Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence

Submission from Christian Watch

  I write on behalf of the "Christian Watch" National management committee, I am myself a Baptist minister.

  1.  We view with dismay the move to consider the removal of the law of blasphemy. We believe, it is blasphemous to attack or derogate the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. The majority of this nation believes that the Christian religion is unique, the Christian God is unique and has a unique place in the history of our nation. We believe the status quo should be maintained.

  2.  Our Protestant constitution is the very root of our liberal democracy, the very foundation upon which it is built, we will tamper with this foundation to our cost. Enshrined in the Christian Foundations of our nation are:

    (a)  Freedom of conscience

    (b)  Freedom of association

    (c)  Freedom of speech

    (d)  Religious Toleration

  3.  The proposed supplanting of these liberties, which have served us so well, with a criminal offence of "Religious Hatred" will at a stroke remove, Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Speech and Religious Toleration.

  4.  We believe this will be a retrograde anti-Christian step and will criminalise Christian ministers who have a duty to expose what they believe to be wrong or idolatrous.

  5.  At present it is an offence to disrupt a religious gathering, so we can have freedom of association.

Why is it to be removed?

  6.  Under the guise of liberty, this is an attempt to remove the liberties we have so long enjoyed and has been at the very root of our peace and prosperity as a nation.

4 July 2002

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