Christian Voice out in the cold
Touching. Or rather not touching… with or without a bargepole. That seems to be the reaction of many mainstream Christian groups to Stephen Green, the annoying bible-punchinello of Christian Voice.
According to Ekklesia, the Christian news service, the Moderator of the United Reformed Church, Dr David Peel, has said Christian Voice had "the right to express its extreme views, but it is as representative of Christian opinion in Britain as the Monster Raving Loony Party would be of mainstream political parties – and far less entertaining.”
Dr Peel has also said that: “It is a matter of some regret that … the BBC should choose to undermine the reputation of Question Time by giving a platform to a small, self-selecting group distinguished mainly by its absurd claim to represent Christians in this country.”
Others have joined in. It seems that GALHA wasn’t the only group concerned about giving Green an opportunity to spout his views on national television. In a press release, the Christian radio station, Premiere, said:
“From previous experience, the BBC are aware of Stephen Green’s reputation for making inflammatory comments and we are concerned that the motivation to have him as a panellist on Question Time is to provoke further provocative and extreme comments which BBC viewers may assume represent mainstream Christian opinion."
Of course, Premiere Radio had previously joined Green in slamming Jerry Springer, The Opera.
Previously the Church of England’s Peter Selby (“Bishop” of Worcester) had condemned Christian Voice’s behaviour as “disgraceful” and Jonathan Bartley, director of Ekklesia went head-to-head with Green on the Jeremy Vine show. Bartley, and many callers, complained that Green made Christianity seem like “a bigoted, harsh and judgemental religion.”
Of course, while true, Green is certainly not the only one who does that.
Bartley also attacked Green over their intimidation tactics that forced a cancer charity to turn down a generous donation. When Green said that his god would make up the shortfall, Bartley challenged him to put his money where his mouth and makeup any shortfall himself should his prediction not come true. Green refused. When questioned about what he’d said to the charity, Green said “I can’t remember”. Luckily the charity has a better memory.
Christian bloggers have been just as dismissive of Green. One called him an “objectionable, hateful little man” while another called his appearance on Question Time a “tragic performance”.
And let us not forget that self-professed Christians Simon Hughes and Janet Street-Porter were particularly, um, ‘direct’, in facing down Green on Question Time.
So what has Green’s response been to all this?
Well, first he snivelled that “to be hated and stabbed in the back by one's brothers is very hard to take”… and then predictably quoted scripture. It is a reflex action which of course bedevilled his performance on Question Time as he grappled with his own “WWJS about privatisation of the NHS?”
So in answer to his critics, he whined something about John 15:18: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Oh the poor puppy.
It is not known whether he added on the part about going to eat some worms.
He should read on. John 15:19 says:
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
No one disputes that Stephen Green and his spaced-out lunatic colleagues at Christian Voice are from another planet!