UK's Largest Supermarket Chain Faces Boycott Over Executive's Condemnation of Anti-Gay 'Evil Christians'

Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket chain is under fire from Christian groups over 2008 remarks made by its head of research and development Nick Lansley on a Flickr account, the Telegraph reports:

TescoIn a message on his profile page on, he said: “I’m…campaigning against evil Christians (that’s not all Christians, just bad ones) who think that gay people should not lead happy lives and get married to their same-sex partners.”

The remarks, which have now been removed from the photo sharing website, caused outrage among Christian groups, who said they would refuse to shop in the chain’s stores in protest.

Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: “I won’t be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, and I am repeatedly hearing from other Christians who have already come to the same conclusion.

“Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.”

Tesco distanced itself from Lansley's remarks: "Our values as a company are such that we abhor criticism of any religion, and we knew nothing about Mr Lansley’s comments until they were brought to our attention. We are very sorry that anyone might have thought that there was any blurring of the boundary between his personal comments and his work for Tesco. We have therefore asked him to remove the comments, and he has done so. "

Religious groups boycott Tesco over senior executive's 'evil' Christians comment [telegraph]

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  1. I hope that this is the last we hear of this. Extreme Christians are far less common and influential in England, and these comments are more than three years old. Tesco will probably get as many new customers as losing old ones, and a quotation from one person---instead of an organized boycott (so far), as the headline implies---isn't all that threatening.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 19, 2011 5:56:59 PM

  2. it says that this happened in 2008--who has the slow reaction time, the "evil Christians", or the rest of us just now noticing it? what is the status now, 3 years later?

    Posted by: craig fox | Dec 19, 2011 6:03:52 PM

  3. TESCO seems to be handling it well and not freaking out and firing the guy.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 19, 2011 6:10:01 PM

  4. This is just typical of some Christians! They can go around persecuting anyone and everyone, until it comes time for someone to persecute them. Then it becomes a whole different story. It reminds me of that old counrty/western song, "Why is everybody always picking on me!" What a bunch of crock! Those Christians who judge, deserve to be judged in return. They are no one special, so they need to get over themselves!

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 19, 2011 6:21:55 PM

  5. see ? that shows how evil they are =]
    Common, show more reactions , more anger, more evil.

    Posted by: MalaysianHO | Dec 19, 2011 6:37:49 PM

  6. @Randy, your argument could just as easily be turned around and used against the gays, "This is just typical of some GAYS! They can go around persecuting anyone and everyone, until it comes time for someone to persecute them. Then it becomes a whole different story".

    One of our greatest powers as a minority is our $$ and we can choose when and where we spend it. Time and time again, businesses only listen to the sound of the cash register so let's make sure we send TESCO letters of support for not firing the employee and taking a neutral stance. I don't see this as the Christians winning anything other than making their whining heard, BOO, EFFING, HOO!

    Posted by: RonTEX | Dec 19, 2011 6:48:15 PM

  7. Offer a waffle iron for $1.99. They definitely will show up at the store. When it comes to money, the Christian value thingy seems to melt away. The same thing happens when you add a prostitute into the equation, the Family Values thingy automatically dissolves.

    Posted by: Dale | Dec 19, 2011 6:53:28 PM

  8. TESCO also has markets in California, Arizona and Nevada under the Fresh & Easy brand. Should be interesting to see if there is any fallout here.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 19, 2011 6:54:45 PM

  9. TESCO will soon learn what many other businesses already know...

    Boycotts don't work.

    Nice try anyway, xian haters. Move along. Nothing to see here.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Dec 19, 2011 6:55:12 PM

  10. boycotts do work.

    OMNOMNOM, why is it that you can only comment negatively from a place of anonymity? Can you provide a link to show us all the great proactive work YOU are doing?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 19, 2011 7:00:46 PM

  11. Christers have a persecution complex. Nothing new here.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Dec 19, 2011 7:01:48 PM

  12. The Christian Institute has almost zero influence. This is a like a flea biting a rhino.

    It does make me mad though.

