The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.


24th January 2008

'God can look after Himself'
When we use that expression about a mortal man, we mean he has the ability to knock us down.  So by saying 'God can look after Himself' one can only mean He can bring judgment against individuals and nations, knowing that 'As a man (or a nation) sows, so shall he reap'.  That should fill us with holy fear, not the desire to humiliate His name.

The offence is discriminatory
Of course it is.  It protects Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible and the formularies of the Church of England from contemptuous, scurrilous, reviling and ludicrous attacks.  That is because Britain is a Christian nation with a Christian heritage, culture and constitution, an established church and a 72% Christian population.  Christianity is the faith of the United Kingdom and it is right for it to be given special recognition in our laws.

It only applies to the Church of England
No, it doesn't.  Although 'the formularies of the Church of England' are point four in the usual definition of the blasphemy law, the Church of England does not have a monopoly on God, Jesus Christ or the Bible.  Other denominations share the historic doctrines of the Church embodied in the doctrines of the Church of England.  But in any case the law, as has been shown elsewhere, is primarily there to prevent attacks on the person of Jesus Christ.

The law engenders an expectation that other religions will be protected.
Not true.  The Salman Rushdie case established that our blasphemy laws do not protect Islam.

The blasphemy laws are against Human Rights Article 10
Not true.  In every case (Lemon, Wingrove and Preminger) brought before the European Court of Human Rights, state blasphemy laws including our own have been upheld.

The offence is divisive and against social cohesion
It is not the law against blasphemy which divides and damages social cohesion, it is the lack of any civilised standards of decency, restraint, respect and consideration in the world of the arts.  What the arts call 'freedom of expression' the rest of us too often have to describe as obscene, blasphemous, offensive, inhuman, pornographic, degrading or just plain crass.

The offence limits our ability to criticise Muslim countries
This argument says that as we have a blasphemy law, we cannot criticise Sudan 's blasphemy law under which a teacher was sentenced to fourteen days for allowing a teddy bear to be called Muhammed.  Sudan also has a law against theft, under which a thief may have his hand cut off.  We also have a law against theft.  The fact that we have a law by the same name as theirs does not mean we cannot criticise their threshold of tolerance or penalties.

A Christian's faith should not need the protection of the secular courts
Our courts are not secular, because Her Majesty the Queen is a Christian monarch and they sit in her name.  The blasphemy law is not 'about faith' it is about respect for the sacred, in particular, for the person of Jesus Christ, who is always the blasphemers' target.

This is not the beginning of a 'slippery slope'
Oh, yes it is!  While most MPs were busy debating blasphemy last Thursday night, three of them slipped away to put down an Early Day Motion for disestablishment of the Church of England.  The motion came out with the number 666.  Is God trying to tell us something?

Despite Dr Evan Harris's specific denial in the House of Commons of a 'slippery slope', the abolition of the laws against blasphemy and blasphemous libel is not a stand-alone campaign by the extremist anti‑God National Secular Society.  It is merely today's first item on the secularist agenda for the de‑Christianisation of Britain .

Once the blasphemy law is abolished, secularists will justifiably say: 'There, the criminal law doesn't protect the name of Jesus Christ or privilege the Christian faith any more.'

From that bridgehead, they will move on to their next target, which is the disestablishment of the Church of England.  Such is their confidence that Bob Russell MP and two others put down exactly that as an Early Day Motion while Dr Harris' amendment was actually being debated in the House of Commons on Thursday 10th January 2008 .

In a curious spiritual twist, the next number which fell to the clerks to allocate to that motion was 666, the Biblical Mark of the Beast.  "It looks as though God or the Devil have been moving in mysterious ways," said Bob Russell.  "What is even stranger is that this motion was tabled last night when MPs were debating blasphemy."

After disestablishment, or even as part of it, the Bishops will lose their seats in the House of Lords and with that, much of their influence in the land.

Church schools will go, as it will be argued that Christianity has voluntarily given up its privileged position as the faith of the United Kingdom .

Prayers in Parliament will be sidelined, made multifaith or abolished altogether.

Christians will find themselves increasingly under attack for their beliefs in public service jobs.  They will be told to keep their views to themselves.

The Church will completely lose its charitable status (the assumption that a religious purpose is charitable has already gone).   Faith‑based initiatives in the social sphere will have to give up their Christian ethos to gain Government approval.

The default position that witnesses swear on the Holy Bible in court will be replaced by an assumption that an affirmation is all that is necessary.  The Bible will be available for a little while for those who insist upon swearing upon it, then it will go, or become just one of a number of available sacred texts.

Public manifestations of the Christian Faith will be attacked one by one.  Hospitals and the armed forces will no longer have paid chaplains.  Mayors' chaplains will abolished.  Faith will be relegated to a private matter with no relevance to the public sphere, leaving the arena of public policy clear for atheist agenda‑setters alone.

Laws based on Christian principles will be systematically changed to be in line with atheist beliefs.  This is happening right now, of course, but the process will accelerate.

Finally, there will be a radical de‑Christianising of the Coronation Service.  With no Christianity to speak of in public life, the idea of God anointing the monarch through the Archbishop of Canterbury to reign as a Christian prince will be unsustainable.

The divorce of the Christian Faith from the United Kingdom will have been accomplished.

And it all started with abolition of the blasphemy laws.