Does this insult, deeply offend and alarm?
If so, His Grace is on his way to prison.
And if not he, then what about Oliver Kamm of The Times.
And if not he, then the original artist Peter Brookes must certainly have drawn this cartoon with the intention to insult, deeply offend and alarm. Indeed, he disclosed later: “That got me into a bit of hot water, which I was quite glad about. (The Pope) said condoms were not the answer to the continent’s problems. To my mind that is completely ridiculous and so you make him look ridiculous. I have yet to do something that has caused a reaction that I have felt ashamed of."
The cartoon appears to have been designed to insult, deeply offend and alarm Roman Catholics especially.
Gratuitous offence is unnecessary, but in the realms of politics or religion, it should not be illegal. Not for the first time, His Grace finds himself agreeing with the National Secular Society. Their agenda may be odious and some of their members thoroughly repugnant, but they consistently highlight the absurdity of Labour's 'incitement to religious hatred' legislation.
It appears that Harry Taylor, a self-styled 'militant atheist', left some rather provocative cartoons in the prayer room of Liverpool's John Lennon airport. And he has been found guilty on three counts of 'religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress'.
Apparently, it was the airport chaplain, Nicky Lees, who told of her alarm after finding the images, which reportedly depicted 'figures from Christianity and Islam, often in sexual poses'.
Ms Lees said: “I was insulted, deeply offended and I was alarmed.”
And so the 'militant atheist' is about to be incarcerated for offending her sensibilities.
How many times does it need stating?
It is so important to His Grace that it has featured prominently as his 'Bottom Line' since his blog was founded:
Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse.
The National Secular Society are right to observe that this represents a blasphemy law 'by the back door'. When Parliament abolished those which have served the nation for centuries, His Grace warned that another would emerge to fill the vacuum: the Republic of Ireland has shown the way.
Terry Sanderson, President of the NSS, 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. The blasphemy law was abolished three years ago, but it lives on under the guise of religiously aggravated offences and is several times more dangerous.”
And yet there is something about this verdict which troubles His Grace. Jesus with an erection might deeply offend, yet the artist was not prosecuted. The desecration of the Bible might offend, but the artist was not prosecuted.
It is quite easy for any zealous adherent of any devout religion to come across an anti-religious cartoon, or even a reasoned but critical article in a reputable political magazine, and then decide, even years after original publication, to be insulted, deeply offended and alarmed.
And the artists and authors may not only have to endure the termination of their promising careers. But they may also now find themselves deprived of their liberty, imprisoned at Her Majesty's pleasure, and emotionally and mentally tortured.
Welcome to New Labour's New Age of Inquisition.