An anti-gay Christian sect has launched a stinging attack on BBC Radio4 soap The Archers, ahead of the drama’s first civil partnership this evening.
The Archers is set to have Ambridge’s first ever civil partnership in a special edition of the BBC show tonight, prompting Christian Voice to urge listeners to steer clear.
Soap’s longest running gay romance, involving Adam Macy (Andrew Wincott) and Ian Craig (Stephen Kennedy), began in April 2004 with a kiss in a polytunnel.
Stephen Green, National Director of the proudly homophobic group, described the storyline as “nauseating.”
He said: “”Personally, seeing a picture of actors Andrew Wincott and Stephen Kennedy dressed up in wedding suits holding their glasses of fizz made me feel quite queasy. It brought home the enormity of the nauseating pretence and perversion of a real wedding which every ‘civil partnership’ is.
“My hope is that the remaining faithful listeners of ‘The Archers’, those who have endured the plaintive politically-correct story-lines of the last few years will at last wake up and find something less grating to listen to.”
Mr Green has previously been condemned by members of his own religion for giving Christians a bad name.
The Church of England criticise Mr Green’s methods as not always helpful. “It is important not to restrict anyone who wants to proclaim the Gospel, however, there are different ways of doing it. It depends on what they are trying to achieve, it appears that whatever their intention, the effect may be counterproductive,” a CofE spokesman told PinkNews.co.uk, adding that the Church is against any actions which promote homophobia.
This is backed by Jonathan Bartley, Director of Christian policy think-tank Ekklesia, who says The Christian Voice portrays a bad image of the religion. “Christian Voice makes an extremely unhelpful contribution to the public perception of Christianity.
“It portrays the faith as judgmental and bigoted. Many Christians have resolved to affirm their acceptance of lesbian and gay people inside and outside the Church,” he said.
Other forward thinking Christian organisations have also expressed criticism of Mr Green and his followers. Richard Jenkins, from Anglican group Affirming Catholicism, says the controversial group does not represent “proper Christians.”
He told PinkNews.co.uk: “Mr Green is not the only Christian voice. The Christian instinct of most people is to be open and respectful of other views.”
Reverend Giles Goddard from the modernist Inclusive Church says Mr Green’s views do not properly reflect the gospel
Listeners can hear the ceremony tonight from 1900 GMT on BBC Radio4