Thursday, July 20, 2006

How Does This Advert Help Tackle Religious Homophobia?

Can you imagine the outcry which would ensue if the Gay Police Association released the above advert, in an attempt to highlight religious hate crime against gay people? But they didn't release that one, they released the one below.
According to the text of the advert, ‘In the last 12 months, the GPA has recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.’ All Christians are they? I very much doubt it.

We all know that, with the possible exception of Buddhism, all religions have problems with homosexuality. I'm not a deeply religious person but I regard myself as having broadly Christian values. I regard the Gay Police Association's advert as deeply offensive both to Christians and gay people. Could they not have thought of another way to raise the issue? Indeed, couldn't you reasonably think that the advert actually incites gay people to hate Christians?

Archbishop Cranmer, who first drew this to my attention, believes the poster is in itself a 'faith crime'. He says: "The clear inference is that Christians have blood on their hands, and the Bible condones violence towards homosexuals. The heading ‘In the name of the Father’ drags the name of the Lord through the mud, and grossly misrepresents the message of love and forgiveness that was preached by Jesus."

Cranmer goes on: "If the ‘religious belief of the perpetrator’ was the ‘cause’ of these attacks, were all the perpetrators Christian? Certainly, the Qur’an contains some forceful condemnation of homosexual acts, but the GPA would not dare to produce an advertisement that might be deemed ‘racist’ or offensive to a religious minority. But the Christians? Well, they’re easy meat, and who cares if any of them are offended...?"

I think this is a prime example of where the Church of England needs to be far more robust in defending itself and its faith. Too often the Church bows to the altar of political correctness and is afraid to come out fighting.

However, gay rights activists see nothing wrong with the advert. Pink News reports HERE that Ben Summerskill chief executive of gay charity Stonewall said: “The advert is based on robust evidence, we currently know of a number of cases where the motivation is clearly based on someone’s beliefs from the Bible. I would rather Scotland Yard spent more time investigating homophobic incidents. The GPA wouldn’t be saying these things if they weren’t valid.”

The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association's George Broadhead wrote a letter to the GPA backing their stance, he said: "It is outrageous that Christians should suggest that complaints about their homophobia amount to an attack on their 'religious freedom'. It increasingly appears that 'religious freedom' amounts to a freedom to attackand insult gay people.“The Government's granting of exemptions from equality legislation to allow religious groups to go on discriminating against gay people is an example of this. Under the new Goods and Services Discrimination Regulations which come into effect in October, it will be illegal to discriminate against gay people in the provision of goods and services from that date, but religious groups are pressing for exemptions that would allow them, uniquely, to continue to do so. How religious people can claim that their faith is not homophobic is incomprehensible."

He has a point there, but my issue here is not with the message of the advert - it's that it concentrates on Christians, as if they were the only people who had homophobic tendencies. If we're going to throw accusations of homophobia around, let's not just pick on one group.

If the statistic is correct - that religious-inspired hate crimes against gay people are up by 74%, then there is obviously a problem. But adverts like this not only do nothing to tackle the problem, they exacerbate it.

58 comments:

strapworld said...

The Church of England care more about homsexuality and women bishops than against preaching the word of the Lord.

They have lost the plot and should wind the whole church up.

We might as well allow Islam to become the faith of the English. More practice it and it will be eventually!

Benedict White said...

I hate to agree with Cramer on this one, but I do.

I would point out that both your versions say the same thing, only in the former you use the Arabic for God or father rather than the English.

Judaism has similar beliefs as well. All three are "Abrahamic" as in stemming from the covenent with Abraham, we all believe on the same God, and mostly the same prophets.

Ed said...

There was a great moment on the BBC London news last night where a Priest was getting very incensed about it (priests and incense? 'tis a popish plot!)and then started harping on about tolerance. The chap debating with him said, 'fine, why don't you set a good example and tolerate the advert?'. Classic.

Joe Otten said...

Iain, why not concentrate on Christians?

Is it really a good defence of Christian homophobia than Muslims etc can be homophobic too?

Surely if you are fighting homophobia then any homophobic group is a fair target.

And, quite clearly, by saying "in the name of" they are not implying that Christianity is truly homophobic - that is a question for Christians to debate among themselves.

