Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blasphemy for sale at Waterstones

Briefing: we don't normally get involved in books, which are intrinsically less public than, for example, a statue in a public gallery, or a television broadcast. But there are a couple of interesting features to this.

The Welsh 'poet' Patrick Jones has published a book , 'Darkness is Where the Stars Are', which attacks Christianity and contains at least one blasphemous passage about sex and Our Lord. The Evangelical group 'Christian Voice' was planning to protest at a reading he was going to give in the Cardiff branch of Waterstones, and the event was cancelled. The PA of the Managing Director of Waterstones told them 'It is not appropriate for our stores to host events that are potentially disruptive'.

With this success won without a fight, Christian Voice are suggesting a number of options to thier supporters, including the boycotting of Waterstones. Here's another of their options:
One of the poems in the book includes the blasphemous line: "just like mary magdelene (sic), i f****d jesus"
You can find the book on the shelves at your local Waterstones, look for the offending words, which Patrick Jones has helpfully told me are in the poem 'Hymn', and if it causes you harassment, alarm or distress, contrary to Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, make a note of the facts and report the matter to your local police.

Yes, this sounds a bit mad, but the law is there, it has been made stronger and stronger in the context of harrassment to homosexuals and Muslims, the potential it has for persecuting Christians is immense, and possibly the best way to get it changed is to show how it can be used by Christians themselves.

Furthermore, the reaction of Waterstones indicates that the feelings of Christians cannot always be ignored. We shall see what happens if Christian Voice supporters report their distress to the police.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen