Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Does this advertisement constitute a ‘faith crime’?

The Gay Police Association (GPA) has produced this advertisement and published it in the national press. It juxtaposes the Holy Bible with a pool of blood, and states: ‘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.’

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. The advert appeared in the Diversity supplement of the Independent newspaper on 29th June, two days ahead of the Europride gay and lesbian parade in London. The statistic is without context, and while 74% sounds vast, it may simply represent an increase of something like four ‘homophobic incidents’ to seven.

A Christian minister, the Rev George Hargreaves, has made an official complaint, and Scotland Yard said the inquiry ‘centres on whether the advert constitutes a faith crime’. Cranmer will watch this case with interest, but would like to ask the GPA why it did not juxtapose the Qur’an with a pool of blood, under the heading ‘In the name of Allah’ (thanks to Mr Iain Dale for the graphic). 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...?


Anonymous Rick said...

This is clear evidence of Police incitement to hared of Christians and shows they are not impartial but a highly politicised Thought Police.

There should be a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and to The High Court under the Human Rights Act 1998 on the grounds that The Police are claiming that Christians are criminally orientated.

19 July 2006 at 22:03  
Anonymous Rick said...

29A Meaning of "religious hatred"

In this Part "religious hatred" means hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief.

Acts intended to stir up religious hatred
29B Use of words or behaviour or display of written material

(1) A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.

(3) A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence under this section.

29C Publishing or distributing written material

(1) A person who publishes or distributes written material which is threatening is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.

(2) References in this Part to the publication or distribution of written material are to its publication or distribution to the public or a section of the public.

Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006

19 July 2006 at 22:12  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Going off at a minor tangent, even a half page advert in an Independent supplement could not have cost less than a good few thousand pounds, although I cannot find their rate card anywhere on the site. (I think that they might benefit from hiring a proofreader to deal with the spelling mistakes on their website too).

One wonders whether this was paid for out of membership subscriptions or whether it receives funding from elsewhere - I would regard the latter as being a powder trail worth following.

And our host is, of course, correct in pointing out that Christians are considered 'fair game' by those who would not dare to attack other faiths, no matter how obliquely.

19 July 2006 at 23:00  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

They have a point, shame they didn't mention the heterosexual women butchered in their own homes in the name of Allah and family honour.

20 July 2006 at 01:37  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

This sort of attitude to Christians is becoming par for the course. While organisations and the great institutions of State bow in deference to minority faiths, bending over backwards to trumpet their 'respect' for their beliefs, the indigenous Christians are insulted or vilified, and regularly have foundations of their faith trashed in the media.

I was watching last night all the news bulletins on the Lebanon missile attack on Nazareth. Not one referred to its sacred significance for Christians. If Israel had bombed some Muslim holy place, there would have been a global outcry, and certainly mention of it in the UK. But Nazareth, as in 'Jesus of...', the place he grew up, well, who cares? It doesn't merit a mention.

This police ad is offensive, grossly so. The statistic may be a statement of fact, but the image is designed to stir up hatred or resentment among the gay community towards Christians, and to see the Bible in a diminished light. The problem is that the investigating body of the police includes gay and lesbian police officers. That'll be impartial. Not.

20 July 2006 at 07:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a grip. There are many homosexuals who are intimidated, attacked verbally and physically and made to suffer by people who use their belief in the Bible as the justification. As a gay Christian, I wholeheartedly support these adverts. Yes, there should also be similar ads referencing the Muslim texts but frankly this is a Christian country and many of these faith crimes are Christian based. If it offends so many fellow Christians, do something to get your house in order.

20 July 2006 at 08:42  
Blogger Michael J. Iliff said...

Greetings All,

Just visiting via A Tangled Web.

My ANONYMOUS Gay Christian friend, I’m afraid it's you that needs to get a grip, particularly on what the bible teaches about homosexuality.

Further, what is your proof that many of these faith crimes are Christian based, or have I just committed one? What do mean by Christian based? I think you will find this is not a Christian country. More fundamentally what in your opinion constitutes a Christian? From your comment I am not sure you have any idea.

Try reading Romans for starters.

20 July 2006 at 09:13  
Anonymous someone said...

mji said...
I think you will find this is not a Christian country.

I completely agree. nowadays ppl are unable to differenciate between the average christian and athiest

20 July 2006 at 09:28  
Anonymous Rick said...

Get a grip. There are many homosexuals who are intimidated, attacked verbally and physically and made to suffer by people who use their belief in the Bible as the justification. As a gay Christian, I wholeheartedly support these adverts.

