Christian Institute outraged over Pauline Howe 'slur' on Channel 4 TV

Christian Institute outraged over Pauline Howe 'slur' on Channel 4 TV October 29, 2009

PAULINE  Howe, the perfectly coiffed, tea-sipping old harridan who expressed fear and indignation over a visit from the police following her letter to Norwich Council expressing her detestation of homosexuals, is now even more alarmed.

Christian troublemaker Pauline Howe
Christian troublemaker Pauline Howe
For last night, Channel 4 News indirectly linked her with a rise of violent attacks on gay people in the UK.
The report talked of hate crimes:

Ranging from the homophobic murder of 62-year-old Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square in September to elderly women complaining about gay marches through towns.

The Christian Institute, which is championing the vicious old bat, is appalled by the “slur”. The CI’s Mike Judge said:

I hope those who killed Mr Baynham in that vicious attack are brought to justice for their horrific crime. But to associate Mrs Howe’s objection to a gay pride parade with this violent attack is an outrageous slur.
On national TV, Channel 4 stated that she had committed a crime. She has not. Disagreement with someone’s behaviour is not hatred, it is not a crime, and it is certainly not the same thing as murder.
I think Channel 4 News should apologise for their error and make clear to viewers that Mrs Howe has not committed a criminal offence.

When the Howe story first broke, I sided with those who thought a police visit to her home was an over-reaction. I have changed my mind. People like her – and the insufferable troll Bob Hutton who never stops trying to plant his inane, homophobic comments on this site – continually bang on about how much they hate homosexuality, but always add that they would never wish gay people any harm.
It never occurs to them – or perhaps they simply won’t admit it – that their anti-gay ranting is bound to manifest itself in acts of real violence.
So, was Channel 4 wrong to make a link between the death of Baynham and the vile outpourings of poor, sweet, persecuted Pauline Howe?
I don’t think so. Especially after learning  from the excellent Classically Liberal blog that:

Howe intentionally tries to agitate people. She didn’t merely write a letter to the council while spending her days sitting at home, sipping tea and watching the telly. The gay rally she wanted banned was one she attended. She went with the express purpose of handing antigay tirades to gay people. This sweet old lady was not so sweet after all.
Howe said she went with other ‘Christians’ to protest ‘the public display of such indecency on the streets of Norwich which is so offensive to God and to many Norwich residents’. She handed out anti-gay leaflets to people at the rally. So she was intentionally offensive to them. And people responded, as you might predict. But no one violated her rights. She says that the people she attacked ‘were in our faces with aggressive verbal abuse.’ In other words, the people at the rally responded to her speech with their own speech.

It’s also worth reading this piece on the CL blog. (My thanks to BarrieJohn for the links.)
Incidentally, on the same day that Channel 4 aired its report, President Obama signed a hate crimes bill into law which now covers violent federal hate crimes committed against members of the gay community.
Under existing federal law, hate crimes are defined as those motivated by the victim’s race, colour, religion or national origin – but not sexual orientation.
Said Obama:

Prosecutors will have new tools to work with states in order to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes because no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love.

The new hate crimes is named in memory of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student who was murdered 11 years ago.

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  • Buffy

    Typical BS. They go in with the intent to create an incident (Google Phyllis Burgess) and pretend they’re the downtrodden one when they get it. Now that the Hate-Crimes law has been put into effect the “Christian Anti-Defamation Commission” is apparently planning on defying the law. Does that mean they’re going to go out and beat gay people so they can claim “persecution” upon being arrested and charged under the law? Who knows with these nutjobs.

  • “It never occurs to them – or perhaps they simply won’t admit it – that their anti-gay ranting is bound to manifest itself in acts of real violence.”
    Presumably the same applies to your anti-Christian ranting?

  • barriejohn

    A young gay policeman is fighting for his life in Liverpool at this very moment, James, after being set upon by a gang of young homophobic thugs, and you have the sheer audacity to come out with a crass statement like this. How many Christians do YOU know who have been hospitalized (in this country) because of their faith? You’re an idiot!

