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British Gay Police Ad Linking Homophobia to Christians Criticized

A controversial ad from the Gay Police Association which showed a pool of blood beside a Bible received more complaints than any other advertisement in Britain this year, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Police_adThe ad, which reads "In the last 12 months, the GPA has recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator," was called "offensive and derogatory" by Christian Watch, the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches and the Trinitarian Bible Society.

The GPA said the ad's intent was to provoke thought. That it did. The ASA registered 550 complaints about the ad and said that the police association had no evidence to back up their claim of an increase in incidents. They also said that the depiction of blood falsely implied that every homophobic incident was one of violence.

Britain's Gay Police Association was formed in 1990 to act as a liaison between the gay commmunity and the police force and also acts as a support system for gay and lesbian officers in the force.

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Comments

  1. Ahh, so the argument is that it only matters if the homophobic "incident" is violent... now I understand.

    Posted by: Wayne | Oct 18, 2006 11:18:12 AM


  2. Of course if the Gay Police Association had used a Muslim symbol their headquarters would have been blown up, the middle east would have broken out in riots where hundreds of people would be trampled to death and a nun would be shot in the head in Africa.

    Posted by: Mitch | Oct 18, 2006 11:35:15 AM


  3. All homophobic acts are a form of violence, though it may not be physical violence. Some teens kill themselves because of it. You may not draw blood from your hateful words, but in the end you always leave someone "bleeding".

    Posted by: Patrick | Oct 18, 2006 11:50:13 AM


  4. from LittleGreenFootballs:

    "Muslims make up 2% of Britain’s population, but are responsible for 25% of the anti-gay hate crimes. And a British gay advocacy group is trying to conceal this, by focusing attention on Christians.

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 18, 2006 12:45:25 PM


  5. mitch

    Uhm, I have never heard of a muslim blowing up abortion clinics or shooting doctors who provide abortions. Nor have I heard of an muslims beating the crap out of gays in the US and Europe and killing them.

    All 3 monotheistic religions are violent.....glass houses and all

    Anyway; on the anger over the ad. One would think the xtians should preach love thy neighbor a little more from the pulpit instead of attacking the messenger

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 18, 2006 12:46:19 PM


  6. Jimmyboyo:

    just because you never heard of it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Read the european gay press every now and then. There have been beatings and murders of gays in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, by moslems.

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 18, 2006 12:57:01 PM


  7. Myackie

    your statement also applies to mitch then

    just because he hasn't personaly heard about christians bashing gays while quoting scriptures, or christians bombing abortion clinics, or christians shooting abortion providers does not mean it hasn't happened

    I am NOT trying to defend islam by any means...but xtians can NOT act like they are so pure and holy....2,000 years of history shows us that xtianity is a bloody religion

    All 3 monotheistic religions..Judeism, xtianity, and islam are bloody minded fairytales...all are evil

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 18, 2006 1:43:38 PM


  8. I'm aware of the violence of christian history, however during my lifetime islam has been the MOST violent, bloody and intolerant "religion".

    As a result, I find any paranoia of islam to be fully justified.

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 18, 2006 2:04:48 PM


  9. Myackie then please explain the christian violence in the 80's and 90's dealing with multiple bombings of nultiple abortion clinics and multiple doctors who provided abortions being shot dead


    and how many decades were the protestants killing catholics and catholics killing, bombing, kidnapping, raping protestants in Ireland

    You have selective memory recall

    Your memory is also very racist in that you remember brown people crimes and not white peoples......

    too funny

    ditch that racist selective memory of yours and read a few history books dealing with recent history and some newspaper back issues

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 18, 2006 2:35:18 PM


  10. When I see statistics like "Muslims make up 2% of Britain’s population, but are responsible for 25% of the anti-gay hate crimes" it makes me think that muslims are more prone to violence against gays and less tolerant than other ethnic groups.

    You can call me racist if you want...I call it common sense. I'll change my mind when I see moslem protests AGAINST violence, but right now all I see is moslem SUPPORT of violence.

    Posted by: Myackie | Oct 18, 2006 3:17:11 PM


  11. The point I was making is that the GPA could place the ad with reasonable certaintly that Christian terrorists wouldn't blow up their headquarters. The same could not be said if they had placed a sketch of Mohammed in place of the bible.