Then you are not a Christian - you hold The Bible in no reverence. A Muslim would burn the poster because Muslims hold The Quaran in reverence as a book and the Jews hold The Torah Scrolls as holy relicts.

Not to respect The Bible as a sacred book is to deny Christianity..........and an insult to all Christians

20 July 2006 at 10:44  
Blogger Croydonian said...

The GPA are quoted in The Scotsman today:

"David Lyle, Scottish co-ordinator for the Gay Police Association, said human rights legislation that allowed people to express religious views freely was being used to perpetrate attacks on gay people.

He said: "If you replace the word 'gay' with 'black' in these verbal attacks, there would - quite rightly - be a massive outcry. But it seems perfectly possible to abuse gay people and hide behind the supposed shield of 'because it's my religious belief'."

20 July 2006 at 11:08  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Yet conversely, sexual orientation 'anti-discrimination' legislation is being used as a cover to denigrate Christianity. The police (of all groups) should not be allowed to target ONE particular faith group, when the orthodox position of ALL faiths (possible excepting Buddhism) would have issues with homosexuality. It is only the minority who might ever make it a matter of violent attack. Yet the whole Christian faith is demeaned by this advertisement. It is, itself, a hate crime.

20 July 2006 at 13:01  
Blogger Oliver McCarthy said...

Yes, I'm afraid Mr Anonymous Gay Protestant -- whoops! I meant Christian -- rather misses the point. The Police Force doesn't actually target Muslims or gays with this sort of abuse, and it shouldn't target white Christians either. The reason why it doesn't target Muslims partly because there would be quite a bit of controversy if it put out a picture of a blood-soaked Koran in the name of "tolerance", but mainly because there are more Christians in the Force than there are Muslims. Christianity is seen as a threat to these people's values where as Islam, being at the moment only a small minority faith, is not. What will happen next though may go some way to defining the coming conflict between religious minorities and an increasingly atheistica and amoral police-State.

20 July 2006 at 16:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please realise that the important political point is that there should be no such thing in this country as a 'thought crime'. Trying to accuse the police of a 'thought crime' is counter-productive for two reasons 1/ there should be no such crime and 2/ those who hold the power are the politically correct ones.

The police are a disgrace because they 'prioritise' thought crimes. They should actually be a defence against the politically correct and anti-democratic behaviour of the government. Unfortunately they are enthusiastic supporters of this - remember the way they dealt with the Tibetan protestors.

Know your enemy. Build a defense with a natural coalition that constitues a majority of the British polulation i.e. people who in priciple support freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

20 July 2006 at 17:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS A lot of people might argue that most people in Britain would not know what democratic principles are if they came and hit them in the face. True. But my point is - if simply explained combined with the instinctive hostility most people have towards political correctness a well organised position on this would be very powerful.

20 July 2006 at 17:54  
Anonymous Alfred of Wessex said...

Anonymous 8:42 AM. Sir/Madam, you claim to be a Christian. Might I ask on what basis you make that claim? Who do you say that Jesus is? What view do you hold of Scripture - God-inspired, merely human, or a bit of both?

How do you read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11? It it quite clear: "9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

The use of the past tense 'were' in verse 11 implies that homosexuals who became Christians had to TURN AWAY from their homosexual lifestyle in order to be received into the fellowship of believers, just a swindlers had to give up their dishonest ways. I would refer you to my comment of 3:26 PM on Cranmer's blog under 'Emerging Christanophobia'.

20 July 2006 at 18:07  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Too many anonymice for this thread. As Cranmer has previously pleaded, 'anon' makes an instant riposte very difficult, and one cannot tell one anon from another.

Please call yourself Colin, or some such. Cranmer would be perfectly happy with Colin 1, Colin 2, Colin 3, etc, etc. Anything but 'anon'.

20 July 2006 at 18:57  
Anonymous Rick said...

A lot of people might argue that most people in Britain would not know what democratic principles are if they came and hit them in the face.

Arrogant and unnecessarily so. In fact there is probably a clearer perception of democratic principles among the ordinary, unsophisticated people in this country than among the supercilious and over-educated types who pontificate on what "the lower orders" do or do not understand.

Trahison des Clercs

20 July 2006 at 20:51  
Anonymous Joe said...

What a lot of fuss over a perfectly fair advert.

Many violent homophobic bigots are motivated by their religious beliefs. It is shocking how many Christians are untroubled by this fact.

Further, the advert says "in the name of" - it is precisely not claiming that violent homophobia represents true Christianity. So why should any Christian be offended?

