Culture chief receiving hate mail over gay Bible exhibition
The head of Glasgow’s museums and art has described receiving harassment and hate mail after an exhibition on homosexuality and the Bible.
Dr Bridget McConnell, the head of the city’s Culture and Sport Glasgow quango, said she had been subjected to a “personal witchhunt” by Christian groups for allowing the art to be shown.
Part of the July exhibition involved a Bible placed on a stand with pens for visitors to write in it. A message said: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”
The work was intended to encourage people, especially gays and lesbians, to contribute. However, some visitors scrawled obscenities in it, forcing the museum to place it behind glass.
McConnell told The Times that she and her staff have since been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation by Christians.
She cited almost 2,000 letters, emails and phone calls attacking her and complaining about the exhibition, along with personal visits to her office.
Christian groups have been picketing her office calling her to repent and one website set up by Christian Watch, www.csgwatch.com, calls for her to be removed from her job. On one occasion, police were called when staff claimed they were “seriously intimidated” by protesters.
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“What is deeply worrying is the fact that those who are protesting are not simply interested in expressing a difference of opinion — which they are entitled to — but want to silence those they do not agree with,” McConnell told the newspaper.
“The menace, intimidation and misogyny expressed in a great deal of the correspondence is deeply worrying.”
She added: “To get such venom and aggression from total strangers gives you the feeling they would like a public execution. They continually express this feeling that it’s unfair — if we were Muslims we could murder you for this.”
One of the organisers of the internet campaign to have McConnell sacked, told The Times that she had used taxpayers’ money to fund “attacks on the Bible”.
Bob Handyside said: “Everyone knows these things would never happen against Islam. Our outrage is far more legitimate then hers; that woman is on £132,000 of public money and she is betraying Christ.
“The protest is growing and we have plans for the next six months, but if she promises to change course, it will stop.”