Ted said...

As a gay man I believe forcing by law someone to act against their conscience goes against the basis of human rights - the freedom of thought, expression and religious beliefs.

Just as Sikhs have exemption from safety laws (and I understand laws on possesssion of knives?) exemption from the imposition of homesexual equality legislation in specified instances is quite proper. Its a shame that people have these beliefs but thats their right.

I agree with Cranmer that this advert is a shameful attack and exposes the GPA to issues of fairness and tolerance when dealing with Christains.

Martin Hoscik said...

Hmmm, difficult one.

I was for many years a memeber of the CofE. I have been for many years gay. For some years I was both and my reasons for leaving the Church had nothing to do with sexuality.

There are many people within all religions who question and challenge the views of the bigots within their faiths. Such direct attacks puts people on the defensive and makes th job of challenging bigotry harder.

However it is fact that the establishments within most religions are actively homophobic.

I can honestly say I don't have a problem with people not liking or agreeing with homosexuality but the main faiths in this country aren't content to hold their views and keep them within their faith groups. Instead they seek through political lobbying to enforce their views on people who do not share them.

Every progression of 'gay rights' has been met with resistance from religions.

Civil Partnerships, to take just one example, are recognition by the state of people's relationships. They have nothing to do with religions - the clue to that is in the word Civil - but that didn't stop the protests from religious groups and leaders who tried to prevent them.

If religious people don't want to be targetted by this sort of advert and want their views respected they might need to start respecting the rights of those who don't share their beliefs.

billy said...

As the Arch Bishop said, 74% increase means nothing. It could be 7 attacks instead of 4.
Also, strapworld, low tolerance of homosexuals and women priests has strong biblical precedents.

Cranmer said...

Thank you, Mr Dale, for highlighting this further, and to Mr Benedict White for his gracious agreement with my post.

But to point out that both ads say the same thing, save that 'Allah' is arabic, is not quite accurate. 'Allah' is the name of the God of Islam, as well as being his 'job'. While Jews and Christians have a God named YHWH, they alone refer to God as Father, and the inference is relational (which is not a theological dimension in Islam). The Judeo-Christian God is immanent; the God of Islam is not. This may seem a minor point, but the very decision of the GPA to use the title 'Father' places this God well and truly in the Judeo-Christian worldview. This ad may not therefore be construed in any sense as an indictment of Islam, even if all three faiths are 'Abrahamic'.

Kipling said...

Spot on Iain, and as for the attacks which have a religious motive let's simply look which religion in the UK is most known for it's fundementalist followers. That would be Islam but we couldn't possible raise that issue could we? There are so many supressed stories of men and women be beaten by their relatives because of their sexual behaviour, whether this is sex before marriage, relationships with non-Muslims or indeed for being homosexual. God forbid attention is drawn to this, so let's instead go for the easy Christian target.

Anonymous said...

Iain, sorry but I can have limited sympathy with you on this one. It is all very well saying 'the C of E' should do something, and that you have 'broadly Christian values'. I'm not religious myself, but it strikes me that many are able to sign up to nominal beliefs if it means that they can marry in Church, go to a Christening, or get their children into a school. But that is where their commitment ends. The 'Hatching, Matching and Despatching' crowd as my mother might call them. If you really want to end this sort of nonsense you have to support your church week in, week out. Otherwise, I'm afraid, they will be entitled to ask, 'Where were you when we needed you ?' once the battle is lost.

Benedict White said...

Cramer, Allah has similar etymilogical roots to Abba, the Aramaic word used by Jesus to mean father.

Also they are fundamentaly the same deit

The dúnadan said...

Iain, you said "We all know that, with the possible exception of Buddhism, all religions have problems with homosexuality." Regarding this argument, you may be interested in reading an interview that the Dalai Lama gave to the Daily Telegraph in which he said:

Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. "Full stop.

No way round it.

"A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong."

Source:Daily Telegraph

Of course, it should be remembered that the Dalai Lama represents one particular strand of Buddhism, but his witness shows that Buddhism in part if not in whole is not approving of homosexuality

Croydonian said...