Worst of all in the responses, is this "they wouldn't dare say it about any other religion". Well who knows, and what does it matter? Is Christianty's defence really that Islam is just as bad? Good grief.

21 July 2006 at 13:54  
Blogger Serf said...

Is Christianty's defence really that Islam is just as bad? Good grief.

I think you will find that the point is not that Islam is as bad, but rather that it is ten times worse.

We also do not know what a homophobic offence is. If it is pysical attack, verbal abuse (that is threatening in nature) or similar then I am sure that we all agree that such behaviour is not acceptable. However if it is people stating their religious beliefs, (we have all read the stories) then quite frankly that is not a police matter.

Many violent homophobic bigots are motivated by their religious beliefs.

I have not read of one single incident in the UK where this has been the case. I may be wrong, but the type of people who beat others up because they are different are scum, who don't need any motivation.

21 July 2006 at 15:02  
Anonymous Rick said...

Many violent homophobic bigots are motivated by their religious beliefs. It is shocking how many Christians are untroubled by this fact.

I am more concerned that Christian charity extends top non-Christians, that unlike Islamic charities it is not restricted to the faithful.

Further the whole issue of "love thy neighbour" only applied to fellow congregationalists rather than the generalised debasement as practised by so-called Christians nowadays.

Since the actions that Joe wishes to condemn are condemned within the Ten Commandments perhaps he would care to recite them

21 July 2006 at 16:27  
Anonymous joe said...

I don't recall one of the ten commandments saying "Thout shalt not beat people up".

21 July 2006 at 17:42  
Anonymous Joe said...

OK, you have got me started.

1. You shall have no other gods. Hardly needs commanding if no other gods exist.

2. No graven images, no likenesses of anything in heaven or earth. Basically no art or television.
(Omitted by Catholics)

3. Name of the Lord in vain thing.

4. Sabbath, which is a Saturday.

5. Honour mum and dad.

6. Don't kill/murder. (Not usually interpreted as not killing in war or self-defence. A commandment not to murder is a little redundant, as murder is by definition a wrongful killing.)

7. No adultery.

8. No stealing

9. No false witness

10. No coveting. (split into 2 by Catholics to make up for the loss of 2).

I largely agree with 5 to 9.

21 July 2006 at 17:51  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

have a good hard look at how many inter faith charities your jew friends contribute to

21 July 2006 at 23:18  
Blogger phone cam foolery said...

I as a male heterosexual demand the right not to be frisked by a male gay police officer!

21 July 2006 at 23:22  
Blogger Croydonian said...


Difficult to know really, but I turned this up:

"A majority of American Jews support both Jewish and general causes. Even the largest and most well known "Jewish foundations" fund within the general community as well. Some older, more established foundations have focused on general community funding through the foundation, and dispersed their Jewish philanthropy through a lump sum given to the local Federation, and/or discretionary contributions by the individual family members. This model is changing, however, as a growing number of foundations are beginning to evaluate their Jewish funding in the same way they assess their general funding—as a program area with focused funding priorities".

Or you might note how many non-Jewish causes are supported by the Rothschild Foundations

21 July 2006 at 23:52  
Anonymous Rick said...

I don't recall one of the ten commandments saying "Thout shalt not beat people up".

Actually the GPA is playing a different game. You see in the public sector "abuse" and "bullying" has been defined to include using harsh words or making unkind remarks - what the GPA is tryimng to do is to extend prohibition on saying things like homosexuality is sinful, to actually having the right to think or print what is part of Scripture.

22 July 2006 at 11:55  
Anonymous Rick said...

As I read the advert - and I only had the words in the advert to go on - physical assault was alongside verbal abuse, discrimination in the workplace, and urges you to use this Website

A homophobic incident is defined as: 'Any incident which is perceived to be Homophobic by the victim or any other person'.


What is homophobic or transphobic bullying?

Are you or someone you know...

> being called names?
> being pushed, hassled or threatened?
> being beaten up, spat at or kicked?
> having your things taken or damaged?
> being made fun of or called names by anyone?

Homophobia is: any abuse because you are or people think you are lesbian, gay or bisexual

Transphobia is... any abuse because you are or people think you are transgender

Bullying is... any action against any person or group, who may be seen as different

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender means that you have the same right to be protected from domestic abuse in the same way as anyone else.

If you are suffering physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse, or are being threatened or intimidated by a current or former partner, you have experienced domestic abuse. It can happen anywhere - a pub or club, in the street or at work - it doesn't just happen in your home environment.

