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Not to be confused with Christian Voice in the USA.
Christian Voice National Director,
Stephen Green
Stephen Green.jpg
Type Christian lobby group
Headquarters Wernwyd
Pen-y-bont
Carmarthen
SA33 6QN
United Kingdom
National Director Stephen Green
Website www.christianvoice.org.uk

Christian Voice (CV) is a conservative Christian pressure group in the United Kingdom.

Information on the group's membership is hard to find, but they have been described as small protest network, led by Stephen Green.[1] In 2006, they were reported to have only 'only a few hundred members'[2] Nevertheless, the group received wide media coverage

Their rise to prominence, from 2005 onwards, has been attributed to a 'willingness of the media to offer him a platform.


The group rose to


   Its objective is "to uphold Christianity as the Faith of the United Kingdom, to be a voice for Biblical values in law and public policy, and to defend and support traditional family life."[3]  It is independent of religious, denominational, or political parties.[4]

CV is led by Stephen Green, with Lord Ashbourne as its patron.[5] Green is the group's spokesperson, usually producing several press releases each month. In 2005 Green suggested that Christian Voice had in excess of 600 members.[6]

The group has been criticised for its positions. John Cryer MP called them "fundamentalist thugs", whilst the Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church called Christian Voice "a disgrace"[6] and described their claim to represent Christians in the UK as "absurd".[7]

Leadership[edit]

The leader of Christian Voice is Stephen Green, a former Chairman of the Conservative Family Campaign, who attends an Assemblies of God Church. In the early 1990s, Green was a prominent campaigner against homosexuality through the Conservative Family Campaign, and wrote a book called The Sexual Dead-End.

Green featured heavily in the Channel 4 current affairs documentary series Dispatches - In God's Name, in which, at a small rally to protest the building of a mosque, he made a number of comments attacking Islam. This prompted the Rev. Joel Edwards, head of the Evangelical Alliance, to write a public letter distancing his group from Mr Green, whom he described as an extremist.[8]

Positions[edit]

Christian Voice has called for British law to be based on the Bible.[9] It opposes abortion[10], homosexuality[11][12], no-fault divorce[13] and compulsory sex education.[14] Additionally it supports the death penalty.[9] and does not recognise the concept of marital rape.[15] The group has also published a paper attacking Islam as untrue, and the multi-faith ideas of it as a religion of peace as false.[16]

Homosexuality[edit]

The group has been involved in campaigns against the Gay Police Association (GPA). Christian Voice is opposed to police officers participating in gay pride marches, and in 2003 wrote to the Chief Constable of each force which it alleged allowed its officers to march in uniform at Pride events. The organisation published the replies on its website and, in the accompanying 16-page document Homosexuality and the Police, described homosexuality as "characterised by disease, degradation, death and denial" and Gay Pride as "intimidating".[17]

Since July 2005, a group of people led by Stephen Green has held protests during London's Pride Parade. Similar protests have been held in Brighton, Leeds, Belfast and Cardiff.

On 2 September 2006, Green was arrested while handing out pamphlets urging gays to "turn from their sins" at the Cardiff Mardi Gras. The police considered the leaflets hateful. The Crown Prosecution Service decided to withdraw their prosecution of Green on the grounds of insufficient evidence; the police stated that this did not "challenge the legality" of his arrest. Green's attorney indicated he would seek damages in civil court for "abuse of police powers."[18]

Green has expressed support for the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) and its associated penalty of death, claiming "The Bible calls for the ultimate penalty for sodomy... A Parliamentarian in Uganda is trying to protect his nation's children. The House of Commons of the United Kingdom is trying to corrupt ours."[19]

Green took part in a debate at the Cambridge Union Society (22 January 2009) titled "The House Would Rather Be Gay", where he opposed the motion.[20]

Abortion[edit]

The group claims abortion is the wilful murder of a living human being and compares it to the Holocaust.[citation needed]

Rape[edit]

The group wants to overturn the law on marital rape, claiming that the promises given by a man and woman to each other during the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer establish a binding consent to sexual intercourse.[15]

Other[edit]

On 8 January 2009, Christian Voice complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the Atheist Bus Campaign's adverts on 800 buses across England, Scotland and Wales.[21]

Notable campaigns[edit]

Jerry Springer: The Opera[edit]

Christian Voice was behind much of the controversy in the UK surrounding Jerry Springer: The Opera and a transmission of a performance by the BBC in 2005.[22] The group claimed that the production was blasphemous in its depiction of religious figures such as Jesus, Mary and God. The group maintained a presence outside the Cambridge Theatre in London where it ran. It then mounted protests outside every theatre on the ill-fated 2006 run of the show, attributing the financial disaster of the tour to divine intervention rather than its own actions. However, in 2009, it mounted protests outside the St Andrews University production[23] which were largely seen to be unsuccessful.

