Friday, 23 November 2007

Moore College helps local businessman.

For decades students at Moore Theological College - the institution from which you must graduate if you'd like to be ordained in the Sydney Anglican Diocese - have got their jollies by purchasing the occasional naughty magazine, along with a newspaper in which to hide it, from the newsagent and bookstore across the road. Run by local identity and prominent atheist Bob Gould, his shop provided a much-needed safety valve for over-heated ordinands.

Sadly the internet put an end to Bob’s once flourishing trade, but now the Moore College principal, Rev. Dr. John Woodhouse (pictured left) is fighting to turn the clock back and ensure Moore men once again buy their porn the old-fashioned way. On SydneyAnglicans.net he announced that students and faculty must now equip their computers with a nosey little thing called Covenant Eyes.

I am asking all students and faculty to register and install a software program on their computers called the Covenant Eyes. This software logs all internet sites visited by the computer and reports to a person nominated by the user.

Given Moore has so often in the past been accused of failing to interact with the surrounding community, this represents a wonderful step forward in getting the lads back out into local businesses, and the increased income generated for Bob will surely go a long way to healing the rather bitter feelings he is believed to have towards Sydney Anglicans.

At the same time it also proves Sydney Diocese really does have respect for tradition, irrespective of what their critics may claim. Out with the digital hokey-pokey, and back in with the sticky pages of a whacking-stash hidden beneath old sermon notes: just like things always used to be. But when it comes to results, and really helping men resolve concerns involving their sexuality, don’t take my word for it – just look at what the Covenant Eyes web site says:

“All I can say is that Covenant Eyes has been a life saver for me! What was once a dark alley is now a brightly lit avenue. I’m still tempted. Occasionally, I even catch myself lingering on a lingerie ad or something like that. But I know that Covenant Eyes will even highlight those sites, and my partners (my wife, counselor, and pastor) will know about it, so I leave immediately.”

Lingering on a lingerie ad ??? Shit!! And to think I waste my energy worrying about indigenous infant mortality levels, or racism, or the gay adolescent suicide rate...

No wonder they say I’m destined for the fires of hell.

7 comments:

Brian R said...

I think there will be a lot of us in the fires with you and thankfully we will not share them with prats like Woodhouse. Really trusts his students and even faculty doesn't he?

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I read in a article in Christianity Today that 37% of ministers in a recent study said they struggle with an addiction to pornography.

What that tells me is that we have some seriously screwed-up ideas about sex---and the church is warping the very people it's trying to help.

Of course, no one will protest against this violation of their privacy, because to protest would make you look guilty---and if you have nothing to hide, why would you protest?! (sarcasm)

I wonder how many students will end up being expelled for looking at the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated?

John Bassett said...

What's interesting here is that this program apparently logs and reports ALL Internet use. It does not block pornography sites. There quite a number of good programs out there which do exactly that. Covenant eyes only appears to log and report Internet use.

Why use such a program when you could save the young theology student from temptation in the first place? Maybe the purpose is actually to make sure that they are not being exposed to ideas like biblical criticism or Paul Tillich or maybe even the Whippell catalog. What would be worse in Sydney, looking at lingerie or at a chasuble?

Alcibiades said...

"What would be worse in Sydney, looking at lingerie or at a chasuble?"

Probably the chasuble, but only if the lingerie is on a woman. It's likely that a first offence with porn would only result in a warning, while looking at too much suspect theology would end your candidacy for ordination. The vaguest hint that a man isn't 1950's hetero and he's always been thrown out the door before there's any chance of the "infection" spreading.

Either way, it's certain that the reports will be used to get rid of anyone not obeying the party line. There'd be no chance of replying once "Covenant Eyes shows this candidate persistently view inappropriate material" is entered on your record - even if the material in question was theology, not porn - who'd believe you? The mud would stick like glue, and that'd be it.

Brian's point about faculty being included was something I'd missed: what kind of serious academic will submit to this sort of childish supervision and lack of trust? Moore's future has been seriously dumbed down (ok, so I realise how many of you don't believe such a thing is possible - but you know what I mean ;-)

Regarding porn addiction, "solutions" like this just exacerbate the problem. Rather than encourage an open examination of one's sexuality and attitude to other people's dignity, which can then lead to a healing of the dysfunctional sexuality that invariably drives a porn obsession, things like Covenant Eyes just push it further underground, where it will inevitably fester and remerge in another manifestation; one in all likelihood far more harmful than the problem initially repressed. Treating adults like naughty young adolescents is a sure way to leave them trapped in that stage of their development, with predictably tragic consequences.

Scott said...

@John Bassett
Actually Covenant Eyes does block pornography as well as hold people accountable to it.

Mr. Aguda said...

I was fired from my church position due to too many "hits" on CE. http://blog.jayraguda.com/2008/07/sexual-temptation-pornography-and.html

CD-Host said...

I like to notify people when they are mentioned this thread gets talked about on my blog and Mr. Aguda's getting fired as well:

Covenant Eyes and Moore College