Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Revoke the UK blasphemy laws

Via nullifidian a 10 Downing Street petition to revoke the UK's blasphemy laws:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Revoke blasphemy laws in the UK. The fact that blasphemy is still a criminal offence in Britain shows the extent of the lack of religious freedom within this country. Why should someone be punished for speaking against something they have no belief in?"
This makes sense for all secularists, atheists and theists alike, as well as any non-Anglican theists whose own religion is not so protected.

Here's a description of the law:
"Blasphemy (and blasphemous libel) is a common law offence with an unlimited penalty. The content of the current law is obscure and, from the evidence that the Committee has received, is widely misunderstood.
...
The courts held, more generally, that it was "no longer true that 'Christianity is part of the law of the land'"[140]. The law of blasphemy was thus restricted to protecting the tenets and beliefs of the Church of England, other religions being protected only to the extent that their beliefs overlapped with those of the Church of England.
...
As to what precisely constitutes a blasphemy, the matter is obscure...From the decided cases it would seem that blasphemy is committed "by anyone who makes public words, pictures or conduct whereby the doctrines, beliefs, institutions, or sacred objects and rituals of the Church of England by law established are denied or scurrilously vilified or there is objectively contumelious, violent or ribald conduct or abuse directed towards the sacred subject in question, likely to shock and outrage the feelings of the general body of Church of England believers in the community". As the Law Commission's view indicates, quite what this means when it comes to applying the law to any given set of facts is difficult to say."

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you get out of incessantly persecuting christianity? Please, bring me the evidence of this law being used in any way, period. Are you being oppressed by the law which has no affect on you or anyone else? So juvenile.

pj said...

So if no one uses this law you have no objection to it being revoked? And since it isn't used it serves no protection for Christians so repealing it isn't oppression, no?

In actual fact the threat of the law has been used to ban a film (the Wingrove case in 1989, the law was never infringed because the film was banned because it would violate that law) and the law itself used to ban a poem (The Gay News case, Whitehouse v Lemon in 1979), both of these in fairly recent times.

As far as I am aware both the film and poem remain banned. A number of other cases have been brought and failed (e.g. the Satanic Verses case), but the law still exists as a threat both potential and actual.

Now you've made that baseless claim I feel compelled to show you the sort of thing that the law bans:

"THE LOVE THAT DARES SPEAK ITS NAME
By James Kirkup

As they took him from the cross
I, the centurion, took him in my arms-
the tough lean body
of a man no longer young,
beardless, breathless,
but well hung.

He was still warm.
While they prepared the tomb
I kept guard over him.
His mother and the Magdalen
had gone to fetch clean linen
to shroud his nakedness.

I was alone with him.
For the last time
I kissed his mouth. My tongue
found his, bitter with death.
I licked his wound-
the blood was harsh
For the last time
I laid my lips around the tip
of that great cock, the instrument
of our salvation, our eternal joy.
The shaft, still throbbed, anointed
with death's final ejaculation

I knew he'd had it off with other men-
with Herod's guards, with Pontius Pilate,
With John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus
with foxy Judas, a great kisser, with
the rest of the Twelve, together and apart.
He loved all men, body, soul and spirit. - even me.

So now I took off my uniform, and, naked,
lay together with him in his desolation,
caressing every shadow of his cooling flesh,
hugging him and trying to warm him back to life.
Slowly the fire in his thighs went out,
while I grew hotter with unearthly love.
It was the only way I knew to speak our love's proud name,
to tell him of my long devotion, my desire, my dread-
something we had never talked about. My spear, wet with blood,
his dear, broken body all open wounds,
and in each wound his side, his back,
his mouth - I came and came and came

as if each coming was my last.
And then the miracle possessed us.
I felt him enter into me, and fiercely spend
his spirit's finbal seed within my hole, my soul,
pulse upon pulse, unto the ends of the earth-
he crucified me with him into kingdom come.

-This is the passionate and blissful crucifixion
same-sex lovers suffer, patiently and gladly.
They inflict these loving injuries of joy and grace
one upon the other, till they dies of lust and pain
within the horny paradise of one another's limbs,
with one voice cry to heaven in a last divine release.

Then lie long together, peacefully entwined, with hope
of resurrection, as we did, on that green hill far away.
But before we rose again, they came and took him from me.
They knew no what we had done, but felt
no shame or anger. Rather they were gald for us,
and blessed us, as would he, who loved all men.

And after three long, lonely days, like years,
in which I roamed the gardens of my grief
seeking for him, my one friend who had gone from me,
he rose from sleep, at dawn, and showed himself to me before
all others. And took me to him with
the love that now forever dares to speak its name."

Anonymous said...

You amaze me with every post, pj. 1989 and 1979. Two cases. Two, rather disgusting cases. What have they done to you to solicit these rancorous displays of logic? I don't really want to know why you think 'Wingrove' has any place in society, but why do you? Do you have no inner sense of respect for others? I've never heard of either the poem or the movie, and yet, i knew they would be insulting christianity. Does that alone not pose a problem for you, who claims to be fair? Why is it you try to rid society of so-called "homophobia" but you will go to your wits end to oppose everything christian, because it is christian? As i asked before, what do you get out of hating people?

Anonymous said...

why do you tag the posts with "religion?" you speak of nothing but christianity. your hatred and ire is reserved for no one but christians. why not just tag it so?

pj said...

"I've never heard of either the poem or the movie, and yet, i knew they would be insulting christianity. Does that alone not pose a problem for you, who claims to be fair?"

I suspect that was rather obvious from the fact that they fell foul of the blasphemy law!

I see no particular artistic merit in the poem (I haven't seen the film) but we should not have laws that exist solely to protect the delicate sensibilities of the Church of England any more than Muslims.

"Why is it you try to rid society of so-called "homophobia" but you will go to your wits end to oppose everything christian, because it is christian?"

I don't see any laws against 'anyone who makes public words, pictures or conduct whereby [homosexuality is] denied or scurrilously vilified or there is objectively contumelious, violent or ribald conduct or abuse directed towards [homosexuality] likely to shock and outrage the feelings of the general body of [gay and lesbian people] in the community.'

"As i asked before, what do you get out of hating people?"

Oh why do I hate Jesus so?

gimpy said...

If I recall the blasphemy law was used recently to try and prosecute Joan Bakewell for repeating some of it on the BBC. This little snippet from the House of Lords on the matter is quite amusing simply because it mentions the word 'cock'.

You might also be interested in looking through the evidence from various religious groups on blasphemy here

Anonymous said...

pj, seriously. you're attacking a law which is clearly rarely applied, and when done so, ensures that respect is given towards others. because those people are chirsitians, you have a problem with it. its as offensive as a crime committed against someone because of their homosexuality. i honestly don't know where the confusion and legality comes from after that. there are plenty of laws that protect peoples delicate sensibilities, but the only ones you are against are ones which protect christians. whatever ram-shackle dogma you've constructed to deflect is just that, nothing but dogma. i'm looking at your actions.

Political Scientist said...

Personally, I intend to engage in “objectively contumelious” conduct, just as soon as I find out what it means.

Dear anonymous 19:05:00,

This is not persecution.

In the past, Christians have been murdered for their faith: crucified, burnt or thrown to the lions. If reading a poem, devoid of artistic merit and published in an obscure magazine, is the worst trial you face in your life, you should thank the Almighty for His beneficence.

