Campaign fails to bring about prosecution against gay police

Campaign fails to bring about prosecution against gay police

By staff writers
25 Sep 2006

Campaign fails to bring about prosecution against gay police

-25/09/06

A letter writing campaign by conservative Christians has failed to bring about a public prosecution against the Gay Police Association (GPA).

The campaign began in late June after the GPA placed an advert in the Independent newspaper highlighting that in the last 12 months the group had recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.

The advert featured a bible and a pool of blood, referring to what many Christians see as the abuse and wrongful use of religious texts for hate crimes.

However several conservative Evangelical groups interpreted the advert as an attack on Christians themselves - although the advert made no direct reference to them.

A campaign was launched by conservative evangelicals informing Christians how to register complaints with the police. Many hoped that it would lead to a public prosecution under section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Order Act 1998.

It is claimed that 50,000 complaints from individual groups and organisations have been made.

The Crown Prosecution Service however has now announced that it will not prosecute the Gay Police Association.

As highlighted in the recent book by the director of the religious thinktank Ekklesia Jonathan Bartley, entitled 'Faith and politics After Christendom: the church as a movement for anarchy', conservative Christians are increasingly being radicalised, feeling that they are being marginalised, attacked, discriminated against, or even persecuted. This often leads to attempts to use the law to criminalise those they feel are their opponents.

Bartley argues that such responses are innapropriate and contrary to the Christian gospel of love which urges 'love of enemies' rather than their criminalisation.

Other Christians have also recently suggested that Christian concerns would be better served by acknowledging that the bible has often been abused for hateful and violent ends, and by fighting homophobia.

The director of the Evangelical Alliance, Joel Edwards recently publicly recognised that Evangelicalism "had become a synonym, in popular understanding, for moralising bigotry, fundamentalism and reactivity".

He spoke of the need to "resist the knee-jerk tendency to protest everything" and called for a more positive emphasis, saying he wanted to portray "more of a passion for people, rather than for what people do wrong."

A letter writing campaign by conservative Christians has failed to bring about a public prosecution against the Gay Police Association (GPA).

The campaign began in late June after the GPA placed an advert in the Independent newspaper highlighting that in the last 12 months the group had recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.

The advert featured a bible and a pool of blood, referring to what many Christians see as the abuse and wrongful use of religious texts for hate crimes.

However several conservative Evangelical groups interpreted the advert as an attack on Christians themselves - although the advert made no direct reference to them.

A campaign was launched by conservative evangelicals informing Christians how to register complaints with the police. Many hoped that it would lead to a public prosecution under section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Order Act 1998.

It is claimed that 50,000 complaints from individual groups and organisations have been made.

The Crown Prosecution Service however has now announced that it will not prosecute the Gay Police Association.

As highlighted in the recent book by the director of the religious thinktank Ekklesia Jonathan Bartley, entitled 'Faith and politics After Christendom: the church as a movement for anarchy', conservative Christians are increasingly being radicalised, feeling that they are being marginalised, attacked, discriminated against, or even persecuted. This often leads to attempts to use the law to criminalise those they feel are their opponents.

Bartley argues that such responses are innapropriate and contrary to the Christian gospel of love which urges 'love of enemies' rather than their criminalisation.

Other Christians have also recently suggested that Christian concerns would be better served by acknowledging that the bible has often been abused for hateful and violent ends, and by fighting homophobia.

The director of the Evangelical Alliance, Joel Edwards recently publicly recognised that Evangelicalism "had become a synonym, in popular understanding, for moralising bigotry, fundamentalism and reactivity".

He spoke of the need to "resist the knee-jerk tendency to protest everything" and called for a more positive emphasis, saying he wanted to portray "more of a passion for people, rather than for what people do wrong."

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