Your views: Catholic ban on Hell pizza

The Catholic church is calling for a boycott of Hell Pizza. Here is a selection of your latest views.

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Claudia McFie
I have read a lot of comments on this page accusing the Catholic Church of imposing their views on the community. But isnt that exactly what Hell did when they distributed condoms in letterboxes. They imposed their views about sex on families (both Catholic and non-Catholic) regardless of whether they wanted them or not.

Alan Wilkinson
The answer to Sean Reynolds is simple and supported by ample evidence. Condoms have a less than 100 per cent (but still very good) effectiveness because people don’t fully comply with instructions. Preaching abstinence has almost zero effectiveness for the same reason.

Julian Morehu
Hells Pizza. First, I would call you brave, but brave is not the absence of fear its dealing with it. But these days, the absence of fear is called stupidity or ignorance. What you have done is stupid..

Now laughing at the Catholic Church’s ban on your franchise is only showing your lack of respect for people’s rights and complete ignorance of the situation. Sex is not only a huge factor in not only young peoples lives, but the life after that as adults. They have enough problems dealing with it, let alone your pizza promoting it. Have you ever thought, while you were being taught about sex in school, or finding our about it that no one said, "Sexual abstinence" or "dont have sex"? Sure learning about condoms and the different STDs out there is awesome, but its neither your place nor right to shove it on other peoples kids. I agree, its quite a clever ploy I will give you that, but it was very risky and you will probably think "Yay free advertising" Like a lot of people have said, but what you have really done is upset a lot of people. I am a Christian, I believe 1, there is a God, 2, There is a Heavan and a Hell, 3, There was a reason God said save sex for marriage. Imagine if people had listened. No stds, no unwanted or "accident" kids but back to the main point. I for one haven’t really liked your pizzas anyway, just thought Id share my view. Jesus paid such huge a price to save you from going to Hell. Everyone falls short. You cant get into heaven without accepting that and where else is there to go? You think hell is cool? According to the Bible, which by the way is the only place ever to talk about Hell, therefore being the one place to have the facts about it, is pitch black. You cant see anything, but you can hear everything for sure. Screaming, gnashing of teeth but if you wanna go there for sure have heaps of sex but when you find out whats on the other side remember me.

Dennis Veele
I had a good chuckle when I found the Hell Condom in my mailbox. Im not easily offended, Im not religious and I do love their pizzas. So no complaints from me. But I dont believe for a second that the good folk at Hell didn’t expect a reaction from this campaign. Surely they knew exactly what they were doing and the easily stirred religious fanatics played right into their hands.

Simon Stewart
Sounds like the usual good verses evil scenario.Lets me see what good things have Hell Pizza done in our community. 1) Serve unhealthy greasy pizzas adding to New Zealands obesity problems 2) Send unwanted condoms to our homes 3) Pretend they are interested in promoting safe sex when all they want to do is sell more pizzas. So not much good community service done here! Focus on the Catholic Church now.Yes, there have been some rather public misdemeanours by some disgusting humans portraying themselves as priests, certainly not representing the vast majority of Church leaders and attendees. However I could write a list 50 pages long about the good things that the church has brought to our society and the world. My view is that Hell Pizza has overstepped the mark with their supposed good fellas attitude towards safe sex. The only safe sex available these days is no sex at all. Maybe Hell Pizza could come up with an abstinence pizza. Probably wouldn’t sell very well.