    Posted by: Mitch | Oct 18, 2006 5:19:48 PM


  12. Mitch..both reglions hate gays..and there are bashers in both groups...Your point is simply NOT relevant to this post. Now go find yourself some Muslims to bash.

    Posted by: Ray | Oct 18, 2006 5:31:57 PM


  13. That is simply nonsense Ray. There are many Christian faiths, which are mainstream, that openly accept homosexuality just as there are many Catholic churches, which openly accept us. A coworker of mine attends Mass every Sunday in a Santa Monica Catholic church, which has a large gay contingent in it's congregation.

    Please point me to a Muslim sect which does the same or the Muslim equivalent of the MCC.

    Again my point wasn't to quibble about about which faith is more accepting. My point was that in the hyper-PC world that is now Britain, if you're going to attack a religion, you attack Christianity because you can be reasonably certain that you won't get bombed as a result. Contrast that with what happens if you run a cute comic where you use Allah's image.

    If you want more proof have a look at this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Muslims

    "Some 200 lesbian and gay Muslims were contacted by the programme makers but only a handful were willing to be interviewed, and most of those insisted on keeping their identities hidden, to prevent reprisal. Only one was prepared to show his face and give his true name."

    I have never feared that the UMC was going to come after me and kill me. The same cannot be said for gay Muslims.

    Now go find some gay Muslims and ask them if they're willing to come out at their local mosque.

    Posted by: Mitch | Oct 18, 2006 9:02:29 PM


  14. I think all of this arguing over which religion is more homophobic and splitting hairs over degrees of bigotry is ridiculous.

    Yes it was the Bible that was pictured in the ad but the TEXT said that "RELIGIOUS" belief was cited as an aggravating factor in large percentage of anti-gay violence. The picture could have just as well have been of the Qu’ran. Big deal.

    Does ANYONE doubt the text’s claim?

    I'm a devout Christian and I sure as heck don't.

    All of this back and forth argument over whose religion is more culpable is totally missing the point.

    The point, as I see it, is that religious belief should NEVER be an excuse for hate or violence and if so many are claiming that it is then the religions, all of them, should take another look at what they’re teaching.

    I have very close friends who are Muslim and they are some of the kindest, most accepting people I know, including being accepting of my sexuality.

    INDIVIDUALS should be judged by their words and actions.

    When we talk about "Christians", "Muslims", "Republicans", "Democrats" etc. as if they are of one mind then we're no different than those who talk about "Gays" as if we're all of one mind. At least qualify statements with some..., many..., a lot of...

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 18, 2006 10:42:34 PM


  15. The difference is that when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic, he is denounced by all representatives from all the Christian denominations. There is a healthy tradition of Christians denouncing the beliefs of other Christian sects. When most Christians hear of art displays that mock Christianity, like the "Piss Christ" one, they might vocalize their distaste, but no violence usually results.

    In great contrast, I hear little to no criticism of Muslim extremists from other Muslims. Do the moderate believers in Islam really exist? If so, why do they refuse to condemn their errant members strongly and loudly? If they love their religion, it is their duty to defend it from heresy. Are they too terrified of reprisal?

    Posted by: Mace | Oct 19, 2006 2:46:33 AM


  16. AMEN Mace! Christians come out against acts of violence in droves and by and large do NOT support Phelps and his Westboro Church. They may not agree with us, but they are not having us hung in the town square because we are gay. Try to be an out gay in an extremist Muslim country and see how fast you make it to the gallows.

    Interesting quote here..."Consider this question: are our enemies prepared to kill us? The evidence from before 9/11 through yesterday seems to be stunningly clear. They are not only willing to kill us; they are willing to die themselves in order to kill us. Indeed they revel in the martyrdom of killing us." Christian groups may not want us to get married, but they are hardly signing up to kill us.


    www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.25002/pub_detail.asp

    Posted by: RB | Oct 19, 2006 5:51:59 AM


  17. Mace and RB, with all due respect, if you aren't hearing Muslims condemning violence committed in the name of Islam then you are simply not paying attention or you are not exposed to Muslim voices. Tens of millions of Muslims condemn Islamic violence, of which, by the way, MUSLIMS are disproportionately the VICTIMS. Our media doesn't cover it because it's not nearly as titillating as the pictures of angry, Muslim radicals throwing rocks and chanting “Death to America” in the streets.

