Friday, November 14, 2008

The jewel of free speech

Full marks with a cherry on top to Peter Black AM, who has organised a poetry reading at the Welsh Assembly for Patrick Jones.

I don't blame Waterstones for cancelling a poetry reading at the last minute when they realised that they would be inundated by protesters from "Christian Voice". They probably didn't have sufficient security in place to cope with that eventuality.

To give Waterstones credit, they are still selling the new Patrick Jones' poetry collection, so there is no question of censorship there.

As for "Christian Voice" I really think they are on the wrong track. There is nothing in the gospels where Jesus says anything other than that followers should "turn the other cheek" when faced with what they perceive to be insults. All Christian Voice's protesting does is draw attention to the TV programme or poetry they seek to condemn.

I'm reminded of the furore over the "Life of Brian". In fact, there was nothing blasphemous in the film and the writhings of Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark simply served to turn the film into a hit.

As a Christian myself, I would say to these Christian Voice wallahs: "Chill out". By getting worked up, you'll only end up shooting yourself in the foot. Our faith should be strong enough to stand on itself without us getting all bitter and twisted.

No comments:

Post a Comment