UK Christian blogger harassed by government recognized body for defending marriage

The well-respected Cranmer blog is being subjected to aggressive pressure and intimidation by the government recognised Advertising Standards Authority for carrying an advert from the Coalition for Marriage, the UK group seeking to defend the institution of marriage from David Cameron’s plans to legalize unnatural marriage by 2015.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s Investigations Executive justify their persecution of Cranmer on 24 complaints against the Coalition for Marriage advert, 10 of whom complain that the advert is offensive and homophobic. The ASA Investigations Executive have demanded the Cranmer keep their persecution of him confidential. Admirably, he hasn’t succumbed to their intimidation. His Lordship explains:

‘Since His Grace does not dwell in Iran, North Korea, Soviet Russia, Communist China or Nazi Germany, but occupies a place in the cyber-ether suspended somewhere between purgatory and paradise, he is minded to ignore that request. Who do these people think they are?’

Cranmer goes on to give details of the complaint against him for broadcasting the Coalition for Marriage advert:

The specific complaint relates to:

c. An online ad, seen on the blog of ‘Archbishop Cranmer’, featured photos of couples on their wedding day on the first frame. The second frame stated “I do”. The third frame stated “70% of people* say keep marriage as it is … (Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices)”. The final frame stated “Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here … Coalition for Marriage”.

The ‘Issue’ here is that 24 anonymous complainants, ‘including the Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group’ (doubtless disclosed to give weight to the allegations), challenged whether the claim ’70% of people say keep marriage as it is’. However, His Grace is not required to respond to that point, since he did not conduct the research. But it transpires that 10 of these 24 complainants objected that the ads were ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’, and he is requested to respond to these allegations ‘under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 4.1 (Harm and offence)’. 

He is informed:

We intend to deal with the complaint as a formal investigation, which means it will be considered by the ASA Council. We will then draft a recommendation for the Council based on your response to us. Once the Council has made a decision, the adjudication will be published on our website. 

…We require you to explain your rationale for the ad and comment specifically on the points raised in the attached complaint notification…

They need to see ‘robust documentary evidence to back the claims and a clear explanation from you of its relevance and why you think it substantiates the claims. It is not enough to send references to or abstracts of documents and papers without sending the reports in full and specifically highlighting the relevant parts explaining why they are relevant to the matter in hand’.

His response must be in writing, ‘preferably by e-mail’, by 21 May (typed in bold). If His Grace is unable to comply, he must ‘explain why you are unable to respond sooner and agree a timetable for your response’.

Well, His Grace won’t be censored. He is further minded to provide the ASA with a copy of his well-publicised ‘bottom line’ (from the right-hand margin):
Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse…
Unless, of course, we are no longer free, our democracy is no longer liberal, and it is now an offence to express the moderate view of the majority and promote the orthodox teaching of the Church of England Established.

Protect the Pope comment: Sections of the homosexual community and their political allies are attempting to create a totalitarian culture in the UK that outlaws the expression of the Christian doctrine of marriage and sexual morality.

Just recently the Trade Union Congress attempted to force the Education Minister to take action against the Diocese of Lancaster for distributing a booklet to Catholics teenagers explaining the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. The TUC claimed that the book was ‘offensive and homophobic.’ Thankfully the Education Minister had the commonsense to reject the TUC’s absurd claim.

But now, unfortunately, the Advertising Standards Authority has abandoned commonsense and has instigated proceedings against a Christian blogger for defending the Christian doctrine of marriage due to absurd claims that the advert is offensive and homophobic.  This is what the Coalition for Marriage advert states:

1. The online ad featured photos of couples on their wedding day on the first frame.

2. The second frame stated “I do”.

3. The third frame stated “70% of people* say keep marriage as it is … (Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices)”.

4. The final frame stated “Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here … Coalition for Marriage”.

No one in their right mind can possibly think there  are grounds to investigate this advert for being ‘offensive and homophobic’, but obviously the complainants and the officials of the ASA are not in their right minds.    But then as Cardinal Keith O’Brien recently said, support for gay marriage is madness.

