The BBC's flagship News at Six on BBC One featured a right-wing fundamentalist Christian who had previously supported the execution of gay people to comment on the birth of a surrogate son to Sir Elton John and his civil
partner David Furnish. Incredibly, the BBC did not seem to realise that the same preacher had faced bankruptcy after losing an attempted private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC after the character of Jesus
described himself as a little bit gay in Jerry Springer: The Opera.
On the 28th December, Sir Elton and his partner, the film-maker David Furnish announced the birth of their son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, to an unnamed surrogate mother.
The same night, the BBC broadcast a report by Lizo Mzimba on the birth of the child. With the introduction not everyone is pleased to see such a high profile same sex couple start to raise a surrogate child , Mr Mzimba
proceeded to interview Stephen Green, of right-wing group Christian Voice, without any warning that he is someone who has in the past supported the death penalty for gay men.
In an interview that was visibly edited together, Mr Green told the BBC: This isn't just a designer baby for Sir Elton John, this is a designer accessory… [cut] Now it seems like money can buy him anything, and so he
has entered into this peculiar arrangement…[cut] The baby is a product of it. A baby needs a mother and it seems an act of pure selfishness to deprive a baby of a mother.
The BBC has mounted a defence of its decision to include an interview with a supporter of state sponsored execution of gay men in its
coverage of the birth of Sir Elton John and David Furnish's first child. A spokesman for the corporation told PinkNews.co.uk that the interview with a right-wing Christian fundamentalist allowed the BBC News at Six to reflect a genuine debate over
the issue of surrogacy for gay couples.
In a statement, the BBC said: The practice of surrogacy is a sensitive subject and remains controversial in some quarters. Our short news bulletin featured Elton John talking about wanting to have a child and an opposing viewpoint. All sides of
the debate on surrogacy have been widely reported in the news media and our coverage has reflected this.
The BBC has refused to answer whether other organisations were also contacted to comment on the birth of Sir Elton's child, or if Christian Voice, a small fundamentalist group with around 500 supporters was the only organisation contacted. A BBC
source told PinkNews.co.uk it is Christmas so a lot of people are away or not answering their telephones.
The BBC also declined to comment on whether the reporter or producers working on the report, or the programme editor were aware of Green's background. Although, PinkNews.co.uk points out that a simple search on Google or Bing reveals considerable
coverage of Green's past activities and extremist views.
The BBC has effectively admitted interviewing a known homophobic extremist in order to
reflect what they perceive is a genuine debate over gay couples having surrogate children. The corporation makes no apology for the choice of interviewee. PinkNews.co.uk believes that the BBC were unable to find
anyone else willing to give an interview on camera in opposition to Sir Elton's decision to have a child.
The decision to include an interview with Stephen Green was hurtful not just to the millions of LGBT licence fee payers but also to millions of Christians who do not hold or subscribe to the extremist views of Christian Voice. Most Christians
would not support the abhorrent views of Mr Green and his small band of supporters who simply smear the name of the Christian faith.
6th January 2011.
Ofcom reported receiving 95 complaints about using Stephen Green for sound bite balance
The BBC has angered the nutters of Christian Voice with a TV drama in which the Virgin Mary is branded a prostitute
and sex cheat.
In The Nativity , written by Tony Jordan, 15-year-old Mary is attacked by people who do not believe her claim that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph accuses her of whoring and even suggests that her pregnancy
might have been the result of rape.
But Stephen Green, of Christian Voice, said: There is no justification for any of this in the gospels. They do say Joseph was suspicious, but that was it. It doesn't suggest any physical or verbal abuse. It's typical of the fertile imagination
you need for something like EastEnders. The kids that do nativity plays in school will be perplexed that someone has come up with this revisionist, puerile idea.
The BBC can't help themselves. Three quarters of our population are Christian. At the BBC, this proportion is reversed. You have a huge proportion of militant, liberal atheists who are keen to dump on Christianity. They wouldn't mock the birth
of Muhammad , or anything to do with his life story. They wouldn't ridicule Hinduism or Sikhism, but Christianity is their big target.
Defending the drama, Jordan said: The story is told using modern language and the characters have modern attitudes. Personally, I believe in the immaculate conception but I think it's perfectly understandable if people struggle with the
concept. I think the questions asked in our drama are the kind that any man watching a prime-time TV drama in 2010 would quite reasonably ask. I think it perfectly believable that Joseph should get angry with his betrothed and only agree to take
her with him to Bethlehem when she risks being stoned by angry neighbours.
If my own wife came to me and said: 'Tony, I'm having a baby which isn't yours but, don't worry, I was visited by the Angel Gabriel and it's actually God's baby,' I think I would feel more than a little miffed.
