In support of free speech

The Press Complaints Commission has received many thousands of complaints about Jan Moir’s article about Stephen Gately in last week’s Daily Mail. I have just emailed them in support of free speech. You can contact them here.

My email read…

Good afternoon,

I wish to support the free speech of Jan Moir and the freedom of the press. The concerted efforts by the homosexual lobby to continually try to outlaw any dissenting opinions to their own should frighten us all when wider society sides with them against the majority.

I am not a particular fan of the Daily Mail and I don’t agree with everything Jan Moir wrote, but freedom of speech is at stake. Either it is for all of us, or it is only for special interest groups.

It is also worth considering that a great many people hate the Daily Mail for its politics and so would have taken this opportunity to attack it.

I ask you, therefore, to consider the complaints you have received with these things in mind and reject them in favour of the freedom to speak and write as we are used to doing in our country.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Stewart Cowan,
Etc.

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85 Responses to In support of free speech

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  2. Simon says:

    I agree with freedom of speech. But freedom of speech comes with a responsibility, particularly if you write for a daily newspaper with such an extensive readership as the Daily Mail. Many people read articles objectively, but many do not, and many will have read Jan Moir’s article and thought that it is OK to say and believe such offensive things as that. Jan Moir has the power of freedom of speech, but she has a responsibility also, given the power of the exposure she has. She was out of line with this article, and rightly so, people have complained.

    If she were saying those kind of things down the pub then fair enough (although I wouldn’t agree with her then, either). I think it is worth pointing out that in the style of media in which the article was published (i.e. a newspaper), no opposition can be voiced – such is the problem with opinionated reporting. For sure, people can comment beneath the article online, or even write to the editors on the letters page, but no critical response could conventionally garner so much coverage as the original, unless the paper commisioned an article from someone with the opposite opinion and promoted that equally (and that’s not likely to happen). By publishing the article with no way of reaching the same audience with the other side of the story, the damage was done. Therefore the mass appeal to the PCC was, in effect, the only way of assisting people to look objectivally at the text and it has my full support: outrage led to other news agencies bringing up the case.

  3. Stewart Cowan says:

    Thanks for your comments, Simon. The thing about the Mail is that it has dozens of writers and columnists. Jan Moir is just one, and people can leave comments, as they have by the hundred.

    You worry me with this: “many will have read Jan Moir’s article and thought that it is OK to say and believe such offensive things as that.”

    Is she a thought criminal? Should we just be allowed to believe what the ‘authorities’ via special interest groups want us to believe?

    Is the bottom line not that people love thinking they are on the ‘moral high ground’ and so jump on bandwagons like this?

  4. Ellie Dawes says:

    Hello Stewart,

    An interesting blog entry, however I am a straight woman and resent your implication that people complained about this artcle merely because of some kind of organised ‘homosexual lobby.’ I read the article and found it repugnant, disrespectful and homophobic; so I complained. It is not only the gay community who find homophobia offensive. When someone writes an article which is racist or homophobic I find that article offensive because it is degrading to people I know and friends who I love but also because the article is offending me, the reader, by assuming I will agree with or tolerate such views.

    The media have great power and ability to influence people. I beleive that with that power comes a responsibility to society. This responsibility includes such issues that the PCC is there to regulate: such as the responsibility to present opinion as opinion and fact as fact, and the responsibility to not propogate hate towards a particular group of people based on race, sexual orientation, gender etc. I believe that by publishing this article The Daily Mail failed in both these responsibilities and should therefore be held to account.

    It is a popular knee-jerk response for people to cry ‘free speech’ in these circumstances. But we not all have a right to publish our views in a column to be read by millions. No one is offering me money to write a column in the Daily Mail, is this a repression of my right to free speech? If I came into work and started sending out racist or homophobic emails to my clients and colleagues I would be fired, why should the same rules not apply to journalists whose words are read by so many more people?

    Regards,

    Ellie Dawes

  5. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello Ellie,

    Can you tell me what you found repugnant? The suggestion that homosexuality is unnatural?

    The problem is that the goalposts have shifted. In the recent past, it was about morality, now it’s about perceived ‘rights’. Some of us haven’t been fooled by political correctness.

    That’s not an excuse to be rude, but neither should those of us who still believe there is such a concept as sexual ethics be silenced because we don’t accept the prevailing social agendas.