Sean Reynolds
It is time that people realised that the condom argument has a hole in it. It simply does not work. Given that condoms have a failure rate greater than zero, if you use condoms you are eventually going to get a surprise. The only method that is 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases or to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to simply not engage in sex. And it has the added bonuses of requiring absolutely no cost, no emotional heartaches, or any moral problems. Why is abstinence not seriously promoted? Abstinence is the approach taken to drug and alcohol education. So you should ask: Why isn't it applied to sex education? This is especially relevant when you consider that the only country in Africa that has been successful in combating AIDS is Uganda where the infection rate has declined because they promoted abstinence and marriage. Sex education has been part of the education system for at least the last 15 years and the rates of STD infection and teen pregnancy are getting worse, not better. Clearly the system as promoted by Family Planning is not working. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
Think about it. Drug education programmes consist of urging kids to be strong and not use drugs. We do not teach kids that if you decide that you want to inject yourself with heroin then make sure that you use a sterile needle (which is a major way that AIDS is passed on by the way). We do not teach kids that if you are going to get wasted on alcohol then make sure that you use a spew bag to prevent mess and disease being spread. We don't teach kids that if you want to take up smoking then use a filter, or smoke with the windows open in the car to prevent secondary smoke inhalation. We teach them to abstain from these highly addictive habits. Now if kids with all of their natural curiosity are able to abstain from these things, then why can we not teach them to abstain from sex until they are prepared to accept all of the consequences that go with it (including children) and place it in an environment where it is the expression of love with someone with whom you have committed the rest of your life? Or do the Family Planning Association think that kids should not exercise self-control in this regard? Hell is merely promoting the same lack of self-control.
The fact is that the lifestyle I live and advocate does not send women off to abortion clinics for doctors to murder their babies. My lifestyle, and the lifestyle I advocate is the only proven method for preventing the spread of STDs. There is ample evidence that condoms are not effective ranging from studies at the Centre for Disease Control to the outright experience of condom failure that so many people have had. If you don't sleep around, I guarantee that you will not get pregnant, become a father, or catch an STD. Why use a superstitious belief in the effectiveness of condoms that is not backed up by the data, and which the data contradicts?

Tomas Meller
Isn't it time for the Catholic Church to concentrate on more important things than criticising other organisations? The Church itself has seen enough sins already, with too many child abuse cases, corruption, bad politics and many other problems that they have faced through the years and they keep ignoring. Keep your own house tidy first.

David A Cairns
It's very easy to gloss over the accusations levelled at the Catholic Church. So let's not forget: Only after international outrage did the Catholic church do something (many would say inadequately) about the abuse it perpetuated on the most vulnerable members of its congregation. Up until that point, denial, cover up and the attempt to silence were the order of the day. It is breathtakingly arrogant for such an organisation to claim any moral high ground when the overwhelming historical evidence is one of (to name a few) unutterable cruelty, torture, murder and extortion (never fully apologised for) all perpetuated in the name of a benign saviour. The Catholic Church has oceans of blood on its hands, and I fail to see how any thing it does will ever fully account for what has been done.

Adam Taylor
Can't the Bible bashers focus their energy somewhere else for a change. It's just so tiring and boring to be totally honest. Yes, it is a bit cheeky putting a condom in with a Pizza, and probably not a decision I would have made if I worked in their marketing team, but I don't really care. And isn't it interesting to see so many of the 'Christian bullies' coming out in full force pointing fingers yet again and telling us all what our morale standards should be. Wake up. It's 2006.

Amanda Ward
Religion aside, as a parent I feel Hell stretched the ethical boundaries beyond acceptable limits. I believe its parental choice as to whether our children are exposed to such things, by undertaking this campaign they removed that choice. I have been told to use a "no circulars" sticker on the mailbox if I want to avoid my children’s exposure to such things, or ban my children from checking the mail, why should I as a parent have to go to such lengths because one company has no ethics? As a marketing student myself I have researched many ethically unstable campaigns recently, but this one takes the cake. My boycott of Hell is a personal one, it wouldn’t bother me who recommended it or not.

Madeleine Flannagan
No one has the right to tell me how to educate my kids. Not the state, family planning and not the local pizza company. I am not catholic, I am speaking as a parent. Hell Pizza will never again see a cent of my family's money for their utter disregard of parental rights.We used to buy their pizza, we never will again. I encourage every person who believes in parental rights to boycott Hell Pizza. We have a big enough Nanny State in New Zealand without them adding to it. My kids reckon Pizza Hut tastes better than Hell Pizza anyway.

Dave Sherry
I'd like to suggest that Hell Pizza bans the Catholic church and its members from buying their pizzas on the grounds of centuries of human rights abuse by the Catholic church. Charges that could be laid against the church include: persecution and murder of millions of indigenous peoples in Europe and in the so-called New World by burning, torture etc by the so-called inquisition; aiding and abetting numerous dictatorships in the torture and murder of thousands if not millions of people who were politically or spiritually opposed to those regimes; perpetuating poverty and preventing the improvement of the physical lot of millions of people today (safe sex, abortion, etc). No, wait a minute. Why stop there. let's ban all religion.

