BRITAIN’S most annoying opponent of free speech has issued a foam-flecked press release complaining that he is being denied – wait for it – freedom of expression.
And who, now, is stepping on the sensitive toes of that irrepressible god-prodder Stephen “Birdshit” Green?
Why, none other that the council of the Advertising Standards Authority, who are apparently demanding that Green substantiates the claims made in a vacuous “advertorial” placed by Christian Voice in the New Statesman earlier this year.
Under the headline, ASA to outlaw prediction and opinion, the posturing Jesus junkie wails:
Officials at the Advertising Standards Authority have recommended that a Christian group be censured for predicting that Government initiatives on teenage sexuality, including the HPV vaccine, will increase infertility among the young.
If the ASA Council follows the recommendation, Christian Voice’s ‘Advertorial’ in the New Statesman earlier this year, which was headlined ‘VIOLENT CRIME – SOWING AND REAPING’, will be found to breach ASA codes on principles, substantiation and truthfulness.
Green explains how he got into this latest pickle:
The text of the advertorial said: ‘There is a Biblical principle that we reap what we sow. It applies to nations as well as to individuals. What politicians sow, the people reap [blah … blah … blah] ….
The ad went on to describe the detrimental impact of government policies and legislation on society. It included the text ‘Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares’.
The [ASA] officials demanded ‘robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers’, missing the point that it is the encouragement of promiscuity in Government teen sex initiatives which spreads the infections which do the damage, not the vaccine itself.
It is a good job the Advertising Standards Authority was not around when the Old Testament was written, or we would be missing half the Christmas story. The ASA would have wanted Isaiah to substantiate his claim that ‘a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son’ (Isa 7:14). They would have demanded ‘robust, scientific evidence’ that virgins can conceive.
The Prophet’s predictions of the fall of Jerusalem and of Christ’s crucifixion would have gone the same way. As for nations beating swords into ploughshares, and the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the ASA would have banned him from ever repeating such an unsubstantiated claim.
He finally ends:
It is preposterous for the ASA to think they can outlaw Christian freedom of speech and free expression of opinion. â€¦ We shall keep telling Government and the teen sex industry that they are betraying young people in this country and that only God’s ways of chastity and fidelity will halt the rise in teenage pregnancies and infertility.
Oh, Stephen, you are sooo funny! – what would this blog do without you?
UPDATE – Jan 9, 2009: The clown has now filed a complaint with the ASA against the Atheist Bus Campaign, a move that brought peals of laughter from the organisers. See the BBC report here.