Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Brotherly love....

The Gay Police Association (GPA) has been reprimanded for an advert which implied Christians were responsible for a huge rise in violent attacks on homosexuals. The advert, showing a Bible next to a pool of blood under the heading "in the name of the father", appeared in a national newspaper's supplement. The advert appeared in the Diversity supplement of the Independent newspaper on 29 June, two days ahead of the Europride gay and lesbian parade in London.

The ad was a one-off, used to back up the GPA's claim that the association had recorded a 74 percent increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator. The association said the accompanying text made clear Christians were not the only group accused, in fact a quarter of the alleged incidents were provoked by Muslims, it said.

After three months of deliberation and over 50,000 complaints from individuals and organizations, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Metropolitan Police announced at the end of September that there was “insufficient evidence” to lay charges of discrimination against the Gay Police Association for its June ads depicting Christianity as violent. Andrea Minichiello Williams, Public Policy Officer of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF), said of the CPS decision, decrying the “appearance of discrimination against Christians by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).” Williams accused the CPS of a double standard, pointing to other decisions the CPS has prosecuted in favour of the gay community’s complaints of discrimination. In 2003, Williams points out, the CPS decided there was sufficient evidence to prosecute an elderly Christian preacher who displayed a sign saying, “Stop homosexuality, Stop immorality. Jesus is Lord” after a “small number” of complaints.

Today, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has agreed with the complainants, who included Christian Watch, the Trinitarian Bible Society and The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, saying it could cause offence. The GPA's advert was also found to have been untruthful in its claim that calls about homophobic incidents had increased by 74 percent, and it was criticised for not being able to back up its statement with evidence.The ASA said in its ruling that "by featuring spilt blood prominently, the ad suggested that all the reported incidents involved physical injury"."On this point, the advert breached the truthfulness code," it added. It told the GPA to "ensure future campaigns were not presented in a way that could cause undue offence and also reminded them that they should ensure the use of imagery did not send misleading messages to consumers".

The GPA said it was designed to be thought-provoking and challenging, but that it was never intended to castigate or describe all religious followers as homophobic. Conservative commentator, Iain Dale wrote a while back, “Couldn't you reasonably think that the advert actually incites gay people to hate Christians?” Mr. Dale is right as is the ASA. The Crown Prosecution Service and the Police drew the politically correct conclusion and not an objective one. I also believe that it is not in the public interest for this case to be dropped – to do so gives the impression that Police officers are above the law....

8 comments:

Croydonian said...

A certain stern and unbending Archbishop featured the original story back in July.

istanbultory said...

Presumably, His Grace took a dim view of these particular deviants.

vikki said...

"Stern and unbending"? You are right, he is infallible....like the...Pope...so you dont need to do penance.

IT, As for the Police Officers....what can you say... when our dear Presidential Prime Minister is clearly above the law!

Colin said...

Vikki,

our dear Presidential Prime Minister is clearly above the law!

Is he? I am collecting such stories. Could you please give me a link. Thanks. I appreciate your help.

Colin said...

The new laws trying to outlaw hate are funny, indeed.

First, hate is a normal emotional reaction of humans directed against persons perceived as dangereous to their well-being. How can normal emotions be outlawed, where to draw the line and who should decide that?

Second, since the activation of an inborn emotional reaction common to all mammals cannot be outlawed, the law punishes the communication of the emotion. Thus, people are not permitted by law to warn others of harmful experiences.

Third, the "intellectuals" favoring these laws do not seem to be aware of the contradiction to their usual attitude, i.e. to freely talk about emotions for preventing the development of neurosis according to Freud's psychonanalysis.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Anonymous said...

The GPA is discredited, the CPS is discredited, the Met is discredited.

It is rather good to have institutions discredit themselves because it means they will fall like rotten fruit and not need to be plucked.

We live in a time when nations are run by cardboard cutouts blowing in the wind, and when the time comes they will be removed as a new society emerges more self-confident and perhaps more brutal.

The aggressive pursuit of minority rights has so far been very easy without any real resistance as there is no Establishment as such, and the psychotic run around trying to pick a fight............

I don't think anyone really believes this current society has such a long time to run.........the writing is already on the wall

istanbultory said...

Anonymous one,
Find yourself a name.
I agree with you. I would also add the Church of England as another institution which has fallen prey to the sickness.Political Correctness is a danger to freedom, fairness, education and logic, the cause of censorship and irrational intolerance. the writing is, indeed, on the wall...for those who wish to see it.

Croydonian said...

V - I'm not a believer, but as I'm sure you will have noted, His Grace runs one of my main ports of call.

IT - his beef was with the christophobic element of the advert mainly.

Colin - whether we like it or not, prejudice is freedom of choice at the sharp end.