Thursday 11 December 2008

The Advertising Standards Authority's response to the offical complaint about "The word of god against Sodomy"

Belfast has an annual Gay Pride March which this year attracted 5-8,000 marchers from all over the province and Ireland. Nothing odd about that many cities have similar marches.

However this year Rev David Mcilveen and his church the Sandown Free Presbyterian felt they were "obliged under God to publicly challenge the vices of this generation" so they took out a full page ad in a local newspaper "The Newsletter". The 540 word advert was exactly the sort of intolerant bollox that you would expect .. it described homosexuality as an abomination, defined homosexuals as perverts and called on all religious followers to maintain a very public stance against the gay community. The church, led by the Rev David McIlveen, justifies its hostility towards the gay community by ‘quoting’ from the Bible and lambasting the need for a parade which celebrates a “profitable lifestyle”, (I think he may mean "profligate" rather than "profitable")

The ASA and The News Letter received complaints about the advert and it was then legally bound to investigate and report on the complaints which came in 2 parts

1. The ad's content was homophobic and, therefore, offensive
2. was likely to provoke hatred and violence against the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The ASA reported on the 3rd of December (full text here) but basically upheld complaint (1) and rejected complaint (2) . The Sandown Church's advert WAS homophobic and, therefore, offensive. Good for the ASA! Common sense at last!

Let us not forget the other "powerful" moral message the bible teaches in the whole Sodom affair. Just before God destroyed Sodom (from whence the act of Sodomy gets it's name) he sent two angels down to recce the lay of the land prior to sending the fire and brimstone. Lot puts them up for the night in his house... Genesis 19 takes up the story

4 But before they [the angels] lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

(emphasis mine)
Lot's daughters survived unmolested however in Judges 19:24-29 almost exactly the same thing happens to a different set of people. The ladies involved on that occasion were gang raped and unfortunately died after a long night of abuse, not that anyone god included (and he stuck his nose into human affairs a lot more back then) seemed to mind that much certainly it would appear that no-one was brought to account for gang rape and murder by human or divine entity.

The Rev McIlveen and his congregation are odious people with odious minds peddling an odious message which sadly is listened to more often than not.

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