  6. Chris says:

    I cant really add to Ellies input as she bascially covers it all. I would lke to add though (to your response to simon) that thoughts are not illegal but they are dangerous when they make young thugs think it is ok to beat gay men to death in the street

  7. McKenzie says:

    Well said Stewart – a breath of fresh air I would say. I am sick to death of hearing all the BS. And what is so ‘natural’ any way about a man his age dropping dead so suddenly? What exactly were the ‘natural causes’?

    Homosexuality is something that in general I do not wish to give brain space, but the fierce homosexual movement in general is outright bloody offensive to my sensibilities. Two queers invite another queer back for an orgy, and one dies, how is this important to me?

  8. English Viking says:

    People that use the phrase ‘I agree with freedom of speech, but..’ are rather like those who say ‘I’m not a racist, but..’. Speech is either free, or it is not. Free to entertain, free to inform, free to offend (especially deliberately), free to belittle, free to look stupid if spouting nonsense. Once we go down the line (we already are) of saying that certain things, that for centuries have been allowed to be openly expressed in public, are no longer acceptable, that they are even criminal and those that say them are monsters who have lost their rights by virtue of their attitudes, it will only be a matter of time before all those who piously agree with this draconian nonsense hear a knock at the door, and there will stand a uniformed accuser, demanding apologies and punishment for some infraction, perceived or real, of some unknown rule.

  9. Stewart Cowan says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for your comment, but your argument makes no sense. Paedophiles also get beaten up. Should we legalise it?

  10. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello McKenzie,

    This might come as a shock to people, but I too do not wish to give brain space to homosexuality. Or blog space, for that matter. Unfortunately it is constantly thrust at us and therefore cannot be ignored.

  11. Ellie Dawes says:

    Hello Stewart,

    Here are just a couple of the things I found repugnant about the article:

    1. The way Jan Moir belittles the words of a mother who is burying her son the next day saying “His mother is still insisting that her son died from a previously undetected heart condition that has plagued the family.” Given that this version of how Steven Gately died is consistant with the coroner’s report it appears to be Jan Moir who is ‘insisting’ on her fabricated version of events against all scientific factual evidence. But even if the mother’s words were refuted by any evidence would there be any call to insinuate that she is deluded or covering up something sinister? Would you speak that way about a greiving mother?

    2. The way the article, with no evidence whatsoever, implies that the facts of this man’s death are not facts at all but a cover up for a more sinister version which Jan Moir has clearly invented. Readers of this article will assume that there is evidence of this and that Jan Moir’s fantasy version is correct, thus blackening the name of a man who has not even been buried yet in a high-profile newspaper to be read by grieving friends and family.

    3. The insinuation that two completely unrelated celebrity deaths mean that all same-sex couples in long term relationships must have seedy and debauched lifestyles. The obvious conclusion for anyone without a homophobic agenda would be that celebrity and money can lead young men to lead extravagant lifestyles.

    It is clear from your following posts that you choose to discriminate against gay people. You are right it always does shock me that people choose to hate and judge people based solely on who they find attractive. You liken homosexual relationships between two consenting and happy adults to peaedophilia in the post above. You might not see what is so appalling about this comparison: imagine if you had a preference for blonde women or women who like skiing and I decided that you deciding to find those people attractive was the same as you having sex with children. It is clear that the reason you do not find offence in Jan Moir’s article is because you share the same opinion about homosexuality. I know that descrimination against a particular group in society leads directly to hate crime in our streets and is morally wrong.

    My dislike of descrimination, disrespect for greiving families and ‘journalism’ which disregards factual evidence is not, as you rather insultingly suggest, a result of me going along with what is politically fashionable. My opinions have far more to do with morality and ethics, aspects you seem to reserve for your own arguments and refuse to attribute to mine.

    Ellie

  12. Stewart Cowan says:

    EV, it’s already reached the knock-at-the-door stage, albeit in a limited way.

    The truly amazing thing is that what was mainstream thought twenty years ago is now widely considered to be ‘hate’ or ‘discrimination’, while what was taboo is now to be tolerated, nay, celebrated.

    Even more amazing is that millions of people can’t see there is an agenda behind it.

  13. P Gibbs says:

    Stephen Fry was not arguing for restrictions on free speech he simply exercised his own freedom of speech to criticize it, and encouraged complaints to the Press Complaints Commission. Pointing out the fact that Jan Moir or anyone else has written something vile and offensive and that one finds it objectionable is not restricting their freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean there will be freedom from consequences in reaction to what the speaker says or writes.

