Jerry Springer Blasphemy

 Christian Voice attempt private prosecution



5th December
2007
  

Update: An End to the Blasphemy Nonsense...

Judges end Christian Voice blasphemy prosecution

Jerry Springer: The opera DVD cover Christian Voice has lost its High Court battle to prosecute the BBC's director general over the screening of Jerry Springer - The Opera , in 2005.

Christian Voice director, Stephen Green, had hoped to overturn a previous ruling which forbade him from prosecuting Mark Thompson. Green said the show "clearly crossed the blasphemy threshold".

Two judges ruled it was reasonable to conclude the play "in context" could not be considered as blasphemous. They said the production as a whole was not and could not reasonably be regarded as aimed at, or an attack on, Christianity or what Christians held sacred.

The play had been performed regularly in major theatres in London for
a period of nearly two years without any sign of it undermining
society or occasioning civil strife or unrest,
said Judge Anthony Hughes. There
had been no violence or even demonstrations.

 

7th December
2007
  

Update: Opera Encore...

Christian Voice to appeal for a blasphemy prosecution

Jerry Springer: The opera DVD cover A High Court verdict to refuse a private prosecution for blasphemy in the case of Jerry Springer the Opera will be appealed, it was announced today.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, is seeking to prosecute Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, and Jonathan Thoday of producers Avalon, following a theatre tour of the show from January to July 2006 and its transmission on BBC2 in January 2005.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today: We must appeal this disappointing decision. The law as the Court has interpreted it now gives carte blanche to broadcasters and theatre companies to blaspheme, while the press still may not. That cannot be logical, let alone right. In effect the guts of the law against blasphemy have been torn out, and not even by Parliament, but by judicial decree. I believe the judges have wrongly interpreted

So we have one High Court judge say there was an arguable case in our favour, and now two have gone the other way. I hope and pray the House of Lords will uphold the totality of the law against blasphemy and allow the prosecution to proceed. If they do not, then a bit more common decency, courtesy and respect, which is part of what it means to be civilised, let alone British, will have been thrown away.'

 

5th March
2008
  

Update: Blasphemy Fades...

House of Lords refuses Jerry Springer appeal

Jerry Springer: The opera DVD cover Stephen Green, national director of Stephen Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice) has failed yet again to get the BBC and John Thoday done for blasphemy. The House of Lords refused to hear the appeal of the recent High Court decision.

Update: Nutters with a Cross to Bear

Christian Voice are not impressed by the House of Lords decision not to hear the appeal. Their solicitor wrote to the Times:

See letter from the Times

The House of Lords has decided not to hear the appeal as it was not felt by the House to have “sufficient public interest”. We believe that the House of Lords erred in declining to hear the appeal, since the High Court’s decision was bad law; indeed, one commentator described the decision as “without legal merit”.

Recently there has been another blasphemy case which we believe has fallen foul of the law, namely the grotesque statue of Jesus Christ with an erect penis in the Baltic Art Centre, Gateshead. Many Christians demonstrated against this and the strength of feeling ran high. Many expressed their desire to destroy the statue, but desisted, knowing this not to be lawful. Those same people have expressed a desire to assist in a private prosecution for blasphemy. The police have shown no interest in dealing with these grievances, as far as we are aware, and the art centre displayed the statue until the end of the exhibition. We strongly believe that it is in the public interest to prevent such lewd and offensive displays.

... Read letter

 

28th June
2008
  

Update: The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways...

Christian loses blasphemy case, causes blasphemy law to be repealed, now faces bankruptcy

Christian Voice banner A Christian activist who tried to charge the BBC's Director General and the producer of Jerry Springer the Opera with blasphemy is facing bankruptcy over a 'grotesque' costs order.

The High Court ruled last December that Stephen Green could not prosecute Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon over the BBC2 broadcast of Jerry Springer the Opera and its subsequent theatre tour. The Court ordered costs against him.

In a hearing a fortnight ago, Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday were awarded costs totalling £90,000 against Stephen Green, who is the National Director of Christian Voice. The BBC's solicitors were awarded £55,000 and Olswangs Solicitors, who acted for Thoday, got an order for £35,000.

The money is due to be paid today, but Green doesn't have it.

