Spooks prompts a whinge

The BBC received 16 complaints, and Ofcom 2, about Monday’s episode of Spooks, which featured Christian terrorists.

A journalist from the Evening Standard considered Stephen Green, the director of Christian Voice, to be worthy of consultation on this important issue:

This could even be incitement to hatred against Christians. It is completely ludicrous and brings the BBC into more disrepute.
Most people watching it will just spot another bit of BBC bias and inaccuracy – nevertheless it shows a worrying mind-set in the people that are producing the programme to even think that there are Christians contemplating violence against any Muslims whatsoever – it is just not what we do.

Perhaps Stephen is forgetting the words of support his organisation frequently gets from the British National Party, or indeed the Christian Council of Britain, a BNP front?

The episode features a group of evangelical terrorists who target the Muslim community in an attempt to spark a religious war in the UK. A video of the group is shown, where the leader declares “Britain is a nation under Christ – we will no longer tolerate the Muslims in our ranks – this is a declaration of war against Islam.”

It is a fictional show, but to anyone aware of the BNP’s methods it is not so implausible.

Head of public affairs for the Evangelical Alliance, Don Horrocks, is apparently oblivious:

This is yet another outrageous example of the BBC’s anti-Christian bias. This beggars belief. I do think that there is a sinister and malicious agenda at work here and that they are trying to plant the seed of the idea through fiction that evangelical Christians are just as likely to carry out terrorism as some members of the Islamic faith

You can’t fool a conspiracy theorist!

Horrocks goes on:

They would never dream of depicting groups such as homosexuals in the same way

Why do evangelical Christians always make this comparison between themselves and homosexuals? Horrocks seems to think he is making a valid point about discrimination, as if homosexuality is an ideological stance which, unlike Christianity, receives unfair protection from criticism.

Oh, by the way, Christian terrorists do exist. It’s just that they are a bit shit.

You can comment on the Daily Mail report here.

UPDATE: (30 mins later) Jonathan Bartley of Christian think-tank Ekklesia agrees:

although some of the details of the storyline were clearly far-fetched, the show’s main theme of a small group turning to violence in the name of Christianity is a possibility which should not be entirely ruled out.


13 Responses to “Spooks prompts a whinge”

  1. Joe says:

    Dunno about violence against Muslims, but I certainly remember Green’s followers making absolutely vile death threats against several of my colleagues when the TV mag I work for printed photos of the EastEnders lesbians.

    And I have very bad news for Horrocks; evangelical christians have carried out far, far more terrorist attacks and claimed far more lives in the UK that Muslims ever have. The UVF, LVF, UDA and company are full of evangelicals. Just to pick an example at random, there’s one charmer of a clergyman called Clifford Peebles:
    http://www.serve.com/pfc/sattacks/jan01att.html

    Pastor Clifford Peebles, the anti-agreement fundamentalist preacher associated with the LVF and the Orange Volunteers, pleaded guilty in court to the possession of two Russian-made RGD-5 grenades, two detonators and a pipe bomb. Peebles, 31, first came to prominence as a member of the now discredited Families Against Intimidation and Terror (FAIT), whose founder Vincent McKenna is now serving a jail term for a string of sexual offences against his daughter. RUC sources told the Irish News that it believes a group of fundamentalist preachers are orchestrating dissident loyalist violence. One of them is said to have blessed the handgun that was used in the 1998 killing of Belfast Catholic Brian Service. Peebles’ guru is a prominent member of the British-Israelite sect (who believe that the Protestants of Ulster are the lost tribe of Israel), who was once photographed wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Ulster needs ethnic cleansing”, and who advocates the formation of a far-right fundamentalist Christian militia. Other members of the sect have included now deceased William McGrath, “the beast of Kincora”, who raped and assaulted young boys in his care in the home he ran in east Belfast [...]