Christian Voice started a campaign for people to complain to the BBC and published the home addresses and telephone numbers of two BBC executives on their web site, Jana Bennett (Director of Television) and Roly Keating (Controller of BBC Two). Mr. Keating subsequently received death threats.[24]

On 8 January 2007, submissions were made on behalf of Stephen Green at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court to pursue private prosecutions for blasphemy against the Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson and the show's producer, Jonathan Thoday.[25] A summons was refused on 30 January 2007 due to lack of prima facie evidence that a crime had been committed, and the provisions of the 1968 Theatres Act, which enshrines the right of free expression in theatrical works.[26] An appeal to the High Court was dismissed on 5 December 2007.[27] On 5 March 2008 the House of Lords rejected the call to hear an appeal of the High Courts decision because "it did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance".[28]

Mark Thomson and Jonathan Thoday were awarded £90,000 costs against Stephen Green. In June 2008, CV announced that Green could not afford to pay the costs and faced bankruptcy[29].

The offences of Blasphemy and Blasphemous Libel were abolished by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 with effect from 8 July 2008.[30][31].

Maggie's Centres[edit]

Christian Voice has been criticised for its role in causing a cancer charity, Maggie's Centres, to decline a four-figure donation from the proceeds of a special performance of Jerry Springer: The Opera. The charity had been due to receive £10 per ticket for an afternoon gala but declined the donation after CV had threatened to picket their centres, which offer palliative care to cancer sufferers and their families.[10][32]

Other[edit]

On 24 June 2005, Christian Voice's bankers, The Co-operative Bank, instructed th group to close its account because the group's stance on homosexuality was in conflict with the bank's ethical policies of diversity.[12][33] The Gay Times awarded an ethical corporate stance award to Co-operative Bank in response to this move.[34] In response to this, Christian Voice encouraged a boycott of the bank.[35]

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in August 2005, killing over 1600 residents and rendering hundreds of thousands homeless, Green issued a statement claiming that this was the result of God's wrath and had brought "purity" to the city (a reference to the Greek word καθαρος, or "pure").[36]

In November 2008, following the failed private prosecution by Emily Mapfuwa over the display of a foot-high statue of Jesus with a phallus in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Stephen Green urged Christians to "create public disorder if [they] wish such a case to proceed in future", and claimed that the artwork in question would "not survive being put on public display again."[37][38]

In January 2009, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that an advertisement placed in the New Statesman by Christian Voice breached advertising regulations on accuracy by asserting that HPV vaccines would make young people sterile.[39] Christian Voice had predicted the ruling and responded "requiring the substantiation of a future prediction in an opinion piece is preposterous and an infringement of freedom of speech." [40]

Media coverage[edit]

After the appearance of Green on Question Time in September 2005, the group was condemned by the Rev Dr David Peel, then Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church. Dr Peel said:

It is a matter of some regret that ... the BBC should choose to undermine the reputation of Question Time by giving a platform to a small, self-selecting group distinguished by its claim to be a prophetic voice in this country ... Christian Voice has 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.[7]