    Please do an article on the gay agenda here Stewart, we are all dying to find out what the gay plan is and it would be most useful to be in on it just as you seem to be.

  14. Stewart Cowan says:

    Ellie,

    “My opinions have far more to do with morality and ethics, aspects you seem to reserve for your own arguments and refuse to attribute to mine.”

    Actually, morality and ethics are firmly on the side of those who reject immorality (obviously), sexual or otherwise.

    It’s all about whether you consider homosexual behaviour taboo or not. Many people, formerly of normal morality, have been brainwashed, bullied and legislated against to produce a warping of their senses.

    It is truly frightening.

  15. Stewart Cowan says:

    P. Gibbs,

    This is doublethink that you’ve just written. You’re saying we’re allowed free speech, but you can be reported for it if “one finds it objectionable”.

    “Please do an article on the gay agenda here Stewart”.

    I keep plugging this: THE OVERHAULING OF STRAIGHT AMERICA.

    I’m stunned that so many people are happy to have been so thoroughly brainwashed.

  16. Martha Gates-Mawson says:

    Dear Stewart,

    To use your arguments about what was or wasn’t taboo in the past would mean that we should also hold on to the thought that a black man or woman is not 100 percent human and that the earth is flat. Accepting others is part of our evolution, as it were (although I’m thinking you don’t believe in that either). Further, I am sick and tired of people saying if homosexuality is legal, why shouldn’t pedophilia be? For Christ’s sake (and I mean that literally), they are not interchangeable.

    Sheesh………

  17. AdrianT says:

    I welcome Jan Moir’s completely forgettable ‘contribution’ – looking at the overwhelmingly negative reactions to her poorly reasoned, spiteful piece, it showed society is moving in the right direction, and that Daily Mail readers aren’t all that stupid after all.

    She had her say and paid the consequences. Wonderful to see that the advertisers, too, have exercised their freedom of expression by refusing to associate their brands with her article. I’m sure Stewart fully supports that, too.

    If you rush to the PCC when someone hurts your feelings, you create a rod for your own back. Inevitably, on the deepest of issues, some will be offended by your reasoning – some are offended by my existence. I’m not going to delegate to anyone the decision about who can decide what is or is not free speech, beyond JS Mill’s harm principle, as speltout in ‘On Liberty’. Certainly not to the PCC’s chief, who happens to be…

    …the editor of the Daily Mail.

  18. Stewart Cowan says:

    To the person who has just left the abusive comment. Why do you think that way? Are you so used to getting your own way that you don’t know how to discuss things?

  19. Stewart Cowan says:

    Dear Martha,

    Good Biblical name.

    I’m talking about morally taboo. The Old Testament alludes to a spherical earth; it took the scientists many centuries to catch up.

    As a Creationist, I know that black people are fully human. It is the atheist ‘enlightened’ ones who went out to shoot Aborigines so that they would have a specimen of the ‘missing link’ for their museum.

    I’m not saying paedophilia should be legal, but some people are. Peter Tatchell wants the age of consent reduced to 14; for buggery as well, of course. Must always have equality, mustn’t we? Others are calling for the same thing, or worse.

    So, ten years down the line, when it’s a reality, and if I haven’t been hung, drawn and quartered by then, you’ll come to me and talk about ‘accepting others’ because they want to do what you have been told is now acceptable behaviour. Heck, people in Britain are talking about the sexual rights of children. The NHS recently issued a leaflet encouraging schoolchildren to have sex or masturbate twice a week – for their cardiovascular wellbeing.

    You see, Martha, they use ‘health’ and ‘equality’ to make you believe and accept anything they want.

    “and I mean that literally”

    Good, because taking the Lord’s name in vain is taboo here.

  20. Stewart Cowan says:

    Adrian,

    “Daily Mail readers aren’t all that stupid after all.”

    Be reasonable. If you can’t judge civil partnerships on two examples, you can’t judge Mail readers on one.

    Yes, Adrian, the advertisers, including those nice people at Nestlé. Dead babies for profit is so much more acceptable than dissing civil partnerships. I’ve been boycotting Nestlé for years and that’s a tough thing for a Kitkat-loving chocoholic to do.