You could also exercise more discrimination in your reading matter before you establish more discrimination in our laws – after all, you knew what was in the poem, and you chose to read it anyway. Offence is taken, not given.

You enjoy the right to live your life free from assault battery and murder: we have laws against assault, battery and murder.
You enjoy the right to be free from the demagogue and the mob: we have laws against incitement.
You enjoy no right to live your life free from offence, cocooned in a childlike state from the trivial slights of your fellow Man.

It is no defence that the laws are seldom used: if they are used, they are immoral; they are not used, they are superfluous. Laws are not like resolutions in the Junior Common Room: they do not exist to advertise our sense of moral superiority. Laws are established to provide justice: they make clear what is legal or not legal. The Christian philosopher Locke [1] realised that unclear laws, where legal and illegal were ambiguous, were harmful to freedom as they muddied the waters between what might, or might not, be done.

On a separate note, writing as a Christian – and an Anglican at that – I’ll be happy to see the blasphemy laws gone. They do no good and some ill.
I would also add I’m getting a bit fed up of some conservative Christians – or at least those who loudly proclaim themselves Christians – deciding that there is One and Only One Christian response on a number of social issues such as abortion and adoption. Having independently decided this, these self-anointed prophets drag Jesus Christ as a placard holder for their cause, and unsubtly hint that Christians who disagree with them are somehow unchristian. The media, applying the same rigorous reporting as is manifest in their science coverage, promptly report this as “Christians protest/whinge about…”, coupled with text implying that all Christians believe what timely piece of nuttery has been unleashed upon the world. Vexation ensues.

[1] Locke, Second Treatise Of Government

Anonymous said...

Political Scientist:

this is not about the law. this about pj's fixation and demonization of everything and anything chrisitian. It is about her incessant pursuit to rid society of all things chrisitan, big or small. at some point, enough is enough. what is her claim here? challenging a law thats never used for no other reason than because she perceives it to protect christians from crude attacks? its pathetic and infantile.

"You could also exercise more discrimination in your reading matter before you establish more discrimination in our laws – after all, you knew what was in the poem, and you chose to read it anyway. Offence is taken, not given."

Umm, no, i did not read the poem and good line, 'Offense is taken, not given.' baloney. furthermore, what is your point? are you are suggesting nothing is offensive, and if it is its your own fault? Ok, thats makes sense.

"You enjoy no right to live your life free from offence, cocooned in a childlike state from the trivial slights of your fellow Man."

Huh? Please. Enough with the comedy, Sir. I don't want you to get too comfortable, crack a gay joke, and get arrested.

"It is no defence that the laws are seldom used"

As previously stated, it is not about the law.

"...if they are used, they are immoral; they are not used, they are superfluous. Laws are not like resolutions in the Junior Common Room: they do not exist to advertise our sense of moral superiority. Laws are established to provide justice: they make clear what is legal or not legal. The Christian philosopher Locke [1] realised that unclear laws, where legal and illegal were ambiguous, were harmful to freedom as they muddied the waters between what might, or might not, be done."

riveting.

"I would also add I’m getting a bit fed up of some conservative Christians – or at least those who loudly proclaim themselves Christians – deciding that there is One and Only One Christian response on a number of social issues such as abortion and adoption."

Thats a funny one. In fact, i remember in several instances when jesus said two different things in regards to the same issue. Did you pay for the "education" you got? Because if at this point you think there are two right sides to a story, then somewhere, somehow, one of your instructors dropped the ball and didn't bother to pick it up. Not even the owner of this blog thinks that both she and i are right. that is what discussion is about, to find THE right conclusion.[1] Life 101. In addition, it seems YOU have taken ONE side on the issue of christians who are, "self-anointed prophets," and on issues of abortion and adoption, and had you have dropped the self-righteous multiple-right-sides bafoonery you'd have made a lot more sense, and not contradicted yourself in the same sentence.

[1] Jesus Christ - THE Bible (as opposed to one of many, right Bibles.)

Anonymous said...

How low must ones IQ be in order to actually think they can be more than one correct conclusion to a yes or no question (i.e. abortion) when you are supposed to be using a single doctrine which establishes right and wrong. Perhaps the good Scientist could tell us when it is permissible to commit sin? Its right, AND its wrong, right Scientist?! Now hopefully, he does not transgress, and take offense.

pj said...

"It is about her incessant pursuit to rid society of all things chrisitan, big or small. at some point, enough is enough."

I don't see much evidence that I am particularly fixated by Christians over any other religious group. Obviously Christians are the dominant religious denomination in the UK, but as an atheist I'm an equal opportunities oppressor, but somehow I think the poor Christians will manage to carry on regardless of what I think, they've done just fine so far.

"pj, seriously. you're attacking a law which is clearly rarely applied, and when done so, ensures that respect is given towards others. because those people are chirsitians, you have a problem with it. its as offensive as a crime committed against someone because of their homosexuality.

Funny that you now say it is rarely applied when earlier you were saying "bring me the evidence of this law being used in any way, period".

The law is not comparable to "a crime committed against someone because of their homosexuality" because in that case another real crime has been committed (assault, murder etc.) whereas in this case the only 'crime' is offending Christians (specifically Anglicans).

"there are plenty of laws that protect peoples delicate sensibilities, but the only ones you are against are ones which protect christians"

I can't think of any relevant ones here, there are no analogous crimes for other religions, racial groups, or sexual orientations, or genders. In fact I oppose most 'thought crimes' - like that stupid "Lyrical Terrorist".

The only other similar crimes are for things like incitement to racial hatred and racially aggravated crimes - where I oppose the imposition of heavier penalties for racially-motivated crimes (a crime is a crime, it is no better to kill someone just because you don't like the look of them, rather than because of their race) and I would be cautiously in favour of laws where religious affiliation is used in a similar way to race (e.g. the way the BNP use being Muslim as aproxy racial marker).

I opposed the aborted incitement to religious hatred law as it was too broadly drafted (in fact it acted as something of a blasphemy law for all religions, with 'incitement to hatred' including the giving of offence).

Anonymous said...

"The law is not comparable to "a crime committed against someone because of their homosexuality" because in that case another real crime has been committed (assault, murder etc.) whereas in this case the only 'crime' is offending Christians (specifically Anglicans)."

pj, how many laws and convictions are there for "gay slurs?" If you're going to protect that, how is it that same protection isn't extended to Christians? You've labeled it "blasphemy" law, but whatever the label, it does not matter, it is the exact same circumstance. 1989 and 1979 were your evidence, and neither were rather credible. However, if i understand your point, you clearly don't agree with laws protect the delicate sensibilities of homosexuals, and if that is your point, then, you would be fair, but reading this what you have written previously, i doubt that to be the case.

"can't think of any relevant ones here, there are no analogous crimes for other religions, racial groups, or sexual orientations, or genders."

School slammed for gay slur

I could, literally, give you 100 more. but you are an intelligent person, and you know, just as well as i do, that i'm not making anything up. There isn't a single UK news publication that isn't replete with similar stories.

"...in fact it acted as something of a blasphemy law..."

In a similar manner to the homosexual-apologist laws? It sounds as though you are trying to discredit the legislation by referring to it in a demeaning way, which is not a productive course of discourse, that is if you care to have a productive discourse.

pj said...

"pj, how many laws and convictions are there for "gay slurs?"

In the UK? None that I know of.

"...you clearly don't agree with laws protect the delicate sensibilities of homosexuals, and if that is your point, then, you would be fair, but reading this what you have written previously, i doubt that to be the case."