What I believe is the key point is whether anyone who was a sincere Christian would physically attack someone whose life choices they disapproved of. Fortunately we don't have an equivalent of those rather hateful types from Kansas in these parts.

I would imagine that such attacks are more likely made by people who are less than committed Christians but just happen to be vaguely aware of some of the scriptural comments that condemn homosexuality and use that as a 'justification'.

Very obviously physical attacks, abuse and so forth directed at gays are unacceptable, but equally well there is an immense amount of difference between that and articulating a sincere belief that homosexuality is a sin. As such, I think the GPA have behaved at best foolishly, and at worst maliciously.

Dan Smith said...

We are in a largely Christian country, if you want to use religious images to get a point across, the obvious ones to use belong to the Christian religion. So from that point of view the advert makes perfect sense.

I think its a shame Archbishop Cranmer isn't coming out and condemming the people who are involved in homphobic incidents as strongly as he is coming out and having a go at this advert.

kingbongo said...

benedict white - allah is not the word used by Arabic Christians for God. I know the muslims have managed to do a good job of conflating arab and muslim but this advert is quite clearly designed to avoid any notion of questioning Islamic teaching. It claims that the religous imperative on attacks on homosexuals is Christian. I believe that this would be demonstrably untrue and the advert does not comply with the advertising standards code of practice.

Also I hope you don't mean that because amongst others the Islamic faith claims Jesus as a prophet means the two religions are similar. When it was invented Islam incuded aspects of Zoroastrianism and fire-worship as well.

This is actually insulting to Christianity as Jesus is not 'a prophet' he is God. That's what Christianity is and it is why, although both religions claim to be Abrahamic the Jews would reject the idea that either of them are, but are both inventions of man.

Christians believe in a new Covenant and Islam claims last dibs and should therefore be the rellgion of everyone else.

Posters like this show we have no fear of being murdered by outraged Christians on the orders of the Pope but quite a lot of fear of being the subject of a Fatwah from some loony in Tehran, Mogadishu, Beirut, Damascus or Islamabad.

Shame on the Gay and Lesbian Police Association for putting forward a good case in such hateful terms.

Vienna Woods said...

Give me James Anderton as a policeman any day, rather than that spiteful bitch Paddick!Paddock!, whatever his name is!

Cranmer said...

Mr Benedict White,

Cranmer was not referring to etymology (spelt correctly), which is a superficial linguistic consideration (abba is Hebrew, by the way [Gen 10:21]; aramaic is a cognate language), but to the Judeo-Christian understanding of the character and nature of God. If one attempts to understand God through reading the Torah, the Prophets, and then the New Testament, and contrast this with the God of the Qur'an, they are manifestly not 'fundamentally the same deity', as you assert. Of course, you may choose to believe otherwise, but only the most severe selective reading of these mutually exclusive texts could ever lead one to conclude that they both talk of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Father of Jesus Christ. The two faiths do not perceive divine revelation in remotely the same manner.

And Mr Dunadan,

You are right to point out that Buddhism has many strands, but the point of its fundamental divergence from the monotheistic faiths is that it has no 'Word of God' which is authoritative. Its writings are devotional, as they are for Sikhism and Hinduism. Where there is no 'Word of God', there is less likelihood of orthodoxy or dogmatism. Thus the Dalai Lama has his opinion, but another Buddhist will have his (equally valid) oposing view.

Anonymous said...

A Question from Across the Pond:

Is there a faction of the C of E that would actually incite church members to lash out at homosexuals?

Perhaps it's my silly American view, but I always thought of the C of E as a pretty moderate congregation.
Even the internal disputes seem reasonably civil.
Here in America I could certainly see that happening in some of the more radical nondenominational churches. But when I read that the "religion of the perpetrator was a motivating factor" my first thought was "must be the Muslims."

Mark Senior said...

The sad truth is that religious conflicts have throughout human history caused more deaths more persecution and more wars than any other cause .

ContraTory said...

The offence here is the criminal use of bent, meaningless statistics. I should like to know how the Police learned of the assailants' reason(s) for attack. Just because the assailant might say, "cos the Bible says its wrong" does not mean that he or she is a Christian or has any religious beliefs. It's just a pathetic excuse. I do not believe for one minute that "gay bashers" have any religious (or rational, for that matter) motive for their violence - they simply love to "dish it out" to people who are not likely to fight back.