  21. Martha Gates-Mawson says:

    Dear Stewart,

    You and I couldn’t be in more agreement about the issue of sexuality and children. When I first moved to the UK (I’m back in the US now to care for my mother), I was SHOCKED at the number of young girls wheeling babies around in prams. I think that sexuality among children is wrong and I despair of the NHS and their ridiculous pamphlets to schoolchildren. Society is no longer allowing children to be children and it is just plain wrong. You will not get an argument out of me on that, not now, not ever.

    But, I still feel very strongly that Jan Moir’s article (to get back to the original subject) was wrong on many levels, not least of all a journalist one. I have been in the publishing industry for nearly 30 years and what Jan Moir wrote was an article full of personal attitude and imagined suspicions. She DID paint with a very broad brush. Suppose Gately had been straight, and Matt Lucas as well, and the same things happened. Gately and his wife invited someone back to their apartment for whatever reason, or Lucas’ wife had a terrible drug habit that Lucas simply couldn’t bear to live with. Marriages have broken up for much less. Now, suppose Jan Moir said, “See what happens with celebrity marriages?” when you clearly can’t say that about ALL celebrity marriages. This is where the article is offensive – what if she said something negative about all Christians based on the the actions of only two Christians, what if she said the same about a minority, or a nationality. From a purely journalistic perspective, the article was wrong and did breach the codes of conduct for journalists. Whether or not you believe in Gately’s (and Lucas’s) lifestyle or not, her suppositions were tacky at best and offensive at worst. What is worst of all is that both these men have been very private in their lives, they have not paraded themselves up hill and down dale. They have simply sought to live with someone they loved and to have some sort of recognition that this was the person they wanted to spend their lives with.

    For me, my faith is based on The Sermon on the Mount – one tenant of which is not to cast stones unless one is free of sin. How can I remove the mote from my brother’s eye when I am blinded by the one that is in my own eye? It is not for me to judge, nor for me to exclude. I have always believed, with every fiber of my being, that Christ lived an inclusive life and never turned his back on anyone. He welcomed all and why should we do less.

    Martha

  22. P Gibbs says:

    (Stewart Cowan wrote: P. Gibbs,
    This is doublethink that you’ve just written. You’re saying we’re allowed free speech, but you can be reported for it if “one finds it objectionable”.)

    No, I neither said nor meant that.

    Freedom of speech does not imply freedom from any consequences that might follow in reaction to what a person says or writes.

    But freedom of speech really does imply the freedom to criticise what others say or write, it’s the very essence of free speech.

    I support Jan Moirs right to say any stupid thing she wishes and I support the right of Stephen Fry and others to point out that what she says is homophobic garbage if that is how they see it.

  23. AdrianT says:

    Evidence that someone is capable of thinking for himself once is good enough. Like finding a faint pulse.

    And goodness me, the ‘Overhauling of Straight America’, again…. People are gradually seeing for themselves that homosexuality is a natural state, and a neutral state, one that does not lead to the destruction of society. They come to that conclusion of their own accord, by looking at the evidence, by observing. Statistically, almost everyone will have an LGBT person somewhere in their extended family. That’s why your warped ideas about morality, and excluding people because of their nature, are going to be forgotten in time, just like racism and antisemitism.

    ‘Brainwashed’ minds are those that have to be told what to think, inspite of all the evidence and go to great lengths to obfuscate the truth. Unfortunately, the only places outside religious buildings, where similar opinions to you on homosexuality are heard, are at football grounds, where fans still have to be told racism is unacceptable. It doesn’t do your claims any favours.

    If you are going to claim a brainwashing conspiracy, you have to provide evidence that homosexuality causes the destruction of society, harms others. You have yet to provide the slightest grain of evidence for these extraordinary claims! Have you ever once had anything critical to say about the contents of the bible, or the christian institute’s website?

    Can you honestly hear yourself say to the family of the Soham murder victims, that the perpetrators were no more morally evil than a happy gay couple sharing their lives together, or infact anyone ‘outside of marriage’ sharing the same bed?

    That’s where your benighted view on morality leaves you and it’s to the victims of child rape you should be apologising for such stupidity, when you make the banal comment, as you did above, that ‘paedophilia is a natural state too’ by means of justifying discrimination against gay people.

  24. David says:

    Hi Stewart

    Your argument isn’t really specifically to do with this article: basically you are just saying that the codes of the PCC are wrong? People complaining had to say what clauses of the codes had been breached. Isn’t your point simply that there shouldn’t be codes of practice applied to journalists if we truly believe in the freedom of speech?