If David Cameron’s plans for unnatural marriage become law by 2015, then the action taken against Cranmer is just a foreshadowing of the intimidation and aggressive pressure Catholics and Christians will suffer at the instigation of these liberal fascists.

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/advertising-standards-authority.html

http://www.maxfarquar.com/2012/05/archbishop-cranmer-coalition-for-marriage-advert-asa/

http://www.asa.org.uk/

28 comments to UK Christian blogger harassed by government recognized body for defending marriage

  • Did you see that the Law Society have just banished discussion of this issue from their hallowed premesis…?

  • [...] Lisa Graas, Ben, Prodicus, Tangled Web, Tim Worstall, Boiling Frog, Vic, Roger, The Bones, LMS, Part Time Pilgrim, Admiral Creedy, Neil Addison, Opinionated Catholic, John, Creative Minority Report, Richard, Nic, Ruari, David, Calvin, Max Farquar, Stand Firm, Nick [...]

  • Bob Hayes

    Good for Cranmer in putting-up a spirited defence. The Advertising Standards Authority is one of those largely useless bodies that exist mainly to provide sinecures for friends of politicians and their fellow-travellers.

  • ms catholic state

    It seems the powers that be not only love gay ‘marriage’…but hate heterosexual marriage. Their evil mask is slipping.

  • Gail

    I’m so glad to see that the American President candidate Mit Romney has come right out and said he’s ABSOLUTELY AGAINST men marrying men by saying “Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman” and ALSO saying/declaring “There is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action”. YAY!!! However, it’s just such a shame that the only candidate who looks to have a chance of standing up to Obama ISN’T really a Christian at all. I’m just so glad I don’t live in the USA today – can you imagine having to choose between a man who thinks it’s OK for men to ACTUALLY marry each other (YUK!) and one whose religion is TOTALLY false and flawed? It makes me shudder!!!! Although I’d obviously vote for Romeny if I was made to choose ‘cos as at least he’s kind of a Christian. Quite frankly it’s no better here in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister SAYS he’s a Christian but quite frankly I think it’s some kind of lip service while the other two (Clegg and Milliband) are both OPENLY ATHEIST! They WILL burn in HELL no doubt about it. How can they possibly think they can lead a whole country if they are working for SATAN?

  • Genty

    Perhaps every blogger who believes in one-man, one-woman marriage might consider putting the ad on their own websites.

  • Karla

    Is this China? A secular totalitarian state that is trying to censor peoples websites and blogs. I would not be surprised if you get a message from the government soon Deacon.

  • Karla

    Storm as Law Society bans conference debating gay marriage

    The Law Society has banned a conference on family issues to be addressed by a senior High Court judge because debating gay marriage breached its “diversity policy”.

    Sir Paul Coleridge, the Family Division judge who recently launched a new charity to combat marital break-up, had been lined up as the main speaker at the annual event at the Law Society’s London headquarters later this month.

    But organisers were forced to cancel it at short notice after the Law Society ruled that the programme reflected “an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9260335/Storm-as-Law-Society-bans-conference-debating-gay-marriage.html

    http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/social/law-society-bans-a-marriage-conference-because-of-its-%E2%80%98diversity%E2%80%99-policy

    Maybe they do not want to debate gay marriage because they know they will lose.

  • [...] article from archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk See also UK Christian blogger harassed by government recognized body for defending marriage [...]

  • Spesalvi23

    Mrs. Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor.
    I hope she’ll be able to resist the gay lobby. She’s known to be quite stubborn. :-)
    If Germany goes red/green after the next general election, we’re in for a rather rude awakening.
    In many, different ways.

  • Gail

    @Karla
    “I would not be surprised if you get a message from the government soon Deacon.” Me too Karla. A message that says stop being a friend of God. But while you (Deacon Nick that is – not you Karla although of course I’m not saying you don’t speak the truth as well because obviously you do- LOL!) preach the truth, all these others who DONT know right from wrong just seem got keep on winning. It jut isn’t fair. The Church has known for 1000′s of years and since the beginning of God’s time (not the TOTALLY false Big Bang time) what’s right and wrong then along come all these LIBERALS with their stupid SCIENCE and KNOWLEDGE. And they use it all to say that it’s OK for men to have sex with each other. Is THAT all we spend zillions of tax payers money on? So that scientists can sit there in their laboratories and decide that same sex sex is actually ACCEPTIBLE? Science is false. Only the Word of God is REAL. Science = LIES!