John Steemson
We face a future where due to rising population pressures, birth control will be a necessary aspect of continued survival of human-kind on this planet. The counter-productive and ultimately damaging stance taken by groups not limited to the Catholic Church against all forms of contraception are quite literally endangering the prosperity of our children's future. Get over yourselves, open your eyes and try to deal with the real world instead of trying to impose these unrealistic and overzealous "standards" on the rest of us.

Alan Wilkinson
The Catholic Church is entitled to boycott a pizza company and I am entitled to boycott the Church. I think I have the better deal. There's little to be proud of in the Church's bloody past and clueless present in my opinion.

Kathie Blackhurst
Thank you for publishing the comments by Gavin Abraham. It is good to hear not just the anti-catholic rhetoric but also the defence by those who have chosen to speak out against Hell's Pizza's recent promotion. The article was balanced, reasonable and didn't rely on emotive attacks on those with an opposing viewpoint. Why should people expect the Catholic Church to be hypocritical and not speak out in defense of the things they profess to believe? Believe what you say and say what you believe. The NZ Catholic is simply being true to its identity as a Catholic newspaper.

Raquel Soto
I believe there are more chances of children finding condoms at home, at school and even in the streets, not to mention the supermarket and the pharmacy, for those who are concerned about that. Immoral? There are things truly immoral in our society that we should worry about. For example, labelling children as "idiots" at school only because they are not verbal linguistics (as if there were not other types of intelligences!) and spending all "Cancer Research" funds on drug trials (when there are proven, inexpensive and gentle cures!) instead of searching the real cause of cancer.

Could you be any more dismissive? The church decides to try to compensate victims for paedophilic priests who ran amok and they do this only recently under enormous media and political pressure and of course the most important thing financial lawsuits meanwhile damaging thousands of lives and we are supposed to believe they have rights to comment on moral issues.

Ian Johnson
I have no respect for the Catholic Church and even less (if that were possible) for Hells Pizza. Regardless of any religious considerations, each year one in five New Zealanders experience a mental illness. Some of these people suffer a hell on earth, a significant number commit suicide and a larger number attempt it. Hell is a very real place and not be trifled with by mindless attempts to profit from the term.

Judith Mudge
I dont feel that this advertising ploy was a particularly sensible decision. I am a Christian (although not a Catholic) and yes, I do find the promotion of a Lust pizza, along with a free condom, offensive. I do understand that many others in the country wouldnt, and am perfectly happy to accept the fact that this is their choice. However, it surprises me that a company should use a form of advertisement which they must have been aware would worry and offend such a large number of people, especially when the consumer was given no option about receiving it. Yes, a good percentage of all advertising will offend someone, and this cant be helped… but there is a line, and I think this campaign crossed it.

Russell Clarke
You mean it wasn't a mini-pizza? That explains why it was a bit chewy!

Sunil Kumar
I believe its a very innovative & striking way of not only making sales happen but also sending across a social message. Else how would you explain such high cases of teenage pregnancies & SITs spreading & no one knowing the right & effective way spreading the message when the existing ones have failed to create the desired impact. Two hoots to people who oppose such kind of act, as I believe they want to brush such sensitive issues under the carpet rather than tackling them head on.

Craig Mercer
What are we to judge. Where is our tolerance? Did Jesus start up a religion? Did Jesus tell you to follow man without questioning? We must all think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We must accept that others may not believe what we believe - and may do things that we think are wrong - but who are we to judge. We must accept that people have the right to live their life as they wish, to do as they wish for they are the gods of their own bodies.

Vini Leavi
I'm not a Catholic but I will never buy anything from Hell's pizza. I believe the standards and morals around these days are so low, that promotion of hell and evil right out there in full public view is acceptable. So many are so not knowing, it's just not funny. So get out to a Church near you.

Daron B
Not only do Hell Pizza make good pizzas, but they manage to create hype with their product by inciting religious fanatics to talk it up all over the net. Do they really think a Catholic ban will make a difference? The loss of Catholics not eating Hell pizza will be offset by the multitude of (non-fanatical) people made aware of the brand and curious to try them. Like some annoying brat in a mall, ignoring it is the best cure. Wailing about it means they need to spend less on advertising.