  25. Ellie Dawes says:

    Stewart, I wasn’t going to write anything else on here but I am curious:

    The document you link to is just a plan for gay people to put adverts in newspapers and talk on TV shows. Your blog entry advocates “the freedom to speak and write.” It seems you beleive the right to free speech applies to Jan Moir to say whatever she likes even if it offends people but not to anyone talking about what it is like to be gay and their positive opinions on homosexuality.

    Are you then advocating free speech for all, except if they are gay? Don’t you see this as rather hypocritical?

    Or is it free speech to anyone who offends anyone else but not to anyone who offends Stewart Cowan?

  26. English Viking says:

    Stewart,

    Do you have an e-mail address I could send some useful information to?

  27. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hi, EV,

    Yes, stewartcowan (at) hotmail.co.uk

  28. P Gibbs says:

    You hit the nail on the head Ellie Dawes in your last post above.

    Some of us are as stridently concerned about homophobia & anti-gay discrimination as Stewart Cowan seems to be concerned about homosexuality & homosexuals.

    I am puzzled by Stewarts concerned focus on homosexuality and homosexuals because for all my male straight friends their concern is wholly focussed on females as you’d expect.

  29. Stewart Cowan says:

    Martha,

    Thank you for those comments. Glad we agree that sexualising children is taboo. What do you reckon to Stonewall going into schools to talk about ‘homophobic bullying’? To my mind, they are using this as an excuse to gain access to youngsters to try to normalise homosexual behaviour among them (to gain recruits).

    I don’t know Jan Moir’s real reason for writing what she did, but I just defend her right to free speech. The typical homosexual lifestyle is a promiscuous one, so I think that people have a right to ask questions about Stephen Gateley without the ‘gay’ rights movement and its sympathisers getting into a fit.

    It’s like this trouble over Nick Griffin speaking on telly tomorrow night. He’s not supposed to have free speech because the anti-fascists say so.

    I’m not judging homosexuals per se. I’ve been a terrible sinner myself and need to repent constantly. What I am doing is warning of the consequences of sin which is totally what Christ did. Without repentance there can be no salvation. People who don’t repent of their sins, sexual or otherwise, will be damned. That’s not me judging, that’s me warning. It’s what Christians are commanded to do.

  30. Stewart Cowan says:

    Adrian,

    People aren’t “gradually seeing for themselves”, they are being conditioned via the media.

    As for evidence that homosexual behaviour is damaging, I always seem to be supplying it. What don’t you understand? The fact that normal family relationships are what strong and free societies require to be a reality. The whole point of the ‘gay’ agenda is to destabalise society through weakening family life.

    ————-

    Hello David,

    I think my main gripe is that people again have jumped on a bandwagon because they have been egged on by others. I think if the PCC does take action against Jan Moir or the Mail then there is a problem there too.

    ————-

    Ellie,

    You should see the utterly offensive comments directed to me on my ocassional trips to Richard Dawkins’ blog. It’s not about me, it’s about everyone’s right to express an opinion and everyone else’s right to counter them with their own thoughts.

    The difference with the Overhauling of Straight America is that it is a clear plan to brainwash people with known propaganda techniques. That’s a lot different to free speech, wouldn’t you say?

  31. P Gibbs says:

    (Stewart Cowan wrote:I’m not saying paedophilia should be legal, but some people are. Peter Tatchell wants the age of consent reduced to 14; for buggery as well, of course. Must always have equality, mustn’t we? Others are calling for the same thing, or worse.)

    Are you saying Peter Tatchell wants paedophilia to be made legal? because you seem to be wanting to give that false impression of Peter in the quote above, thought I should point out that it could be considered libellous so perhaps you had better clarify.

    As I understand it Peter Tatchell believes it is wrong and an abuse of their sexual rights to criminalise a young teenager who might be having sex with another teenager in their near agegroup, certainly it would remain a criminal offence for a significantly older person or a person in a position of power to take sexual advantage of a young persons inexperience.

    Most European countries have an age of consent 14yrs -16yrs.
    Spain sets its age of consent at 13, and the rest of the countries have an age of consent between 14 and 17, except Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Malta, which have the highest age limit, set at 18.

