Springer blasphemy case thrown out by High Court

The Lord God Almighty has finally answered all those prayers by the Christian Institute and their supporters who wanted to bring the BBC to justice for broadcasting the blasphemous Jerry Springer: The Opera: “No,” He boomed, in that mysterious way of His. “Don’t be so bloody stupid,” He might well have added. We don’t actually know.

In an email circular sent to supporters, Colin Hart of the CI explains,

It appears that under the Human Rights Act (introduced by the Blair Government in 1998) the BBC’s freedom of expression trumps any offence which may be caused to Christians.

We are naturally very disappointed by the news. It is a tragedy for our nation that such a blasphemous anti-Christian show has been deemed to comply with broadcasting regulations. What a decadent culture we live in!

As you may remember, their action was based on two grounds: the first that the BBC breached its Royal charter; the second wavering between “discrimination” against Christians, or breaching their Article 9 of the Human Rights Act. It seems they plumped to the discrimination line in the end. Good call.

Hart also takes a swipe at Ofcom’s new code, branding it “much weaker”.

Though we are very saddened by these developments, we must go on praying that justice may be done and that evil may be restrained in our land. The act of complaining honours God, is a witness to the truth and will make the BBC more cautious in the future. We fight on.

Yes, you keep on praying and whining. It’s really effective.

Another Christian group is pursuing a private blasphemy prosecution. We support this action.

So do we, actually. It’s quite gratifying to see their pious pounds being frittered away on expensive and hopeless court cases.

23 Responses to “Springer blasphemy case thrown out by High Court”

  1. G. Tingey says:

    So “freedom of expression trumps religious offence” does it?

    How will this interact with the appeasement of religious blackmailers (AKA incitement to religious hatred) proposed bill?


  2. Andy L says:

    I’d like to see a copy of CI’s complain with the word “p0WN3D” written on it in big red pen by the judge.

  3. Christopher Shell says:

    No-one has yet explained how the royal charter (& statement of intent in Portland Place) is not being breached. Anyone going to stop avoiding the question? 😮

  4. Peter Pan says:

    Go and bother some poor vulnerable souls, Christopher, and stop wasting our time.

  5. Andy L says:

    Because a work of fiction presented as having no basis in reality cannot be denegration, very much by definition.

  6. Christopher Shell says:

    …is not an answer to the question.
    The questionable thing is why broadcasters are asking ‘How much can we get away with?’ (an essentially negative question) rather than ‘how can we be maximally uplifting, inspiring, good full of integrity etc.?’ (an essentially positive question). Exalting a negative mindset above a positive one is contrary.
    I suspect that the reason ppl dont answer is because they cant answer – but go on, prove me wrong!

  7. Monitor says:

    And if someone answers this time, will you change the question again?

    Many people found JS:TO an inspiring and uplifting work. You didn’t. Boo-hoo for you.

  8. Andy L says:

    Indeed. I thought JS:TO was a much more morally uplifting work of integrity than anything featuring Christianity will ever be.

  9. G. Tingey says:

    Ah, uplifting christianity!
    Here’s a few suggestions for Shell – as possible TV programmes perhaps….
    “Lives of the saints” with special emphasis on….
    Bernard of Clairvaux (organised a pogrom & a crusade
    Cyril of Alexandria – murdered the librarian (female) and invented “virgin birth”
    Dominic (ugh)
    “Mother” Theresa – refusing birth-control to starving Indian women…..
    And all the other complete bastards who have been made saints …..

  10. Tania says:

    Don’t forget the beloved Pope who is telling Christians in Africa not to use contraception, even with the high figures of Aids.

  11. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi Tania-
    The period when AIDS increased was the period when ppl were treating promiscuity as normal. So far as I can see, people’s perception of how normal promiscuity is (or isnt) is the critical factor in the spread of STDs.

    This can be demonstrated in two ways:
    (1) by comparing societies with close families (traditional Jewish/Christian/Hindu/Sikh etc), with societies that have fewer boundaries and traditions;
    (2) by statistical changes within a single society which has changed its moral parameters: e.g. Britain since the 1950s.

    Of course, you may prefer a society which has vastly increased STDs and family/social breakdown, crime etc.. But one has to be contrary to prefer things like that.