A Church of England spokesman said: Tony Jordan's adaptation presents a gritty interpretation of the events of the first Christmas. We hope it will bring home the story of Jesus being born in a humble stable to many new viewers.
Sorry, asylum rooms only for couples
in a properly consummated marriage
The BBC have rejected accusations that its The Nativity drama contained an anti-Jewish libel after a leading rabbi complained about the portrayal of one its characters.
Jonathan Romain, a prominent figure in the group Reform, said that the BBC was spoiling the season of goodwill by including a scene that showed a rabbi denying shelter to a pregnant Mary.
It shows the mother of Jesus trying to flee a hostile Bethlehem crowd and a rabbi refusing her the haven of his synagogue, letting her escape through a back door instead.
Romain said many Jews would be aghast that amid a story central to the beliefs of millions of Christians an anti-Judaic aspect has been twisted into the narrative . The Gospels tell us there was no room at the inn, not that a
rabbi kicked Mary out of a synagogue . Having survived Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish Easter onslaught The Passion now the season of goodwill has been spoiled.
It would be tragic if a 30-minute television programme undid years of inter-faith dialogue, he added.
The BBC rejected his suggestion that the scene constituted an anti-Jewish libel, saying there was absolutely no truth to claims the rabbi was depicted in a negative way.
Christian Voice is demanding Tesco pull a sinful Twilight advent calendar from its stores because
it offends Christians.
Christian Voice says mixing religion with the cult vampire series is deeply offensive to Christians.
It's sickening to see the message of Jesus Christ being hijacked to peddle a brand like Twilight, which to all intents and purposes proclaims an anti-religious cult, said Stephen Green, national director of the group: Twilight may be
fiction, but it is dangerous to mix-up such a story in the minds of impressionable children with that of the Nativity.
The Twilight Eclipse calendar features a picture of actress Kristen Stewart, and her two rivals in love - Edward the vampire and Jacob the werewolf.
Tesco apologised if anyone was offended but said it always gives customers a choice, adding: Twilight is a very popular brand and we aim to provide the types of products our customers would like to buy.'
Comedian Bill Bailey is currently staging a one-man show, Dandelion Mind, at Wyndham's Theatre in London s West End . Much of the evening, according to journalist Quentin Letts, involves attacking Christianity. A
particularly distasteful skit insults Jesus Christ by ridiculing the moment when a dramatically convinced Thomas put his hand in the Lord's side.
Mr Letts has penned a scathing review, in which he calls for evangelicals to turn up to heckle Bailey with hymns, and accuses the panel show contributor of cowardice. Christianity is a safe, soft target, but Bailey would
never have the guts to insult Mohammed, says the Mail's columnist. The same applies to homosexuality. Bill Bailey would never insult the gays. Certainly not in a theatre owned by Cameron MacKintosh,. 'Not exactly the bravest of Berties - a
distinctly predictable performance, Quentin Letts concludes.
Bill Bailey himself, in an article in timesonline, says he takes on multi-nationals, as if that is radical cutting-edge comedy, instead of just another soft target. He won't lose any points among the politically-correct by
mocking the theory of intelligent design either. Now if he took on the laughable idea of evolution, or took a sideswipe at abortion or feminism or sexual immorality, now that would be daring
The North Yorkshire vicar who has authored the most frightening children's book every written says he is having to keep the details of a nationwide school tour secret, for fear of lobbying from Christians nutters.
Graham Taylor has come under fire from Christians and parents over his new children's book featuring 11 murders, stabbings and teenage girls having their throats ripped out.
GP Taylor who found fame after self-publishing world wide hit Shadowmancer has been blasted by Christian Voice for extolling death and destruction' in The Vampyre Labyrinth , a bloodsucker set in Second World War Whitby
The author now fears that owing to the snowball of opposition to the book some people may take direct action. I am about to embark on a school tour and talk to 20,000 children, he added.
I am concerned that there is a real threat that some people may start lobbying bookshops and schools to stop children buying the book. We are living in the age of direct action. I saw what happened to Jerry Springer the Opera and now I fear
for my career.
The book has recently earned the title 'the most terrifying children's book ever written'. Many people are saying that it is far too frightening and that children should be warned before opening the pages. The book has already sold out its 50,000
first print and publishers Faber are rushing out a reprint.
Christian Voice chairman Stephen Green said Shame on any head teacher who invites GP Taylor into their school with this book. It is up to head teachers to behave more responsibly and if I was a parent at a school that allowed him in I'd be
straight up to the school and demanding answers from the head teacher.
Green said messages on the Christian Voice website showed the strength of feeling including one which said: To promote gore, bloodlust and thoughts of death as being healthy topics for the minds of innocent children is bizarre.
Christian protesters who picketed the Manchester Pride parade could be banned from the streets during next year's event.
Council chiefs are 'outraged' that around 20 placard-waving demonstrators many from the conservative pressure group Christian Voice were allowed to disrupt the event.
