I was considering putting this under the “Humor” section until I got to the last paragragh.
"The airport is named after one of my heroes and his view on religion was pretty much the same as mine. I thought it was an insult to his memory to have a prayer room in his airport." That was part of the evidence given in court by the self-styled "militant atheist" campaigner Harry Taylor, 59, to explain why he left anti-religious materials in the multi-faith Prayer Room of Liverpool's John Lennon Airport.
The jury of ten women and two men, at Liverpool Crown Court wasn't .... It took them just 15 minutes to find Mr Taylor guilt of "religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress" after viewing the "grossly abusive and insulting" images in court. The cartoons -- which had been cut from newspapers, magazines and other mainstream publications -- included one showing a smiling Christ on the cross next to an advert for a brand of "no nails" glue. In another, the Pope is shown wearing a condom on his finger. Others featured Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise who are told, "Stop, stop, we've run out of virgins."
The airport's chaplain, Nicky Lees, told the court she "was insulted, deeply offended and . . . alarmed" when she found the images, and contacted the police.
Harry Taylor admitted leaving the images in the Prayer Room, but argued that he had a right to challenge the view of others and to try to persuade people of faith to convert to atheism, just as people of faith had a right in law to evangelize him. He also cited childhood mistreatment at the hands of Christian Brothers, while growing up in Dublin, as the reason why he had become so "strongly anti-religious".
Harry Taylor is now on bail awaiting sentencing on 23 April. Religiously aggravated offences carry a potential seven-year prison term.
The National Secular Society have supported Mr Taylor. They claim that new laws dealing with "religiously aggravated offences" amount to a blasphemy law in another guise.
Terry Sanderson, president of the society, said: "This is a disgraceful verdict, but an inevitable one under this pernicious law. It seems incredible in the 21st Century that you might be sent to prison because someone is 'offended' by your views on their religion . . . Mr Taylor struck me as slightly eccentric and he acted in a provocative way, challenging the necessity for the prayer room. He didn't cause any damage and he didn't harm anything, nor was he threatening or abusive. Yet he might still end up behind bars because some Christian has decided they are offended. In a multicultural society, none of us should have the legal right not to be offended. This law needs to be re-examined urgently."
Article from BBC – March 4th 2010.
This is the sort of thing that really, really frightens me.
My knee jerk reaction is to blame the Muslim community. They are the ones that did and are pressuring the U.N to pass initiatives describing anything offensive to religions as hate speech. Consider that for a moment. Just by EXISTING and posting on this website, we could eventually be considered in the same boat as the KKK.
They are making headway, too.
We need to watch this case and do...something. I don't know what, but something.
They are basically the right wing fundy xtians we have in the U.S, but their particular flavor of U.K.
This is fucking insanity.
I am hereby using my powers of 'citizens arrest' to detain the next batch of Mormons, JWs and other religious douchebags that wake me up on my day off to pass out literature.
If leaving literature is a crime, I know a few Christians that need jail time.
I shall post a funny video in a few minutes about this about an Aussie with attitude towards who rings his doorbell. Good angle on the leavin of literature. Will think about that - thanks.
I have found the best way to dealwith them is to answer the door in nothing but my boxers. I was even told once by a married couple that I shouldn't answer the door with nothing but underwear on and that I was offending the man for having answered the door like that in front of his wife.
My response: Well I could've answered the door with nothing on at all.
So for a woman to properly scare away these people.....
What do I do? Answer in a bra and strap-on?
With my own literature about joining atheism?
Oh man bringing me to court for handing out atheist literature to people who knock on my door to try to hand me literature would be rich.
"strap on"-Now thats funny.
I know it's probably not the best thing to do, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with religious debate.
But I'll keep the idea of asking for condoms in mind.
also good would be:
"Are you handing out condoms?"
"Do you have any condoms?"
"Are you SURE?"
Strap On...Strap Of...Strap on, Strap off ...The Strapper.
The Irish Defamation Bill came into law in 2009 and introduced a new crime of blasphemous libel. You should see some of the T-Shirts I got made up. I am looking forward to the court clerk handing me a bible to swear on and asking for a mistrial on the grounds of bias if the judge make a negative comment on my Atheism. If it happens there are a few journalists ready to “report on my plight”.
Normally I am so laid back I am nearly vertical but the “holier than thou” moralistic and fawning attitude of religious bigots just sets me off.
Anyone wonder how many athiests were on the jury of his "peers"? Or would it be politically incorrect to inquire if at least some of his "peers" may have a worldview that even somewhat resembles that of the defendant?
@Matt - It turns out that all 12 jurors swore an oath on the bible - so much for a jury of your peers !!
They also reached an unanimous verdict with 15 minutes. Lets give him afair trial and hang him.