    Or are my statistics wrong?

  12. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi G. Tingey-

    Saying all Christians are the same (how many billions of people are we talking about here?) is a bit like saying all commenters on this weblog are the same. On that basis, you are the same as me.

    Or not, as the case may be.

    Funny how you choose the worst examples as representative. One could equally well choose the best examples as representative. But you prefer the worst ones. By what logic?

  13. Andy L says:

    You’re statistics are, as always, completely wrong Christopher.

    Indeed, it’s interesting to note the countries which are now the most Christian in the world (Africa) are now the ones with the highest rates of HIV.

    You’re anaysis is woefully simplistic.

  14. Christopher Shell says:

    Er…Andy…for someone so concerned with statistical accuracy, you shd know the definition of the word ‘always’ – or else back up your assertion with evidence. 😮

    I would have thought that it is a truth of logic that the most abstinent societies will be the least afflicted by HIV. My focus is on abstinence-versus-condoms, not on Christian-versus-nonChristian, on which you make a very good point, albeit not one for which one can make any international generalisations.

  15. Christopher Shell says:

    Are you saying that sexual health figures are better today than they were in the 1950s? By how much?
    Are you saying that religious communities in general have worse STD rates? Jews? Sikhs? Churchgoing Christians?
    If my stats are ‘completely wrong’, then you must be saying all these things.

  16. Andrew Nixon says:

    Comparing sexual health statistics from now with the 50s is a little false. For a start HIV/AIDS didn’t reach the western world until the tail end of that decade, and even then it’s not really definite.

  17. Andy L says:

    It’s hard to tell how much better or worse STD figures are now than the 50’s – the data from that era is worse than useless for a variety of reasons. Therefore any inference there is is definately completely wrong. It’s worth noting that Victorian deaths from STDs were very, very high, even compared to the post HIV era.

    You didn’t say religion in your previous post – you stated “close families”. Any inference that you can somehow statistically measure familal closeness is completely wrong.

  18. Christopher Shell says:

    There are lots of other STDs besides AIDS. And in any case, such things are more likely to flourish where there is already a promiscuous climate. I agree with you on the Victorian figures, hence my citing of the 1950s (for which the figures are more easily obtainable) rather than the Victorian period.

    One cannot measure familial love. One can measure how far families remain or do not remain as a unit.

  19. Andy L says:

    As I stated, the figures from the 50s are available, but so riddled with statistical problems that they are not worth the paper they are written on and must be ignored.

    For all the Victorian distaste for sex and nigh universal Christian belief, it had a staggeringly high STD rate, which rather proves your notion that STD’s are more common

    If one is attempting to measure closeness of familial units, then African tribes with pagan religions absolutely crush the rates Christian countries have ever had, thus any attempt to connect your religion to the “family unit” (the family unit itself largely being an invention of 40’s commercials anyway) is dubious at best.

    One thing is for certain – the critical factor in the spread of STDs, demonstrated time and time again, is not promiscuity. It is warfare.


  20. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi Andy-
    The family (or family unit) can scarcely have been invented in the 1940s. Maybe one particular perception or image of the family was invented then, just as other images and perceptions were invented at other times.

    Why do you think there must be only one ‘critical factor’ in the spread of STDs? Promiscuity, by definition, can scarcely have the opposite effect, can it? Nor can it be neutral.

  21. Andy L says:

    Why do I think there can be only one “critical factor”? It’s probably because that’s what “critical factor” means. There can be tertiary factors, but they wouldn’t be critical factors, would they?

    No, the nuclear family unit is an invention of the 40s – it was very uncommon before then, when communities lived in much more disparate (and larger) groupings.

  22. Christopher Shell says:

    Ok, you are taking ‘family’ to mean ‘nuclear family’.
    I dont use the word ‘family’ that way. By definition it also includes extended families, which if anything are a better option. Certainly in failing to exclude the oldest generation.

  23. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    “No-one has yet explained how the royal charter (& statement of intent in Portland Place) is not being breached. Anyone going to stop avoiding the question”

    Why Mr. Censorship happy Shell, do you think your right not to be offended is more important than our right to freedom of expression ?