Archive for July, 2008

Welsh newspaper apologises for offending bigots

The Cynical Dragon reports from Cardiff that the South Wales Echo has printed an apology for the Dan O’Neil article which suggested that Jesus might be gay:

It has come to our attention that in an article on Wednesday, July 16, headlined ‘If God considers gays and abomination why did he create them?’, our columnist Dan O’Neill offended a number of Christians [Cynical Dragon counted six – Ed]. We would like to apologise for any offence caused to those people who believe the article insulted the Christian faith, Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible.

The offending part of the article was also removed from the WalesOnline website, and the title was changed – possibly by a sub-editor with a sense of irony – to “Hypocrisy and hysteria”.

A reminder of the blasphemous passage:

This Jesus feller swans around all day with a dozen other blokes. No women. Mark that, no women. And he wanders off into the mountains now and again to spend quality time with his, uh, favourites (Mark.9:2). He picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them (Mark 10:16) And he was seen in a garden when one of his mates came up and kissed him (Matthew,26:48). Suspicious, eh?

UPDATE: (31 July) Just to clarify – in the passage above, O’Neil was not suggesting Jesus was gay, or had paedophile tendencies. He was speculating on what Stephen Green would have thought of Jesus. The paragraph is introduced with the sentence “How would this fanatical Hammerer of Homosexuals, leader of a bunch of annoying bigots have interpreted events in Palestine a couple of thousand years ago?”.

Green took what was a personal attack on him, and turned it into a “blasphemy” issue. Once again, we see that Stephen Green is always foremost in the mind of Stephen Green.

UPDATE: (13:15) Barry at The Freethinker has started a petition calling on the South Wales Echo to retract its apology.

In a shameful betrayal of its commitment to freedom of speech, the South Wales Echo has apologised to a handful for Christian bigots for running a piece by Dan O’Neil entitled ‘If God considers gays and abomination why did he create them? The paper has also pulled the piece from its website.

We, the undersigned, call on the Echo to show some backbone and publicly retract the apology. We also call on the paper to reinstate O’Neil’s column on its website.

Birmingham council bans atheist websites

Birmingham Council blocks its staff from accessing atheist and Wiccan websites – although it allows them to visit sites by established religions.

In what is hopefully just a case of an over-zealous, religiously-inclined sysadmin – and not a muliti-theocratic discrimination policy by the council itself – the Bluecoat Software allows staff to look at Christian, Hindu, Muslim and other religion sites, but blocks access to ” “witchcraft or Satanism […] occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism”.

This outrageous state of affairs is being challenged by the National Secular Society. Terry Sanderson, the president, told the BBC that they would first request that the policy be changed, and if that failed legal action would be taken:

It is discriminatory not only against atheists but they also are banning access to sites to do with witchcraft.
Witchcraft these days is called Wicca, which is an actual legitimate and recognised religion.
We feel very strongly that people who don’t believe should not be denied the access that people who do believe have got.

UPDATE: (4 Aug) This appears to be a false alarm. No deliberate discrimination was involved. Heresy Corner explains that it is simply a case of culturally confused American software, lumping atheism and voodoo in the same category.

Private prosecution for Jesus with a lob on

<b>Pixel dick</b>: The Sunday Mail thoughtfully obscured the Messiah\'s lob-on

Pixel dick: The Sunday Mail thoughtfully obscured the Messiah's lob-on

Terence Koh’s statue of the Saviour-with-a-semi which scandalised Christians earlier this year is back in the news.

A Christian called Emily Mapfuwa from Brentwood, is bringing a private prosecution against the Baltic Gallery in Gateshead, which exhibited the statue. Her logic, predictably, goes like this:

I don’t think this gallery would insult Muslims in this way, so why Christians?

Legal documents reveal that the charges are that the gallery offended public decency and breached Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. The first hearing is due in September.

The Mail on Sunday story carries a large picture of the statue, with the “penis” slightly pixelated to protect sensitive readers.