He has written to both Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday inviting them to waive their costs in the interests of goodwill and justice.

Stephen Green, who brought the action over Jerry Springer the Opera in his own name, said today: It should be enough for Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday that they got away with blasphemy, insulting God and the Lord Jesus Christ, at least in this life. For these rich, powerful men to pursue me into the bankruptcy courts over money I don't have would be vindictive.

Stephen Green concluded: How are people with limited means expected to bring actions of public importance against public bodies or wealthy people? It is outrageous that a public-spirited individual should be dissuaded from upholding standards of public decency in a public body because of the fear of adverse, grotesque costs orders.

 

30th June
2008
  

Offsite: Shitting on Stephen Green...

Christian Chickens Come Home to Roost

Christian Voice banner There is something awfully delicious about the news that anti gay activist Stephen Green has had his prophetic ass kicked.

I know its terribly naughty, but I just cannot help taking joy from this whole thing, of course I feel suitably guilty for doing so, but mmmmmm it's delicious. To add insult to injury there is this marvellous YouTube video where he interprets being shit on by a seagull as a sign from God , I kid you not.

...Read full article

 

6th July
2008
  

Update: The Lord Still Works in Mysterious Ways!...

Stephen Green faring badly in his petition to get court costs waived

Christian Voice banner As reported earlier Stephen Green is having difficulties with the legal fees resulting from his failed attempt to prosecute some of those involved with  Jerry Springer the Opera. He initiated a petition to ask for court costs to be waived.

Green has achieved about 1200 signatures in support of his cause, but many of these have been added to take the opportunity of recording distinctly unsupportive messages. Surely worth a read.

There is now a counter petition with 900 signatures that reads:

We the undersigned call upon Mark Thompson of the BBC and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon to insist the £90,000 costs awarded to them against Stephen Green in the Jerry Springer the Opera case are paid in full.

We note that Mark Thompson's salary is more than £750,000 pa and that Jon Thoday's wealth was estimated at £12 million in 2001 and yet find this information irrelevant.

We note that Jonathan Thoday's company lost £500,000 on the tour of Jerry Springer the Opera due to the unpleasant actions of Mr Green and that £35,000 is really the least Mr Green can stump up.

We note that Mr Green says the BBC spends millions on inflated salaries for celebrities, rebranding logos and the news and on channels hardly anyone watches and that it would not even notice £55,000 , like that's some kind of defence.

Finally, we regard the costs orders made against Stephen Green as justice and hope this small-minded individual now realises that gaining fair access to the courts against ANY opponents carries with it the threat of punitive costs hanging over them.

 

18th July
2008
  

Update: Behind the Green Door...

Court bailiffs knock on Stephen Green's door and find the coffers bare

Christian Voice banner The BBC have just sent a bailiff to serve a statutory demand on Christian activist Stephen Green in respect of Mark Thompson's costs of £55,000 in the Jerry Springer the Opera case.

The demand could see Green made bankrupt and homeless.

The High Court ruled last December that Stephen Green could not prosecute Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon over the BBC2 broadcast of Jerry Springer the Opera and its subsequent theatre tour. The Court ordered costs against him.

Last month, Stephen Green wrote to both Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday inviting them to waive their costs in the interests of goodwill and justice. The appeal to the better nature of Thompson has fallen on deaf ears.

 

8th August
2008
  

Update: No Regrets...

BBC pursue Stephen Green for full legal fees owing

Christian Voice banner Stephen Green, the founder of the fundamentalist Christian Voice group, has offered the BBC about a third of its costs after he failed in an attempt to prosecute the Director-General Mark Thompson for blasphemy after he broadcast Jerry Springer – the Opera on BBC2. The BBC wants the full costs of ฃ55,000.

Green says that Thompson and Mark Thoday, the producer of Jerry Springer – the Opera who was also named in the attempted prosecution, should be “magnanimous” and waive the fees. Green did not make clear how magnanimous he would have been had Messrs Thompson and Thoday been sent to jail, as he wanted them to be.