They gathered outside the John Rylands Library on Deansgate as more than 100 floats celebrating Greater Manchester's gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender communities went past.
Members of the protest were filmed shouting sinful and wicked at people taking part in Saturday's parade.
The group was largely drowned out by the whistle-blowing crowd of thousands and Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen gave them an ironic wave as he led the procession. But town hall bosses believe the protesters overstepped the mark.
They now plan to work with police to see whether anti-hate laws can be used to ban similar scenes at Pride next summer.
Pat Karney, the council's city centre spokesman, said such protests had no place in Manchester. He said: I will be meeting organisers and police to make sure that next year people are not subject to these vile, hate-filled rantings. This is 2010, not
1950, and young gay men and women should not be subjected to this hatred. We have a proud history in Manchester of freedom of speech but there is no place for this. I am a Christian and I believe that these people are a terrible advert for Christianity.
There are things we can do using hate laws to make sure they do not come back.
Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: It is a very sad day for this country when the authorities want to clamp down on the teachings of the Gospel. This is a major assault on freedom of speech.
Christian Voice nutter Stephen Green had his moment on Channel 4's 4ThoughtTV . He spouted:
We are seeing a homosexualisation of society, but not reproducing ourselves except in the Muslim population. It's not Muslim mums' fault that they are having five or six children, they are doing what the Lord God designed
their bodies to do, but in 30 years our dying civilisation is going to be taken over by a stronger one and the obvious candidate is Islam and the gays aren't going to like it much living under that system.
On Thursday, 25th March, a number of cinemas in the UK will be screening Eric Idle's Not the Messiah a musical version of The Life of Brian.
The film is being promoted by Classic FM much to the annoyance of Britain's most comical Christian, who is demanding that CFM pulls its trailers for the movie, and ditch an accompanying competition.
Stephen Green of Christian Voice said in an email:
The film sponges off the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and this mock-oratorio parodies the glorious music of Handel's masterwork. It is even billed as a spoof of Handel's Messiah . It has the song from Life of
Brian which 'Brian' sang while hanging from the cross, Always look on the bright side of life . Crucifixion is not funny. It even has Hail to the Shoe sung to the music of the Hallelujah Chorus . That isn't funny either.
While pretending Not the Messiah is not blasphemous or offensive, Idle is well aware of what he is doing mocking the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to Eric Idle: There is no controversy .. it's only people stupid
enough to realise Christ is in the movie twice, and Christ isn't Christ, so there's no real controversy It's very simple you either get it or you don't .
But Eric Idle is an avowed atheist and a supporter and reader of both Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. He has a song on Atheist Nexus: Fuck Christmas . This is a man with an agenda and a big anti-Christ chip on his
shoulder. I think we get it. He is out to mock religion and people of faith; and it's a great pity that Classic FM has joined him, showing contempt for their Christian listeners.
Leading classical music radio station, Classic FM, have dropped all their promotion of Eric Idle's Not the Messiah , in response to a deluge of complaints from Christian listeners.
It took a couple of hours this morning for Classic FM executives to realise they had made a terrible mistake in promoting it.
Faced with hundreds of distraught emails sent over the weekend, and bombarded with so many telephone calls they stopped taking them, managing director Darren Henley ditched Not the Messiah quicker than you can say Whose
bright idea was that?
Listeners were not amused to find their radio station promoting a militant atheist production insulting Jesus Christ and doing violence to Handel's Hallelujah Chorus in the run-up to Easter. By 10am on Monday morning the competition
was over and all reference to Not the Messiah , including images from the show, had been removed from the website..
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said: I am also pleased that Christian Voice was able to play a small part in explaining to Mr Henley the offence caused by the station's promotion
of Eric Idle's atheist rant.
We give all the praise to God for the change of heart at Classic FM and we hope and pray they will be more discerning in future.'
But it appears that Stephen Green may have been a bit hasty.
Classic FM Director Derren Henley explains that the Not the Messiah ad campaign had run its natural course, and Christian Voice's complaining campaign had nothing to do with it stopping.
Following an email campaign, a number of incorrect views about Classic FM's involvement in this event appear to have gathered momentum in the online community and I hope that you will allow me to take this opportunity to correct
1. Classic FM broadcast an advertising campaign for this event which ran from last Wednesday until last weekend. The station also ran a competition to win tickets to the event on the station's website which also ended last weekend.
No further advertising activity was booked to run either on-air or online after the weekend.
2. At no point did Classic FM ever intend to broadcast this event on air, nor did it ever enter into any negotiations to broadcast the event on air, so any assertion that any programme content has been withdrawn from broadcast is
3. Classic FM has never been a financial supporter of this event and nor was it ever the promoter of the live event and that relationship has in no way changed over the past week.