An evangelical minister who came to prominence for his protests at gay Pride events has failed to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC.
Reverend Stephen Green’s actions related to the screening of the acclaimed production Jerry Springer – The Opera on BBC2 in 2005.
An attempt to bring a private prosecution in January was dismissed by a district court.
At the High Court two judges rejected Mr Green’s appeal. Lord Justice Hughes pointed out that in the two years the play was performed in London “there had been no violence or even demonstrations.”
“As a whole was not and could not reasonably be regarded as aimed at, or an attack on, Christianity or what Christians held sacred,” the judges ruled, according to the BBC.
Rev Green is director of Christian Voice, a group that regularly appear at gay events, often with placards quoting anti-gay biblical quotes.
Mr Green was arrested last year for handing out leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras which included quotes saying homosexuality is wrong. No charges were brought against him.
At Brighton’s Pride event earlier this year Mr Green and a small group of activists picketed at the entrance to Preston Park, surrounded by police officers for their own protection.
Jerry Springer – The Opera outraged fundamentalist Christians for portraying Christ as a needy, nappy-obsessed obese man and for its satirical portrayals of other Biblical figures.
According to the Christian Voice website:
“The Lord Jesus is portrayed in Springer as an infantile sexual deviant.
“Satan tells Him ‘Fuck you,’ and Mary his blessed mother castigates Him for abandoning her when He died on the cross.
“His wounds are mocked, He says He is ‘a little bit gay’ and finally Jerry Springer tells him: ‘Jesus, grow up for Christ’s sake and put some fucking clothes on.’
“On top of all that, Almighty God is portrayed as an ineffectual inadequate who needs Jerry Springer’s shoulder to cry on, and Springer himself emerges as the true saviour of mankind.”
Human rights group Liberty has said the blasphemy law may contravene the European Convention on Human Rights and should to be abolished.
On the Christian Voice website, the group explains why they feel it necessary to “stand up” for Jesus.
“Why am I bringing a case when God is quite capable of looking after Himself? In truth, God could have struck the BBC electrical system with a thunderbolt as we prayed.
“He chose not to. I believe God is generous enough to involve ordinary believing men and women, with all our weaknesses, in His purpose. He wants us to share His victory.”
In August Rev Green questioned the presence of racist group the National Front at Pride events, on the basis that “homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule.”
The controversial preacher made his observation as part of his report on the group’s website about his protest at this year’s Brighton Pride celebrations.
He also complains that the NF are “copying” his idea of protesting at gay events.