You may be feeling frightened, isolated, ashamed and confused but you are not alone and above all, you do not have to suffer in silence; help is available.


Hate crime is any offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by the offender's hatred of people because they are seen as being different.

You don't have to be from a minority community to be a victim of hate crime.

22 July 2006 at 12:01  
Anonymous Rick said...

have a good hard look at how many inter faith charities your jew friends contribute to

I suggest phonecam you go and read what I wrote. I don't care if Jewish Charities benefit Jews, nor if Muslim Charities benefit Muslims, nor if Hindu Charities benefit Hindus................I want Christian Charities to restrict their actvities to serving Christians.

Atheists like yourself will have to find your own charities

22 July 2006 at 12:04  
Anonymous Rick said...

22 July 2006 at 17:09  
Anonymous Joe said...


I salute your subtle attempts to spread atheism by making christianity appear extra revolting.

But don't you think there is a risk that some people will take what you say at face value?

Although religion does more harm than good, opposing it in a way that causes sectarian conflict may also do more harm than good.

24 July 2006 at 00:23  
Anonymous Rick said...

Joe, I find you confusing prose conceals a deeper you. Do please release it from your constraints so we can understand your true problem

24 July 2006 at 07:01  
Anonymous Alfred of Wessex said...


Christian charities benefit non-Christians, because Christ commanded His followers to love God and to love their neighbour as they love themselves (Luke Chapter 10, verse 27). That includes people of other races and faiths. Please read the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke Chapter 10, verses 25-35) to see whom Jesus considered a man's neighbour to be.

The Apostle Paul did later state that fellow Christians had first call on our kindness (Galatians Chapter 6, Verse 10), but this in no way diminishes my duty to love my fellow man, whatever his beliefs.

24 July 2006 at 12:16  
Anonymous Rick said...

to love their neighbour as they love themselves (Luke Chapter 10, verse 27)

Yes but the Bible was not written in English - "neighbour" meant other members of the congregation. I suggest you look up Leviticus 19:18 which is the origin of Christ's words.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan rests upon the fact that the Samaritan was an enemy of the Jews, and that good might be done by your enemy.

Your view is not the original Christian viewpoint but that of modernity and does not see Christians as being a particular religious group

24 July 2006 at 13:09  
Anonymous Rick said...

This might prove helpful

24 July 2006 at 13:21  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

you must love muslims...why always pick muslims as the examples. i guess you want to take every opportunity to cause a little offence.

26 July 2006 at 01:11  
Blogger Cranmer said...

why always pick muslims as the examples

Mr Opinionated Youth,

Opinionated you may be, but you are obviously also either blind (unlikely), stupid (possible), or a Muslim desperate to make some point (very likely).

If you bother simply to scroll down, you will observe that your accusation is false. Cranmer does not 'always' pick on Muslims; he certainly refers to Islam (there is a difference), but also to Sikhism, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), and Judaism. He has been and will continue to be critical of any religion when it delves into the realm of politics.

Now do you have something intelligent and erudite to share with us? If not, run along, there's a good boy.

26 July 2006 at 08:36  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

cranmer, if you look at the comments posted on the article about the sikh funeral rituals, you'll find that it results in you and your very close friend phoney attacking Islam once again....come on its becoming a bit predictable maybe you should try a different tactic, but i suppose it is difficult for someone to stop attacking Islam if they are anti-islam or an islamaphobe, yes admit it you are scared...

27 July 2006 at 13:44  
Blogger Croydonian said...


There is a world of difference between recognising that something or someone has the potential to do harm and being scared of it.

28 July 2006 at 19:13  
Anonymous Amo said...

A provocative parallel, Cranmer, and designed to cause conflict. Wouldn't a man of faith heed the words of Jesus - 'blessed are the peacemakers'? I do not see Jesus mocking up posters to inflame religious fervour and cause ill will between them.

28 July 2006 at 22:28  
Anonymous Rick said...

opinionated youth - just what has a Sikh attempting to subvert the 1902 Act on cremations with the corpse of an illegal got to do with Islam ?

I was unaware of Islamic Cremation this an innovation ?

29 July 2006 at 15:10  
Blogger Opinionated Youth said...

learn to read rick

30 July 2006 at 13:26  
Blogger Croydonian said...

And there's more on this. Apparently the head of the GPA has been getting hate mail.

He claims:

"This ad was about provoking public debate about a very human social issue and this is what it's done.

"It was never our intention to recklessly offend people of faith and we don't believe that's the case".

31 July 2006 at 22:56  
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16 November 2006 at 12:16  

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