Archive for June, 2005

Scientologist squirt “unacceptable”

It’s turning in to a real Turtle-fest this week. Mediawatch-UK spokesman Dave Turtle is taking full advantage of Massah John Beyer’s absence and getting his name into the papers at every opportunity.

The latest is a PA report, printed in The Scotsman, about the recent Channel 4 TV prank in which a bogus reporter squirted tiny scientologist Tom Cruise with water from a fake microphone.

Turtle is quoted extensively by PA reporter Alison Purdy, who must have been working to a tight deadline. True to form, his comments have a breathtaking banality that can only be achieved after years of study under Massah himself. Highlights include:

If the media continue to encourage and condone that behaviour where will it lead?


It normalises this kind of behaviour. It tells people it is normal to act in this way.

Unfortunately, with Beyer away there are no updates to the Mediawatch-UK website recording Turtle’s words for posterity. Maybe there is nobody there with the requisite button-pressing skills.

Turtle’s head done in by kiss

While Massah John Beyer is away, Dave Turtle heads the Mediawatch-UK quote machine to the best of his ability. When the Daily Star (no direct link) calls for a comment on the Dr Who “gay kiss”, he does not flinch from his duty.

The final episode of the already-classic BBC sci-fi series featured the bi-sexual Captain Jack Harkness bidding his two friends, Rose and the Doctor, a final farewell. Convinced they were all going to die, Captain Jack kissed both his buddies on the lips before going downstairs to do mortal battle with the invading daleks.

Little Dave T must have seen something something sexually perverse in the scene because he said:

This is totally inappropriate, considering Doctor Who goes out in the early evening and is meant to be for family viewing.

What is going on, we wonder, in Turtle’s head?

And will we ever tire of that joke?

(Tipped from Outpost Gallifrey)

BBC Director Bennet on the Springer case

The BBC has finally confirmed that the Christian Institute’s attempted prosecution was rejected last week (see article below).

The Director of television Jana Bennett, who has spoken up strongly for freedom of expression before, said,

Jerry Springer – The Opera has marked a significant landmark in the BBC’s right to maintain freedom of speech and editorial independence.

While we take any potential to offend the audience very seriously, we believe that it is the BBC’s right and duty to remain a public space in which the widest range of ideas and creativity can be shared by the public.

I realise that for some people this was a difficult production and look forward to continuing to also transmit a range of inspiring and creative religious output to reflect different religious communities and faith.

Deputy Turtle sticks his neck out

Maybe John Beyer wasn’t available when the Mail/Evening Standard called for a comment about the withdrawn BBC Wimbledon ad which featured the shattering player. No matter, because Mediawatch-UK spokesman Dave Turtle was there to provide the kind of high-quality quote we’ve come to expect from that organisation.

Tennis is supposed to be a positive sport, not something that is negative or damaging.

Worthy of the Massah himself, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Interview with Stephen Green

Stephen Green of Christian Voice has endeavoured to answer via email a few questions which have been troubling us here at Mediawatchwatch for some time.

I promised to print his answers in full, unedited and without sarcastic interpolation. That was harder than you can imagine, but here you go:

MWW: The cancer charity Maggie’s Centres turned down the offer of a potential £3000 after a phone call from you. You have said that you “were pleased to play a part in alerting Maggie’s Centres to the potential public relations disaster.” Some have commented that as the public relations disaster would have occurred as a result of your actions, this is a bit like a mugger being pleased to play a part in alerting his victim to the danger of a severe beating should she refuse to hand over her purse. How do you respond to this?

SG: Maggies have now made many times over the £3000 they were due to get from Jerry Springer the Opera. It’s a funny sort of mugger who gives money to people. I always said Almighty God is a better provider than Satan. However, although Maggies Centres admit they have made money out of the publicity over their turning down Jerry Springer, they go all coy and embarrassed when you actually ask them exactly how much, and frankly, they must know by now. Perhaps you will have better success than I have had in getting a figure out of them.

MWW: Ofcom has stated that the characters portrayed in Jerry Springer: The Opera were not conveyed as accurate representation of religious figures, but were “characterisations of the shows participants”. Furthermore, they were the product of a fictional Springer’s hallucinations. Isn’t therefore your complaint that Jesus is portrayed blasphemously simply false, if Jesus is not actually portrayed at all?

