Archive for December, 2008

ASA judges Bible “indecent”

An adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a newspaper ad by a small group of Christian bigots contravened the CAP code on decency by referring to homosexuality as an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).

The Sandown Free Presbyterian Church had published an ad in a local paper headlined “THE WORD OF GOD AGAINST SODOMY”. It was in protest against the upcoming Gay Pride march in Belfast.

The long, demented ad contained the following passage:

The act of sodomy is a grave offence to every Bible believer who, in accepting the pure message of Gods precious Word, express the mind of God by declaring it to be an abomination. (Leviticus, ch18 v22, Thou Shalt not lie down with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination.)

Four complainants believed this was “homophobic and, therefore, offensive”, and the ASA agreed.

We considered, however, that some of the text used in relation to homosexuality, for example, “… declaring it to be an abomination …”, “… God’s judgement upon a sin …” […] went further than the majority of readers were likely to find acceptable.

The complaint was upheld in accordance with CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency).

5.1 Marketing communications should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care should be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Compliance with the Code will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards of decency.

So it is official. The Bible is indecent and unfit for public quotation.

Although this is, on the face of it, a highly amusing judgement, it is also fundamentally mistaken. Apart from feeding the persecution complex so cherished by this particular breed of zombie-worshiper, it also neutralises one of the most important effects of applying the principle of free speech to all: you must let fools speak, because that is how their foolishness is revealed.