For a change, the latest outpouring of moral outrage is not about debauched homosexualists or fallen women but a pizza company. As my friend Pam Zie-Wamzie reports on Red Confectionery, Hell Pizza is marketing Lust, its meat-lovers' pizza, by distributing condoms to the masses. Inevitably, the guardians of decency are indignant.
Leading the charge is Family First, a relatively young organisation of which I am sure we will be hearing a lot. They have launched a campaign to boycott Hell, on the grounds that small children may find condoms in the mailbox and read the "explicit" instructions on how to use them. We all know what this will lead to: questions.
Closely behind comes Family Life International. Its Spokesman, Brendan Malone, made the mistake of engaging Hell's director on National Radio's Checkpoint, a debate which can be downloaded as a
podcast. The results were hilarious. Mr Malone claimed that Hell was creating a public health risk because the condom might be damaged by the warmth of the mailbox. Call me old-fashioned, but I thought condoms were designed to be put into warm places.
Mr Malone also condemned Hell for failing to include lubricants with the condoms, which makes one wonder how he thinks they will be used. Then he changed tack and argued that children might be tempted to imitate the instructions they would read on the packet.
Mr Malone's comments also make one wonder what kind of sex education he received. The Catholic kind, of course, where it's all about rhythm: FLI is a Popish plot to prevent all sex, except when it occurs in a Catholic marriage. Mr Malone did not reveal that he is opposed to all condoms, whether in mailboxes, wallets (another dangerous environment apparently) or carefully stored in a cool dark place.
Meanwhile, bringing up the rear (if that is the right phrase) comes Focus on the Family which insists that Hell Pizza are "potentially encouraging the illegal act of under-age sex." FOF is the local franchise of Dr James Dobson's Focus on the Family, the organisation which claimed SpongeBob SquarePants to be part of the vast homosexualist conspiracy.
Dr Dobson also organised a boycott of clothing company Abercromie and Fitch, because its catalogue included "overt portrayals of group sex, lots of teen and young adult nudity, men kissing, and teens/young adults frolicking in a river engaging in sexual activity in multiple group settings." Actually, he had a point there: the catalogue does show a lot of skin although, fortunately, there is little evidence of Abercrombie's dreary yuppie clothes.
Anyway, back to Hell. I cannot help thinking that the fundies' main gripe with the pizzamen is their temerity in naming the company Hell. A while back there was correspondence in the Western Leader about this blasphemy, if that is what it is. One reader complained about how difficult it is for a Christian to buy fast food, not ony because of heretical pizza but also because all those Asians who run the takeaways have their pagan idols on display.