Sunday, 2 August 2009


I heard this story on the radio while driving yesterday. I wasn't paying much attention to the the news, it was just background noise keeping me awake and mildly entertained. However, as soon as I heard a few bits about this I could feel my blood start to boil.

Essentially it seems that a photographer who liked, as he says, the "architecture" of this particular church took some "erotic" photos of women at the location and now there is some kind of moral outrage and calls of blasphemy which seem to have culminated in legal action.

First some technical points - I'm not sure what the rules are regarding pictures involving property, are the owners entitled to some royalty if the photographer profits as a direct result of the setting? Would this apply to church land? Does church land count as private property? I guess there could be some straight-forward business considerations here which is fine, if the church could legally make money by being used as a location in this way all well and good.

As for this being blasphemous or morally wrong I find that prudish at best and in actually fact quite offensive and repugnant! How dare they vilify erotic art by making a claim that it is in some way 'wrong' or should in any way disgrace those who were married in this church or have loved-ones buried there. Propagating such vile, repressive and, in my opinion, downright evil views is the cause of many problems in society today. What gives any organisation the right to sit in moral judgement over natural sexual acts? Yes, I know they seems a really silly question when clearly almost all of the repressive and puritanical legislation passed in the UK/US (and probably everywhere else in the world) is due to ridiculous religious interference in governments or pubic opinion!

These prudish views are insidious (and insipid in my opinion) and permeate through many aspects of culture and society and are hugely damaging. The news story got me thinking about myself and the fact that I'm not exactly the most worldly-wise person there is, and I don't recall a huge amount of positive influence when it came to erotica; it's still viewed by many as something that may cause offense at the very least or even worse something that should be hidden. And that is so wrong, such a message should be spread, quite the reverse should happen.

Religions should stop trying to dictate moral standards by persecuting people and condemning their actions. Instead they should try leading by example and being accepting, understanding and open. Clearly this is an impossibility however, certainly give the evidence of history so far.


LucyTolliday said...

Blasphemy, probably too strong a word but then people are quick to call something blasphemous even when it clearly isn't, see The Life Of Brian as an example. Can't comment on their artistic merits, if any, I believe though permission has to be given for publication.
I may be bothered about the shots and preserving the reputation of the church but it clearly wouldn't ruin my memories of the big day.

Fiona Bianchi said...

I did a quick search for the pictures in question but didn't find that many - also gave up as I only have my netbook with me while on hols and it's a it too fiddly to use.

Anyway, the pics I could find were tame, nothing even remotely over the top or scandalous. I would say the claim of "art" is pretty much true.

If anyone can find the official site for the pictures or any more information on the photographer feel free to post a link here.