What have I written previously that implies that? In fact many gay rights activists have opposed the proposed law of incitement to hatred against gay people:

"Prominent gay journalists have expressed concern at proposals from the government to introduce a new offence of inciting hate against gay, lesbian and bisexual people. They believe it will undermine freedom of speech, adds little to existing laws and even plays into the hands of homophobes and bigots by allowing them to become martyrs."

"You've labeled it "blasphemy" law...1989 and 1979 were your evidence, and neither were rather credible."

I haven't labelled it that, that's what it is called! And in what way were those two cases 'not credible'? They were two examples of actual situations where the law was used - thus disproving your claim that it had not been used.

"School slammed for gay slur

I could, literally, give you 100 more...There isn't a single UK news publication that isn't replete with similar stories."


Funny that the example you give was in Sweden then:

"A school in Stockholm with a Christian profile has received a rap on the knuckles from school authorities for teaching children that homosexuality is sinful. Following an inspection, the agency ruled that the head teacher's comments on homosexuality were incompatible with the anti-discrimination policy laid down in the national curriculum."

It is an example of someone teaching children that homosexuality is a sin, not an example of insulting gay people, nor is it evidence that Sweden has any laws against insulting gay people. That headteacher would have been quite free to make his comments in the Swedish press. Now I don't mind children being taught in RE lessons that various religions believe that homosexuality is a sin (because they do), but I don't think children should be indoctrinated into any particular religion by their school. Nor would I want teachers telling their students that black or Jewish or Catholic people are inferior - and I presume that would also breach the anti-discrimination rules of the Swedish curriculum.

"It sounds as though you are trying to discredit the legislation by referring to it in a demeaning way"

Or I'm accurately reflecting the way the law was drafted - by including the concept of offense it was more similar to the blasphemy law than the racial hatred law that it was supposedly modelled on.

Anonymous said...

"In the UK? None that I know of.
"Funny that the example you give was in Sweden"

You want one in the UK? No problem.

Firemen demoted and fined for shining torch on gay foursome in the bushes

Foster child to be taken away because Christian couple refuse to teach him about homosexuality

honestly, how can both of these even be conceivable if there is not a concerted effort to:

1]champion homosexuality
2]demonize christianity

its impossible unless that society is doing both.

"I haven't labelled it that, that's what it is called! And in what way were those two cases 'not credible'? They were two examples of actual situations where the law was used - thus disproving your claim that it had not been used."

So if the only time it was used was 400 BC, you'd still contend that the law is used. Ok. I wouldn't, but Ok. not a big issue.

"What have I written previously that implies that? In fact many gay rights activists have opposed the proposed law of incitement to hatred against gay people"

Well, seeing as how i don't see anything here with a religion take that doesn't oppose some christian stance, i assumed you will always oppose a christian stance. My error.

And if they do, they certainly dont any coverage because the stuff i read doesn't have a hint of opposition from any gay rights activists.

"should be indoctrinated into any particular religion by their school."

pj, come on. it is a christian school due to what they teach. secular schools are secular because of what they teach. in fact, the headmaster would not be allowed to make those comments in the press.

"Now I don't mind children being taught in RE lessons that various religions believe that homosexuality is a sin (because they do), but I don't think children should be indoctrinated into any particular religion by their school. Nor would I want teachers telling their students that black or Jewish or Catholic people are inferior - and I presume that would also breach the anti-discrimination rules of the Swedish curriculum."

pj, ones religion is not something that can only be espoused in RE class, furthermore they are purposefully going there to be indoctrinated in the values and tenants of christianity. those who want their children indoctrinated with the values of a secular society would rightfully send them to secular schools. there report did not mention anything along the lines of, "the comment being made outside RE class," as it was inconsequential. this is an obvious, and yet you defend it. you have no problems with indoctrination, just as long as its your indoctrination.

Anonymous said...

I perhaps should have written:

Foster child to be taken away because Christian couple refuse to "teach" him about homosexuality.

Political Scientist said...

Actually, the Mathericks are to be allowed to go on fostering:

Council reverse in equality row

They will not be required to teach children they are fostering about homosexuality.

anonymous - thank you for your responces. I'll be posting a follow up comment shortly.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, the Mathericks are to be allowed to go on fostering:

Council reverse in equality row

They will not be required to teach children they are fostering about homosexuality.

anonymous - thank you for your responces. I'll be posting a follow up comment shortly."


I await your response. however, the point was that the very fact that it happens in the first place is problematic and evidence of the two points i mention above.

I also came across this story:

Gay couple left free to abuse boys - because social workers feared being branded homophobic

which contained some interesting quotes:

"Another said that by virtue of their sexuality they had a 'badge' which made things less questionable.

"The sexual orientation of the men was a significant cause of people not 'thinking the unthinkable.'

"It was clear that a number of staff were afraid of being thought homophobic.

"The fear of being discriminatory led them to fail to discriminate between the appropriate and the abusive."


Their homosexuality is a "badge?"

Imagine the societal structures that must be in place for people, let alone women, who are in a position of authority and responsible for the well being of children, to put their fears of being branded "homophobic" before the safety of their children.

LemmusLemmus said...

Anonymous,

it seems you are confused.

1) Your comments about how there can be no two right answers to a question is disingenious. You are right of course with regard to factual questions: If you say team X won the last world cup, and I say it was team Y, we can't both be correct. But you were talking about a matter of opinions: there is no objectively correct opinion about whether abortion shoulc be allowed. There is also no objectively right way to interpret a text, like the Bible.

2) You earlier argued that there were laws in the UK protecting homosexuals' sensibilities. I don't know UK laws well, but your links don't provide any stories in which someone was taken to court for insulting homosexuals' sensibilities.

It seems to me you just don't like homosexuals.

Political Scientist said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your responses. I would like to address your earlier remarks first.

“Now hopefully, he does not transgress, and take offense.”
Wouldn’t dream of it, even though you have tried so hard to give it. Better luck next time.

“I don't want you to get too comfortable, crack a gay joke, and get arrested.”
I certainly wouldn’t want to be arrested - please could you furnish me with 3 examples of people in the UK being arrested for “cracking a gay joke”? On second thoughts, one will do.

There are no laws against making jokes. There are laws against incitement.

“As previously stated, it is not about the law.” As the title of this piece is “Revoke the UK blasphemy laws”, followed by an argument for the revocation of the blasphemy laws, it would seem it is all “about the law”. That was why I posted a comment expressing the opinions of Locke, which is certainly relevant to the discussion. Doubly so, as he was a Christian and a father of liberalism. It would be phenomenally arrogant, if not actual "buffoonery", to argue that those who have gone before us have nothing to say of interest. Is this your argument?

“furthermore, what is your point? are you are suggesting nothing is offensive, and if it is its your own fault? Ok, thats makes sense.”
Were you to read my comment before commenting upon it, you might be in a better position to offer a convincing critique of my reasoning. However, here is the argument again. More slowly.
1) You do not have a right to be unoffended
2) If you are offended by something, you should not whinge to the police…
3) …or expect the law to restore you to your state of “unoffended”.
That’s it! As this denies you a legal remedy to your offence, I suggested an alternative remedy: not to read stuff that is going to offend you.

You state that
“this about pj's fixation and demonization of everything and anything chrisitian.”

It’s pj’s blog. I don’t think even the most rabid supporter of the “Fairness doctrine” is calling for it to be applied to blogs. Yet.