Adverts like this are crass. I can hardly claim to being a Christian, but even my response to it is entirely negative.

Anonymous said...

If Christians had just a tenth of the passion adherents of other religions have towards their religion the story would be different!!

David said...

And only one mainstream religion nowadays hangs or buries people under walls for being gay on a regular basis. Yes I know there have been people killed for being gay by so called Christians but they are very definitely the minority and such killings are not state or religious leader sanctioned. IS that why the GPA used the Christian sense then? Because they KNEW they'd be attacked with riots in the streets etc if they'd used a Koran as well as a Bible? Cowards.

Rick said...

The desire of Secular Humanists to make Christianity a Thought Crime is so similar to the USSR and GDR as to evidence of the same mindset at work.

We are back to the Inevitability of Gradualness and bringing people into the new structure through restricted vocabularly and restricted thought............

The backlash may be a while in coming but it should be splendid, maybe even violent............maybe it is time for Christians to ally with Muslims and ram a theocracy down the throats of the Gay Thought Police ?

MJ Martin said...

Sorry Iain I'm just not with you in this one.

Perhaps I could see it as victimising the religious for their views if we had a alternate statistic of religious people being killed by homosexuals. So far, it seems to be a one sided attack.

Okay, so this advertising campaign probably does absolutely nothing to help tackle religious homophobia. But neither does ignoring the fact that it is happening, and increasing (especially in Scotland, so I've read). Maybe it is offensive to the religious, but I find violent religious persecution of minorities a hell of a lot more offensive. You could argue with the statistics but it still points towards the fact that more gay people are getting hurt than before and more often than not, according to the police, religion is the cause.

I mean, I can see your point, but I just can't agree with it.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the Dalai Lama seems to have a problem with homosexuality as well. Although he does not speak for or represent the full spectrum of buddhism, it's a disappointment nonetheless.

vikki said...

I thought l penned my name to my previous comment about Christians not passionate enough......Anon 8:39

Cranmer said...

I think its a shame Archbishop Cranmer isn't coming out and condemming the people who are involved in homphobic incidents as strongly as he is coming out and having a go at this advert.

Unreservedly. The Christian faith does not condone such actions. Anyone who asserts otherwise has no understanding of the gospel. Cranmer would readily have asserted such if it had been conveyed to the contrary. While we're on the subject, readers may like to consider the appalling anti-Semitism of . This is a gross offence to Jews worldwide, and clearly designed to invoke hatred.

Verity said...

No one else has asked: What's a "homophobic incident"?

People with sincerely held Christian beliefs aren't likely to run up to a pair of homosexual men and shout, "You're both going to hell!" (Sincere Christians are not intolerant of their fellow man.)

There may have been some such, but I have a feeling these "homophobic incidents" that the thought police are reporting are no more than vague hostilities. I do not believe that high numbers of Christians have perpetrated real "homophobic" (the word is illiterate, by the way) incidents.

People have been encouraged by Tony Blair's Thought Police to report hurt feelings as genuine assaults, to pump up the figures - especially as they are going to get a sympathetic hearing, to say the least.

I don't take anything any of these special pleading associations have to say seriously because their jobs depend on "incidents" being reported.

Also, given the lightning wit of most of my gay friends, if it's verbals, gays are always going to be able to give better than they get. With better paced delivery, too.

Cranmer said...

The above post should read 'the appalling anti-Semitism of The Guardian'. The link works.

Cranmer is still coming to terms with this technology after 500 years of absence.

Benedict White said...

Cranmer, firstly as an ex resident of Beirut, I can assure you that they have seldom reported the whole truth of the Arab Israeli conflict.

Kingbongo, being a Roman Catholic who attended Church in Beirut that was my recolection but obviously you have pracised Christianity in some part of the midle east, so I would be pleased to hear your experiance.

By the way, in the early days of Islam Muslims practiced in churches.

It is only the swiveled eyed looneys that try to find the divides between the three great monotheastic religions and indeed between them and Hindu's and Bhudists.

These include Osama Bin laden.

Cranmer and Kingbongo, do you realy want to help Osama?

