A blog for the socially and politically conscious, written by a young, gay activist who strongly believes in equality and justice.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Muslims are evil? What about Christian Voice?

If I had a penny for every single time I heard the phrase "Muslims are taking over Britain and want to impose sharia law on us" I would be writing from the swimming pool of my Spanish villa. Of course it's a lot of nonsense, but the odious Islam4UK has apparently "proven" this to the equally shady far-right. There is something the far-right forget about Britain's Christian culture though. Firstly, Christianity is an import from the Middle East, and secondly, there are extremists in Christianity as well; we call them fundamentalists in the Western world, but they are essentially extremists just like Islamic extremists are. Radicalist terrorism exist in all religions - but they are only a psychotic minority that do not represent the majority of religious people. As an atheist I could possibly be wrong; but ask any Christians who know about Christian Voice, and they will argue that it doesn't represent the majority of Christians.

The leader of Christian Voice is Stephen Green, who converted from Anglicanism to fundamentalist Christianity, and now attends an Assemblies of God Church. In the early 1990s Green was a prominent campaigner against homosexuality through the Conservative Family Campaign, and wrote a book called The Sexual Dead-End giving his opinions in detail. On 2 September 2006, Green was arrested in Cardiff at the city's Mardi Gras for distributing disruptive pamphlets. On 28 September 2006, the CPS decided not to prosecute Green because there was insufficient evidence; South Wales Police said that this did not "challenge the legality" of his arrest. Christian Voice opposes abortion, homosexuality, no-fault divorce and safer sex education. Additionally it supports the death penalty and does not recognise the concept of marital rape. The group has called for British law to be based on the Bible. In a press release announcing a CV pamphlet, Green describes Islam as "a counterfeit rather than a logical continuation of Judaism and Christianity". Green has expressed support for the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) and it's associated penalty of death, claiming "The Bible calls for the ultimate penalty for sodomy...A Parliamentarian in Uganda is trying to protect his nation's children. The House of Commons of the United Kingdom is trying to corrupt ours." Christian Voice also campaigned against gender recognition law, describing it as legislating a lie.

Christian Voice claims abortion is the wilful murder of a living human being and compares it to the Holocaust. The group wants to overturn the law on marital rape, claiming that the promises given by a man and woman to each other during the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer establish a binding consent to sexual intercourse. Since attempting to censor Jerry Springer: The Opera, the group has received increased coverage in the national media, although this has not always been to their advantage. After the appearance of Green on Question Time in September 2005, the group was condemned by a number of other church bodies, including the Rev Dr David Peel, then Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church. On 24 June 2005, Christian Voice's bankers, The Co-operative Bank, told the organisation to take its account elsewhere as Christian Voice's stance on homosexuality was in conflict with the bank's ethical policies of diversity. The Gay Times awarded an ethical corporate stance award to Co-operative Bank in response to this move. In response to this, Christian Voice encouraged a boycott of the bank Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in August 2005, killing over 1600 residents and rendering hundreds of thousands homeless, Green issued a statement claiming that this was the result of God's wrath and had brought "purity" to the city.

In November 2008, following the failed private prosecution by Emily Mapfuwa over the display of a foot-high statue of Jesus with a phallus in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Stephen Green urged Christians to "create public disorder if [they] wish such a case to proceed in future", and claimed that the artwork in question would "not survive being put on public display again." On 8 January 2009, Christian Voice complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the Atheist Bus Campaign's adverts on 800 buses across England, Scotland and Wales. Obviously then, ramming Christianity down someone's throat is fine, but imposing atheism is bullying to them. This rightly earned Stephen Green a mention in the Arseholes and Twats of the British Isles feature in the satirical publication Viz in 2008. In January 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that an advertisement placed in the New Statesman by Christian Voice breached advertising regulations on accuracy by asserting that HPV vaccines would make young people sterile. Christian Voice had predicted the ruling and responded "requiring the substantiation of a future prediction in an opinion piece is preposterous and an infringement of freedom of speech."

No true Christian is as ignorant, intolerant and bigoted as these fascist cretins; I know because I was brought up a Christian. My family are Christians, many people I know are. Should we commence in tarring them with the same brush as Christian Voice? Should we hate all Christians just because of the actions of a psychotic minority? Of course not, so why should it be different for any other religion. I know a handful of Muslims and they're not really that different from the rest of us. Of course there will always be an insignificant amount of fundamentalists in all religions attempting to marginalise everyone else, but they usually become despised and eventually isolate themselves from this liberal, progressive modern society. So the next time British Nazi Party leader says "Islam is a cancer which must be removed" because it "breeds terrorism" ask his followers about Christian Voice. Is it fine for one group of extremists to preach hatred and not another, Mr. Griffin? Mind you, this is the same former National Front organiser who aided the NF in attempting to incite race wars. Well I suppose it's back to the drawing board I guess....

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