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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reaching for the lawyers

Greg Barns writes:
Bravehearts is a poster child for politicians, many in the media and many parents.
Perhaps so, but those of us with memories more than a nanosecond long remember the role that Bravehearts child abuse campaigner Hetty Johnston took in the disgraceful Bill Henson affair not all that long ago. You can be strongly opposed to actual child abuse - Zeus knows, you won't find many people more strongly opposed to it than I am - while being very sceptical about Bravehearts and its judgments and methods. Judging solely by the description Barns gives, the Keep Safe handbook developed by Bravehearts sounds very problematic, and I wonder, based on what Barns describes, whether it might even be psychologically damaging to some children (which would be kind of ironic, as well as a matter of great regret).

You might notice a slightly legalistic tone to the preceding paragraph. Well, yes. Indeed, the main point that I went to draw attention to is the way Bravehearts seems to have gone quickly to its lawyers when criticised. Honestly, what's with people these days? Can't we have discussions of matters of public importance without everyone constantly having to worry about possible defamation suits?

H/T Jennifer Wilson.

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