Russ Davis said...

It's sad that Ian and most on his blog
http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-does-this-advert-help-tackle.html
have had to prove the truth of the old saying that if you repeat a lie long enough, folk will believe anything. Only the deluded antitheists (including most professing "Christians") believe the antitheist sodomite lie that there's "homo-" anything, not the frauds of "homo-sexual" or "homo-sexuality" or any other phony nonsense of this phony wordgroup exposed as a lie in "The Gay Invention" at www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f
Just like the lies of evolutionism antitheist religious bigotry masquerading as science (also held by most professing "Christians"), exposed at www.trueorigin.org and www.answersinGenesis.org and the ACLU Scopes trial fraud exposed at http://www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk/tennesse.html

Most today have proven themselves illiterate and more than willing to do whatever they're told, so it's hardly surprising that this should take place considering how many are like egomaniac Richard antitheist Dawkins who opines how his evolutionism enabled him to become a "fulfilled" antitheist. Ironically they all forget of course that Darwin was never anything but a compromising Anglican clergyman that rejected God, so in view of evolutionism's demand for rejection of the views of clergy for their humanist fiefdom, it is the height of entirely corrupt hypocrisy for them to continue embracing the work of clergyman Darwin.

As with the sodomites, there is no concern for God or truth or science or others, but only about me. Sadly most on the blog show they don't get it on this crucial point. God help us! For any interested in checking out the real world of true Christianity seldom seen in our day of postmodern relativism that eschews truth, check out the real deal at www.desiringGod.org, but beware: it could cost you your life, for Jesus makes very clear that he who loses his life for Jesus' sake will find it! (Matthew 10:39). You shall know The Truth, and The Truth will make you free (John 8:32), but unlike any other religion, Christianity has a name for it: Jesus, God Incarnate, Truth Incarnate.

Iain Dale said...

I did wonder whether to censor the post from Russ Davis, but it was so hilarious I decided to let you all enjoy it. Dear oh dear.

Benedict White said...

Iain, I am grateful that you did not.

Perhaps as a Roman Catholic I might opine
"He who is without sin may cast the first stone"

As a sinner I am pleased to be in a religion that casts its net so wide that there are not many stone throwers about.

Unity said...

A few things to pick up...

1. No sincere Christian...

Ah yes, the old No True Scotsman fallacy rears it head.

If the GLPA's data is correct then the explanation is straightforward as this links directly to the rise in religious fundmentalism across a number of religions.

So unless you're claiming that the fundies aren't sincere in the beliefs, you're being a little complacent.

2. 74% increase...

If you doubt the figures, try FOIA.

I would suspect the data comes from a combination in information given by victims when reporting attacks and, in some cases, the lame-brained excuses given by bigoted scrotes after they've had their collar felt.

3. Christian country blah, blah...

Only if you count turning up at weddings, christenings, funerals and pissed on Christmas Eve.

The census figures - 78% have a 'religion' of some sort - are a wild overstatement of the reality or religious belief in the UK.

A better guide is the figures for attendance at acts of worship at least once per month - 19%.

4. Just as Sikhs have exemption from safety laws (and I understand laws on possesssion of knives?)...

Sikhs are permitted to ride a motorcycle without a crash helmet and to carry a ceremonial dagger, and that's about it.

5. The desire of Secular Humanists to make Christianity a Thought Crime is so similar to the USSR and GDR as to evidence of the same mindset at work...

Actually we harbour no such desire - you can believe what you like so long as your beliefs cause no harm to others.

What we actually believe that a secular society with a strict separation of church and state is by far the best guarantor of religious freedom - which oddly enough is pretty much what a bunch of guys named Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Adams also figured out about 230 years ago - read the First Amendment to the US Constitution and you'll get the general idea.

6. It is only the swiveled eyed looneys that try to find the divides between the three great monotheastic religions and indeed between them and Hindu's and Bhudists...

Yep, that's about the size of it...

Cranmer said...

It is only the swiveled eyed looneys that try to find the divides between the three great monotheastic religions and indeed between them and Hindu's and Bhudists.

These include Osama Bin laden.

Cranmer and Kingbongo, do you realy want to help Osama?