    You can bet that Christians condemning violence are not seen on TV in most parts of the Middle East either.

    I would be willing to bet that neither of you have close friends who are Muslim. If you did, I guarantee you that you would be fully aware that they condemn violence with every bone in their bodies. You would also have a greater respect for them as people with a lot more in common with us religiously than 99% of Christians know.

    Did you know that Christ is considered a Great Prophet, on the same level as Muhammad, in the Islamic faith? Did you know that Muslims believe in the Virgin birth of Christ? Did you know that Muslims follow the names of Muhammad, Jesus, and Mary with "Praise be upon Him/Her"?

    Look guys, I'm not excusing Islamic violence. I condemn it loudly. I'm just saying that it doesn't matter who's worse and who's better. The bottom line is that we should condemn ALL violence in the name of religion, ANY religion.

    The reason I concentrate on the Christian faith is because I am a Christian and that's where my voice is most effective.

    RB, my friend, as a thoughtful and passionate gay Republican, you should understand the concept of changing the negative aspects of an institution that you support from within. You have to know that YOU are more likely to change the anti-gay aspects of the Republican Party as a Republican than any angry Democrat could. It's the same with religion. I, as a Christian, have to try to change Christians' prejudices because my voice will not be effective in changing those of Muslims. I have to leave that to the courageous progressive Muslims; and by the way, they DO exist. I can introduce you to some, and TRUST ME, they are some of the most courageous people I know.

    As I said before, I think we are totally missing the point of the anti-violence ad, which we are supposed to be discussing if we get bogged down in debates about which religion did what and whose religion is, or has been, more or less violent.

    The focus should be on getting religious leaders to stop sending messages to their flocks that motivate them to go out and beat people, particularly gay people, to death.

    Can’t we at least agree on that?

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 19, 2006 11:58:29 AM


  18. And one more thing RB, Christians are not NEARLY as vocal against anti-gay violence or Fred Phelps as you claim; and certainly not as vocal as they should be.

    There should be absolute Christian outrage across this country. There isn't. For the most part there is silence in the pulpits.

    If you can give some specific examples of public statements against Phelps and against gay bashing from the best known Christian voices in this country, I'd like to see them. I'll assure you, they will be few and far between.

    You will have to navigate through thousands of anti-gay hate statements to find just one condemnation of anti-gay violence.

    How ironic is that?

    The only mainline church that I know that loudly and consistently speaks out on behalf of gay and lesbian Americans is my denomination, The United Church of Christ.

    For that I am at the same time proud and ashamed; PROUD of my denomination but ASHAMED of my faith.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 19, 2006 12:08:37 PM


  19. Let's face it, religion (whatever it is) is the cause of all the riots in the world. Everything boils down to religion.

    That's why I don't get involved with any religion. I happily stand on the sidelines and watch.

    Posted by: em | Oct 19, 2006 2:32:17 PM


  20. EM, I will agree with you with one slight qualification: It's the abuse and misuse of spirituality (religion) that leads to violence, war, sectarianism and hate.

    Christ NEVER spoke in support of hate, judgment, violence or separatism. On the contrary he spoke for the poor, the downtrodden, the weak, the oppressed and the peacemakers. He had nothing but scorn for the powerful, the rich, the self-righteous, the violent, the religious leaders and the war makers.

    I challenge ANYONE to find fault with the message of Christ. His philosophy is pure, good and valid whether you are a Christian, an atheist, a Muslim or a humanist.

    I personally see Christ's message as a guide to living in THIS life, and not so much as a guide to achieving some possible afterlife.

    My faith is important to me and is a very real influence in my ongoing pursuit of peace, non-violence, equality and dignity for all people.

    The fact that I have no need or desire to force my spirituality on others and no need or desire to convert others to my faith is why my personal demonstration of my faith will never result in violence or hate.

    I have a cartoon on me refrigerator that sums up my position on the matter:

    A man approaches the Pearly Gates of heaven. Hung beside the gate is a sign that states, "Welcome to heaven. Please keep your religion to yourself!" The man turns to St. Peter with a perplexed look on his face. St. Peter responds, "Believe it or not it's what makes it Paradise!"