  • barriejohn

    I have been unable to find out much more about Rev. Peter Howe, but the church that is relaying his sermons is the extreme fundamentalist Oulton Broad Free Presbyterian Church. If you feel that you may have heard of that particular denomination before, then you probably have, as the “Moderator” of this Church is none other than our old friend Rev. Ian R. K. Paisley, MP, MEP, a man well-known for his sweet reasonableness and tolerance of “sodomy”!! More here:
    This is a nest of vipers!

  • I personally haven’t changed my mind about the council and police’s overreaction. All the former had to do was write back and tell her that whilst they do not condone personal abuse blah, blah, they will not be cancelling future Pride events because people who go out of their way to take offence come away offended.
    Criminal hate speech must sometimes be a tricky call; there will always be a wide blurry grey area. Just about anything volatile said against a minority could be construed as an INdirect incitement to violence or having the potential to manifest as dangerous hatred in somebody else. It must have been irksome for the CI that on the same day as this story broke, a far more serious one about a young gay man queer-bashed to a pulp did as well, putting their juiciest ‘persecution’ story in ages into painful perspective. However, to be honest I also very much doubt that the teen savages who nearly killed PC Parkes have a religious bone between them. Whilst it turns my stomach to hear Mike Judge talking gravely about the aggression of the gay lobby towards Christians after donkey’s years of hostility from the church towards homosexuals, in this case the council should have just let the fork-tongued twat be.

  • I see the dominionists are a problem here in America and in the UK. Seriously, I am sick of them. Here all they do is stir up trouble. They are the reason Scott Roeder is in jail. He killed Dr. Tiller, and abortion doctor, because he was a member of one of these groups. We have ministers in the pulpit preaching about their hatred for President Obama. We have more militia groups in this country than we have ever had since Obama became president. President Obama has received more death threats than any president in the history of this country. Dominionists are behind all of this opposition and support these different groups. As a previous poster indicated, one of these groups has already stated that they plan to challenge the new hate crimes law. They are causing so many problems here. They accuse Obama and liberals of every evil thing under the sun, but said not one word while George W. Bush was dismantling the financial system, wrecking the environment, wiretapping his own citizens’ phones, and taking our civil liberties, etc. As an African American who witnessed the periods of segregation and the civil rights struggle in America, I know racism when I see it. National leaders deny this, but one who is subjected to it on an almost daily basis, even now, recognizes it when one sees it. These folk don’t like homosexuals, immigrants (especially Hispanic immigrants), African Americans, muslims,etc. There are no real news outlets here anymore. The networks are manned by entertainers and commentators who shape the news to make money and increase ratings. Recently, President Obama spoke out against networks’ failure to report accurately on government policy, and they are all attacking him for telling the truth. We’re trying to get a national health care system, and in Congress the members of the president’s own political party are fighting him tooth and nail on it because they are not looking out for the peole who voted them into office but are looking out for the insurance companies. These companies have donated millions of dollars to their campaigns. Any attempt to reform health care and the financial system is blocked for the same reason. Members of Congress have ties to insurance companies and Wall Street, so that is who they place above the needs of the people. Corruption abounds.

  • OurSally

    If Mrs. Howe was any kind of a lady she would not have been photographed drinking tea with her elbow on the table. What kind of example is she trying to set for Baptist ministers’ wives?

  • shargraves

    Stuart, as a scouser myself, you may be totally right to say that the feral wretches who attacked that young lad, aren’t religious.
    But I guarantee that they go to a Roman Catholic school, are of low intellect, of low income families (still thatcher to blame for that though) their parents/grandparents still do go to church, and they all use the word gay as a term of abuse.
    They are the product of religion in practice in deprived areas of the UK – RC church is utterly self serving and it’s claims of promoting morality are greatly misjudged to the point of being baseless.
    gay hatred thrives in such uneducated strata where it is practically a non-issue to them as there is no element of censure towards this attitude – that comes from learned behaviour from their elders and peers.
    Churchs should stop spreading hatred – period – and this poisonous old bitch is a symptom of how they are so blind to how horrendous it is.

  • shargraves

    oops –
    …so blind to how horrendous it is, and how it has appalling consquences in the real world to real people.