I have rarely encountered such a crass and utterly unintelligent 'reasoning' as this claptrap. Insult hurling ('swiveled eyed loonies') is the first and only refuge of those who are incapable of serious theological discourse - just call your opponents bigots, and that's the end of it. Sadly, your comments says more for your superficial knowledge of theology than they throw light on very complex issues.

For good or ill, there is a world of division between the beliefs of the 6 major religions of the world. If you are insisting that Buddha is Jesus, Allah is Jehovah, Mohammed preached a gospel of peace, and that reincarnation is the same as heaven or hell, then in your world black must be white, and the tooth fairy lives with Santa, and to deny any of these fluffy beliefs is no offend someone somewhere, and that makes you Osama bin Laden.

You may have lived in Beirut, and this supposedly qualifies you to denigrate those who do not hold to your polytheistic ecumenical syncretism of All Roads Lead to God. Doubtless Atheism is simply an expression of the same. Bizarrely, you say 'being a Roman Catholic' - present continuing tense - which you reiterate in your following post, yet you seem utterly ignorant of orthodox Catholic teaching. Have you read Ratzinger on Islam? Have you read John-Paul II on the Indian faiths? There is not a remote inference that they are all the same or that the 'net is cast widely'. Jesus remains the unique and final revelation of God to mankind. These popes find no equivalence in other faiths. You have plainly made up your own nice religion, and it suits you down to the ground. But please, Mr White, do not hurl insults at those of us who do not share it, and do not equate us with murdering terrorists.

Benedict White said...

Cranmer, I am pleased you have studied Roman Catholic teachings.

We do not share exactly the same views as all other faiths, however we have far more in common than we have that seperates ue as was and is eveident by the ecumenical efforts by Pope John Paul II and indeed Pope Benedict XVI.

You can either look for the differences and look to make war as Osama does or look to make peace as both the Pope and indeed the leader of Shia Islam the Ayatolah Sheihk Ali Al Sistani (Sory about the spelling).

It is true that as Christians we beleive that salvation is through Christ and Chrst alone, but would you want to go to war with some ome who believed that it is only by good works that yu are saved?

Eleni said...

I'm not sure what the issue is here.

We've all taken it up the ass for nine years. Jeez Louise we're used to it!

Verity said...

Cranmer's post was most intriguing and I will read it again.

Benedict White with his accusations all over this blog of "swivel eyed" lunacy against all opposing him, is angry.

Lady Finchley said...

So many of you are missing the point here. It is the fact that they were so craven that they used a bible in their advert - would they dare to use a Koran? No, they would not. Once again, Christians are fair game because they do not hold protest marches, threatening to kill all those who disagree, nor do they issue fatwahs, engage in honour killings or suicide bomb in the name of their religion.

What has the the C of E, who are the most mealy mouthed, lily livered bunch ever, said - where is their protest? No wonder people are leaving in droves - it is the Lib Dems of religious faiths.

Of course I deplore homophobic attacks and it is far more likely that fundamentalists of all faiths have the most intolerant views but to just name the Christians? Pure cowardice.

The Remittance Man said...

"Ben Summerskill chief executive of gay charity Stonewall said: “The advert is based on robust evidence, we currently know of a number of cases where the motivation is clearly based on someone’s beliefs from the Bible."

Could he provide some hard facts please? I find it very hard to believe that in a country where religious fundamentalism has not been a feature for at least a couple of centuries and where church attendence is at an all time low that all but a few of the homophobic assaults are inspired by christian fundamentalism.

Rather I would suspect that the vast majority of these attacks come from the usual suspects; the ignorant, and decidedly unGodly, in the community who find picking on people "who are different" fun, be they black, asian, gay or the disabled.

As you say most religions and certainly the "big three" all have problems with homosexuality. But I would suggest that one of the other two has more recent "form" when it comes to putting theological thoughts on the earthly punishment of "sinners" into practice.

Still, even gay bullies seem to have realised that it's a lot more fun to kick the crap out of a victim that won't fight back rather than one who might just come around and petrol bomb the nick.

And whining on like this is definately easier than actually doing what one is paid for (going out and arresting muggers, rapists and street thugs) regardless of one's sexuality.

RM

EdR said...

