Won't Somebody Think of the Children?


Every now and then an issue rises to public prominence that allows us to crystallise in our minds a vital question of human existence: how to distinguish the decent respectable members of our society from the snivelling perverts.

Such an opportunity to draw a line in the moral sand has arisen in recent days, in the form of "artist" Bill Henson, whose grotesqueries not only demonstrate how low the human race can go, but also allow us to demonstrate how much higher our bit of the human race is.

In a way, there’s no need to write an entire article to make my point. I could merely tell you what’s in the photos, and then sit back and wait for the mass faintings. But I feel it behoves me to stand up even more strongly for justice and decency and poor little children everywhere. The question is, if we allow photographs of naked children to be put on walls unfettered, what next? Shall naked children be allowed into our schools, our sporting clubs, our very homes?

The threats posed by Henson’s photos are summed up well by Hetty Johnston of Bravehearts, an organisation that campaigns against child sexual abuse as well as English tyranny. Johnston says that Henson "has a tendency to depict children naked and that is porn", and that pretty much seals it, doesn’t it? If a decent, respectable, well-adjusted person like Hetty can see the sexual depravity inherent in these images, imagine how they would appear to a hysterical sex-obsessed weirdo.

There are two sides to every issue, of course, and it is our duty to not only look at the correct side, but also examine the side of the child molesters. Vicious, amoral paedophiles like Saul Eslake, Peter Goldsworthy and Cate Blanchett have declared Henson’s obscenities to be "art", but should we listen to them, given their track record? Eslake’s analysis of the sub-prime mortgage crisis has always been lacking in moral fibre, and Blanchett is an actress, which is just another word for "reprobate".

Sure, these filth mongers might claim there is nothing indecent about Henson’s photos. Such folk will try to sway you with lofty talk about freedom of expression. In their seductive, arts-grant-cultivated tones, they will tell you these photos are "beautiful". Nudity does not necessarily have to be sexual, they may say, pointing to Piers Akerman as evidence.

As with many of Blanchett’s films, it is important here that we do not pay any attention. Nudity=sex is an equation as ancient and as time-tested as Drugs Are Bad, or Intelligent Design. There is no time for fancy postmodern nuances when the children are at stake.

What, exactly, constitutes pornography is a vexed question that has generated much debate in the past. However, as a wise man once said, "I may not be able to define pornography, but I know it when I refuse to go and see it," and I find this the most useful guide for anyone trying to decide what to disapprove of.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, of course, stood up as usual for working families and everyone who doesn’t hate children, declaring Henson’s work to be "revolting".

But it’s not only Henson’s work – such perversions are everywhere. In a long-overdue development, the Government is going to examine the issue of naked babies on TV ads. Finally, we might be able to get these lascivious images of nappy-clad harlots off our screens. In fact, when you know where to look, sickening examples of child pornography are everywhere, both of the "straight" and "fetish" varieties. And I don’t care how much you throw around words like "prude" and "wowser" and "clinically insane"; I’ve had enough of wicked smut vendors exploiting these innocents to sell their "nappies". Where will raunch culture end?

These photos are not simply revolting, they are downright dangerous. If we the people are not shielded from such things for our own good, there is no telling what they may arouse in us. After viewing one of Henson’s images, I myself became a paedophile for over 48 hours. It was only intense bible study that saved me from the temptations of the school across the road. If I ever saw an entire Henson exhibition, God knows what kind of rampage I would embark upon.

The other big danger of work like Henson’s is contained in one of complaints about the sexy-baby ads: "I am disturbed when I think of the thrill a paedophile would get from this image," a complainant said of a commercial for Huggies Pull-Ups. This gets right to the heart of the issue: if we allow pictures of naked children to be displayed, paedophiles might enjoy them. Therefore, to nip this evil in the bud, I urge the immediate banning of everything that child molesters might derive pleasure from, including, but not restricted to: Baby Target catalogues, nauseating museum exhibits about the Human Body, swimming carnivals, school dance recitals and Bindi Irwin.

These are just preliminary measures of course; ultimately, the aim would be to progress to eliminating children from public view entirely, or at least encasing them in mandatory burqa-style body coverings. Extreme? Perhaps. But better, surely, than the thought of a happy kiddy-fiddler. It’s possible that you don’t want your children to be hidden away from the world until adulthood, but frankly, it’s not my problem if you’re a terrible parent.

Perhaps, in the end, we should all reflect on the words of the late Pope John Paul II, a holy man who once said, "There are circumstances in which nudity is not impure … impurity of body only occurs when nudity plays a negative role with respect to the value of the person."

But then, we all know what Catholic priests are like.

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