Tag Archives: christian

I am happy to insult you

Sod off and stop reading my blog. Seriously SOD OFF. Offended? It doesn’t really matter if you are, because I am free to express myself however I see fit as long as it does not intimidate, threaten or harass (for example starting a hate campaign, or victimising an individual). At the moment however, if you felt insulted by me telling you to ‘sod off’ then I would be breaking the law. Specifically, I would be breaking Section 5 of the Public Order Act (1986) which outlaws ‘insulting’ words and behaviour.

This is why I strongly welcome this government’s consultation to remove the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5. The current law can be abused to criminalise almost any words or actions. This law, as it stands, has been used against Christian streetpreachers who have condemned homosexuality, without them acting in an aggressive or threatening way. What they preach is insulting, but it should not be illegal. Equally it has been used against LGBT activists who have ‘insulted’ religious groups. This position is madness. Freedom of speech is a benchmark of a civilised society. We have to protect it, but we also understand its limitations.

It is right and proper that ‘threatening’ behaviour should be outlawed. We all hold the right to live without fear or intimidation. This has to be legally separated however from being ‘insulted’. On this occasion I am in the strange situation of backing the Christian Institute over the LGBT charity Stonewall.

I am happy to insult and indeed be insulted. So, if you are still reading this, Sod off!

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Filed under Human rights, Politics

In response to John Mason MSP – why Israel’s illegal occupation cannot be compared to Berwick

The following letter is to the editor of ‘Third Way’ in response to a letter by John Mason MSP in the October 2011 edition.

Dear Sir,

I believe John Mason MSP attempted to calm the Israel/Palestine debate when writing into ‘Third way’ on the subject. Sadly all he managed was to show a worrying degree of ignorance, flippancy and illogic.

Giving an example of how both Scotland and England have been ‘anti-Jewish and anti-Israel’ Mr Mason stated, “For example the phrase ‘Israel’s illegal occupation ofPalestine’ was trotted out”. Firstly I would like Mr Mason to explain how that is an example of Scotland and England being consistently ‘anti-Jewish or anti-Israel’. Secondly, I would like Mr Mason to outline what objection he has with this as a phrase at all.

The Israeli illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories is inhuman and is the cause of extreme suffering. Attempts to claim otherwise have no legal validity, are morally bankrupt and politically dangerous. Having an MSP suggest that to consider the occupation illegal is anti-Jewish is illogical, unhelpful and ultimately dangerous.

Finally, Mr Mason puts a final nail in his respectability coffin by comparing this ‘border dispute’ to that of Berwick, suggesting it could be argued that Berwick should be returned to Scotland. This is an embarrassing trivialisation of the problem. 80% of the good residents of Berwick do not live on less than $2 a day because of English blockades. The good people of Berwick do not suffer water shortages because England taps their reservoirs. The good people of Berwick and not separated from their families, friends, employment and medical care because the English have set up military check points and built (illegal) security walls. The good people of Berwick do not send rounds of rockets indiscriminately into English towns in retaliation.

At the very least, I hope that Mr Mason will write to apologise for his comments which I do believe were meant as a call for moderation.

In anticipation,  

Steve Hynd

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Filed under Human rights, Politics, Religion, Social comment, War

Tackling homophobic Christians through comedy

I was reading about Christianity and homophobia in Vanessa Baird’s book, “Sex, Love & Homophobia” and I came across a comedy letter.  It highlights what can happen if you chose to read the bible out of context. The letter was written in reaction to Dr Laura Schlesinger (a US broadcaster who quoted Leviticus 18:22 on her show to justify why she thought homosexuality was a sin). Thought you might enjoy.

The letter reads:

Dear Dr Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

     a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

     b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

     c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

     d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

     e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

     f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

     g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

     h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

     i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

     j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

     I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging. Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

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Filed under Religion, sexuality