Does this advertisement constitute a ‘faith crime’?
The clear inference is that Christians have blood on their hands, and the Bible condones violence towards homosexuals. The heading ‘In the name of the Father’ drags the name of the Lord through the mud, and grossly misrepresents the message of love and forgiveness that was preached by Jesus. The advert appeared in the Diversity supplement of the Independent newspaper on 29th June, two days ahead of the Europride gay and lesbian parade in London. The statistic is without context, and while 74% sounds vast, it may simply represent an increase of something like four ‘homophobic incidents’ to seven.
A Christian minister, the Rev George Hargreaves, has made an official complaint, and Scotland Yard said the inquiry ‘centres on whether the advert constitutes a faith crime’. Cranmer will watch this case with interest, but would like to ask the GPA why it did not juxtapose the Qur’an with a pool of blood, under the heading ‘In the name of Allah’ (thanks to Mr Iain Dale for the graphic). If the ‘religious belief of the perpetrator’ was the ‘cause’ of these attacks, were all the perpetrators Christian? Certainly, the Qur’an contains some forceful condemnation of homosexual acts, but the GPA would not dare to produce an advertisement that might be deemed ‘racist’ or offensive to a religious minority. But the Christians? Well, they’re easy meat, and who cares if any of them are offended...?