The South Wales Echo has apologised for an article insulting the Bible and suggesting that Jesus Christ could have been homosexual.
The apology was printed in the Echo last week, just two weeks after the original and on the same page. A website version of the article, by the out-of-touch Dan O'Neill, has also been taken down and internet search engines no longer refer to it.
The apology came after Christians mounted a quick-fire protest against the article last week. Members and supporters of Christian Voice gave out leaflets to those going in to work at
's leading firm of solicitors, Hugh James, who associated themselves with the web article. Following that, they occupied the Media Wales administration offices reception area just around the corner, singing hymns, before meeting with Simon Farrington, a senior managing editor at the Echo.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:
'Media Wales's gracious apology and the elimination of the offending article from the website is a victory for decency and shows newspapers can uphold civilised standards of behaviour.
'The fact that Media Wales is part of the mighty Trinity Mirror group means the apology is also a testimony to the power of prayer and the effectiveness of Christian witness, for both of which we give all the glory to Almighty God.
'Of course the article should never have been published, but I am sure that lessons have been learned and a similar outrage will not happen again. I trust that other papers and media will also take notice and exercise better editorial control over the looser cannons in their journalistic ranks. Even after the abolition of the blasphemy laws, Christians will not tolerate insults against their Lord and Saviour.'
But not everyone is pleased at the apology and the disappearance of the article from the web. Atheist bloggers are apoplectic and one of them started a petition, which attracted the attention of fewer than 150 armchair Jesus-hating zealots in five days.
Stephen Green continued: 'In petition terms 150 signatures is next to nothing. It is so much easier to sign a petition than put yourself out to stand in the street witnessing. So easy, in fact, that some of the do-badders have signed twice, just to be sure!
'Interestingly, the sad character who started the petition asks Media Wales to do something which he himself could not find the guts to do: blaspheme and insult Jesus Christ in public. He attended a party held by secularist zealots earlier this year to celebrate the passing of the blasphemy laws: http://www.secularism.org.uk/bbbparty.html
'The funny thing was, it was held at a secret location, for fear of Christian protests! The Jesus-haters gathered in private in some hotel in
and blasphemed to each other, something they could safely have done at any time during the last thirty years.
'Christian Voice pointed this out a month before it happened and the cowards still did not fess up the location: http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press081.html
'So this is a bad day for atheism and a bad day for blasphemy, but a good day for righteousness. Yet again, the Lord has triumphed over His enemies.'