Stephen Green of failed fundamentalist lobby group fame wll be green with envy. He dropped his hilarious “countdown of defiance” earlier this year (it measured, to the second, how much time had passed since he issued a command to the gallery owner to destroy the statue). Presumably because nobody was paying it any attention. Much the same response that greeted his demands that the South Wales Echo ” should immediately take down” the Dan O’Neil column which suggested Christ was gay (it’s still there). They caved.

Mapfuwa has brought an interesting test case, but it must surely be dismissed.

Spanish Catholics demand legal protection from “offence”

<b>Madrid Pride</b>: Photo by <a href=\"\">David Reneses</a>

Madrid Pride: Offensive to bigots, apparently. (Photo by David Reneses - click pic to go to Flickr page)

MWW has noted the censorious activities of Hazte Oir before, when they started a campaign against a TV station for making fun of Pope Benedict the Whatever. Now they are focusing their pious attention on Madrid Gay Pride 08, where they allege participants denigrated Catholic images and symbols, thus inciting “religious hatred”.

Misleadingly dubbed a “civil rights watchdog” by the Catholic News Agency, Hazte Oir have filed a complaint with Spain’s Attorney General against the organisers of the event.

Says its director Ignacio Arsuaga (pronounced “Arse-swagger”):

We are filing this complaint in order to ensure that in Spain you can no longer get off scot-free offending the Church, the symbols and the beliefs of the majority of Spanish society.

As Andy at the Pink Triangle Trust put it:

Aw, did little Catholics feel hurt, then? Is your ickle churchy-wurchy being cwiticised by those big bad perverts? Are they making fun, then? Diddums

Nuff said.

UPDATE: (2.30pm) Hazte Oir have put up a Flickr slideshow of the day, advertised sensationally on their site as “The photos no other news outlet will show you (Warning: some images may offend)”.

Warning: MWW readers will be disappointed.

Reverend opposes lifting Brian ban

<b>Stuart Bell</b>: Hasn\'t seen <em>Life of Brian</em>, and doesn\'t think you should either

Stuart Bell: Hasn't seen Life of Brian, and doesn't think you should either

You may have heard the story about the new mayor of Aberystwyth trying to lift the town’s ban on Life of Brian. She is Sue Jones-Davies, the former actress who played Brian’s girlfriend, Judith Iscariot, in the film 30 years ago, and can’t quite believe that the ban still stands.

Step up the Reverend Stuart Bell, who does not want the comedy classic screened:

If it was an unpleasant film 30 years ago, then it remains an unpleasant film 30 years later. I have not seen the film, nor have I any wish to do so. And I would have thought there are many issues of more importance to the people of Aberystwyth for the mayor to consider than having a ban on this film removed.

One would have thought there are many issues of more importance to the people of Aberystwyth for the Reverend Stuart Bell to consider than having the ban on this film retained.

OK, maybe not.

(Hat tip The New Humanist)

UPDATE: (July 30) The BBC carries some choice quotes from the censorious vicar:

The film at its root is poking fun at Christ and we don’t want that to happen. I don’t think that the film should be shown. Why should the ban be removed?

If someone was going to make fun of my wife in a film then I would oppose that. Making fun of Jesus Christ, whom I love more than my wife, in a film is going to offend me.

To which we can only reply, in time-honoured fashion, “So fucking what?”

Christian Voice pickets South Wales Echo

Despite descending rapidly into irrelevance and bankruptcy, failed fundamentalist lobby group Stephen Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice) is still twitching in South Wales.

The Cynical Dragon informs us that a recent column by Dan O’Neil in the South Wales Echo on the subject of Stephen Green and his anti-gay activities prompted a six-strong protest in that newspaper’s foyer.

The column, which was entitled “If God considers gays an abomination, why did he create them?” (a fair question), contained a paragraph suggesting that Jesus was gay. This of course is the grossest blasphemy to the demented homophobes of CV, and is exactly the suggestion that drove the organisation to its disastrous legal action against Jerry Springer: The Opera (the line “Well maybe I am a bit gay” was spoken by the dream Jesus):

This Jesus feller swans around all day with a dozen other blokes. No women. Mark that, no women. And he wanders off into the mountains now and again to spend quality time with his, uh, favourites (Mark.9:2). He picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them (Mark 10:16) And he was seen in a garden when one of his mates came up and kissed him (Matthew,26:48). Suspicious, eh?

