Christian Voice turns fire on Christian radio station
A civil war appears to have broken out between opponents of "Jerry Springer: The Opera" with anti-gay group Christian Voice claiming it has been 'publicly attacked' and 'stabbed in the back' by a well known London Christian station and Christian magazine.
Both Premier Radio and Christian Voice campaigned against the broadcast on BBC2 of the satirical programme "Jerry Springer: The Opera" earlier this year.
Stephen Green of Christian Voice in particular came to media attention when his internet site helped stoke up a furore about the broadcast.
But in a Press Release last week Peter Kerridge of Premier Radio and John Buckeridge of the Premier-owned 'Christianity' and 'Youthwork' magazines announced that they had written to the BBC expressing concern about the groups 'fundamentalist' views prior to its national director's appearance on BBC1's Question Time programme.
Peter Kerridge said; 'From previous experience, the BBC are aware of Stephen Green's reputation for making inflammatory comments and we are concerned that the motivation to have him as a panellist on Question Time is to provoke further provocative and extreme comments which BBC viewers may assume represent mainstream Christian opinion."
Kerridge and Buckeridge were not alone in their concern about Stephen Green's appearance. The Moderator of the United Reformed Church also issued a statement saying Christian Voice had "the right to express its extreme views, but it is as representative of Christian opinion in Britain as the Monster Raving Loony Party would be of mainstream political parties - and far less entertaining.'
But in his own press release issued at the weekend, Christian Voice's Stephen Green said; "I can't see any evidence of any love or unity of Spirit whatsoever in the Premier Press Release. Christian Voice has always supported Premier in their various battles, simply because they are fellow believers. We would defend and unite behind Christianity Today (see note 1) if they came under fire. To have Peter Kerridge and John Buckeridge reward that support by condemning us out of hand, with no prior warning, in public, in this unbecoming way, certainly feels like a betrayal."
He continued; "To be honest, I am still shocked by the attack. I had no idea there was such animosity to me and to Christian Voice festering in the Premier Radio headquarters. Evangelical Christians are used to attacks from the world (John 15:18), but to be hated and stabbed in the back by one's brothers is very hard to take."
Christian Voice was widely condemned for facilitating the intimidation of BBC staff over Jerry Springer - The Opera by publicising their contact details. It subsequently apologised for doing this.
However CV went on to exert pressure on a Scottish charity to refuse a £3,000 donation that would help cancer sufferers, because cast members from the Jerry Springer show had been involved in raising it.
National Director Stephen Green also caused widespread offence by declining to offer compensation to the cancer sufferers, and by saying that he wished to reverse the stereotype of Christianity as 'a religion for women and wimps'.
In June 2005 the Co-Op Bank decided to withdraw its facilities from Christian Voice because the organisation did not fit with its ethical criteria.
CV has always refused to say how many supporters it has, but they are thought to number no more than a few hundred. Jerry Springer - The Opera co-writer Stewart Lee says it is 'a crazy fringe groupÖ which discredits itself by its own rhetoric' and has given his show 'unprecedented coverage'.
In addition to his BBC surprise appearance on Question Time, the Christian Voice director also makes a somewhat less-than-flattering cameo appearance in this month's issue of the famously puerile adult comic Viz, where he appears to be on the data base of 'Club Cretinus, Britain's No 1 dating agency for unintelligent people'.
Note 1 - In his press release Stephen Green refers to 'Christianity Today' magazine. This is in fact a separate publication which has nothing to do with Premier Radio. It is believed that Green was in fact meaning Christianity magazine which is owned by Premier Radio.