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.
While my photocopier works overtime printing cartoon I lstened to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HSNPD0grw4&feature=related
Pictured above is the 5000-year-old Newgrange megalith in eastern Ireland. The large structure was built such that every year on the winter solstice, as long as the skies are clear, the interior is dramatically lit up by the sun shining through a perfectly positioned hole in the rock. The flat stone outside is just the right size to make pancakes on.
I brought some people from Ohio there recently. It is deceptively large outside. Inside has never had a water leak in 5000 years. It is completely damp proof. (good Irish builders haha). It is now a UN world Heritage Site. More info in url
I'm going to go out of my way to print off and POST as many of these cartoons and atheistic sentiments to every church I can find in my area, and I'll put one in my bloody window as well. On Christmas day! What the hell happened to freedom of speech? I'm sorry, but if you believe in an invisible space-daddy, talking snakes & prophets who marry a six year old (but have the decency to wait until they are nine, before consummating), then YOU ARE AN IDIOT, and deserve to be called out and challenged at EVERY opportunity. Why the hell should these self aggrandizing, pious arseholes be allowed to inflict their particular brand of bullshit onto US, and more importantly, onto impressionable children (usually through FEAR of hell etc), yet we can't challenge them?
I'm offended by the Pope, who covers up the abuse of children. Can I assume he will be given an ASBO next time he is here, for offending MY moral sensibilities? Thought not....
This didn't happen in the United States - which raises a question.
What legal protection does freedom of speech have in the UK, Reg?
Britain was renowned for its defence of Freedom of Speech. However – the “War on Terror” has many victims. Apart from the obvious ones – like airport harassment – it has had made subtle inroads into curbing many civil rights and freedoms. Anything spoken or printed can now be deemed “offensive” under the new terror laws that are there to protect us. Anyone can be “gagged” if their views are deemed offensive (to the establishment).
Example: Geert Wilders a Dutch MP was banned from Britain because (short version) he stated verses from the holy book of Islam are being used today to incite modern Muslims to behave violently and anti-democratically.
They banned a democratically-elected politician from a European state, who is entitled to free movement within the European Union from travelling because of his views. He was not travelling to preach anything to do with these views. He is into peace. Yet the same week a Muslim was not arrested for inciting violence against the same state in case it violated his religious freedom. This is one example of many. This Orwellian approach is growing and all because off the terror laws. I can listen to any view and make my own mind up. I do not need a government to protect my ears or decide what I might find offensive. I am not British but I will totally defend the right to free speech in any country – even if it promotes religion I will still support it. And if I disagree with it I should be able to use my right to free speech to do so.
The pope can arrive in Britain but is not arrested or questioned about generations of child abuse by his church but because he is a head of state he cannot be touched. Be wary though – these anti terror laws are not just in Britain. I could go on but need to install more paper in my printer to print a few more cartoons.
@MetalOllie – with a name like that I think you might like this. I recently complained to a security guard in a shopping centre car park that some “Christian types” were given pamphlets to children under 18. It turned out he had given his consent because they were “doing god’s work”. When he could not show me their work permit I spent the next 20 minutes driving around the car park with Slayer’s “God Hates Us All” blaring (turned up to 11) from my car stereo and followed them wherever they went. It was hilarious. People were stopping and applauding me. An off duty cop told me I would be arrested so I parked up and started reciting Jim Morrison poetry to them and asked to be arrested. Unfortunately I was not. I do not break any laws when I do this sort of thing – like putting Dawkins books in the religion section in bookshops - but I will push it when I can to make a point.
being too extreme, no mater what you're beliefs are, can be a bad thing.
Does this mean I can sue those darn Jehovah's who bring pamphlets to my house with bloody-mouthed scary beasts and half-dressed women in front of my small children? Why do I doubt it?
I have just spoken with a friend in London. He will shortly be very upset and distressed about the religious brochures people in his office leave lying around. I hope the shock does not do him too much harm :)
Hey that's not fair - the JW women who call to me are so covered up !! Does their religion not give them any moral compass ??
I think she meant the women in the pamphlets.