  • barriejohn

    You’re spot on shargraves. I trained as a teacher at Padgate College of Education in Warrington (best days of my life – I should have stayed ‘oop north’!), and did much of my “Teaching Practice” in Catholic schools. What an eye-opener! It was like stepping back in time to the days of Dickens. The general standard of education in the schools tended to be very poor, as was “discipline” – where it existed – and they had a reputation for delinquency amongst the children second to none. The priests used to come in regularly to conduct religious services which lasted half the day (teaching there was a sinecure for non-Catholic staff, of course!), and I remember on one occasion after they had left a particular school, the headmaster had the whole school back again to harangue them because Father O’Malley was VERY disappointed with the paltry amount of money that the kids had contributed to the Vatican’s coffers that day. They had ANOTHER collection the next day, believe it or not – and this in a very poor mining community as well! You couldn’t make it up!!

  • Stuart H.

    If you look at that Channel 4 quote it’s obvious they mean it as a sort of ‘from the obscene (Baynham’s death) to the ridiculous (our batty old cow)’ sumary of the situation.
    So is the C.I.’s real beef that John Snow intimated she and her kind are nothing more than crazed halfwits who nobody takes seriously?
    Are they upset the Howes of this world will only unite the public in gales of laughter, not a midnight rally with torches and pitchforks?
    Incidentally, if (as I suspect) Howe accepted a caution from the police in return for them not taking it further (which would be standard practice for overworked police forced to investigate a pointless complaint which, her letter having been published on a public record, the council were obliged to make) then technically she admitted a crime.
    I also mention this because I see a pattern – fervent Christian, usually cash strapped or close to retirement/redundancy makes inflammatory comment to a public body which is bound by law to respond. ‘Coincidentally’ s/he gets national press coverage when they do, ambulance chasing lawyer steams in with compo claim. Matter settled out of court.
    Free publicity for right wing zombie chasers, free story that will run and run for papers too idle to look for one…. well, think you get the general picture.

  • Shargraves, it is absolutely true that whether the church will admit it or not, they do dutifully contribute ill feelings towards gay people in waves even in a ‘PC’ country like this. If a person in power or with at least a fair degree of influence had made the rant that Howe did I would be happy to see them demoted or booted. When it is a Stephen Green’s aunt-type gasping that at a Gay Pride she was told where to shove the anti-gay leaflets she took along, she deserves nothing but mirth and condescending advice to find something better to do.

  • Dave

    An old lady handed out leaflets and was verbally abusive and wrote a nasty letter.
    You want to give up your freedom of speech to prevent this?
    Not like she was tossing cats at people, get a grip.
    We have a human rights board in Canada set up by a bunch of we
    know better folks in the 70s, turns out it violates every prinicple
    of justioe since magna carta. We are currentl finally getting rid
    of it.
    BTW, pride parades can be gross, seen one once, and i have no
    desire to see one again. Basically let them have their parade,
    but whats a parade with no audience?

  • Trevor Blake

    Is your anti-superstition ranting bound to manifest itself in rationality? Then why are there still theists? Is religion’s ranting bound to manifest itself in superstition? Then how did you become a freethinker? The majority of music is about love – does it make you love when you hear it daily your entire life? Does school make you smart and lack of school make you dumb?
    Hate speech laws are the very opposite of freethinking. If it were true exposure to a hateful pamphlet (or Bible or Quran) could make you do anything, there would be no atheism. If I could write in such a way to control others I’d be a bit more wealthy than I am now. Speech and thought and inquiry are either free or not. I expect better, and so far have always got it, from The Freethinker.
    I advocate the withering away of superstition under the twin suns of reason and scorn.

  • Yes. Yes I absolutely do want to give up my freedom of speech to prevent this from ever happening again.
    Wat the FUCK are you talking aboot?

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  • I think all those domestic violence adverts and ‘sex abuse’ adverts stir up hatred towards ‘men’.
    But it seems that ‘men’ can be demonised all you like – and no-one protests.
    Only privileged groups must be protected from ‘hate speech’.

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