One day, Iain, you should post a 'sin bin' collection of the most offensive, dumb and downright hilarious posts you've filtered out. I'd be interested.

Anyway, I can't really imagine who the poster is for. For the members of the church responsible for setting the tone of meetings, it's too simplistic and, as you've said, marginally offensive in its tone (although not as offensive as you seem to think it is). Obviously the people committing homophobic crimes themselves are hardly going to stop and look at a poster by the Gay Policeman's Association and go, "gosh, what a naughty little person I've been."

The broader campaign should be to make the point that while people are entitled to their own opinions on others, it's incumbent upon priests and imams and rabbis and so on to take responsibility for their 'flocks' and to make it clear that homophobic action is unacceptable.

But I remember reading that priests are more likely to be attacked than just about any other profession and that should be highlighted too.

Cranmer said...

I remember reading that priests are more likely to be attacked than just about any other profession and that should be highlighted too.

Indeed, we clergy have been fiercely persecuted for centuries...

Man in a shed said...

Iain - firstly good post and a good issue to raise. I just wonder what everyone means by homophobia ? ( What worries me is that its all a bit New Speak.) There's a trap being set here for free speech whereby anything with the word phobia after it is beyond the pale - and beyond question. ( Homophobia, Islamophobia etc )

Is it homophobic to not approve of cohabitation outside marriage and then restrict marriage to between a man and a woman ? ( That is certainly the view of most of the historic Church down the ages. )

Does homophobia translate as fear of the same ? ( Never very good at Latin I'm afraid. ) If a view point is determined by theology why is that fear based ?

It seems to me that the secular world just doesn't understand the main religions in Britain.

Rick said...

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_060110gaypolice.shtml

Vic Codling, the national co-ordinator of the GPA, writes in the latest edition of Police Review that there were 14 cases last year involving homophobia based on religion.

The cases included officers who had refused to work with gay officers or were withdrawn from groups discussing equality within forces.

Mr Codling said that police managers were unsure of what action to take. He pointed to the Christian Police Association which, he said, as a condition of membership ruled out habitual homosexual activity without repentance.


So they are trying to attack Scripture itself

Rick said...

THE HOME Secretary has given his support to gay police by agreeing publicly to fund for the first time a national association for homosexual and lesbian officers.

David Blunkett's decision is a major vote of confidence for the 650 openly gay officers in forces in the UK and places them on a par with female and ethnic-minority officers who already have national organisations paid for by the state.

Anonymous said...

The Human Rights Act 1998 can be applied against the GPA because it is a) publicly funded b) employed in the Executive arm of The State

That means it seeks to intimidate persons based upon their Christian Faith and to undermine their freeedom of conscience

Alfred of Wessex said...

Iain Dale 12:04 AM. Re. Russ Davis 12:00 AM.

Mr Dale, you may find Mr Davis' beliefs, or the way he expresses them, to be risible. However, have you never, even once, entertained the uncomfortable thought that what he says, however crudely, might be true?

You see, if the historical evidence points to Jesus having been raised from the dead, the He Is Who He claims to Be. It therefore follows that the Bible is true (all of it, since Jesus clearly believed His Old Testament). It also follows that every person who does not repent of their sins, put their trust in the Christ who died for them, and prove the reality of their conversion by a transformed life is destined for eternal damnation.

That includes you. Now if Jesus is Who He claims to Be, who is the more loving: the one who confronts you with the claims of Christ on your life and the eternal consequences of failing to respond to Christ's offer of new life, or the one who fails to do so in order to avoid offending your sensibilities?

Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus give his followers authority to physically attack anyone. Quite the contrary. That is why the GPA poster is so offensive. They know their victims cannot repay in kind if they are to remain true to their Lord's teachings. Had they attacked Islam in the same way, their very lives would have been in serious danger.

The Remittance Man said...

Rick's second post probably highlights the real purpose: lucre for yet another special interest group.

As an interesting aside, does the Christian Police Association he mentions in his first comment receive similar funding? Given the state of religious observence in the country I'd imagine anybody with the depth of belief to declare themselves Christian would qualify as a member of a minority.

Or is this yet another example of suiphobia from the establishment?

RM

vikki said...