    Posted by: Paul Mc | Dec 19, 2011 7:15:22 PM

  13. Tesco won't even see a microbial dent in its profit margin. Good for them for not caving in to these religious lunatics who are in a very small minority in the UK. If anything, this will boost Tesco's sales. A lot more gay people will shop there as a thank you.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Dec 19, 2011 7:24:09 PM

  14. It's insane that Tesco wouldn't fully support Nick Lansley. These same "Christianists" used to also say that blacks shouldn't marry whites. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, bigotry and discrimination should be fought against at every opportunity. Shame on Tesco for not taking a strong enough stand against hatred and bigotry.

    Posted by: Carl | Dec 19, 2011 7:30:06 PM

  15. I thought this would be about him violating the UK's anti-discrimination speech laws.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 19, 2011 8:55:13 PM

  16. So nearly 12 people won't be shopping at Tesco. Big whoop.

    Posted by: Jeff K. | Dec 19, 2011 10:07:39 PM

  17. "Extreme Christians are far less common and influential in England"

    But extreme Muslims are far more common. You're not allowed to say that though.

    Posted by: Max | Dec 19, 2011 10:25:30 PM

  18. "Our values as a company are such that we abhor criticism of any religion."

    What a pity. All religions (indeed all ideas) are fair game for criticism. This is how we learn things.

    I would go further and say that some religions (and some ideas) are quite ripe for open mockery and denunciation, because they are either provably false, or plainly evil (when they aren't being both).

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 19, 2011 10:37:29 PM

  19. As a Christian I was not at all offended by this. Mr. Lansley did call Christians "evil", but they've certainly been called worse in the past. He has a right to his opinion. And he wasn't speaking as a representative of his company, only as a citizen. In fact, why is this even a story?

    Posted by: Mary | Dec 19, 2011 10:45:46 PM

  20. “I’m…campaigning against evil Christians (that’s not all Christians, just bad ones)..."

    @Mary: Read the above citation. He did not call Christians evil. He called "just the bad ones" evil.

    Imagine if someone said "I am campaigning against evil men. Not all men, just the bad ones who beat women."
    So in my example, did the speaker call men evil? No, the speaker called a category of men who are hurting other people evil.

    I do find the company's response more concerning than the Tweet in question. They abhor criticism of any religion? How about a religion based on throwing virgins in the volcano, or that demands the beating up of girls for learning to read, or a religion that requires everyone to have sex wit the high priestess, or that works within a system that covers up child abuse, or that twists its scripture into an excuse to enslave another race, etc. etc?
    Is NO type of hateful or harmful action to be criticized if someone calls it their religion?

    Posted by: GregV | Dec 20, 2011 1:17:53 AM

  21. Time for our UK brothers and sisters to go shopping. I don't think they'll make much a dent, nor will they get much bad word of mouth. In fact, it might even up their "chicness"

    Posted by: FedUp | Dec 20, 2011 1:57:03 AM

  22. Ecexellent, even more reason to shop there now that the whinging annoying arrogant know-alls are not going to be blocking the aisles..... come on tesco, back your man up!

    Posted by: coemgenus | Dec 20, 2011 2:13:36 AM

  23. The guy was calling out 'evil' christians, not all of them. This bogus group are now boycotting... does this mean they identify as evil christians?? I guess it does.

    Posted by: Rovex | Dec 20, 2011 2:37:48 AM


    You are a sad, angry little man with an ugly, black heart and lots of emotional issues. Please do us all a favor and read the articles posted and comment accordingly instead of trolling for readers to plunder with your incessant and far-fetched ad hominem.

    Happy Holidays. I hope your crawl space under the bridge is warm and cozy.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Dec 20, 2011 2:38:30 AM

  25. Although I don't think of Little Kiwi as a "sad, angry little man with an ugly, black heart and lots of emotional issues", I am beginning to find it very tired indeed, that in order to be allowed to comment on Towleroad, one apparently needs to have a website, where everybody can keep track of all things going on in your life. I get it, you have a blog, Little Kiwi. And I actually like your blog, and I generally like what you have to say. But I'm finding myself rolling my eyes when I see the eternal comment from you, like the one above. I think that's a real shame, because it takes away from the positive things you have to offer.

    That's just my honest opinion.

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Dec 20, 2011 3:04:30 AM

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