Atheists in the UK tend to rag on Christianity more than Islam. Yes, I get a bit bored of it, too – but I got over it.

I didn’t enjoy a right to a life free of offence during my last post, and I don’t while I’m writing this post. Nor do you. Nor does PJ. Nor does anyone else.

There is a distinction between “wrong” and “illegal”, with good reason. I don’t want to live in a theocracy, I want to be free to practice my religion. The quid pro quo is that I allow others to practice their religion, or practice no religion at all. It’s called freedom for a reason.

On a separate note, I may well be a terrible, “self-righteous” “buffoon”, with a “low…IQ”. I might be the evilest person ever to inhabit Eviltown (north of Watford).
But this, together with the question of weather I paid for my education (or “education” as you put it), are quite irrelevant to the accuracy or error of my arguments.

A man more sceptical than I might think you lacked these arguments, and were forced to strew your comment with unimaginative epithets to disguise this absence.

To deal with your final point:
“you think there are two right sides to a story”. Yes, I do. Don’t you? After all, there are several Christian churches with different teachings on the subject. As you say, clearly they cannot all be right, but I wouldn’t be sufficiently “buffoon”ish to contend some are more Christian than others. I would – and do- put my arguments to others who disagree. Personally, I find framing the discussion in respectful terms is more persuasive than, as certain pro-life campaigners do, lobbing plastic foetus models at the heads of the unfortunate women at abortion clinics. Partisans of either side might be persuaded by new information, by reasoned argument or even by divine revelation; they will not be persuaded by being struck by ballistic plastic foetuses.

I call them self-anointed prophets as this is precisely what they are. I think they are Christian, I would just like them to behave like Christians. Your claim, that I am doing exactly the same thing as they are, specifically “seems YOU have taken ONE side on the issue of christians who are, "self-anointed prophets," and on issues of abortion and adoption”. Quite so, I’ve taken that position: but I am not arguing that (a) this is the position of all most or even many Christians, or (b) that this is the only Christian position that is acceptable. I’m hardly arguing that NO-ONE could take a position, or that all positions are equally valid – what you style “multiple-right-sides bafoonery” – I agree this would be absurd. However, is this is not what I have claimed. I’m also not arguing that that opposition to what I think should be criminalised.

It would seem at best inappropriate and at worst rude to use an atheists’ blog for a discussion of sin. In a perfect world there would be no abortion; as, indeed, there would be no rape. As you might have noticed, we live in a Fallen world.

If you are genuinely opposed to abortion in any circumstances, then you must be prepared to (1)stop pregnant rape survivors from travelling abroad lest they procure an abortion there (2) forbid rape survivors from committing suicide (3) stop all pregnant women drinking lest it damage the baby. As tragic as abortion is, I think a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 would be more tragic. It’s hard to imagine how a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 could, in any meaningful sense, be Christian. However, if you have actual arguments about how it would, I’m all ears. I view the statement that abortion is a “yes or no question” as very reductive.

To deal with the more substantive and much more interesting issues that you raise in your later posts, I think we can find (some) common ground.

Certainly we are both in agreement regarding the horrific abuse case to which you linked. I think every decent person will be in agreement with us – the question is, what does it mean?
I link to a similar case involving a married, straight couple.
I don’t think you can generalise from either one to a general condemnation of either same sex or opposite sex carers.

[I am certain we agree at the appalling complacency showed by the social services in both cases. There seems to be a culture of passing the parcel, which when you consider the effects are borne by the most vulnerable of society, has got to change.].

You use this story to illustrate your broader point the society “demonize[s] Christianity”. Again, to agree before I disagree, the media doesn’t have a particularly engaged view of Christianity. I suspect that people in the media have few, if any, Christian friends, and view with Christianity with curiosity or contempt.

However, this is true of almost all religious reporting. It is also true of almost all science reporting. Maybe there is true of other reporting, too? I’d be very cautious before stating that Christianity gets a raw deal: ask Christians in any other age, or in any Islamic country, if their brethren in the UK experience persecution or demonization. They would find the comparison laughable.

Or possibly even offensive.

Anonymous said...

"1) Your comments about how there can be no two right answers to a question is disingenious. You are right of course with regard to factual questions: If you say team X won the last world cup, and I say it was team Y, we can't both be correct. But you were talking about a matter of opinions: there is no objectively correct opinion about whether abortion shoulc be allowed. There is also no objectively right way to interpret a text, like the Bible."

I disagree, but thats another issue..


"2) You earlier argued that there were laws in the UK protecting homosexuals' sensibilities. I don't know UK laws well, but your links don't provide any stories in which someone was taken to court for insulting homosexuals' sensibilities."

Okay, how about this:

Gay remark councillor convicted

"It seems to me you just don't like homosexuals."

As I've seen, homosexuals have quite a grip on various aspects of her society so i use them as a tool for comparison.

pj said...

"Gay remark councillor convicted":

"He denied a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress."

So public order offences defend only gay people? Hmm, maybe not, looking at CPS 2005 racist and religious crime data:

"Two youths claiming to be Satanists harassed a Christian minister and his family over three months. Both were convicted after trial and received a six-month restraining order and 12 months imprisonment respectively."

That you think there are special laws specifically to protect gay people doesn't make it so.

Anonymous said...

"I certainly wouldn’t want to be arrested - please could you furnish me with 3 examples of people in the UK being arrested for “cracking a gay joke”? On second thoughts, one will do."

here you go, hot and fresh:
Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate 'gay'

be sure to note, "... school pupil, George, was being investigated for a 'very serious' homophobic crime..."

"There are no laws against making jokes. There are laws against incitement."

Whoo... you really do cling to that legalese, dont you? here, try this, and if that doesn't help then let me know, okay. "enticement." whatever you want to call it, its being used to curtail speech a certain group doesn't like.


"it would seem it is all “about the law”."

at the point you came in, I was talking about pj and her obsessions.

"Doubly so, as he was a Christian and a father of liberalism. It would be phenomenally arrogant, if not actual "buffoonery", to argue that those who have gone before us have nothing to say of interest. Is this your argument?"

No, but you quote him as though he is some be all and end all source of information. I could find a "scholar" which foists the right of men to eat babies, which is why i dont resort to using them, but no, that was not my point, you used him as though it simply being from him WAS proof.

"1) You do not have a right to be unoffended
2) If you are offended by something, you should not whinge to the police…
3) …or expect the law to restore you to your state of “unoffended”.
That’s it! As this denies you a legal remedy to your offence, I suggested an alternative remedy: not to read stuff that is going to offend you."


Yes. I agree completely. Now, if only this was applied to everyone equally, which it is not.

"It’s pj’s blog. I don’t think even the most rabid supporter of the “Fairness doctrine” is calling for it to be applied to blogs. Yet."

It sure is her blog, but am i calling for her blog to be shut down? No, i prefer to meet her and discuss our points of view.

"Atheists in the UK tend to rag on Christianity more than Islam. Yes, I get a bit bored of it, too – but I got over it."

Get over it? You see something wrong and your response is get over it? Really?

"I didn’t enjoy a right to a life free of offence during my last post, and I don’t while I’m writing this post. Nor do you. Nor does PJ. Nor does anyone else."

No, you didn't, but some very special people do.

"There is a distinction between “wrong” and “illegal”, with good reason. I don’t want to live in a theocracy, I want to be free to practice my religion. The quid pro quo is that I allow others to practice their religion, or practice no religion at all. It’s called freedom for a reason."

