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.


11 Responses to “Welsh newspaper apologises for offending bigots”

  1. David says:

    Actually the article has been removed completely. “Hypocrisy and hysteria” is an older article. They’ve basically deleted the offending article and replaced it with an older one. Hoping that no-one would notice I guess, apart from the fact the address bar still has the orginal article name in it.

    Not only spineless but stupid.

  2. I’m not surprised by the Christian reaction. But I’m baffled what “He picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them,” is supposed to imply about being gay.

  3. Monitor says:

    David, I seem to remember reading the last line of the currently available article in the original – perhaps it was an older article added to the end of it.

    Dave R – yes, I know. I originally had a paragraph about how outraged the gay community should be at the idea of suggesting someone it gay is regarded as insulting. But when I reread O’Neil’s article and saw he was conflating homosexuality with paedophilia I realised that he is probably a lost cause himself.

  4. David says:

    Dave R.

    To be fair to Dan (and I’m not a fan of his) the offending statement is preceded by the question “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?”

    So you see Dan isn’t making the link between homosexuality and paedophilia, he’s suggesting that Stephen Green does (oh and he does all the time).

  5. Stuart W says:

    At least they got a pithy “(Cynical Dragon counted Six)” comment in to show just how minority the sensitive complaintants were.

    David is right; Stephen ‘Insanity’ Green completely distorted the context in the press release for obvious embarressed reasons, i.e O’Neil is suggesting that that’s that kind of thing that Green, who has called child molesting a ‘natural extention of homosexuality’, might have said.

  6. Dave says:

    I added the ‘counted six’ bit as a snarky bit of commentary

    Unfortunately

  7. [...] Mediawatchwatch points out: He was speculating on what Stephen Green would have thought of Jesus … Green took [...]

  8. A previous editor of the Echo defended O’Neil’s writing last year after O’Neil had written something perhaps a bit edgy about the Eisteddfod. The editor said, “A light-heared columnist like Dan SHOULD be able to poke fun at something like the Eisteddfod. Just like he should any other subject be it Christianity, Islam, politics, sex, the colour of your socks.

    As long as he is acting within the law he, and every other writer, should be allowed the freedom to write and to provoke discussion.

    Change of editor, change of level of kowtowing to religion, it would seem.

  9. S Robertson says:

    Stephen Green gloats about his tiumph against freedom of speach: http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press098.html. It is strange that he complains about ‘Jesus-hating zealots’ signing the reinstatement petition twice considering the number of people who double signed in support of his petition. I may be cynical but I find it hard to believe that he isn’t responsible for several of the anonymous entries on it, which would confirm what everyone knows – he’s a hypocrite.

  10. artstuff says:

    Gee, we have the right never to be offended. Anything we disagree with should be labeled “hate speech” and those who hold those views should be promptly locked up or at least drawn and quartered. That way we’re sending a message that we, who dwell in the bosom of love, will not stand for being offended.