Religious hatred law to feature in Queen’s speech

According to The Guardian, the government’s planned incitement to religious hatred law will be pushed through next session:

Peers have rejected this proposal twice in the last four years on grounds of “free speech”, but ministers have told Muslim groups that as it was a manifesto commitment they would now be justified in invoking the Parliament Act to override opposition.

Let’s hope that their vastly reduced majority will cause some problems here.

55 Responses to “Religious hatred law to feature in Queen’s speech”

  1. Monitor says:

    There isn’t a debate about the existence of Jesus in the scholarly world
    Yes there is.

  2. Christopher Shell says:

    I hadnt come across this guy – but Id be prepared to bet there are others. I have already named one of them: G.A. Wells. Such ppl have existed for a long time. They have not stimulated response from the academy (which I suppose is the criterion for a debate), since the academy does not view it as a live issue.

  3. Exekiel 23 says:

    As to the quality of ms evidence for Caesar – he was a general and Proconsul of Gaul in one of the world’s great bureaucracies. The sheer amount of paperwork the man generated would presumably have been collossal. And while classical attributions can be shaky, we do have substantial works that Caesar himself appears to have written.Whereas with Jesus, we have stories about what he did and shocking little else.

  4. Monitor says:

    It’s interesting to note that when talking about Jesus with a Christian you are actually talking about 2 – possibly 3 – different entities.
    1) The character as portrayed in the bible, which in turn is divided into two:
    a) Paul’s Jesus, an ethereal figure, who barely speaks and with virtually no history (these were the 1st accounts – Paul obviously hadn’t heard the gospel stories)
    b) The gospel character (which was developed much later) who, if you actually take time to read the gospels, is far from the “great teacher” of legend. In fact he’s a bit of a twat. Read a gospel – you’ll see what I mean.
    2) The Jesus which the Christian claims to have a “personal relationship” with. An idealised god/father-figure with whom he has internal dialogues and from whom receives advice and encouragement. Occasionally this Jesus even magically intervenes in the real world to the benefit of the Christian (or so he imagines).
    Jesus 1) is of dubious historicity, but Jesus 2) has no existence whatsoever outside of the Christian’s own head.

  5. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi Ezekiel-
    I think you could consider the culture-relative point. Being a Roman was a massive head start in terms of paperwork – no other culture could compete. Jesus was one of the most prominent and written-about men in his own culture.

    Hi Monitor-
    I agree with some of this – in fact I find (2) worryingly malleable. I havent found it common for (2) not to correspond with (1), however, in terms of character: there is definite continuity there – unless anyone can think of counter-examples.
    ‘A bit of a twat’ – er, well if youll debate seriously & without generalisations I’ll answer seriously & without generalisations.
    Paul is (a) usually treating specific contemporary situations in a specific way, (b) not inclined to dwell on the past (Jesus the Teacher), which is so much old hat, the former dispensation – only on the present-day Christ whose crucifixion, resurrection and ascension can be appropriated by believers.
    Paul also met Peter in around the year 37 (Gal. 1.18), and spent a fortnight with him. I doubt they spent all that time talking about the weather. He knew John and also James brother of Jesus (Gal. 1-2). One of the things he appears to have ‘received’ from Peter or another apostle (cf. 1 Cor. 11.23) is the list of resurrection appearances in 1 Cor. 15.3-8. I don’t know of anyone who does not consider these 6 verses to be of early origin, probably in the 30s AD. They are a tradition which Paul ‘received’ most probably around 37 AD.
    Paul does quote (or refer to the words of) Jesus from time to time, where relevant (1 Cor. 7.10 on marriage; 1 Tim. 5.18 if Pauline ‘the labourer is worthy of his hire’ – compare 1 Cor. 9.3ff.; 1 Cor. 11.23-5 words at last supper; 1 Thess. 4.15ff. signals of the End). A full exploration of these explicit references and other possible allusions is D. Wenham, ‘Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity?’.