Christianity can be summed up in one word.... LOVE.The Bible does not condone homosexuality.However we are commanded to love everyone and that includes homosexuals.

Serf said...

The sad truth is that religious conflicts have throughout human history caused more deaths more persecution and more wars than any other cause .

Based on what source of facts?

In the 20th century, 100 million people lost their lives to the secular religion of Marx.

Take into consideration that the world's population was around 200 million when the Arabs went on conquest, around 300 million at the time of the crusades, two of the most bloody periods of religious conflict. Consider that the world population didn't reach 1 billion until around 1830 (by which time religious wars were not too common.

I think it would be difficult to find any religion, whose victim number greater than those of the followers of Karl Marx.

Rick said...

Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus give his followers authority to physically attack anyone.


Luke 22: 49-51

Verity said...

Again, out of all this multiplicity of "homophobic" (a lamentably ignorant word) incidents, we have not had one example.

What is a "homophobic" incident. Someone in a pub calling a gay a stupid nancy? A faggot? Beating someone up because he is gay? There is not one example quoted and that leads me to believe they are so trivial as to be laughable. (By the way, there are times without number I have heard gays call one another a stupid faggot. They sometimes also refer to one another as "she". Gay men, in my experience, are quite robust about minor insults.)

But I want to know what is classified, in this intemperate ad, as a "homophobic" incident.

Cranmer said...

Alfred of Wessex: Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus give his followers authority to physically attack anyone.

Rick: Luke 22: 49-51

Alfred of Wessex is correct, Rick. The very next statewment from Jesus is the rebuke:

"No more of this!" and he touched the man's ear and healed him (v51)

How you can assert that Luke 22:51 supports a physical attack is baffling. Jesus preached peace and practised it. There is no record of him ever supporting a physical attack on a person, and he said absolutely nothing (not a word) about homosexuality, let alone anything that could possibly be construed as permission to physically attack them.

The Remittance Man said...

Cramner,

Perhaps he is mistaking The Good Lord's healing touch with the very effective, but less holy, South African "poesklap".

Delivered from shoulder height, using the the full length of the arm, the well delivered pk should intersect with the ear of the "patient".

If properly delivered it is almost guaranteed to cure the recipient of many things but it is used most effectively to cure stupidity and ill manners.

Adrian Yalland said...

Strapworld - this is the Church of England which was founded by a man who did so in order to legitimise his mistress and execute his wife? What does the Bible say about this? Hardly a godly foundation for a church is it?

Adrian Yalland said...

Hey, Russ Davis - you need to get out more!

David Frame said...

adrian yalland:

I believe the Bible condemns Henry VIII's peculiar theology. The original Cranmer allowed Henry to inhabit his own little world for the opportunity of much needed church reform for the benefit of all, whilst Thomas Moore got the chop for his principled stand against the ridiculous idea that a monarch can be the head of the church when that place is clearly reserved for Christ. The Church of England however today is far more based in the curious compromises that occurred in queen Elizabeth I's reign [Remember that after Henry, his daughter Mary returned the church to catholicism] and can hardly be blamed for Henry VIII's actions.

All of this is a distraction however, as the GPA has chosen to more than suggest that all christians -whatever their denomination- are reponsible for attacks against gay men and women because we believe homosexuality is a sin. Clearly they did not dare attack other religious groups but thought that attacking christians would do for now.

David Frame said...

All of this is a distraction however, as the GPA has chosen to more than suggest that ALL christians -whatever their denomination- are reponsible for attacks against gay men and women because we believe homosexuality is a sin. Clearly they did not dare attack other religious groups but thought that attacking christians would do for now. I have to agree with Cranmer on his comments on this one.

It saddens me that gay men and women feel so agrieved and rejected by christians and so I must condemn all acts of violence against them and feel sorry for the lack of grace displayed by some christians towards them -notably russ davis in this comments area.

As christians we are concerned with all sin, not just a particular one, and I believe God can change each and everyone of us to be the men and women that He wants us to be and that we do not have to remain as we are. It's not easy, but then, God is in the business of miracles.

Still I have to stand out against this 'advert' as it portrays christian teaching as somehow condoning such violence, which could not be further from the truth.

With that of my chest of to bed I go as it's far too late...