OUR jellyfish prize this week for spineless grovelling must to go to the South Wales Echo, which has buckled under pressure from a bunch of vindictive bigots over a piece it published by Dan O’Neill.
Cynical Dragon reported yesterday that the paper has issued this apology to the handful of Christian Voice wankers who picketed its offices, and to others who may have been offended by O’Neill’s column:
It has come to our attention that in an article on Wednesday, July 16, headlined ‘If God considers gays and abomination why did he create them?’, our columnist Dan O’Neill offended a number of Christians. We would like to apologise for any offence caused to those people who believe the article insulted the Christian faith, Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible.
This is nothing short of a disgrace, and the Freethinker has set up a petition calling on the paper to retract its apology and reinstate O’Neill’s column, which it has pulled from its website. You can sign the petition here.
According to a press release issued by Christian Voice’s Stephen “Birdshit” Green:
Let’s be clear. O’Neill did not equate homosexuality with paedophilia, as some have suggested.
O’Neill firstly declares that the Bible is not the word of God. It was written by ‘a wild-eyed Bronze Age nomad’. Then, in a remarkable display of ignorance of the social mores of the Holy Land in the 1st Century, he remarks that Jesus Christ could be accused of homosexuality because the Apostles were all male.
Not content with that, he says it is ‘suspicious’ that Jesus ‘picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them.’
This is what O’Neill actually wrote:
How would this fanatical Hammerer of Homosexuals, [Green] leader of a bunch of annoying bigots have interpreted events in Palestine a couple of thousand years ago?
This Jesus feller swans around all day with a dozen other blokes. No women. Mark that, no women. And he wanders off into the mountains now and again to spend quality time with his, uh, favourites (Mark.9:2). He picks up small boys and girls and puts his hands upon them (Mark 10:16) And he was seen in a garden when one of his mates came up and kissed him (Matthew,26:48). Suspicious, eh?
As Mediawatchwatch points out:
He was speculating on what Stephen Green would have thought of Jesus â€¦ Green took what was a personal attack on him, and turned it into a “blasphemy” issue. Once again, we see that Stephen Green is always foremost in the mind of Stephen Green.
Meanwhile, over at the PTT blog, Andy Armitage unearthed this defence of O’Neill, who apparently upset some readers with remarks he made about the National Eisteddfod. The paper’s then editor wrote:
A light-hearted columnist like Dan SHOULD be able to poke fun at something like the Eisteddfod. Just like he should any other subject be it Christianity, Islam, politics, sex, the colour of your socks. As long as he is acting within the law he, and every other writer, should be allowed the freedom to write and to provoke discussion.
So why the fuck has the paper suddenly developed cold feet over this particular issue?
Says Cynical Dragon:
This is absolutely disgusting. Why is a reputable paper like the Echo apologising to a fanatical group of hate-filled morons? Why do they bother employing a provocative writer like Dan O’Neill if they cave into extremists so readily?
What are the South Wales Echo apologising for exactly? The main Christian disagreement with the article was that Jesus may have been gay. This is of course upsetting to Christians but why should anyone apologise for making the suggestion. Do the South Wales Echo support the idea that the suggestion the Jesus was gay is blasphemous because homosexuality is a sin? Are they siding with Christian Voice and their ilk?