Now the BBC says that unless it gets the full costs from Green, the licence-payer will end up footing the bill. In a statement, the BBC said: Mr Green tried to launch a criminal prosecution… he knew when he embarked on the litigation that he would be required to pay the costs if he were to be unsuccessful. The BBC believes it has a duty to recover legal costs from Mr Green. If it does not do so, the licence-fee payer will effectively be funding Mr Green’s activities.

Green said that he has been served with a statutory demand that was the first step in bankruptcy, with a charge on his house. He said that he did not have the full amount that was being demanded and that if his house in Carmarthen were to be sold then he would be homeless.

Green said that he did not regret his action, even though the blasphemy law has now been abolished, and that maybe his action helped speed that process. He says that he will now concentrate on “street-witness” (i.e. bellowing through a megaphone at hapless shoppers).

 

1st February
2009
  

Update: Voice of the Cesspit...

Miserable sinners whinge about student production of Jerry Springer: The Opera

Jerry Springer The Opera St Andrews university in Edinburgh is about to be hit by a wave of nutter protest as the first ever amateur production of the notable West End musical Jerry Springer: The Opera rolls into town.

The play, which caused a nutter storm for supposedly ridiculing Jesus Christ, God and the Virgin Mary, is to be performed by a group of students from St Andrews, who claim the musical will show the ancient institution is daring enough to promote religious debate.

The Just So Musical Society at St Andrews University will stage its production in April as part of the On the Rocks arts festival, which launches this year at the university. The show, which will follow the original script and score with a cast of 25 students, will have a three-night run at the students' association from April 19 to 21.

The student director of the show, John MacLean, who is a practising Christian, denied he was courting controversy. I've decided to put it on because it's a fantastic show. I think the score is incredible, and I went to see it in Edinburgh and I laughed out loud throughout. .

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, remains implacably opposed to the show. His organisation's campaign against the earlier, professional tour using leafletting and the threat of legal action against theatres meant the show lost £500,000.

Green said his organisation would try to do the same to the St Andrews production. It is disgraceful that in the birthplace of the Scottish Reformation, St Andrews University is putting on a production that insults the Lord Jesus Christ. Ridiculing Jesus Christ will bring shame and God's judgment on what should, with all its history, be a devout seat of learning, not a cesspit.

He called all Christians to take action against the musical. We must pray that this show is cancelled, but if it is not, may the Lord bring Christian people out on the streets of St Andrews to witness and evangelise at all the events during the arts week. If many sinners repent and turn to Jesus Christ, some good will yet come from this evil.

Solicitor Michael Phillips, who represented Christian Voice when they sued the BBC for blasphemy after broadcasting the musical in 2007, said: It's a worry that this production is rearing up again, and it's sad that something with so little artistic merit was given such a lot of attention because it used profanity and blasphemy. St Andrews University could be opening themselves up for protests which could lead to legal action if there is somebody with the right funding behind them.

Gordon Macdonald, of Christian Action, Research and Education in Scotland, said: We would ask people not to see it or give them any encouragement by attending the performance. We recognise people's freedom of speech, but at the same time that has to be exercised responsibly, and they shouldn't go out of their way to offend people unnecessarily.

 

20th April
2009
  

Update: Subdued Voice...

One man Christian Voice protest at latest production of Jerry Springer: The Opera

Jerry Springer The Opera Around 20 supporters of a nutter Christian group last night held a peaceful protest against the staging of the musical, Jerry Springer The Opera , in St Andrews.

It was in stark contrast to Saturday’s opening night of the production, a centrepiece of a new arts festival organised by students at St Andrews University.

Only one member of the national Christian Voice group, which had branded the institution a cesspit , turned up to demonstrate on the first night of the production.

Lecturer Dr Charles Ferguson mounted his one-man protest outside the students’ union where the show was staged. The doctor of theology handed out leaflets condemning the production to members of the audience entering the Union building and to passers-by, said: This show degrades Jesus and it is offensive and blasphemous. The Lord’s name is taken in vain and it degrades his person.

However, last night he was joined by a party of supporters of the Christian Voice organisation from the East Kilbride area, many carrying placards and banners, who travelled to St Andrews to participate in the peaceful demonstration.

Also taking part was the national director of Christian Voice, Stephen Green, who said, This production is just filth. It is a great shame that the St Andrews students have put this on and I hope and pray it will be the last time.

 


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