  2. Andy A says:

    ‘[I]t [terrorism] is just not what we do,’ declares Stephen Green (my italics). Well, yes they do, when it comes to abortion clinics. But, that, apart, who are ‘we’ in this context? Just Christian Voice? Considering the number of Christian sects there are, he seems to be speaking for a helluva lot, from the rather benign vicarage-tea-party set to those who commit atrocities in Jesus’s name.

  3. Ian Charles says:

    Comment? Daliy Mail?

    *lausgh* they rarely let comments that go against the flow through!

  4. Ian – that’s true. I remember when the Time Trumpet controversy kicked off a couple of months ago and some Mail reader who evidently thought he was a genius asked whether “fearless satirist” Armando Ianucci would ever dare mock extremist Muslim organisations. My response – that if said commenter had bothered to read the article he was commenting on, he would have seen that Ianucci was in trouble for doing exactly that – strangely never got displayed. I assume it merely got lost in the e-post, or something similarly innocent.

    With regards to Christian terrorism, the folk over at Pickled Politics have been keeping an eye on the case of some BNP members caught with bomb-making equipment for a while now, and then there’s this once-published, immediately-forgotten story: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2340538,00.html

    Remember, when people like Green and Horrocks say there are no Christian terrorists, what they really mean is “We don’t know if there are any Christian terrorists, and frankly we can’t be bothered to find out.”

  5. Sam says:

    And if they did a show about a homosexual group who would be the first to say,

    This is yet another outrageous example of the BBC’s anti-Christian bias. This beggars belief. I do think that there is a sinister and malicious agenda at work here and that they are trying to plant the seed of the idea through fiction that homosexuals are completely normal, don;t they know this is a Christian country, how dare they encourage this sort of behaviour

  6. The Evil European says:

    Of course, in the UK we have never had terrorist groups that have been inspired by a particular branch of religion…..{cough} NORTHERN IRELAND {cough}

  7. martyn says:

    There are vast swathes of this planet with bugger all there (deserts etc.) Wouldn’t it be nice to just ship all the religious mental patients out to such an area and let them kick lumps out of each other there? Now that would make good reality TV. Perhaps SH-ITV should look into it ;)

  8. Ian says:

    As a Christian, I have to say I found spooks to be quite entertaining. It was also nice to see the same treatment given to my faith that is often given to muslims. I thought it was an entertaining episode. Whilst I’m glad that _most_ people of faith don’t blow themselves up, it’s not something that should be discounted. There are nutters everywhere, they aren’t just restricted to Islam. As Christian Voice prooves.

    What I do find deeply offensive is the fact that CV claims to speak for me, and other churchgoers, when really it’s as out of touch as the BNP.

  9. Simon Barrow says:

    Thanks for that link, Joe. On Ekklesia we’ve just published this piece on the possibilities of Christian violence in the UK: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/comment/article_06114violent.shtml

  10. Andrew Nixon says:

    Well. Just days after denying that Christians are violent, the Evangelical Alliance have published a report containing this passage:

    If, as most Christians accept, they should be politically involved in democratic processes, many believe this may, where necessary, take the form of active resistance to the state. This may encompass disobedience to law, civil disobedience, involving selective, non-violent resistance or, ultimately, violent revolution.

    Emphasis mine

    More here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/05/nrelig05.xml

  11. Nick Walsh says:

    I’m a big fan of Spooks, and a committed Christian and I’m not ashamed of admitting either! I enjoyed this episode because I am well aware that there are some really dodgy (people who claim to be) christians, as well as their are nutters in Islam, atheism, hinduism and any other belief system you can think of.

    I think Spooks highlighted a really important factor that ALL religious leaders (or any ideologies leadership) needs to be aware of, there are people who are simply looking for a cause to use to justify their immoral/unethical behaviour. While the BBC does have anti-Christian leanings I don’t think this Spooks episode was in that vein (although that may disappoint the writers!)

  12. [...] begins the press release. Indeed, it is easy to imagine a cabal of media conspirators sitting around a table figuring out ways to promote division among British Muslims – after they have fulfilled their “malicious agenda” against Christianity and succeeded in their “deliberate attempt to dilute the thinking of ordinary Hindus”. [...]