  32. Stewart Cowan says:

    Mr Gibbs,

    I see what you mean. The full stop separates two distinct ideas. I said that some people want paedophilia legalised and then, as a completely different concept, I mentioned that Mr Tatchell wants the age of consent reduced to fourteen. Most adults think the age of consent should be increased the older they get. Not that I’m reading anything into that. Perish the thought!

    I think it’s fair to say that “most European countries” have more responsible and sensible young people than Britain has these days.

  33. P Gibbs says:

    The only responsibility that really matters regarding free speech is to tell the truth, you’ll quickly be found out and made to look a total idiot otherwise as Jan Moir has found out through her recent experience.

  34. Stewart Cowan says:

    You should always tell the truth. Unfortunately, we now live in an age of moral relativism and many people don’t know what the truth is.

  35. P Gibbs says:

    Moral absolutes and the truth are not at all the same thing?
    In the real world moral absolutes become inflexible and impracticable, they can become positively immoral in certain circumstances and used as a cruel instrument of oppression.
    What can we do? perhaps the only thing we can do is to keep the dialogue going.

  36. Stewart Cowan says:

    Mr Gibbs, isn’t this doublethink again? There are moral absolutes, e.g. it’s wrong to murder people. Isn’t this the truth? But some Muslims believe it is right to murder in some circumstances and believe being a suicide bomber is a divine mission. We need one set of rules for everyone.

    “In the real world moral absolutes become inflexible and impracticable.”

    It’s all about the ‘right’ to sin, isn’t it? There’s right and wrong – end of story. When we have a society where everyone does what is right is his own eyes, then trouble is guaranteed.

    I like to compare it to a football match where both teams play exactly the same rules – except for the offside rule. One team doesn’t believe in it. Blood will flow!

    “What can we do? perhaps the only thing we can do is to keep the dialogue going.”

    Yes, for as long as we are permitted without being silenced.

  37. P Gibbs says:

    In times of war both parties may think God is on their side and that each is fighting a moral battle.

    Muslim moral absolutes may seem horrific and quite immoral to a Christian or to a Humanist, so-called honor killings for example, it seems even so-called moral absolutes are relative to which religion you belong to or perhaps don’t.

    It’s always wrong to murder but it is not always wrong to kill, I’m sure you can think of circumstances where it would be moral to kill – I don’t think I need to provide an example – where is your moral absolute now? is it as fugitive as simply changing the word murder to the word kill.

    Truth is we don’t all play by one set of rules, we never have and likely never will, The question is whether it is moral or honest to ignore the fact that morality is not so clear cut, it is not simply black or white it might seem easier to pretend things are so simple but it’s not moral nor is it the truth.

    So when we see something that we think is immoral, like the wrongful defaming of a charming person like Stephen Gateley even in death with the quite untrue slur that there was something sleazy about his death and nothing natural about it as Jan Moir wrote, when in fact he died of natural causes, an oedema of the heart, it’s time to speak up.

    After inventing an entirely false scenario besmirching Stephen Gateleys death she then used this as an excuse to falsely discredit not only his relationship but all gay civil unions…Jan Moir exercised her free speech and wrote what was seen by many thousands to be a cruel lie so they responded to her lies and exercised their free speech as they are entitled to do.

    Free speech, you’ve got to love it and protect it.

  38. Stewart Cowan says:

    Mr Gibbs,

    I think you spelled out why we need one set of rules, and that’s what we used to have. Then the human rights, equality and diversity industry began being built up and rather than injustices being reduced, they seem to be increasing uncontrollably.

    The whole thing is basically to accommodate the beliefs and perceived rights of Muslims, travellers and homosexuals – about 5% of the population

    “Free speech, you’ve got to love it and protect it.”

    Yes. I noticed all the panelists on QT agreed.

  39. P Gibbs says:

    Human rights you think a privilege and only for some, like you and your same pals?

    I can see it must really make your gall rise to find yourself on an increasingly level playing field after having known a life of accidental privilege having been born to parents who were members of a then dominant religious sect, now just one of many competing sects and non religious world views.

    Privilege is something one so easily becomes accustomed to, relinquishing that privilege must feel like the worst torture and persecution imaginable, such a comedown to have only the same equal rights as others… I really do understand.

  40. Stewart Cowan says:

    Mr Gibbs,

    “Human rights you think a privilege and only for some, like you and your same pals?”