SG: It is patently absurd to say that Jesus is not portrayed in Jerry Springer the Opera. The character is addressed throughout Act 2 as “Jesus”. We don’t set too much store by the opinions of the establishment timeservers who comprise ‘Ofcom’. However, Ofcom said specifically it was not their job to adjudicate on whether Jerry Springer the Opera was blasphemous. That, they said, is a matter for the criminal courts.

MWW: Fundamental to your outlook is the belief that the Bible is the ulimate source of authority as the infallible Word of God. By what process of reasoning did you arrive at this conclusion about the Bible?

SG: When I looked at the world around me, I realised that for me to believe in evolution required more of a suspension of credulity than I could muster. Why does the peacock have such a magnificent tail? ‘So he can attract a mate’, the evolutionist replies. So how does the hedge-sparrow do it? Whales were pigs who took an early-morning dip and, hey-presto, their spines swivelled round and they developed fins and tails and blow-holes before they drowned. And loads of them did it so they could reproduce as different kinds of whale. All by chance. Please!
Once I realised that there was intelligent design around me, there had to be a super-intelligent designer. It seems reasonable to me to ascribe to such a being the character of God. There being a God, it seems reasonable that He would communicate with mankind in some way, and that He could inspire human beings to make writings to convey His message to all generations. And being God, it also seems reasonable that He would be infallible, all-knowing and eternal. His message will also be intellectually coherent, as the Bible demonstrates.

MWW: You have on a number of occasions stated that you feel moved by the Lord to act. Does God speak to you directly? If so, how do you know it is God?

SG: Good of you to acknowledge the Lord and God with a capital L and G. Maybe you aren’t as far from Him as you think, David. Anyway, when your whole life is dedicated to doing His will, you soon get to know when God is speaking and when He is not. It’s going to be as hard for me to get you to understand how God speaks as it would be for me to explain how to fly around the world to someone who believes it’s flat.

MWW: The world is full of people of various religions, many of whom are equally convinced as you are of their own rectitude. Being utterly convinced of the truth of something which is not true – especially regarding the holiness of a particular book, or the existence of a particular deity – is a commonly observable phenomenon, as I’m sure you will agree. What is it that makes your judgement on these matters superior to the rest of humanity who believe in different sacred books and deities from your own?

SG: Mankind is capable of rejecting God, and when we do that, we worship some aspect of His creation which we regard as divine, or ‘just there’ So in pagan religions such as pre-dated Christianity in these islands, they worship the sun, the rain, fertility and all the things which are important to their economy. In doing that, they diminish man himself and they soon end up with human sacrifice. Well, every pagan culture has, and it’s usually their children they sacrifice. (Deut 12:31) But atheism (or ‘secular humanism’) itself is a form of paganism, in which man worships mankind and mankind’s powers of reason, such as they are. Secular humanism is the dominant culture in Britain today, and we too, kill our own children, before they are born, in special clinics. Not much of an advance from the civilisation of ancient Canaan, is it, really?
So what makes Christianity true and the pagan religions and Islam untrue? The incontrovertible fact that Jesus Christ not only existed but kept and taught the law, healed the sick, fed the hungry and raised the dead. Other writings (such as we find in pagan societies) are unashamed myth. The pagan gods were made in man’s image with all our frailties. Jesus lived a life without sin and His miracles were witnessed with a far better standard of proof than you find in our criminal courts. Mohammed is dead and buried, the pagan gods never existed. Jesus lived, died, rose again and ascended into heaven, all in front of witnesses. That is why He can say “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one cometh unto the father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

MWW: The deity which you worship appears to have deliberately created a universe in which He knew His crown of creation would upset Him in such a way as to necessitate His sacrificing Himself to Himself in order for a proportion of humanity to reconcile themselves with Him while the remainder suffer in His absence for eternity. How would you go about convincing people who find this scenario unlikely to be true?

SG: How, indeed could anyone believe that God would so love the world, and so want sinful men and women to be reconciled to Him that He would become human Himself at a certain point in history and suffer an excruciating death by crucifixion, so that all anyone has to do to have their sins forgiven is simply to believe in Him? How could anyone have that much love? Thank God Jesus did, and in His own words told us: “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) If He did that for me, then the least I can do is share that good news with others, and speak out for Him against the injustice and wickedness of our age, praying that our nation will repent before it is too late.