Thomas Biggs
People seem to have forgotten one very important fact - that Hell Pizza’s decision to put condoms in letterboxes was completely irresponsible and very risky. Condom manufacturers clearly warn that condoms should not be exposed to heat, moisture or sunlight because it weakens the rubber. In fact, many safe sex websites even warn that condoms should be kept in outer pockets, away from body heat and friction.

S Crompton
It seems like a lot of respondents are upset that children might have found / have found condoms in the post and as a result might have asked / have asked their parents "awkward" questions and might have had their innocence endangered. Children are aware from a very young age (around kindergarten age) of the physical differences between boys and girls and are curious about how babies are made. This knowledge and curiosity is natural and explaining the basics in an age-appropriate way does not rob children of their innocence. In fact, providing a satisfactory answer to children's questions often results in these questions that many parents and adults find awkward drying up. Children will naturally be curious if they find something in the post they have never seen before, and if their parents seem embarrassed or try to dodge their questions they will sense there is something very interesting about this thing and do their best to find out about it - usually by nagging their parents and asking their friends. A clear and simple explanation will satisfy their curiosity and they will probably think no more about it. We live in a time where we cannot avoid the fact that protected sex is extremely risky quite possibly resulting in STDs and unwanted pregnancy. All children should know that there are dangerous and safe ways to cross the road. Why should they not know that there are safe and dangerous ways to have sex? If they are told this in a matter of fact way and get used to the idea from a young age, are they not more likely to make better decisions when they are older? The teenage years seem to be the time when decisions about sex have the most potential to have very negative or positive long term effects. Most people would agree that the groundwork done with younger children, in terms of discipline and teaching of values, strongly affects how smoothly they pass through puberty to adulthood. Young children finding condoms in the post and being curious about them should not be seen as a huge disaster, but an opportunity for education and preparation for the decisions they will have to make in the future.
Blaming Hell Pizza for making parents face their embarrassment over the 'facts of life' and how they will help their children learn about them and deal with them is counter-productive.

Joseph Francis
Good on the Catholic Church for standing up for what they believe in. I can see from the other responses that there will always be those who like to bring up the 'sins' of the Church and totally ignore the many, many good things she does. Of course the church doesn't condone what a few clergy have done, any more than a rugby league management would condone its players raping women. I'm sure that team’s fans would not persecute the whole team or change teams for the sake of what a few players did. Similarly, neither should the Catholic Church as an entity be persecuted for what a few of its members have done.

Harriett Rewi
Condoms and food!! I totally support the Catholic church for speaking out and drawing my attention to Hell Pizza. Every individual is proud of a job well done - this one is sick, not only to children but to the majority of ordinary New Zealanders. If we need advice about sex and family planning there are many avenues open to everyone. Nike's image is a tick and what a fantastic 'clean' logo, Hell Pizza will be known for a 'condom'. And all in the name of advertising and selling a product.

Judy Standeven
The Hell Pizza promotion of free condoms along with a supposed safe-sex message by Hell Pizza was commercialising sex with the spin-off of sexing-up their image. Sex has become a commodity to exploit and not all New Zealanders agree with companies sponsoring promiscious sex. Safe sex is a myth as National sexual disease statistics show with soaring rates of STIs. Recent global studies show condoms do not give protection against STIs. The WHO Bulletin 2004 said "No published prospective study has found protection against genital human papillomavirus (cervical cancer/warts/HPV) infection". Hell Pizza may have set a precedent for other companies to follow and test public tolerance. The ageing designers of the safe sex campaign and silly slogans really need to get over the 1960's sexual revolution, which failed to mature. Good on the Catholic Church for not being obsequious and giving a view albeit a very unpopular one!

Well said Gregory Fenner, Jenny McKechnie and Lissa Fischer! It's really sad to see Hells Pizza stooping to such low standards just to make money. There is absolutely no concern about the moral factor involved. All said and done, like Hells Pizza many companies will come and go but the Church will ultimately still remain strong. Being a frequent customer, we certainly will not be going to Hells Pizza anymore!!

