Christians threaten vandalism and disorder
Already the backlash from the Baltic decision has begun. Fuming Christians, taking their cue from CPS argument that the case was stopped partly because “there was no public disorder relating to the exhibition”, have decided that public disorder is the way to get what they want in the future.
Mapfuwa’s solicitor Michael Phillips put it like this:
Although it is right to say that there was no actual disorder, there was potentially such disorder, which was evidenced to the CPS in the witness statements provided. In particular one witness felt like smashing the object. The decision is simply not in accordance with the facts and is unsustainable.
So because the statue made a witness feel like smashing it, the statue is culpable? The witness cannot be held responsible for his actions?
Stephen “Bird Shit” Green, national director of the failed fundamentalist lobby group Stephen Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice), was more explicit:
This decision urges Christians to create public disorder if we want a similar case to proceed in future. We are naturally reluctant to do that and it puts us in new territory.
Christians defending their beliefs with violence and intimidation is “new territory”? Surely they did that for hundreds of years? It is very old territory.
On the other hand, there were those at the Baltic Centre who wanted to take matters into their own hands and I have warned Anita Zabludowicz that her statue will not survive being put on public display again.
If the CPS wanted to give the green light to blasphemous art their decision may paradoxically have the opposite effect.
“Paradoxically”? Like when you try to prosecute an organisation for blasphemy and it paradoxically leads to the abolition of the blasphemy law? Yes, we know what you mean.
With the threat of destruction hanging over it, the Zabludowicz statue is now locked away by its wealthy owners and is unlikely to see the light of day again. The same will go for any other blasphemous works of so-called art. Put simply, Christians won’t tolerate insults to Jesus Christ.
Surely the old zombie would be none to pleased with Stevie-boy for ignoring his “turn the other cheek” command. Rather central to the whole Christianity lark, that one.
However, I do hope that the art world will discover some respect for Christian religious beliefs and for the person of Jesus Christ.
Paradoxically, threatening violent temper tantrums isn’t really the wisest way to go about achieving that end.