Umm... Ok. So you are in full support of me practicing i'm-gonna-kill-you-ism? thanks. i appreciate that.

"After all, there are several Christian churches with different teachings on the subject."

So their mere existence means they are all right? Jeez, and here i was think that some of them could be wrong. Oh well, stupid me.

"As you say, clearly they cannot all be right, but I wouldn’t be sufficiently “buffoon”ish to contend some are more Christian than others."

No, but you would be buffonish enough to argue with me on a point i haven't even addressed.

"Personally, I find framing the discussion in respectful terms is more persuasive than, as certain pro-life campaigners do, lobbing plastic foetus models at the heads of the unfortunate women at abortion clinics."

Agreed. So next time it may be somewhat more helpful to not come barging into a conversation and drop lines like, "You could also exercise more discrimination in your reading," and I must apologize for YOU taking offense, Mr. "More Slowly."

"I call them self-anointed prophets as this is precisely what they are. I think they are Christian, I would just like them to behave like Christians."

Lets try and stay focused here. pro life, pro choice... way off track.

"Quite so, I’ve taken that position: but I am not arguing that (a) this is the position of all most or even many Christians, or (b) that this is the only Christian position that is acceptable."

If you insist... do you think you're going to win some kind of award for not calling people when they are wrong? you said yourself these people are not acting chrisitan, and if you cared about them, you would tell them to shape up. that is a clear mandate if you believe the bible.

"I’m hardly arguing that NO-ONE could take a position, or that all positions are equally valid – what you style “multiple-right-sides bafoonery” – I agree this would be absurd. However, is this is not what I have claimed. I’m also not arguing that that opposition to what I think should be criminalised."

Exactly, there is a right way, and a wrong way. Criminalzed? No buzz words. Theres plenty you think is wrong and should be "criminalized." murder being one.

"It would seem at best inappropriate and at worst rude to use an atheists’ blog for a discussion of sin."

Rude? thats debatable, but i have no idea how it is not equally ride to discussion religion on an atheists blog, and now, neither do you.

"If you are genuinely opposed to abortion in any circumstances, then you must be prepared to (1)stop pregnant rape survivors from travelling abroad lest they procure an abortion there (2) forbid rape survivors from committing suicide (3) stop all pregnant women drinking lest it damage the baby."

Absolutely false. I'll answer that with this, are you against drunk driving? of course. so how can you be against drunk driving if you allow people to have cars? the drunk could use his car, or break into someone else's car. No. Society should not enable or encourage wrong, people themselves will do wrong things, but there is no reason society should aid them. Hence, we outlaw drunk driving, and not cars.

"As tragic as abortion is, I think a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 would be more tragic. It’s hard to imagine how a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 could, in any meaningful sense, be Christian.

Well then imagine this. Bible say homosexuality it wrong. you, controlling society, would do what? Well, lets defer to a story for a moment... Jesus happens upon a crowd about to stone a woman for having an affair, he rebukes them, saving the woman, then says, "go and sin no more." Hmmm... how can we apply this?

The problem exists long before abortion comes into the picture, Scientist. Here you are debating the grounds of step 9, when all of steps 1 to 8 were wrong. I'm trying to figure out why you think step 9 is any better? perhaps you could provide some insight.

What really is tragic is the mainstreaming of socially destructive behavior, and an absence of strong, influential, moral people in society, and where young girls are brought up in a society which encourage them to indulge their every desire without a sense of responsibility, a la 200,000 abort per year.


I’m all ears.

Got it?

I view the statement that abortion is a “yes or no question” as very reductive."

Again, this is akin to debating the legality of speeding when you're in a stolen car.


"I certainly wouldn’t want to be arrested - please could you furnish me with 3 examples of people in the UK being arrested for “cracking a gay joke”? On second thoughts, one will do."

here you go, hot and fresh:
Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate 'gay'

be sure to note, "... school pupil, George, was being investigated for a 'very serious' homophobic crime..."

"There are no laws against making jokes. There are laws against incitement."

Whoo... you really do cling to that legalese, dont you? here, try this, and if that doesn't help then let me know, okay. "enticement." whatever you want to call it, its being used to curtail speech a certain group doesn't like.


"it would seem it is all “about the law”."

at the point you came in, I was talking about pj and her obsessions.

"Doubly so, as he was a Christian and a father of liberalism. It would be phenomenally arrogant, if not actual "buffoonery", to argue that those who have gone before us have nothing to say of interest. Is this your argument?"

No, but you quote him as though he is some be all and end all source of information. I could find a "scholar" which foists the right of men to eat babies, which is why i dont resort to using them, but no, that was not my point, you used him as though it simply being from him WAS proof.

"1) You do not have a right to be unoffended
2) If you are offended by something, you should not whinge to the police…
3) …or expect the law to restore you to your state of “unoffended”.
That’s it! As this denies you a legal remedy to your offence, I suggested an alternative remedy: not to read stuff that is going to offend you."


Yes. I agree completely. Now, if only this was applied to everyone equally, which it is not.

"It’s pj’s blog. I don’t think even the most rabid supporter of the “Fairness doctrine” is calling for it to be applied to blogs. Yet."

It sure is her blog, but am i calling for her blog to be shut down? No, i prefer to meet her and discuss our points of view.

"Atheists in the UK tend to rag on Christianity more than Islam. Yes, I get a bit bored of it, too – but I got over it."

Get over it? You see something wrong and your response is get over it? Really?

"I didn’t enjoy a right to a life free of offence during my last post, and I don’t while I’m writing this post. Nor do you. Nor does PJ. Nor does anyone else."

No, you didn't, but some very special people do.

"There is a distinction between “wrong” and “illegal”, with good reason. I don’t want to live in a theocracy, I want to be free to practice my religion. The quid pro quo is that I allow others to practice their religion, or practice no religion at all. It’s called freedom for a reason."

Umm... Ok. So you are in full support of me practicing i'm-gonna-kill-you-ism? thanks. i appreciate that.

"After all, there are several Christian churches with different teachings on the subject."

So their mere existence means they are all right? Jeez, and here i was think that some of them could be wrong. Oh well, stupid me.

"As you say, clearly they cannot all be right, but I wouldn’t be sufficiently “buffoon”ish to contend some are more Christian than others."

No, but you would be buffonish enough to argue with me on a point i haven't even addressed.

"Personally, I find framing the discussion in respectful terms is more persuasive than, as certain pro-life campaigners do, lobbing plastic foetus models at the heads of the unfortunate women at abortion clinics."

Agreed. So next time it may be somewhat more helpful to not come barging into a conversation and drop lines like, "You could also exercise more discrimination in your reading," and I must apologize for YOU taking offense, Mr. "More Slowly."

"I call them self-anointed prophets as this is precisely what they are. I think they are Christian, I would just like them to behave like Christians."

Lets try and stay focused here. pro life, pro choice... way off track.

"Quite so, I’ve taken that position: but I am not arguing that (a) this is the position of all most or even many Christians, or (b) that this is the only Christian position that is acceptable."

If you insist... do you think you're going to win some kind of award for not calling people when they are wrong? you said yourself these people are not acting chrisitan, and if you cared about them, you would tell them to shape up. that is a clear mandate if you believe the bible.