    • Karla

      Huh?

      Actually we can use science (biology) to argue against same sex marriage. The 5000 year old ancient definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is rooted in biology.

      I recommend you read The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage:

      http://tech.mit.edu/V124/N5/kolasinski.5c.html

    • Karla

      Re engineering the family: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/229057/reengineering-family-heather-mac-donald

      What is marriage? http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155

      Marriage is rooted in biology, in the complementary of the two different genders and of the procreative nature. That biology is absent from same sex relationships – that means that marriage can not be applied to same sex relationships like it can to a marriage between one man and one woman.

    • Teresa

      Science is lies??

      Gail, God created the universe and everything in it. God’s creation is awesome and beautiful and also very complex. Science isn’t anti-God. Think of it as a magnifying glass through which we can gain an even better understanding of how astoundingly beautiful God’s creation really is. But man, being a fallen creature, often has wrong motives, and uses scientific discoveries for wrongful purposes or conclusions.

      Of course there are scientific theories that are not yet proven (that is why they are called theories). The big bang theory may never be proveable. But it does not necessarily go against God. In fact I think it points towards God. God is the first efficient cause of all that exists. He created all that is (exists) out of nothing. Doesn’t the big bank theory fit this picture? After all, the theory says that the whole universe was created out of the ‘Big bang’. There are also theories on the reverse process – the eventual collapse of all matter, which could fit the exitus-reditus principle (everything comes from God and will return to God).

      I do agree with you though that far too much tax payers’ money is spent on social engineering – which makes acceptable much that is immoral.

      • Teresa

        Of course – nothing that we have, money included actually really belongs to us – we are merely custodians.

      • sam mace

        Teresa gravity is a theory a theory is an idea which has significant evidence behind it. A hypothesis is an idea which needs to be tested.

        • Teresa

          Sam I think you have misunderstood the point of my post. I was responding to Gail’s comment “Science is false. Only the Word of God is REAL.”

          My main aim was to say that science was not contradictory to God and Truth and that even scientific theory (or hypothesis even) was not necessarily contradictory to God and Truth.

          The comment about ‘theory’ was my acknowledgement that not all science is proven absolutely. I was not trying to discuss the level of certainty of any particular scientific theory/idea – that was out of the scope of my post.

          Since you bring it up – I am aware that evidence for the Big Bang theory comes from various sources – observation of cosmic phenomena, physics tests etc (I am far from being an expert!) And these observations and tests go a very long way in supporting the theory. But even so, scientists cannot reproduce an ‘actual’ Big Bang (which is what I meant when I said it would never be proveable). But as I say, the point of my post was to say that science is not lies and it does not stand in opposition to God.

  • sam mace

    It seems this website is like China, with the Deacon deleting posts he doesn’t like, I have now had 4 consecutive posts deleted for no reason. Gail, science is lies? what about gravity? or the existence of the sun? or the previous existence of dinosaurs? we don’t spend zillions on anything, and again is knowledge a bad thing?

    • Deacon Nick

      I’ve banned you from this site once before because of your personal attacks on others, like your recent reference to ‘hysterical nutter’. Keep this up and I’ll ban you for good. Deacon Nick

  • Spesalvi23

    Aha. So science proves that gay sex is natural and equal to what sex is originally for.
    Interesting.
    Is social engineering a science? Or is it an ideology drenched excuse for the destruction of the traditional family?

  • ASA is run by overbearing twits shock. It isn’t just Archbishop Cranmer
    I asked Mr Staines over at Order Order if he too had been told off by the ASA and he said
    “Yes, and I told ‘em to get stuffed.”
    http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/05/advertising-watchdog-threatens-to-martyr-archbishop-cranmer-all-over-again
    I must say I’ve always thought Archbishop Cranmer was a particularly tasteless name from a blog though.
    What next …a “Bloody Mary” blog?