When the protestors were ejected from the building they sang hymns in the street.

Cradle of Filth shirt banned in NZ

The “Chief Censor” of New Zealand, Bill Hastings, has banned the infamous “Jesus is a Cunt” t-shirt.

It’s illegal to possess it, it’s illegal to deal with it in any way. Sell it, rent it, hire it, give it

Says the American accented Mr Hastings on this 3News video.

The news was greeted with joy by John Mills, president of NZ’s Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc, (SPCS) – the Kiwi equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

According to Mills, the t-shirt is “grossly objectionable due to its obscene content” and “completely cuntifies the central figure of Christianity”. I mean “vilifies”.

The ruling states, unjustifiably:

A fair interpretation of the messages conveyed by this T-shirt is that Christians should be vilified for their religious beliefs, and that women, including chaste and celibate women, cannot stop themselves engaging in sexual activity…

Who knew New Zealand had become a theocracy?

<b>Arguable sentiments</b>: But you are not allowed to express them in New Zealand

Arguable sentiments: But you are not allowed to express them in New Zealand

Birdshit berates “bondage” Barbie

<b>Filthy Barbie:</b> Filthy, filthy, filthy

Filthy Barbie: Filthy, filthy, filthy

Stephen “Birdshit” Green’s descent into oblivion continues inexorably with The Sun duping him into making silly comments about a plastic doll.

In an attempt to conjure a “storm” out of an innocuous bit of merchandise from Barbie manufacturer Matel, The Sun has dubbed its Black Label (TM) model of DC Comics’ super-heroine Black Canary “S&M Barbie” – and given Green a call for a suitably fundiotic soundbite. It apparently did not tell him the doll was aimed at collectors “aged 14 and over”.

Never one to turn down the opportunity of a column inch or two, the near-bankrupt charity blackmailer was happy to oblige:

Barbie has always been on the tarty side and this is taking it too far.

A children’s doll in sexually suggestive clothing is irresponsible – it’s filth.

Maybe she’d be more acceptable to Stephen if she was shrouded in a burka?

Prior to his appearance in The Sun, Green was last spotted by The Guardian:

a lone campaigner stood outside St Mary’s church, Putney. Stephen Green, a haggard and unshaven figure, obsessed and weighed down by the wickedness of modern Britain, handed out leaflets warning of the consequences of same-sex love, while announcing to anyone who would listen: “Homosexuality and sexual immorality is all on a continuum with paedophilia, bestiality, adultery, child-sacrifice. You are saying it is all OK.”

How long before this religion-wrecked human tragedy is sectioned? One almost feels pity for the hate-filled halfwit.

(Thank you Tim)

Bailiffs knock on Stephen Green’s door

The latest news from our “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” department is that bailiffs have paid a visit to Stephen “Birdshit” Green, the national director of failed fundie lobby group Stephen “Birhshit” Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice), on behalf of Mark Thompson.

They served him a statutory demand for £55,000 – Thompson’s legal costs. The co-defendant in the blasphemy case, John Thoday, has yet to claim his £35,000.

Curiously, the press release on CV’s website is still telling lies about the production Jerry Springer: The Opera:

Jerry Springer the Opera portrayed Jesus Christ as a nappy-wearing sexual deviant

In fact, as has been pointed out to Green several times to no avail, the Jesus Christ character was wearing a loincloth.

Is it any wonder God is so angry with Green when he keeps breaking the 9th Commandment like that?

Aussies may annoy Catholics after all

In an update on this story, The BBC reports that a court in Sydney has overruled the controversial “don’t annoy the Catholics” state law which had been introduced for the duration of World Youth Day.

The challenge to the law was brought by a coalition of groups who wanted to protest the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality and contraception.

Perhaps by way of compensation, brothels in Syndey are offering a discount of 10% to pilgrims on production of their WYD card.