Blasphemous film unbanned after 23 yrs

2012-01-31 16:32
London - The only movie ever banned in Britain for blasphemy has finally been approved for distribution, 23 years after it was outlawed.

The experimental short Visions of Ecstasy features scenes of Jesus being seduced on the cross.

In 1989 Britain's film censors refused to give it a rating - a requirement for legal distribution - on the grounds that a fantasy scene in which St Teresa of Avila sexually caresses the Christ could constitute blasphemous libel.

Blasphemy was abolished as an offense in 2008 and on Tuesday the British Board of Film Classification gave Nigel Wingrove's 19-minute film an 18 rating, meaning it may be viewed by adults.

The board acknowledged the film would be "deeply offensive to some viewers," but said it did not breach any current British laws.


  • jeremy002 - 2012-01-31 17:25

    @Fred - let's hope you can imagine your way out of trouble when you face him in person one day.

      Fred - 2012-01-31 17:41

      Ag no. You are actually trying to threaten me with hell and damnation. Haha! Jeremy, no matter how much you let your imagination run wild with all the horrible things that are going to happen to me in the afterlife, it's not going to affect me. I'm impenetrable to superstitious make-believe hogwash. Sorry. I'm just amazing that way. Like a super hero. *

      Fredster - 2012-02-01 07:36

      In the last days there will be skoffers...Willfully other words: Dumb on purpose!!!

      John - 2012-02-01 14:12

      @ jeremy - umm... he died 2000 years ago. Get over it.

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-02-01 15:28

      Fredster, you are so busy looking forward to the end of the world, that you are forgetting to live in the here and now... what a sad waste of a life!!!

  • faureteggin - 2012-01-31 17:30

    It's amazing how quickly you nutters (Dirk and Jeremy002) resort to threats and insults. I suggest spending some time on

      tyronlouw - 2012-01-31 17:41

      or read anything to do with Scientology... if they find that ridiculous then they are just being hypocrites! We all have the right to be offended, and if you disagree then you are a bigot. (yes, I realise the irony. but if we dont have irony, what do we have? Well, for Americans nothing, apparently). Hear, hear, for the British, you stopped believing in blasphemy ages ago, I am surprised this move took you so long!

  • Rhys Vetner - 2012-01-31 17:45

    ...caused by the disintegration of society.

  • Abri - 2012-01-31 17:49

    As Christians we should start to accept that no goverment in the world in this day and age will protect us (or for that matter any other religious group). It is up to yourself to determine your values and and work out what you and your family want to watch or not, not the goverment.

      Fred - 2012-01-31 17:53

      Now here is a Christian I can agree with. Well said.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-31 18:04

      If you think that no government in the world will protect any religion, then you should take a look at a number of Middle-Eastern countries, and see how they protect Islam. Not that I agree with any religion, my thoughts are the same as Fred's.

  • Rhys Vetner - 2012-01-31 17:54

    @Abri, well said!! :)

  • jacovniek - 2012-01-31 17:59

    This is very sad. What makes blasphemy any different to other thoughtless and disrespectful behaviour? If you're an atheist, that's fine. If you're a deist that is also fine. If you're not sure... well, great! What advantage is there in deeply offending a group for your own gratification, simply because you think you're smarter, better or "more evolved" than others? Calling an atheist an "evil and bad person who will burn in hell" is equally distasteful than calling a Christian a "superstitious idiot who still has imaginary friends". My faith in humanity remains lost as the world chokes on its own hatred, intolerance and selfishness.

      Fred - 2012-01-31 18:42

      I guess I have to keep repeating thins until it sinks in. If the people want to believe in God then they can go right ahead. Worship him/her/it in their homes and churches. Find all the comfort they want from their faith communities, their hymns and their rituals. But while they are at it, they must consider keeping their god out of my community’s science curriculum (i.e., intelligent design/creationism). And out of the country’s medical agenda (i.e., stem cell research, abortion and contraception). And out of the country’s laws (i.e., abortion). Most atheists are happy to live and let live, But, as long as believers insist on pushing their religion into our lives, we have no choice but to push it right back. AND Because people are killed because of their belief in God. Because people kill others because of their belief in God. Because bad public policy decisions are made because people want to follow a God’s will instead of relying on common sense and decency. Sorry, religion does not get a free ride any more.