"I’m hardly arguing that NO-ONE could take a position, or that all positions are equally valid – what you style “multiple-right-sides bafoonery” – I agree this would be absurd. However, is this is not what I have claimed. I’m also not arguing that that opposition to what I think should be criminalised."

Exactly, there is a right way, and a wrong way. Criminalzed? No buzz words. Theres plenty you think is wrong and should be "criminalized." murder being one.

"It would seem at best inappropriate and at worst rude to use an atheists’ blog for a discussion of sin."

Rude? thats debatable, but i have no idea how it is not equally ride to discussion religion on an atheists blog, and now, neither do you.

"If you are genuinely opposed to abortion in any circumstances, then you must be prepared to (1)stop pregnant rape survivors from travelling abroad lest they procure an abortion there (2) forbid rape survivors from committing suicide (3) stop all pregnant women drinking lest it damage the baby."

Absolutely false. I'll answer that with this, are you against drunk driving? of course. so how can you be against drunk driving if you allow people to have cars? the drunk could use his car, or break into someone else's car. No. Society should not enable or encourage wrong, people themselves will do wrong things, but there is no reason society should aid them. Hence, we outlaw drunk driving, and not cars.

"As tragic as abortion is, I think a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 would be more tragic. It’s hard to imagine how a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 could, in any meaningful sense, be Christian.

Well then imagine this. Bible say homosexuality it wrong. you, controlling society, would do what? Well, lets defer to a story for a moment... Jesus happens upon a crowd about to stone a woman for having an affair, he rebukes them, saving the woman, then says, "go and sin no more." Hmmm... how can we apply this?

The problem exists long before abortion comes into the picture, Scientist. Here you are debating the grounds of step 9, when all of steps 1 to 8 were wrong. I'm trying to figure out why you think step 9 is any better? perhaps you could provide some insight.

What really is tragic is the mainstreaming of socially destructive behavior, and an absence of strong, influential, moral people in society, and where young girls are brought up in a society which encourage them to indulge their every desire without a sense of responsibility, a la 200,000 abort per year.


I’m all ears.

Got it?

I view the statement that abortion is a “yes or no question” as very reductive."

Again, this is akin to debating the legality of speeding when you're in a stolen car.

"I certainly wouldn’t want to be arrested - please could you furnish me with 3 examples of people in the UK being arrested for “cracking a gay joke”? On second thoughts, one will do."

here you go, hot and fresh:
Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate 'gay'

be sure to note, "... school pupil, George, was being investigated for a 'very serious' homophobic crime..."

"There are no laws against making jokes. There are laws against incitement."

Whoo... you really do cling to that legalese, dont you? here, try this, and if that doesn't help then let me know, okay. "enticement." whatever you want to call it, its being used to curtail speech a certain group doesn't like.


"it would seem it is all “about the law”."

at the point you came in, I was talking about pj and her obsessions.

"Doubly so, as he was a Christian and a father of liberalism. It would be phenomenally arrogant, if not actual "buffoonery", to argue that those who have gone before us have nothing to say of interest. Is this your argument?"

No, but you quote him as though he is some be all and end all source of information. I could find a "scholar" which foists the right of men to eat babies, which is why i dont resort to using them, but no, that was not my point, you used him as though it simply being from him WAS proof.

"1) You do not have a right to be unoffended
2) If you are offended by something, you should not whinge to the police…
3) …or expect the law to restore you to your state of “unoffended”.
That’s it! As this denies you a legal remedy to your offence, I suggested an alternative remedy: not to read stuff that is going to offend you."


Yes. I agree completely. Now, if only this was applied to everyone equally, which it is not.

"It’s pj’s blog. I don’t think even the most rabid supporter of the “Fairness doctrine” is calling for it to be applied to blogs. Yet."

It sure is her blog, but am i calling for her blog to be shut down? No, i prefer to meet her and discuss our points of view.

"Atheists in the UK tend to rag on Christianity more than Islam. Yes, I get a bit bored of it, too – but I got over it."

Get over it? You see something wrong and your response is get over it? Really?

"I didn’t enjoy a right to a life free of offence during my last post, and I don’t while I’m writing this post. Nor do you. Nor does PJ. Nor does anyone else."

No, you didn't, but some very special people do.

"There is a distinction between “wrong” and “illegal”, with good reason. I don’t want to live in a theocracy, I want to be free to practice my religion. The quid pro quo is that I allow others to practice their religion, or practice no religion at all. It’s called freedom for a reason."

Umm... Ok. So you are in full support of me practicing i'm-gonna-kill-you-ism? thanks. i appreciate that.

"After all, there are several Christian churches with different teachings on the subject."

So their mere existence means they are all right? Jeez, and here i was think that some of them could be wrong. Oh well, stupid me.

"As you say, clearly they cannot all be right, but I wouldn’t be sufficiently “buffoon”ish to contend some are more Christian than others."

No, but you would be buffonish enough to argue with me on a point i haven't even addressed.

"Personally, I find framing the discussion in respectful terms is more persuasive than, as certain pro-life campaigners do, lobbing plastic foetus models at the heads of the unfortunate women at abortion clinics."

Agreed. So next time it may be somewhat more helpful to not come barging into a conversation and drop lines like, "You could also exercise more discrimination in your reading," and I must apologize for YOU taking offense, Mr. "More Slowly."

"I call them self-anointed prophets as this is precisely what they are. I think they are Christian, I would just like them to behave like Christians."

Lets try and stay focused here. pro life, pro choice... way off track.

"Quite so, I’ve taken that position: but I am not arguing that (a) this is the position of all most or even many Christians, or (b) that this is the only Christian position that is acceptable."

If you insist... do you think you're going to win some kind of award for not calling people when they are wrong? you said yourself these people are not acting chrisitan, and if you cared about them, you would tell them to shape up. that is a clear mandate if you believe the bible.

"I’m hardly arguing that NO-ONE could take a position, or that all positions are equally valid – what you style “multiple-right-sides bafoonery” – I agree this would be absurd. However, is this is not what I have claimed. I’m also not arguing that that opposition to what I think should be criminalised."

Exactly, there is a right way, and a wrong way. Criminalzed? No buzz words. Theres plenty you think is wrong and should be "criminalized." murder being one.

"It would seem at best inappropriate and at worst rude to use an atheists’ blog for a discussion of sin."

Rude? thats debatable, but i have no idea how it is not equally ride to discussion religion on an atheists blog, and now, neither do you.

"If you are genuinely opposed to abortion in any circumstances, then you must be prepared to (1)stop pregnant rape survivors from travelling abroad lest they procure an abortion there (2) forbid rape survivors from committing suicide (3) stop all pregnant women drinking lest it damage the baby."

Absolutely false. I'll answer that with this, are you against drunk driving? of course. so how can you be against drunk driving if you allow people to have cars? the drunk could use his car, or break into someone else's car. No. Society should not enable or encourage wrong, people themselves will do wrong things, but there is no reason society should aid them. Hence, we outlaw drunk driving, and not cars.

"As tragic as abortion is, I think a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 would be more tragic. It’s hard to imagine how a society that enacted 1,2 and 3 could, in any meaningful sense, be Christian.

Well then imagine this. Bible say homosexuality it wrong. you, controlling society, would do what? Well, lets defer to a story for a moment... Jesus happens upon a crowd about to stone a woman for having an affair, he rebukes them, saving the woman, then says, "go and sin no more." Hmmm... how can we apply this?

