Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from Bradley Evangelical Church

  1.   Should existing religious offences (notably blasphemy) be amended or abolished?

  No. We will not accept that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and that of the Lord God Almighty may be used as a curse without recourse. People are already using them far too often in public with apparent impunity. Instead the blasphemy laws should be enforced more rigidly. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain for the Lord shall not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain". Other religious leaders would not have us curse using Oh Buddha or Oh Mohammed so why should God allow his name to be used to curse.

  2.   Should a new offence of incitement to religious hatred be created and, if so, how should the offence be defined?

  No, we are not prepared to have our church services disrupted by Anti Christian Militant agitators. I believe it is our democratic right to religious gatherings without let or hindrance. Too long the people of Britain have allowed the Christian belief to be pushed to the side in favour of secular things. "You have turned my temple into a den of iniquity".

  (Quotes are from the Holy Bible)

  This country has been built on the Christian belief, we are told that this is a Christian country still. We see on television Peers and Ministers entering Churches for services of Thanksgiving for the longevity of our Queen's Reign. Unless such people as Baroness Thatcher, Sir David Steele, Tony Blair and others are just making a show we should accept that the religious protection of the law should remain.

8 July 2002

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