      Fred - 2012-01-31 18:46

      BTW - see ABDULLAH'S gloating about how the god believers got the ban imposed upon TopTV. You guys appear to be obsessed with sex and want to take a peek into every bedroom. There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice. Thomas Paine

      tyronlouw - 2012-01-31 18:47

      @fred Sounds like you would have read a bit by Hitchens and Dawkins! :)

      jacovniek - 2012-01-31 18:59

      I'll be the first to "like" your post. I try to keep an open head about things. If science contradicts with what I believe, then I need to rethink my position. For me, blind faith which goes against well-proven science is a false (and dangerous) faith. I know that non-believers may call me naive for not accepting the scientific "proof" of "unguided-evolution", but that is fine. However, it is at this point that our disagreements stop, Fred. In terms of scientific research and education I have to agree with you (except on the abortion of perfectly healthy babies - but that is a different debate.) Stem-cell research has great potential, if only science is allowed to pursue it... Religion should not get a free ride, agreed, but neither should the oppression of people because of their faith or stance on the matter (Islamic countries being a good - albeit ironic - case in point).

      Fred - 2012-01-31 19:02

      Well lets put it this way. I subscribe to their view that religion needs to be confronted whenever it attempts to impose itself on society, its laws and its freedoms. My real hero is Thomas Jefferson, who preceded them by 200 years. He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. - Thomas Jefferson I have examined all of the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all founded on fables and mythology. Christianity has made one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. —Thomas Jefferson "The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible." - Thomas Jefferson and finally Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.– Thomas Jefferson

      Fred - 2012-01-31 19:36

      @jacovniek I am a staunch advocate of freedom of religion and, of course, freedom from religion. Provided that whatever people believe they do not impact upon any of my freedoms and life choices. In fact, it is the religious who do more to oppress competing religions Just look at Saudi Arabia and the hullabaloo by Christian fundamentalists in the US against Islam. Both sides want war and I'm going to be in the middle.

      Phillip - 2012-02-01 07:44

      Fred you claim to be a supporter of freedom of religion yet you bash those that believe by ridiculing them. Now who is a Hypocrate. It is easier to bash anothers views when you dont have any of your own. Tells us all what do you believ and what proof do you have for those beliefs?

      Phillip - 2012-02-01 07:48

      Fred you want Christians to keep their beliefs out of your cirriculum and laws e.g abortion. Do you not see the hypocrisy in your statement. Christians want to keep worldly values out of their cirriculm and laws as well. But you see it as ok to have your beliefs forced on others but yet do not want others beliefs forced upon you. Do you see the double standards or are you so openminded that your brains have fallen out.

      Victor - 2012-02-01 13:00

      jaco: "I know that non-believers may call me naive for not accepting the scientific "proof" of "unguided-evolution", but that is fine" Why do you put proof in quotes? On the one hand you say you support science, but in this case you choose not to accept the evidence? Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you mean?

      Fatty - 2012-02-01 18:28

      Phillip, you've missed the point. We should have an individual right to your own beliefs. But that's not to say one can't be critical of them. If you come to a public forum such as this, do you expect everyone to tread lightly and not speak their version of the truth? Get over it, religion should be scrutinised far more in society than it actually is. Problem is, Religion has real trouble scrutinising with any logic in return, and this is what seems to get people like you hot and bothered.

  • bianka.louw - 2012-02-01 09:45

    What an interesting read! It was better reading the comments than the article!!! Phillip you said it in a nut shell! Thanks

  • Leon - 2012-02-01 12:09

    Fred no Christian is pushing their belief into you or other non believers lives, it is your own choice to accept Jesus into your life

      Fatty - 2012-02-01 18:36

      Well if a christian isn't pushing their belief onto others isn't that against the bible's doctrine? Leon no atheist is pushing their belief into you or other theistical follower's lives either, it is your own choice to assess the true logic of your thinking.

  • Victor - 2012-02-01 12:11

    How can blasphemy be a crime? Seriously?

  • christian.g.lee - 2012-02-05 15:28

    The point here is not about religion, atheism, faith, or anything. The point here is freedom of speech, and the right to make a choice. I, as an atheist, have a right to explore certain themes a Christian may not like about a historical figure that is said to have been real. As much, as a Christian may praise this figure in a church. Point blank. You do not, as any religious follower, have the right to oppress my freedom of expression. Thus, the director was exploring DIFFERENT aspects of dark erotica, and one of them involved Christ and was in film-format - he is allowed to, it has to be released and I have a right to then seek it and watch it. It is extremely interesting if you disassociate yourself from the mad-thought that it's a sin. If you don't want to, you have the right to walk right by it and ignore it. Done. That's all. Cope with it. Christians are not the dictators of the world anymore... There's freedom for all.

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