So thanks for your questions and the opportunity to share God’s truth with you. I pray you too will put your trust in Him. I hope that’s not too big a prayer: after all, God works miracles, doesn’t he?

More porkies from the Home Office

In spite of protests, the Home Office continues to claim that the British Humanist Association supports the proposed Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill.

The BHA has written in protest to Charles Clarke.

In these circumstances I must ask you to ensure that your officials stop referring to the British Humanist Association as supporting the Bill and ask you to take an appropriate opportunity to correct the perception that the Home Office has created. If you wish to refer anywhere to our support for the principle of legislation, I must insist that this is done in a way that makes clear our demand for significant amendments to your Bill.

Religious hatred update

Just after the election English PEN received a letter from Charles Clarke promising to consult with various groups on the issues raised by the Bill.

As we have stated, we will continue our dialogue with faith groups on these issues. I would like to point out that in the past these dialogues have included groups of no faith and will continue to include them.

No such consultation has taken place, and yet the Bill has already been published. The stench of burning pants is unmistakable.

Over at Index on Censorship there is an article by Rohan Jayasekera: “A government sponsored bear pit for religious extremists”.

By passing an act to outlaw incitement to religious hatred, the British government will create a quasi-legal forum for extremists ready to use one law while breaking others – to silence critics of their faith and punish apostates.

Why not write to your MP and tell them what a terrible idea this law is? English PEN has handily provided a model letter which outlines the main objections.

Blasphemy petition

Charity-blackmailing “civil liberties campaigner” Stephen Green seems to be under the impression that the Labour government intends to abolish the Blasphemy Law. This so offends him that he has set up a petition at, which he intends to submit to the queen.

We believe the Name of Jesus Christ should continue to be protected by the blasphemy law.

Interestingly, the petition is entirely anonymous. There are no checks as to the validity of either land or email address (after registration), and there is a handy little text box at the bottom where people like Donald Duck can leave appropriate comments.

Spread the news!

UPDATE: CV have taken the hint and completely changed the emphasis of the petition from conserving the Blasphemy Law (when there was no evidence to suggest Labour intended to abolish it) to opposing the Incitement to Religious Hatred law – a far more admirable cause (even if supported for questionable reasons in CV’s case).

We at Christian Voice are concerned with Labour’s intent to introduce a law against inciting religious hatred, and possibly to abolish at the same time the law against blasphemy.

Call off the attack dogs.

Make pornography history

John Beyer, the Black and White Minstrels Fan who likens himself to Saint Paul, has called upon the G8 leaders to crack down on internet pornography. Reacting to a report by the Audit Commission (reported in The Times) which revealed the 47% of public sector “IT abuse” was porn related, Beyer says:

The Audit Commission report is further evidence, if any were needed, that the Obscene Publications Act 1959 is in need of strengthening. It proves again that the criminal law is failing and the pornographers are continuing to exploit the situation. Pornography is immoral and undermines human dignity and the report shows that accessing this material is costing the country millions of pounds in wasted resources. We appeal to the Government again to strengthen the law and reach an international agreement through the G8 group of countries so that this abuse of the Internet is stopped as soon as possible. It is clearly in the national interest that some action is taken.

Isn’t it cute how he still capitalises “the Internet”?

The commission has called for anti-porn software to be installed in all public service computers. But that won’t stop adults who chose to view it in the privacy of their own homes, will it?

Christian Voice, liberal organisation

Charity-blackmailer Stephen Green of Christian Voice, who wants to ban abortion, reintroduce the death penalty, make divorce more difficult, stop sex education in schools, “prohibit indecent displays and the use of obscene language and violence on stage, on screen and in literature, art and broadcasting”, remove charitable status from bodies promoting religions other than Christianity, and outlaw homosexuality (among other things), has branded the proposed Incitement to Religious Hatred Act as “illiberal”.

Muslims want this law so they can stifle legitimate criticism of their religion. We are also concerned that if stirring up religious hatred becomes law we could be prosecuted for preaching the Gospel, if such preaching criticised another faith, or indeed a lack of faith.

The measure is illiberal and will be counter-productive in relations between faith groups.

Incredibly, he’s actually right this time.