Thursday, 2 September 2010

Free speech or homophobic abuse?

Interesting times over at south and east London weekly News Shopper (what a strange name for a newspaper that is, I mean, what does it mean?).

The paper printed a somewhat controversial letter recently which, well, judge for yourself:

HAVE YOUR SAY: Marriage helps to make society work

YOUR newspaper dropped in our letterbox and I was shocked by the headline Hospital On Sex Website (News Shopper, August 11).

This is meant to be a family newspaper and not some sleazy sex advertiser for the perverted.

Marriage is the thing which makes society work.

This is why we have the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph — to show us man, woman and child is what God asks us to follow.

God gave homosexuals up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions.

Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another.

If we promote anything other than marriage then we shall answer on Judgment Day for it.

Please stop advertising lesbian, gay and bisexual clubs.

You are giving our young teenagers the wrong message and promoting perversity.

Just before you mention equality there is no equality today due to everything being biased towards homosexuality.

Let’s now tell the truth and stop lying to all and sundry.

Letter written by Mrs S Fitzsimons, South Park Crescent, Lewisham

What do you think? Add your comments below.

Now, call me old fashioned - yes, thank you at the back - but to me that letter is simply inappropriate. End of story.

Is the person writing within their rights to say it? Of course. But the paper's editor is also within their rights not to publish it, in fact, in a case such as this I would argue they have a duty NOT to publish it as it is downright offensive and homophobic.

Obviously, the paper has actually done nothing wrong, because the law doesn't quite censure a genuinely-held belief, no matter how horrendous many of us find it, but I would question what the hell the editor was thinking.

Let's face it, we could all run such letters, and our websites would be deluged with comments and reaction.

but in a world where we are all already labelled as scaremongerers and sensationalists, surely something so blatant and well, obvious, should be avoided?

And the worst thing of all; it was awarded letter of the week.


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