that right and underscores the decentralised and local nature of municipal elections.

Ngcobo CJ
Electoral Commission of the Republic of South Africa v Inkatha Freedom Party
26 April 2007

But what about condoms?

News24 today reports as follows:

An advertisement for a religious campaign has been ruled out of order for lack of evidence that Jesus can heal Aids. The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling after receiving a complaint about a newspaper advertisement last month for a “Miracle Crusade with Reverend Angley”. The advertisement claimed among other things that Jesus “heals Aids”. The ASA said it had tried unsuccessfully to get a response to the complaint, but the advertiser had “failed to provide the ASA with verification of the claim in question”.

This seems to suggest that almost all religious advertising in South Africa will now be banned. No more claims that those who attend a religious gathering will be delivered from the evils of the world, will prosper and enter the kingdom of heaven, will become rich and meet the Pope. In most cases verification might prove rather difficult.

But what about the claims by the Catholic Church that having sex outside of marriage and wearing condoms are mortal sins that will lead a person straight to hell. Such claims could hardly be verified. Somehow I do not think ASA will ban the Church from spreading this message – for that the Catholic Church is far too powerful.
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