The problem exists long before abortion comes into the picture, Scientist. Here you are debating the grounds of step 9, when all of steps 1 to 8 were wrong. I'm trying to figure out why you think step 9 is any better? perhaps you could provide some insight.

What really is tragic is the mainstreaming of socially destructive behavior, and an absence of strong, influential, moral people in society, and where young girls are brought up in a society which encourage them to indulge their every desire without a sense of responsibility, a la 200,000 abort per year.


I’m all ears.

Got it?

I view the statement that abortion is a “yes or no question” as very reductive."

Again, this is akin to debating the legality of speeding when you're in a stolen car.

....

Anonymous said...

sorry, looks like that last comment got screwed up some how, you should still be able to follow it quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

(continued)

"what does it mean?
I link to a similar case involving a married, straight couple.
I don’t think you can generalise from either one to a general condemnation of either same sex or opposite sex carers."


I agree, you can't generalize. Thats why i haven't. But it is important to note, the warning signs were ignored because of their sexuality.

"You use this story to illustrate your broader point the society “demonize[s] Christianity”. Again, to agree before I disagree, the media doesn’t have a particularly engaged view of Christianity. I suspect that people in the media have few, if any, Christian friends, and view with Christianity with curiosity or contempt."

True. And this needs to stop.

"However, this is true of almost all religious reporting. It is also true of almost all science reporting. Maybe there is true of other reporting, too? I’d be very cautious before stating that Christianity gets a raw deal: ask Christians in any other age, or in any Islamic country, if their brethren in the UK experience persecution or demonization. They would find the comparison laughable.

Or possibly even offensive."


Just because its true with others doesn't make it okay, and, by comparison, slaves got a pretty sweet deal as opposed to their extinct native american brethren.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors. I did not anticipate writing war & peace today.

Anonymous said...

"That you think there are special laws specifically to protect gay people doesn't make it so."

pj, if it was the case that there was equal treatment i would have no problem. if, say, for instance, if the two major instances were in, oh, i dont, 1989 and 1979, just to pull two random numbers out of the air, i wouldn't care, unlike some blog owners which shall remain unnamed. i'm looking at a steady stream of intolerance and bigotry. if, there was any evidence to the contrary, i'd have no gripes. for every one story you pull out, i can pull out 10 more, and that is the problem.

pj said...

"Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate 'gay'":

""Going to the boy's house was a reasonable course of action to take. This e-mail message was part of some behaviour which had been on going.

"The use of the word 'gay' would imply that it was homophobic, but we would be hard pushed to say it was a homophobic crime.

"This boy has not been treated as an offender.""

So we have a kid bullying another kid who uses a homophobic insult and is talked to by the police but not prosecuted. Again, clearly proving the existence of laws to protect gay people that don't protect Christians or any other group. Or, proving fuck all other than that anonymous is an utter loon who can't find any special laws that protect gay people that don't also protect people from religious groups - such a loon that the best examples he can come up with aren't even criminal prosecutions, yet such a loon that he then tries to dismiss real examples of the use of the blasphemy law (the existence of which he denied) as if they were in the distant past when one of the two examples I used came before the European Court of Human Rights in 1997!

And yet, what is this crime I see:

"The Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 amended the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to create new religiously aggravated offences. This provision came into effect on 14 December 2001. The offences capable of being charged as religiously aggravated offences can be divided into four broad categories:
Assaults
Public Order offences
Criminal Damage
Harassment offences
The Act also introduced a requirement for courts sentencing offenders to treat more seriously any offence (other than one of the specific religiously aggravated offences) which was found to be religiously aggravated. (This mirrored the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 relating to racially aggravated offences)." [and there's one part of the UK where they hold such crimes dear to their hearts].

A special law to protect religious people? Surely not! They are so oppressed, it must mean gays, not religious people!

pj said...

"for every one story you pull out, i can pull out 10 more, and that is the problem."

You are talking out of your arse. You have only produced a single example of someone being prosecuted for a homophobic incident - and that was as a public order offence. I produced an example where public order laws have been used to prosecute crimes against Christians, and I've also pointed out that there are special laws making religiously motivated offences of this nature more serious crimes.

Anonymous said...

"So we have a kid bullying another kid who uses a homophobic insult and is talked to by the police but not prosecuted. Again, clearly proving the existence of laws to protect gay people that don't protect Christians or any other group. Or, proving fuck all other than that anonymous is an utter loon who can't find any special laws that protect gay people that don't also protect people from religious groups"

Thank you for proving my point, pj. When confronted with evidence which occurred in our lifetime, you revert to some rather unimaginative rhetoric as a last means of defense. The articles title says it all, "Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate 'gay'." Not that the student was supposedly "bullying," not that it was a "public disturbance," but a student who called the other gay.

And then you post this rather informative piece:

""The Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 amended the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to create new religiously aggravated offences. This provision came into effect on 14 December 2001. The offences capable of being charged as religiously aggravated offences can be divided into four broad categories:
Assaults
Public Order offences
Criminal Damage
Harassment offences"

which when coupled with one of the previously posted articles illustrates the protection granted to homosexuals, and homosexuals alone.

"A special law to protect religious people? Surely not! They are so oppressed, it must mean gays, not religious people!"

Your counter argument is a case of harassment over a 3-month period. This is a child, calling another "gay." Once. Now, over that 3-month period, how many complaints were made and no action taken? What if he said they were called gay? Obviously from the evidence presented, the response would be the same, thus proving equality.

"You have only produced a single example of someone being prosecuted for a homophobic incident - and that was as a public order offence."

Thats the whole point point, pj. Its a public order offence.



Furthermore, you conveniently skipped over addressing how people in your community could be scared enough at a comical accusation of "homophobia," that they ignore patent signs of abuse, and even thought you skipped that point, you silence speaks quiet loudly.

pj said...

"Thank you for proving my point, pj. When confronted with evidence which occurred in our lifetime, you revert to some rather unimaginative rhetoric as a last means of defense."

Rhetoric - or pointing out that the evidence completely contradicts your claim for special pro-gay laws, and that there are in fact pro-religious laws, as it is known. 'Last means of defense' - oh yes, you've got me on the run.

"which when coupled with one of the previously posted articles illustrates the protection granted to homosexuals, and homosexuals alone."

Yes, the existence of a special law to make crimes such as public order offences legally 'worse' when they are committed against religious people proves incontrovertibly that gay people have special laws to defend them.

"Your counter argument is a case of harassment over a 3-month period. This is a child, calling another "gay." Once"

a) it was apparently part of a campaign of harrasing this other child, and (b) he wasn't charged with any offence, let alone convicted.

"Thats the whole point point, pj. Its a public order offence."

Public order offences do not specify what insults are illegal - just that harrassing people in public (or a variety of other things) are illegal.

"Furthermore, you conveniently skipped over...you silence speaks quiet loudly."

No - it implies I have to spend at least some of my time going to work rather than answering your endless drivel on my blog which continues to pour out, however irrelevant it is to the point, and which manages to constantly ignore the countervailing evidence.

Political Scientist said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your remarks. When I “barg[ed] into the discussion” (or “posted a comment on a blog”, as we call it back in the real world), I made a point about the nature of liberalism and supported this with a citation from Locke. This was sufficient to make you throw all your arguments out of your pram.

In order for this discussion to go further, I think I would like three things

[1] An example of someone in the UK who has been arrested for making a gay joke. You have maintained you can provide “ten” counter examples for every “one” of the blasphemy laws. PJ has raised two examples, so that gives you twenty to choose from. However, one will do.