    If you’re talking about the religious discrimination legislation, then we didn’t want it. It was a cynical ploy by New Labour to appease some of the Muslim leaders who wanted it.

    The modern version of ‘human rights’ and ‘equality’ legislation is to create the opposite of a ‘level playing field’. I don’t think I’m so important that I merit special treatment.

    It’s not about privilege, it’s about what’s good and right. It’s also about having a say what happens in our own country. Do you want traditional British justice or Sharia law, for example. Should we all just shut up and do whatever we are told?

    Perhaps you could tell us why you want to relinquish the good things this country has/had in order to encourage “many competing sects and non religious world views”.

    It’s this wonderful ‘diversity’ that we are supposed to cherish: the diversity that splits communities and allows the government and EU to rule a divided nation. Can’t you see you’re being fooled?

  41. P Gibbs says:

    One rule for all certainly, but church rule is the wrong process, theocracy anyone? no thanks.

    As the church of England increasingly becomes less representative of the country’s citizens and looks headed for disestablishment eventually (if perhaps not in our lifetimes)…
    we are already now a multi-creed society with many world views, we must deal with that reality, take steps together to reduce conflict before it gets further out of hand in a sectarian scrap for power.

    If you really don’t want ever to see Sharia law introduced as you say, then perhaps secular democracy really is the only way to achieve a secure, peaceful and level playing field.

    Like you, I don’t think either you or I are so important that we merit special privileged treatment or should have special privileged access to the ear of parliament regarding influence over the legislation process.

  42. English Viking says:

    P Gibbs

    ‘As the church of England increasingly becomes less representative of the country’s citizens and looks headed for disestablishment eventually…’

    Please don’t confuse the Church of England (most of them, but especially their leadership) with the Christians. Fish and fowl.

  43. P Gibbs says:

    I think you’d better fess up and tell us exactly which denomination of the 35,000+ Christian denominations globally you are a member of, and what separates you as Christians from Anglicans who you claim are not, I’m genuinely fascinated and intrigued.

  44. English Viking says:

    Those that use the nomenclature ‘Christian’ are easily spotted. They are the ones which follow Christ. Simple really.

    As regards ‘fessing up’ – ‘I have conFESSED with my mouth and believed in my heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, and God has raised Him from the dead” and therefore I am saved.

    Romans 10 v 9 KJV

    PS There aren’t 35,000 denominations, I’ve told you that before.

  45. Stewart Cowan says:

    Mr Gibbs,

    “we are already now a multi-creed society with many world views”

    See my latest post!

    “If you really don’t want ever to see Sharia law introduced as you say, then perhaps secular democracy really is the only way to achieve a secure, peaceful and level playing field.”

    And you think the Islamists will just let it go?

  46. P Gibbs says:

    Hello English Viking, you again insist there aren’t 35,000 Christian denominations, now I don’t know how accurate this is but…
    “Every January, the International Bulletin of Missionary Research publishes a “Statistical Table on Global Mission” — a detailed look at the world religious situation prepared by the mathematically indefatigable David Barrett. Browsing his numbers reveals more than a few interesting things.
    …Perhaps most strikingly, the number of Christian denominations skyrocketed, from some 1,900 a century ago to 35,500 today”

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0010.html

    I didn’t make the figure up and there are many other articles that report 35,000+ Christian denominations, so how many do you figure there are EV?

  47. English Viking says:

    Name them, and I will concede.

  48. English Viking says:

    P.S. You don’t really expect a non-conformist to accept the word of a Catholic Paper, do you?

  49. P Gibbs says:

    I don’t know why you bother trying to bluff your way through your inaccurate statements without providing any links to the sources of your misinformation.
    David Barrett whose statistics are quoted is not a Catholic he is an Anglican who teaches “missiometrics” at Regent University.

  50. English Viking says:

    The ‘research’ was conducted for a distinctly Catholic organisation, as a quick glance at the web address you posted to support your claims will show. I did say that I would not take the word of a Catholic PAPER, I did not mention Mr Barrett. If you read other peoples posts thoroughly before attacking them for things they haven’t said, you wouldn’t keep making inaccurate statements which appear to be diversionary tactics to avoid giving a straight answer to a straight request. Name them, 35,500 of them, and I will concede.

    BTW, what on earth are ‘missiometrics’? Sounds like American psycho-babble, but I can’t say for sure as it’s not in the dictionary. Sounds impressive though.

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