  • Aline

    The Church (and I mean by that both the Church of England and the Catholic Church) has done a very fine job of exposing this government. God bless those who started the Coalition for Marriage. It just exposed their hypocrisy and totalitarianism. Everything is made to silence any opposition around this issue, from blocking inconvenient replies to the consultation to intimidation of bloggers. You will agree with same-sex marriage or we will call you homophobic and you will face the full force of the law. Maybe we can consider ourselves lucky that this blog has not (yet)been taken down. “Help, Lord, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. (…) The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” (Ps 12:1,8)

  • Jim P

    Advertising watchdog threatens to martyr Archbishop Cranmer all over again

    Posted: Mon, 14 May 2012 15:34 by National Secular Society

    The rather eccentric Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority after he reproduced an advertisement from the group “Coalition for Marriage” which is seeking to thwart the Government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

    The ASA has said that it has received ten complaints that the advertisement is “offensive” and “homophobic”. It demands that the Archbishop explain himself before he is once more sent to the stake.

    Needless to say his wit and style is more than a match for the rather authoritarian tendencies at the Advertising Standards Authority, and he has turned the tables on them quite deliciously.

    The NSS wants to announce its support for the Archbishop Cranmer blog. Although it disagrees with this blogger profoundly on so many issues, it agrees with him entirely that the Advertising Standards Authority is overstepping the mark and posing a rather sinister threat to freedom of expression.

    Let’s make it clear before we get into this that the NSS has no sympathy with the aims of the “Coalition for Marriage” – an ad hoc linking of some of the most extreme and unpleasant religious bigots in Britain (see NSS council member Adrian Tippetts’ investigation into who is behind C4M). However, in a democracy we believe that they have the right to express their opinion so long as it doesn’t incite violence. The fact that some people find those opinions “offensive” is not reason enough to silence them.

    And so we stand with Cranmer in his resistance to the ASA’s attempt to stop C4M having its say, however much we disagree with it.

    It is understandable that some gay people are very sensitive to this kind of opposition to their attainment of full human rights. But it is dangerous to try to stop the debate. We have to remember that for generations gay people were silenced – it was impossible to even mention the word homosexual (or its predecessors) in Britain for centuries. Any attempt to break that silence could result in severe punishment by the law.

    Gay people know what it is to be gagged, and it is good that they are liberated now and can make their voices heard. But they must not become the new oppressors, seeking to curtail legitimate debate on a topic of which there is clearly a divergence of opinions. They must make their case in the face of criticism.

    As with claims of Islamophobia, it is undesirable to extend the concept of “homophobia” to mean anything that gay people find disagreeable. The gay community has had to overcome real discrimination and persecution in such things as employment injustices and gay bashing – that is real homophobia writ large. But simply disagreeing with the aims of the gay rights movement is not an excuse for censorship any more than is criticising Islam. (Persecuting and discriminating against Muslim people is a completely different thing – quite different to challenging an idea that even its own proponents disagree about).

    So we support rational debate. Some would argue that C4M isn’t rational because its objections are based almost entirely on the supposed teachings of scripture, but that doesn’t matter, censorship should be kept for the most extreme and dangerous situations.

    Of course, the NSS has had its own run-ins with the Advertising Standards Authority. We challenged their decisions to ban advertisements from an ice cream company that poked gentle fun at religion. The NSS had a meeting with Lord Smith, chairman of the ASA, to ask that the Code of Practice used by the ASA to reach its decisions should not be interpreted in such a way as to restrict free expression.

    The ASA’s concept of what is ‘offensive’ seems to be getting narrower and narrower. It sometimes takes only a handful of complaints to trigger a ban on an advertisement. That is not desirable surely in a free and open society.

    Cranmer reproduced the C4M advertisement to illustrate a blog he had written about the topic. In that sense surely it wasn’t strictly speaking an advertisement at all – defined in the dictionary as “a paid announcement”.

    The NSS reproduced the banned ice cream advertisements in order to illustrate our own story on the topic – the story wouldn’t have made sense had we not done so.

    Cranmer is right to resist the ASA’s bullying tone and its readiness to restrict free speech without good reason. We wish him well in his campaign and offer our support if he thinks it appropriate to accept.

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