Jos van Ierse
Whatsthe matter with what the Catholic Church says? No sex and you can’t get an STD or pregnant; what could be simpler? The alternative though; condoms do nothing to prevent the transmission of some diseases, such as the Cervical cancer causing HPV. And last year 4,903 of the woman who had an abortion said they were using a condom and that fits with the experience of the UK and USA who also have a high unwanted pregnancy rate to go along with their high usage of condoms. The last thirty years have demonstrated the failure of the condom promotion to do what they said it was promoted for.

Michael Jeavons
While I personally may not have used this form of advertising to help promote any products that I sell. I still think that whom ever came up with the idea within Hells marketing team is a very clever person for two reasons. Firstly, look at all the free advertising they are getting as a result of the stink the Catholic Church is kicking up. I was raised a Catholic and I do not find the marketing ploy to be offensive, a little cheeky perhaps, but not offensive. I realise that the Catholic Church has always had its own views regarding pre-marital intercourse and contraception but I think the church has to realise that people, including their members, are not stupid. I think the Catholic Church has to realise though that the promotion is not directly attacking any one persons values or attempting to promote fornication but simply playing up on a theme that Hell Pizza uses to promote their products. I know a number of happily married people who use condoms simply because they wish to continue to enjoy intercourse, but do not wish to have any more children. Secondly, they seek to promote the idea of Have a conscience if LUST comes to tempt you. Although the Catholic Church has always maintained its views on pre-marital sex, the world as a whole has changed. In general, pre-marital sex is now more widely accepted than in previous decades and is treated as a personal choice made by two consenting adults. This can mean either; share the experience with someone they love or wait until marriage. However, if you are going to share the experience be safe and don’t share something else like an accursed STD or if you do not wish to have an illegitimate child, do both you and your partner a favour and use a condom. If you are going to boycott a fast food chain for using a risque marketing to promote its products then you better boycott almost all alcohol producers, cosmetics companies, film and television producers, record companies…the list goes on, because they use this type of marketing on a day to day basis to promote their products, however we have simply become accustomed to seeing it and either ignore it or let it work on us to convince us to buy one product over another.

Chuck Bird
Lee Bond asks, “Whoever heard of "safe sex" - as was being promoted here - being harmful to the community?” I am not a Catholic so I do not think the Pope is infallible. However, I do know for certain that condoms are not infallible – far from it. Condoms are not reliable as contraceptives any more than preventing STDs. Women’s sexual behaviour did not change radically until the event of the pill. Take away the pill and the DPB and their behaviour would change again over night. According to local officials,consistent use of condoms results in an 80% reduction in HIV incidence. Condoms are even less effective in preventing the transmission of other STDs. Homosexual intercourse is the main cause for HIV infection in New Zealand. You do not have be a Catholic or have degree in medicine to realise that the anus was not designed for intercourse. This is why NZ Blood Services will not accept blood from homosexuals regardless of condoms use but do not ask heterosexuals if they use condoms. There is no doubt that condoms reduce risk of infection. However, to describe them as safe is a gross exaggeration and puts the public as risk.

Kyle Wadsworth (14)
This is pathetic. I don't see why people have to be so SERIOUS and get all upset about free condoms in letterboxes! What about all the sexual refrences on TV these days? Hell Pizza has invented a fun way of advertising. It makes me furious when I read comments made agaisnt it, because it was fun! Everyone knows it, but the people that complain are just people wanting nation-wide attention.

Kathie Blackhurst
They say that sex sells - and this is yet another cynical attempt to cash in on this truism for a totally unrelated product. When are people going to stand up and say enough? Enough having sexuality and promiscuity shoved down our throats to advertise everything from pizzas to mobile phones. Enough foisting it on our young kids who don't need to know. Enough treating us like stupid little sheep happy to be fed a diet of fluff and nonsense. I don't think its clever or witty. It is a cheap gimmick that reveals itself as nothing more than a tacky attempt to get our attention and make a few headlines. Good on the Catholic Church for saying that enough is enough! My family and I will be boycotting this pizza chain.