    That philosophy works for me.

    When people tell me that they admire me and ASK me what I'm all about, THEN I tell them about my spirituality. My Bible stays at home. If my everyday life and actions are not a testament to my faith then I have no business toting around a Bible trying to sell Christianity. That's how I look at it and where I think so many "Christians" get it wrong.

    Please don’t confuse “spirituality” with “religion”. “Religion” is the hijacking of, and misuse of, faith and spirituality by the few to control the masses.

    And therein lies the evil of religion.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 19, 2006 3:20:13 PM


  21. So I understand that not ALL Muslims are extremist just as ALL Christians are not Westboro Baptists. However, The Muslims of the middle east are as reactionary and as the Westboro Baptists! Neither of which are lining up to support our cause. That's all I am saying.

    I know about the muslim faith and fully understand the parallels to Christianity, but NO WHERE in any bible, church service or casual conversation with a Christian have I ever heard strap this bomb to your chest and kill a bunch of people and you will go to heaven! That IS unique to the Muslims of the middle east!!!

    And in regards to "And one more thing RB, Christians are not NEARLY as vocal against anti-gay violence or Fred Phelps as you claim; and certainly not as vocal as they should be", you may be right. However, they are not jumping in their cars to join him in at his church on Sunday morning! He is regarded as crazy and CANNOT gain mainstreem support. I do believe that Americans, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Athiest, etc do get one thing. Separation of Church and State. WE are more tolerant of those around us. Many here may not see that and we do have a long way to go to be "perfect", but we are more tolerant of other religeons than anywhere in the world.
    It is what makes this country so great! We are different and yet respect boundaries. If you think we do not, just look to our neighbors in Ireland, Croatia, Eastern Africa, Israel, Lebanon, etc. It is one thing for Phelps to stomp in the street and shout, but no one here is being systematically slaughtered for our beliefs. We have a ways to go, but it is the best thing I have seen so far!

    And as always Zeke....I've got you back, even when I think you are wrong.


    Posted by: RB | Oct 19, 2006 8:51:46 PM


  22. You're still arguing degrees of offense and culpability my friend. I think that in so doing you’re continuing to miss the point of the ad, which is ALL I’m referring to here.

    This was a public service ad. A poster. It didn't have the space or the purpose of getting into the nuances and details of which and how many offenses are committed by which respective religious faith and sect. The TEXT was not faith specific.

    It is unfortunate that they used a Bible in the picture only because it caused the valid message of the ad to be lost in the predictable backlash of Christian whining and victimhood. If they had used the Qu’ran there would have been global riots. They should have just used a picture of a puppy.

    The purpose and intent was to draw attention to the fact that an outrageous percentage of gay bashers cite religious beliefs as the motivating factor behind their crime.

    I've heard the teachings of Christ concerning protecting the meek and oppressed. I missed where He commanded that we protect the image of the church from needed criticism. That is why I believe that true Christians will be more concerned about their faith's contributions to these shameful crimes than they will be about the rightfully tarnished image of their faith. As a Christian, I can honestly say that that's my first concern.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 19, 2006 10:28:29 PM


  23. Correction, Zeke, I do not think you are wrong in your beliefs. I actually agree with the ad and your take on it.

    The problem I had was in the deliverence of the message surroundings Muslims. The American Muslims are far different from their middle eastern counterparts, for the most part. I know that there are moderates in the middle east please do not throw that at me, but they are NOT the majority.

    And lets not forget that religion has caused more wars and death than anything else in history. Regardless of the religion, there will always be extremists! Again, we are debating from two sides of the same coin. We are getting good at that.

    Posted by: RB | Oct 20, 2006 7:39:15 AM


  24. To condemn ALL Christians because a few fanatics blew up abortion clinics and targeted Dr.'s who performed abortions makes about as much sense as painting all gay men as pedophiles because of the actions of Mark Foley and Sen. Stubbs.

    The GPA advert was insensitive and wrong. It was a slap in the face to all of the Christians who support gay rights. It was also an act of cowardice. Imans all over Europe condemn gays in voices loud and clear yet the GPA would not have DARED depict the Koran in the same manner.

    Posted by: Toni | Oct 24, 2006 10:37:35 PM


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