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← Springer opera court fight fails

Springer opera court fight fails - Comments

Matt H.'s Avatar Comment 1 by Matt H.

Well, blasphemy is a victimless crime, and trying to bring prosecution against anyone who blasphemes just smacks of theocracy to me.

As the BBC say, it's an important victory for free speech.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:22:00 UTC | #89998

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 2 by Paula Kirby

The blasphemy law should be abolished altogether. If God's offended by something someone's said or written, let him sue on the grounds of slander or libel, like anyone else.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:39:00 UTC | #90000

Ty_Webb's Avatar Comment 3 by Ty_Webb

Indeed, or strike them down as they speak. Surely the omnipotent god that christians blather on about is strong enough to stand up for himself. Or maybe not.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:46:00 UTC | #90004

Squiddity's Avatar Comment 4 by Squiddity

To be honest, I think everyone here knew it would fail before it started, including the prosecution - legally speaking, it didn't have a leg to stand on.
This seems to be just an attention grabbing attempt by 'Christian Voice', and it has worked.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 10:59:00 UTC | #90006

The Threat And Glory's Avatar Comment 5 by The Threat And Glory

It's such a shame that a satire of, to be polite, undesirable television shows should be taken to court for blasphemy, yet homeopaths, priests and other charlatans are free from prosecution for telling lies about the universe.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:07:00 UTC | #90009

Greg23's Avatar Comment 6 by Greg23

I saw this musical at the Fringe in 2002. I thought it was quite good. The funny thing was, we in America know that Jerry is a pretty intelligent guy and just does his show as theater and to make a buck (euros would be better). The audience at the Fringe apparently thought he is really serious about what his show is all about. We thought the musical was hilarious but we heard a lot of locals say 'He deserves to burn in hell' on the way out.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:10:00 UTC | #90010

alexmzk's Avatar Comment 7 by alexmzk

Mr Green had said the show "clearly crossed the blasphemy threshold".

i'm getting a hilarious mental image of a Monty-Pythonesque character with a neat little moustache, who won't let the kids have their ball back and takes great care mowing his lawn.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:27:00 UTC | #90011

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 8 by Paula Kirby

Yet what's the betting that a substantial proportion of these "Christian Voice" people thought the Sudanese response to the teddy-bear-called-Mohammed incident a ludicrous overreaction and were praying like mad for the teacher's early and safe release?

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:36:00 UTC | #90012

flying goose's Avatar Comment 9 by flying goose

"The blasphemy law should be abolished altogether. If God's offended by something someone's said or written, let him sue on the grounds of slander or libel, like anyone else."

I couldnt agree more.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:44:00 UTC | #90014

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 10 by Friend Giskard

Actually this is bad news. The National Secular Society was hoping (as was I) for the opposite decision, as their newsletter (23 November 2007) explains:

The National Secular Society has been cheering on a Christian activist who is trying to revive Britain's archaic blasphemy laws. The NSS wants Stephen Green to be permitted to bring his case so that the blasphemy law can be tested in court, found wanting and, effectively, abolished.


Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society said:

We hope that leave for this case to proceed will be granted and if it does we predict that it will fail. If it does it would ironically make Stephen Green the person to hammer the final nail into the blasphemy law on which he is so keen, but which the National Secular Society has been fighting to abolish for 140 years. The law has, in the past, resulted in jail terms, sometimes with hard labour, that have shortened the lives of brave secularists, when they published remarks or cartoons which today would be seen as trivial.


So you see, the decision against Green at this stage is not a victory for free speech.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 11:49:00 UTC | #90015

celestialtea's Avatar Comment 11 by celestialtea

Even so, anything that draws more attention to the ridiculous special treatment expected by the religious has got to be good for the cause. The outright dismissal of this case is still a good sign and sends out a clear message.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 12:03:00 UTC | #90016

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 12 by Paula Kirby

The outright dismissal of this case is still a good sign and sends out a clear message.

I'm inclined to agree with Friend Giskard and the NSS on this one. Even though this verdict sends out a clear message about the stupidity of the blasphemy law, mightn't it have been better to have a verdict that could ultimately have led to its repeal?

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 12:16:00 UTC | #90019

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 13 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Friend Giskard is right.

I made the point on another thread some weeks ago that on the grounds you should choose your enemies carefully, this attack on the BBC by Christian Voice (the UK's answer to Westboro') was to be welcomed as it would show them up as the vile lunatics they are.

If they suceeded then so much the better as the backlash would have been unstoppable. A real "teddy" moment for the UK. With the Director General of the world's largest news organisation on his way to prison, the government would have had no choice but to repeal the blasphemy laws.

With this in mind, it's no shock that other religious groups were looking at Christian Voice's antics with horror and are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief tonight.

As things stand, we still have a blasphemy law with the result that the BBC had to propose a defence not of free speech but that the programme was a satire of a talk show and therefore not an insult to Christianity.

Furthermore, the ruling was made with reference to the Broadcasting Act and the Theatres Act so now we are in a situation where it would be very difficult to bring a prosecution against a broadcaster or a theatre but still theoretically possible against a newspaper or book.

So it's progress of a sort but we remain in a mess over this silly law which remains a deeply unwelcome spectre watching over us all.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 12:51:00 UTC | #90025

cerbera's Avatar Comment 14 by cerbera

I'm glad this article is here, I read it in the Times Online and was slightly frustrated to not be able to leave some comments there.

So - another small victory for reason... I wonder if and when the decent thing will be done, and the law itself is indeed ruled irrelevant and repealed.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:23:00 UTC | #90034

mmurray's Avatar Comment 15 by mmurray

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_hlMK7tCks


Fake beard anyone ?

Michael

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:25:00 UTC | #90035

dariusdeluded's Avatar Comment 16 by dariusdeluded

The law has, in the past, resulted in jail terms, sometimes with hard labour, that have shortened the lives of brave secularists, when they published remarks or cartoons which today would be seen as trivial.

So where do I sign up to offend these blighters?
I want to blasphamise

DD

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:42:00 UTC | #90038

paulifa1's Avatar Comment 17 by paulifa1

Why do these nutters have no sense of humour? When people joke about my quirks or habits, or the fact I don't cut my lawn more than twice a year, I have a good laugh along with them. If they think my lifestyle of beliefs are crazy, great, so what??

I've seen this show, it's reasonably funny and I would think some moderate xtians would find it funny too...bloody xtian taliban :((

It almost makes me wish there was a god, when all these nutty born again twats turn up at the pearly gates, he could then give them a good bollocking for being such embarrasing freaks and making him look bad and throw them all into hell (lets face it, you wouldn't need any fire, hanging out with that lot would be the worst type of hell!), just prior to letting an astonished looking Dawkins and Hitchens in with a knowing grin and a wink...

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 14:37:00 UTC | #90052

Linda's Avatar Comment 18 by Linda

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 14:45:00 UTC | #90057

ChrisMcL's Avatar Comment 19 by ChrisMcL

You know, as backwards as the U.S. can be in regard to church and state issues - WE DON"T HAVE LAWS AGAINST BLASPHEMY!!!

You Brits really need to get rid of the monarchy and the church.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 15:21:00 UTC | #90065

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 20 by Cartomancer

All together now... "Cover him in chocolate, and throw him to the lesbians... this is my Jerry Springer Moooooomeeeeeent!"

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 15:46:00 UTC | #90071

Acleron's Avatar Comment 21 by Acleron

Christian group has lost its High Court battle to prosecute the BBC's director general over the screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera in 2005.

Thank god for that.

Wed, 05 Dec 2007 17:54:00 UTC | #90141

RickM's Avatar Comment 22 by RickM

How do I go about getting on the BBC so I can say, "Fuck Jesus and the donkey he rode in on".

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 00:39:00 UTC | #90201

Theocrapcy's Avatar Comment 23 by Theocrapcy

At least their name (Xian Voice) is a reflection of their cause. But that might not be doing them much good. I predict a name change - say "The Crusaders". oh, wait,...

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 01:30:00 UTC | #90216

Tycho the Dog's Avatar Comment 24 by Tycho the Dog

ChrisMcL,

I agree and one of the hugely disappointing aspects of ten years of Labour government - with an initially huge electoral mandate - is that they have singularly failed to introduce any meaningful constitutional reforms. Instead they've been busy cosying up to faith groups, big business, and pushing a big brother agenda. This is exactly the sort of law that a supposedly socialist goverment should be repealing.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 02:10:00 UTC | #90232

pizza-gut's Avatar Comment 25 by pizza-gut

On the Beeb story there is a link to the Christian Voice website. Very unsavoury, there's a section complainning about gay police officers openly marching in uniform at a pride parade. Where do these vile, hate filled, condescending little pr*cks get off?!

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 02:15:00 UTC | #90236

Ilovelucy's Avatar Comment 26 by Ilovelucy

Comment #94342 by Northern Bright on December 5, 2007 at 11:36 am
avatarYet what's the betting that a substantial proportion of these "Christian Voice" people thought the Sudanese response to the teddy-bear-called-Mohammed incident a ludicrous overreaction and were praying like mad for the teacher's early and safe release? ,


I wouldn't be so sure. Jerry Springer the Opera played to little controversy initially, but after Sikh protesters successfully forced the closure of the play Bezhti for offending their religion ( it featured a scene of a rape in a Sikh temple) Christian Voice became inspired to do the same and Springer fitted the bill. So after the Teddy bear named Mohammed saga they're probably glossing over the blasphemy laws to see if they can prosecute any Brazilian naming ceremonies.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 03:35:00 UTC | #90262

Theocrapcy's Avatar Comment 27 by Theocrapcy

I'd like to see the view go all jerry springer:

"no, christ predates everything you ##$#%%()& slut. Talk to the hand ^%#$#@! you fat (*&*(^, you don't know squat bout nuttin. I su#$%ed his $^*&%^#$ before you even met him, biyatch. Oh no you diddent!" and then they cat fight.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 05:24:00 UTC | #90284

WhoIsThisGodPerson's Avatar Comment 28 by WhoIsThisGodPerson

Chris McL: You Brits really need to get rid of the monarchy and the church...


...and replace them with the arrangements you have in the US? No thank you. I like the monarchy and the church exactly where they are - so that we can keep an eye on them.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 06:29:00 UTC | #90299

sidfaiwu's Avatar Comment 29 by sidfaiwu

You know, as backwards as the U.S. can be in regard to church and state issues - WE DON"T HAVE LAWS AGAINST BLASPHEMY!!!


Some US States still do. Here's one: http://mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/272-36.htm

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 06:44:00 UTC | #90306

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 30 by Peacebeuponme

he described as a "carte blanche to blaspheme".
That's the point you stupid cunt. Its called freedom of speech.

It just makes me rage that people can think like that.

Very happy to see that we have some sensible laws overriding the archaic blasphemy laws.

Thu, 06 Dec 2007 07:16:00 UTC | #90316