[2] An example of a Christian philosopher who “foists [sic] the right of men to eat babies”.

[3] You to acquire a dictionary and look up the term “incitement”. I can only assume you don’t know what it means, otherwise you wouldn’t post such errant nonsense about “legalese” [sic]. If you can’t tell the difference between “Homosexuality is a sin” and “The gays must die! Quickly, brethren, we must slake our depraved blood lust!”, you have not understood the term “incitement”, and should try again.

While you are over at that dictionary, perhaps you could look up the spelling of “buffoon”. Accusing your interlocutor of being “self-righteous” “buffoon”, with a “low…IQ”, and putting the wrong number of “f”’s in buffoon rather spoils the effect of the insult. On the other hand, I suppose it raises your own IQ [Irony Quotient].

If you cannot achieve these things, I can only assume you are trying to make Christians look stupid. If this is the case, rejoice! For you have done well.

I don’t think we’ll be communicating anymore.

Anonymous said...

"a) it was apparently part of a campaign of harrasing this other child, and (b) he wasn't charged with any offence, let alone convicted."

this quote is the focus, "They said primary school pupil, George, was being investigated for a 'very serious' homophobic crime after using the comment in an e-mail to a 10-year-old classmate."

the bullying did not spur the investigation. this was a "public disturbance."

"No - it implies I have to spend at least some of my time going to work rather than answering your endless drivel on my blog which continues to pour out, however irrelevant it is to the point, and which manages to constantly ignore the countervailing evidence."

You certainly had time to write that. But continue answering by not answering.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you for your remarks. When I “barg[ed] into the discussion” (or “posted a comment on a blog”, as we call it back in the real world), I made a point about the nature of liberalism and supported this with a citation from Locke. This was sufficient to make you throw all your arguments out of your pram."

Listen, man. Let it go. You spent two posts talking about something nobody, including me, cares about. I posted plenty for you to respond to. I'm much more interested in those responses.

"[1] An example of someone in the UK who has been arrested for making a gay joke. You have maintained you can provide “ten” counter examples for every “one” of the blasphemy laws. PJ has raised two examples, so that gives you twenty to choose from. However, one will do."

I've already provided one. Again, respond to my previous posts, please.

"[2] An example of a Christian philosopher who “foists [sic] the right of men to eat babies”."

Sir, please, enough games.

"[3] You to acquire a dictionary and look up the term “incitement”. I can only assume you don’t know what it means, otherwise you wouldn’t post such errant nonsense about “legalese” [sic]. If you can’t tell the difference between “Homosexuality is a sin” and “The gays must die! Quickly, brethren, we must slake our depraved blood lust!”, you have not understood the term “incitement”, and should try again. "

Heh. Glad you said that, you can refer to my first link i posted:

School slammed for gay slur

From the article, "Having heard the headmaster say that homosexual activity was sinful, the youth wing of RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights - reported the school to the education agency.

Following an inspection, the agency ruled that the head teacher's comments on homosexuality were incompatible with the anti-discrimination policy"


... at a christian school no less.


Hopefully, i can get a reponse on the subject matter.




(LOL. I love how you ask for civility then follow it up with an insult.)

pj said...

"Listen, man. Let it go. You spent two posts talking about something nobody, including me, cares about."

Have you no sense of irony?

"this quote is the focus, "They said primary school pupil, George, was being investigated for a 'very serious' homophobic crime<"

So you can't actually find an example of a crime so the best you can come up with is someone saying 'homophobic crime' and hope that it implies that there are special crimes against gay people rather than say crimes that are motivated by homophobia.

"the bullying did not spur the investigation. this was a "public disturbance.""

Any evidence for that claim or did you just pull it out of your arse? No sign of any mention of 'public disturbance' in that article you link to, which says:

'"The parents of the boy believed it was more sinister that just a schoolyard prank," Inspector Bailey said.
...
"Going to the boy's house was a reasonable course of action to take. This e-mail message was part of some behaviour which had been on going."'

"You certainly had time to write that. But continue answering by not answering."

Let's summarise your position shall we?
1) The blasphemy law is never used so trying to repeal it is anti-Christian*
2) Well maybe it has been used before, but its use was jusified cos those were insulting, and anyway it was a long time ago
3) Even if it has been used, there are special laws to protect gay people too
4) Even if there aren't special laws to protect gay people the existing laws are used to protect gay people and not Christians
5) Even if the laws aren't used to specially protect gay people, and even if there are in fact special laws protecting Christians and other religious groups, gay people get too much consideration by society.

So you've retreated from one position to another, time after time, as each of your points has been proved wrong in turn. I'm ignoring your last claim that "people in your community could be scared enough at a comical accusation of "homophobia," that they ignore patent signs of abuse" because it is just the last in your long line of crap arguments (#5 in fact) which have now reached the point that they are so far from the topic that they are utterly irrelevant.

I want to abolish the law of blasphemy which protects only the Anglican church. There are plenty of laws protecting religious people specifically from harrassment, I just want to get rid of this law protecting a subset of religious people from offence. There are no other laws protecting anyone else, religious or otherwise, from offence, and in a modern pluralistic society we all have to be able to understand that others may not agree with us and thus say things that may offend us.

There are no special laws protecting any other groups as your comically drawn out attempts to prove it have shown. The existence of laws protecting people against harrassment, assault, and discrimination are fine, but mere offence alone should not be a crime, and the existence of the law, which has been used in my memory, and which still exerts a chilling effect on public discourse, it is an anachronism and the time has come for it to go.

[*this was your original argument and makes no sense, as both I and political scientist pointed out - if it isn't used what is the harm in revoking it?]

nullifidian said...

Wow, PJ, I didn't know that you had a real bona fide archetypal persecuted christian trolling you. Amazing.

Just trying to follow the red herrings and non sequiturs made me dizzy.

Kudos!

nullifidian said...

Here's evidence to your anonymous commenter's claim that blasphemy laws are being used today:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7103558.stm

"Juvenile" indeed.

pj said...

This ought to confuse our simple minded friend:

"Replying to questions on a BBC TV programme today, Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has publicly agreed with the Christian think-tank Ekklesia that it is time for Britain's archaic blasphemy law to be abolished."

jdc324 said...

Excellent post, pj. Some good contributions from your commenters too - particularly 'Political Scientist'.

Lord Dudley said...

Wow!

This has been the best read I've had for a while. PJ, good job! Although I suspect that our anonymous 'Christian' friend may be a troll; his arguments certainly made no sense at all.

How any thinking person can support blasphemy laws is beyond me. In general, the principal of universal application of laws means that if you have a blasphemy law protecting one religion, you're either going to have to repeal it, or extend it to all religions.

If the law was extended to all religions, it would become absurd, as you wouldn't be able to say much without blaspheming in at least one religion.

Furthermore, this idea of protecting religions through laws is dangerous. Religion is nothing but an idea. Once laws are in place to stop people slandering an idea, it's the beginning of the end for the Western intellectual tradition.

Religions deserve no more respect or protection from any form of speech than political systems. If I want to say that communism/socialism/capitalism/islam/christianity/bhuddism/hinduism/etc...
is for idiots and that the basis of those concepts are made up by delusional fools, I should be able to. I should be able to satirise them, mock them, and disrespect them as much as I want.

If the adherants of those ideas don't like it, tough. As long as what I say isn't incitement, they can go and jump in the lake.