Gregory Fenner
I am a concerned parent who believes in good moral values to be instilled in our growing children. The opening of Hell pizza in our area (3 branches within a 10km area) has led to boycott pizza orders because of the offensive names and insensitive advertising of their brands of pizzas. This is a disgrace to all of our community who must continue not to patronise such outrageous outlets making a business out of the use of ungodly names. This utter rubbish must stop or we will have no values left to instil in our forhcoming generation who will then ask why we did not make an effort to stop this at the time. Many thanks if this is published.STOP THE ROT NOW'''.

Rex Hapimana
Brilliant advertising gimmick. If you didn't know who Hells Pizza were, thanks to the Catholic church you do now! Any advertising is good advertising but free advertising is even better. Hells must be laughing all the way to the (blood)bank. If the church hadn't made a "meal" out of this it wouldn't have been a major issue and would've gone away. But instead they've feulled the (Hell)fire and it's all on.
I remember a few years back when we had the Virgin in a Condom controversy at Te Papa. No one even knew it existed until the Church made a huge ruckus...then everyone went to see it! I'm thinking the church might be in for a few difficult years ahead, after all the message is clear; if you want free publicity offend religion! It seems to work a (trick or)treat.
John Rogers
As an elderly confirmed Catholic I have only one comment , the sooner the Pope and the idiots who advise him come into the 21st century the better . Have they learned nothing from law suits that have been brought against them from over sexed Priests, sorry I should have said the natural urge that God gave us.
Jenny McKechnie
My objections to Hell Pizzas is its trivalisation of Hell and sin. Hell is a real place and I am thankful to Jesus for what he did for all of us in dying on the Cross. The so-called Seven Deadly Sins lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride cause much harm to ourselves and others. Our nation's obsesity is mostly caused by our greed, violence is fueled by poor anger management, lust (unrestrained sexual craving) leads to children being sexually abused, greed for possessions is producing a huge burden of debt for individuals and families, our laziness in choosing to sit on the couch watching TV rather than exercising further contributes to obesity and so on. We see this damage all around us. Why pretend sin is a joke? With regard to condoms, Mr MacGibbon is missing the obvious in the Catholic Chruch's statement that the best course of action to prevent HIV infection is abstinence. It's not rocket science; if there is no possibilty of fluids mixing then there is minimal risk. However, I do recognise this may not be the most appropriate solution for all couples.

Monika Donoghue
HELL-NO! I have children and I was a loyal customer but I will be boycotting Hell Pizza for their reckless and thoughtless actions. I'd be dragging them through the courts if my kids got there hands these condoms or it had led to their misadventure. There are few issues here firstly; what is a fast food chain doing instructing young people on sexual matters. Is it any wonder we have had the drugging and rape scandals when sex a fast food outlet is our cultural sage of sexual education? Sort it out New Zealand!! Finally don't you think the Pope would rather eat authentic Italian Pizza rather than from a cheap kiwi franchise, just a thought.

Jonathan Guthrie
I agree. There are quite a few of us who are no longer ordering from our local Hell Pizza store. Hell Pizza has consistently preyed on a sensationalist concept to market it's product - they have stepped over the line and their response to outcry has been delight. That "delight" has turned a lot of us off. One of my young kids' jobs around the house is to check the mail, and I am sorry but I do not think it's Hell Pizza's role in society to force-educate our kids in sex.

Lissa Fischer
What spurious and specious twaddle. Where are all the articles about the millions spent on feeding the poor and the homeless? The articles about the Catholic lives spent upbuilding the community? The articles on drives to support the activities of Catholic Charities assisting hurricane victims? The articles on Catholics fleeing from various countries where they were persecuted, so they could live in freedom? The articles on Catholics who published anti-racist enyclicals -- and practiced them - and were thus scourged by the Nazis, had crosses burnt on their lawns by the KKK, and were villified by Stalin? Where are the articles on Imaculee Ilibigeza, who survived the Rwandan Holocaust hiding smashed into a pastor's bathroom, saying her rosary, while the killing went on all around them? Not a damned one of them. No room at the inn, I suppose, for such edifying and inspiring comments. So many things were more important to write, I guesslike this spurious twaddle? Thanks, I'm sure Stalin and Hitler would be proud.

Jan Halbersztat
Oh, yes - safe sex, helping the community. Bla bla bla. Everybody knows, that the only goal of this marketing campaign was to sell more pizza. In my opinion - classical example of bad taste and lack of culture. What a pitty, that this days t

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