Dated 27th December 2008
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against Christian Voice for predicting that Government initiatives on teenage sexuality, including the HPV vaccine, will increase infertility among the young.
The ASA Council said that our ‘Advertorial’ in the New Statesman earlier this year, which was headlined ‘VIOLENT CRIME - SOWING AND REAPING’, breached ASA codes on principles, substantiation and truthfulness.
The text of the advertorial said: “There is a Biblical principle that we reap what we sow. It applies to nations as well as to individuals. What politicians sow, the people reap. When politicians sow evil, the people reap misery, and the poorest reap it the worst”. The ad went on to describe the detrimental impact of government policies and legislation on society. It included the text “Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares”.
The officials demanded ‘robust, scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine caused infertility in teenagers’, missing the point that it is the encouragement of promiscuity in Government teen sex initiatives which spreads the infections which do the damage, not the vaccine.
Their draft ruling says: ‘the claim “Every government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it [teenage infertility]” was a statement of fact that was capable of substantiation.’ Christian Voice say requiring the substantiation of a future prediction in an opinion piece is preposterous and an infringement of freedom of speech. The ASA subsequently ruled that the British Humanist Association did not have to substantiate their contention that ‘There’s probably no God.’ (See p1)
Earlier this year, the ASA found an advertisement against Belfast Gay Pride placed by Sandown Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster to be ‘offensive’ and ‘indecent’ for declaring the Biblical position that the practice of sodomy was an abomination.
However, the ASA also said the Sandown ad was ‘representative of the beliefs of a specific group and indicative of their opinion only’, a principle they would not extend to Christian Voice.
Stephen Green said:
‘It is a good job the Advertising Standards Authority was not around when the Old Testament was written, or we would be missing half the Christmas story. The ASA would have wanted Isaiah to substantiate his claim that ‘a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son’ (Isa 7:14). They would have demanded ‘robust, scientific evidence’ that virgins can conceive.
‘The Prophet’s predictions of the fall of
and of Christ’s crucifixion would have gone the same way. As for nations beating swords into ploughshares, and the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the ASA would have banned him from ever repeating such an unsubstantiated claim.
‘But you don’t need to be an Old Testament prophet to see that teenage pregnancy has risen as sex education and the distribution of condoms have gathered pace.
‘Nor do you need divine powers of prediction to see that teenage infertility is now a bigger problem than teenage pregnancy. Doctors know that condoms do not 100% stop sexually-transmitted infections, yet teen sex experts are still pretending they do. It is common sense that a condom only covers part of one part of the anatomy, while the most worrying STI’s are skin-borne or carried both ways by vaginal secretions. That is why genital warts, which are caused by HPV, are on the rise, and both sexes have those for life.
‘It is simple common sense to realise that with the HPV vaccine, girls will think they are covered against everything, especially if they are on the pill as well, so promiscuity will rise and there will be even more Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia cases and even more infertility.
‘It is preposterous for the ASA to think they can outlaw Christian freedom of speech and free expression of opinion. The ASA may not like the fact that sodomy is an abomination in holy scripture, but they cannot alter it. Nor can their officials change God’s word that sex outside marriage brings judgment. The Free Presbyterian Church will not back down, and by God’s grace neither shall we. We shall keep telling Government and the teen sex industry that they are betraying young people in this country and that only God’s ways of chastity and fidelity will halt the rise in teenage pregnancies and infertility.’