Let's take their charges one at a time
Incest - They are probably referring to two events: Lots daughters and episode between a brother and his half sister who were children of King David. Both are condemned. Paul explicitly condemns a man that is sleeping with his stepmother in the New Testament does that count as incest? Still it is a practice that is condemned as is all forms of sexual immorality. When the people who complained said that the Bible "advocates incest" they either didn't know what they are talking about or are simply lying.
Rape - The second example above as I said it is not presented in a positive light or held up as the norm for others to practice.
Cannibalism - Where? Possibly in the description of one of the sieges of a city or as something practiced by the Canaanites before Joshua invaded. Once again not something promoted. Possibly they are confusing the concept of communion "Eat my body and drink my blood" and fail to see the symbolic nature of the passage. In any event, it isn't cannibalism.
Violence - Certainly, the Chinese U. flap that caused this complaint didn't ask about violence so I fail to see the connection because they were asked to withdraw a (Probably poorly constructed) survey about students and sex. So the comparison is apples and oranges. But, that is also beside the point. If we are going to label books that have historical or even semi-historical or mythical accounts of history as unacceptable because they report about wars and killing and all violence in the Bible is presented as a historical account, then we can read no history or ancient mythology. Let us not even touch the fact that if they really wanted to see a religious book that advocates violence then they should have cited the Koran.
It appears to me that the student newspaper at CUHK was actually trying to do something that the accounts of rape, incest and violence in the Bible does not do. They were trying to justify their bad behavior by saying people long ago did this too. Please understand. I'm not necessarily defending anything in the Bible or trying to evangelize anyone. I am not even defending the administration at CUHK who are probably a bunch of repressed and sexually frustrated academics. I'm just saying that the complaint is at best vacuous and in probability a sophomoric attempt to justify their desire to print something that they thought was sensational. Given the cramped living spaces in Hong Kong I would think that it is very likely that many, indeed most children have seen their parents having sex. I bet the number is rather high that have seen their maid having sex or that have had sex with the maid! So what? That happens in bigger houses too. Catching your parents in an intimate moment is in many ways simply part of growing up; part of life. It happens all the time and thus makes the survey about as groundbreaking as as asking "Have you ever dreamed of being rich?"
I have seen have several protest by both HKU and CUHK students over the years. My lovely, gracious, smart, looks 25 years younger than she is, Chinese wife used to be a warden at an HKU dorm so I have had ample opportunity to observe the quality of students in HK universities. This may be the best they can do; and then they wonder why Hong Kong seems to be losing ground to the mainland.
It isn't all Sir Bow-Tie's fault.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007.
Is the Bible indecent? HK officials have 208 complaints saying it is
WILL CLEM and AGNES LAM
The Bible became a target of indecency complaints yesterday after an anonymous website launched a campaign asking people to put pressure on the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority to reclassify the holy text as an indecent publication.
The Chinese-language website www.truthbible.net said the Bible was full of stories and references to incest, rape, cannibalism and violence in both the Old and New Testaments.
Tela confirmed yesterday it had received 208 complaints, more than double the number of complaints it received over the past week about the Chinese University Student Press, which resulted in two issues being classified by the Obscene Articles Tribunal as indecent on Monday.
It was not clear how many of the complaints were prompted by the website, which is highly critical of the Christian scriptures.
The website runs under a bilingual banner in red, stating: "Legal disclaimer warning: this website contains biblical material, which may offend and may not be distributed, circulated, sold, hired, given, lent, shown, played or projected to a person under the age of 18 years."
The suggested complaint letter contained on the site makes specific reference to the student journal's controversial sex survey.
The survey asked readers if they had fantasised about having sex with family members or saw them perform sexual acts. The letter likens it to more explicit sections of the Bible.
"Passages in the Bible not only advocate incest, but they also aim to rationalise incest and present it as normal," the letter states.
Under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, a publication or a display is exempt from the law if it is deemed to be in the interest of science, literature, art and academic study.
If the complaints were upheld, by law it would mean full texts of the Bible would be deemed suitable to be read only by over-18s, and copies would need to carry a warning and be sold in sealed packaging.
Until Next Time
The blogger who thinks most university students should be seen and not heard