John Walker's Electronic House

by on Feb.24, 2005, under The Rest

Ideas for the previously touted Christians Who Think are bubbling away in the background. It seems that Christian pressure groups are becoming a more frequent media feature in response to anything that they decide not to approve of. “Mothers Who Hate Fun and Happiness” or whatever they’re called in the States and the many similar, and the cowards at Mediawatch in the UK, are regular voices on the radio, given an immediate airing as soon as they want to squeal. There’s a need for a response to this from Christians who don’t agree with them, and I’m excited by the interest that’s being shown in this project.

One person to whom I was never sure how to respond was Stephen Green, the one man band calling himself Christian Voice. While an idiot, he’s not an idiot, and played the game very cleverly during the Jerry Springer: The Opera debacle. The ‘organisation’ had some brief media coverage last year when it managed to get someone fired from St. Andrews’ Student Union over a play it didn’t like, but beyond that hadn’t received a great deal of attention. More critically, he didn’t have the leverage to get it. But with JS:TO, a great deal of fuss was drummed up by the late Mary Whitehouse’s tribute group, Mediawatch. If you trawl through the news coverage, you’ll notice that Christian Voice don’t appear until the ball is very much rolling. When he steps in, with his far more outrageous trumpetting, and far more media-entertaining screeching noises about Jesus, Mediwatch were forgotten, and Christian Voice suddenly seen as the face of the protest. A clever move.+

For the sake of an analogy I compare Stephen Green to a serial killer. This is because I’ve been watching a lot of The Shield season 3, and not because I am in any way implying that Stephen Green is a serial killer. However, I do imply that he is a spiteful shithead. A serial killer often commits his crimes because of the rush, and the rush is often increased hugely by media coverage. It’s what often leads killers to be caught, especially in TV shows. The desire to see the same coverage, to see the same attention, a second time will drive them to re-commit. But to keep the media’s attention you have do bigger, better, badder than the last time. It was obvious that Green was going to want to keep getting the incredible attention he had previous received, and so he was going to have to innovate to ensure his next ‘kill’ would get the same coverage.

Trouble was, he should have waited. He organised a pathetic protest outside of a cathedral that was hosting a charity concert featuring singers from JS:TO, and made a great deal of noise about how taking these blasphemers into the church was an attrocity, and that people should not attend the charity fundraiser. Now, with someone like Green there’s little to benefit from pointing out that surely the point of church is to invite the sinners in, and certainly no more point in telling him that the singers from the musical who attended were church going Christians themselves. Because Green isn’t just an over-zealous Christian loon – he’s a hatefully homophobic British supremacist, whose website is barely distinguishable from the BNP’s. Another past stunt was his ‘spoofing’ of the Gay Police Association’s website, that he was forced to take down due to its horrific content. His website contains a list of hymns that ‘they’ approve of, of which about half are foul, racist anthems that glorify the British Empire and tell of how it was God’s will for such a thing to exist. He proudly boasts that ‘they’ don’t miss out the verse from the British national anthem (“Verse 2 is so politically incorrect that it is omitted from all government websites! But that does not stop us singing it.”) that goes:

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On thee our hopes we fix
God save us all.

Oh yes British people, be proud.

But like all good TV show villains, he went that one step too far. Protesting outside a cathedral trying to prevent people from attending a performance of Christian music to raise money for charity wasn’t enough. He then decided to target those who would be receiving money from this fundraiser. Maggie’s Centre, a small cancer charity, was blackmailed by Green to not take the money. He told them that if they accepted the £3000 his ‘organisation’ would protest outside of their charity’s doors, and hence publically denounce them – something a small charity could ill-afford to risk. They turned the money down.

Radio 4’s Today Programme covered the story yesterday, and once again made the mistake of crediting Green’s Christian Voice with being something that deserved to be taken seriously. But this was too much. Those Christians who heard reports saying “Jerry Springer: The Opera contains over 9 trillion uses of the word ‘fuck’ and will blind your children”, and trusted it, were quick to jump on the bandwagon. But this time… no.

Brilliantly the Today Programme decided to have a look into Green and try to find out quite how organised his organisation really is. And the results are awesome. Not only has Green been revealed as a cruel liar and blackmailer, but at the same time his ludicrous stupidity has given cause for a reasoned Christian voice to be broadcast in the report, with excellent and intelligent contributions from the bishops involved. I’m sure the BBC won’t mind my stealing it from their site, as it will disappear from their servers very soon. So, it’s uploaded here for your listening pleasure. Key moment: “er… photocopy it”.

6 Comments for this entry

  • Richard Passmore

    have you come across who aim to be a balanced voice. I heard them up against Christian voice yesterday on radio two’s lunch time chat thing and they were very good

  • Steve

    I didn’t listen yesterday, but I had to laugh this morning when I heard Stephen Green rather pathetically explaining away the apparent low membership of his organisation.

    “It, er, it suits us for people to think we have few members…Um.”

    Yes Stephen, riiiight.

    Long may he stay; his continued existence only serves to make the Christian-right appear even more foolish.

    In fact, no. I’ve just read half of their website and it scares me.

    Only national repentance can save our nation from destruction.

  • Ben

    I read the story about Maggie’s Centre yesterday, on the BBC website, and spent the next four hours shouting to an empty house how I hated Christianity and the cruel idiots who were a part of it.

    Then I had a cup of tea and calmed down.

    And realised that I don’t hate Christianity at all, and that Christians are neither cruel nor idiotic. (Stephen Green, of course, it still both.)

    If I were religious I’d be mighty annoyed that his voice was taken to be representative of mine. More so, I’d hate the fact that when my religion was mentioned it’s often in situations such as this, when there’s a lot of shouting and condemnation.

    But it’s nice to know that his finger isn’t on the pulse of current Christian thinking, anyway.

  • Tim R

    Of course there are a surprising number of killers who are only caught when they find God. It would be nice if this happened here.

  • Rowan

    The BBC seem to really be taking a stand against him- he was on the news last night up against a friendly MP, and the one line of questioning the newsreader was putting to him was ‘Are you proud of what you’ve done?’

    My favourite argument to use against Christian nationalists comes from the end of John (a bit that was probably added on later, but anyway), where the exact number of fish caught in the nets was the same number of countries in the world when it was written. Feel the first-century allegory.

  • Victoria

    Well, I don’t see how one can equate standing outside a hospice with banners whilst chanting and praying with blackmail, can you?

    The only way I can stay sane is to assume he runs a group with one member.