Green then appeared on the BBC Wales programme Dragon's Eye on 13 November 2008, after a campaign by CV caused Waterstone's to cancel a book-signing by Welsh poet, Patrick Jones.[41] Jones instead read from his book at the Welsh Assembly [42] In 2009, in the Independent newspaper Green was described as a comic character, and Christian Voice as an extremist group.[43] In the Guardian he has been described as a "ranting homophobe"[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC News
  2. ^ The Independent, 29 September 2006
  3. ^ Christian Voice website. See also Christian Voice website, About page: "We attempt, with God's grace, to analyse current events in the light of scripture, proclaim God's word to those in public life and provide the information Christians need in order to pray with the mind of God and witness in these dark days."
  4. ^ Christian Voice website - "Christian Voice is independent of religious, denominational or political parties."
  5. ^ Christian Voice website
  6. ^ a b Tomkins, Stephen (2005-02-28). "A voice in the wilderness". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  7. ^ a b "BBC faces question time over Christian Voice". Ekklesia website. 2005-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  8. ^ Rev Joel Edwards responds to Dispatches episode: 'In God's Name', Christianity Today, 28 May 2008: "Dispatches has a reputation for being selective and sensationalist, so perhaps I shouldn't have been shocked. But as someone at the heart of the Christian community, I simply didn't recognise the claims it made - echoed in the Sunday Telegraph - about a growing band of Christian fundamentalists trying to impose their will on society. Stephen Green, a key example given of this fundamentalist movement, is an extremist. The vast majority of Christians who watched last night would, like me, have recoiled in horror at some of the statements he made."
  9. ^ a b Green, Stephen (2003-11-??). "The woman in adultery". CV website. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  10. ^ a b Peek, Laura; Doran, James (2005-02-26). "Radical Christians to target abortion clinics". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  11. ^ Kirby, Terry (2006-09-29). "Christian Voice director escapes prosecution over anti-gay literature". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  12. ^ a b "Co-op bank bars Christian group". BBC News. 2005-06-24. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  13. ^ "Press release: Blair 'divorced from reality'". Christian Voice website. 2005-09-02. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  14. ^ Green, Stephen (2003-11-??). "Infertility will rise with compulsory sex education". CV website. Retrieved 2010-10-07.  : "Government and the teen sex industry are betraying young people in this country. They should get prepared for a new rise in teenage pregnancies and infertility as a result of today's decision. As for individual young people, the message is stark in today's climate, where 10% have had STIs which lead to infertility and chronic conditions. If you want to have children, and if you don't want an unpleasant wedding present, stay a virgin, and marry a virgin."
  15. ^ a b http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/sin1.html
  16. ^ "What is Islam?". CV website. Retrieved 2008-10-02. : "Politicians, the police and Islamic leaders have portrayed it as a religion of peace in which terrorism is an aberration. Multi-faith diehards insist that it is one of many paths to salvation, or that the Allah of Islam and the God of Christianity are one and the same. Is any of this true? Part of the Christian Voice response has been to publish a briefing paper entitled 'Understanding Islam,'...".
  17. ^ "Homosexuality and the police". CV website. 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-02.  Unknown parameter |comment= ignored (help)
  18. ^ "Anti-gay leaflets charge dropped". BBC News. 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  19. ^ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/12/21/christian-leader-supports-death-penalty-for-gays/
  20. ^ (30:55) Video of the debate
  21. ^ "No God campaign draws complaint". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  22. ^ Evangelical militants go on tour - to stop Springer bandwagon, The Times, February 24, 2005
  23. ^ http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2503033.0.Christian_activists_target_Springer_in_St_Andrews.php
  24. ^ Wilks, Andrew; Perthen, Amanda (2005-01-09). "BBC boss in hiding". London: The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  25. ^ "Press release: Jerry Springer The Opera – blasphemy case begins". CV website. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  26. ^ "Press release: Summons refused in Springer blasphemy case". CV website. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  27. ^ "Springer opera court fight fails". BBC News. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  28. ^ "Springer case dismissed by Lords". BBC News. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  29. ^ "Press release: Christian Voice director faces bankruptcy". CV website. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  30. ^ "Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 implementation". Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  31. ^ Ruth Geller. "Goodbye to Blasphemy in Britain". Institute for Humanist Studies. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  32. ^ Blackstock, Colin (2005-02-24). "Militant Christians block donation to cancer charity". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  33. ^ "Co-op asks Christian Voice to quit". London: The Guardian. 2005-06-24. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  34. ^ Gay Times, February 2006. See Awards Co-operative Financial Services (retrieved 29 November 2007)
  35. ^ http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/coop.html
  36. ^ "Press release: Purity comes to New Orleans". CV website. 2005-09-13. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  37. ^ Christians warn of backlash over Jesus statue case, Northumberland Gazette, 12 November 2008
  38. ^ CPS Wrecks Baltic Centre Case, press release, Christian Voice, 10th November 2008
  39. ^ ASA bans 'misleading' Christian Voice advertisement, Sarah Townsend, 2 February 2009, Third Sector Online
  40. ^ http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press120.html
  41. ^ "Christian group halts book launch". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  42. ^ Headyheady, Gwent Gazette, December 18, 2008
  43. ^ Hensher (12 Jan 2009). "The religious find a friend in the law". Independent (London). 
  44. ^ Monbiot, George (3 Oct 2006). "I'm pleased the case against this ranting homophobe was dropped". Guardian (London). 

External links[edit]

{{DEFAULTSORT:Christian Voice (Uk)}} [[Category:Christianity in the United Kingdom]] [[Category:Christian political organizations]] [[Category:Pro-life organisations in the United Kingdom]]