British Bigotry
State-sponsored Persecution of Christians Across the Pond

Martin Blackshaw

Ted Atkinson, the sort of chap

the UK throws in prison these days

(Posted 03/31/09 On March 4 this year, Catholic pensioner Ted Atkinson was imprisoned for 12 weeks for the ‘crime’ of sending pro-life material to pro-abortionists.

Unlike the national media furore sparked by Bishop Richard Williamson’s Holocaust reductionism, however, the Atkinson case was passed over in relative silence since the mass murder he deplores—the killing of babies in the womb—is generally supported by the media.

I will come back to the particulars of Mr. Atkinson’s case shortly. In the meantime a brief review of events leading to this latest injustice is appropriate

As a Catholic writer of many years, it has been obvious to me for some time that the secular press in Britain has all but silenced the Christian view on a good many moral issues. This has been particularly noticeable since New Labour took office in the late 1990s.

Where once I had numerous articles and lengthy letters published in defence of Christian morality, I now consider myself fortunate indeed to be granted an occasional few column inches. The general response to my contributions these days is editor silence and non-publication.

Nor am I alone in this experience for I have a number of Catholic writer-friends who have suffered, with great frustration, a similar censoring of their Christian work.

But it is not only newspapers that censor the Christian viewpoint and allow free reign to the opposition. Television watchdogs are just as bigoted, as my most recent experience with Ofcom proved.

Having complained to this body about the offensive remarks of Matthew Wright in Channel Five’s February 5th edition of ‘The Wright Stuff,’ remarks that were obscenely mocking of St. Agatha on the feast of her martyrdom, I received a dismissive response to the effect that these filthy, blasphemous comments were within tolerable standards.

Can we accept that Ofcom would have judged similarly if the following words of Wright had been used to describe the anniversary of the death of a Muslim or Jewish heroine?

…This Roman geezer came on strongly to her. He made a suggestion he’d like to hide a sausage with her help but the virtuous Agatha was having none of it so the fella whipped out a blade, cut off the poor old girl’s lady bumps, tied her to a stake and tried to burn her, as you did in those days. Agatha was saved by an earthquake and no, that’s not where we got the phrase ‘the earth moved for you.’ It’s a remarkable story and good to remember on this day.

No, Ofcom would have been very wary of the zealous outrage of Jews or Muslims had St. Agatha been one of theirs. We may reasonably conclude, therefore, that its findings would have been quite different, and rightly so since such insensitivity to the religious conscience of others can in no way be justified and considered tolerable.

Which brings me to legislation in “free, non-discriminatory Britain”. Surely the law, if not the media and press, upholds the rights of Christians?

On the contrary, it refuses Catholic adoption agencies the right of conscience to exclude homosexual couples from the adoption process. It has allowed for a nurse to be temporarily suspended from duty for the suspected ‘crime’ of sharing a Christian prayer with an elderly patient. It has allowed for a primary school secretary to be suspended for defending her five-year old child’s right to speak of Jesus, heaven and hell in the presence of her classmates.

In addition, it has allowed for the removal of a 16-year old Muslim girl from the care of her foster parents because the girl had chosen freely to convert to Christianity. It has also provided grounds for a local Council to send the police to threaten a retired couple with prosecution if they continued to question pro-homosexual Council policy.

I could rhyme off a catalogue of similar incidents which have occurred under ‘New Labour’ legislation, whose architects are becoming more arrogantly proactive in the forming of laws that are clearly intolerant to Christians and their beliefs.

Just how intolerant they have become is evident in the case of the aforementioned 78-year old Catholic pensioner Ted Atkinson.

While we all thought ASBO’s (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) were introduced to help rid our communities of unruly teens, this government’s legislators had alternative uses in mind.

Mr. Atkinson was first issued an ASBO in 2006 for sending pro-life material to the Chief Executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. He was subsequently barred from all but life-saving treatment at that hospital, a clear breach of his human rights.

Having continued to follow the dictates of his Catholic conscience, however, by sending further material to others who support abortion, Mr. Atkinson was summonsed to court again in March, found guilty of breaching his ASBO and incarcerated in Norwich prison for 3 months.

It is important that we understand that this is a man who has served in Her Majesty’s armed forces, paid his taxes and never committed a crime. He now suffers from diabetes, crippling arthritis in both hands and hips, inflammation around the heart, narrowing of the arteries and other associated health problems. He cannot walk unsupported, yet is imprisoned at a time when dangerous criminals are being let off with probation, community service or pitiful cash fines.

So it would seem that while our young children may be taught about sex at a young age in school, including graphic pictures of the male and female genital organs, and while they may be offered contraception without parental knowledge, or taught to condone the homosexual lifestyle and institutionalised abortion, Christians, even the elderly and infirm, are forbidden under pain of imprisonment to offer resistance to such evil in accordance with conscience.

So what has become of the freedom of British Christians? Well, it seems it has been stealthily taken from us in the name of Equality and Human Rights, of all things.

The noose of anti-Christian legislation has been firmly tightened around our necks and we may be assured that prisons will never be so overcrowded as to exclude future Christian moralists.

Such is the reality of living today in what Pope John Paul II referred to as “a culture of death.”

And why has it become a culture of death? Because the wise counsel of another Pope (St. Pius X) went unheeded by Christians: “Evil abounds because good men do nothing.”

So what can British Christians do to remedy the situation? Well we can use our free vote at the next election to send a clear message to all Liberal/Socialist political Parties that we will no longer tolerate this very real and determined persecution of Christ and His followers.

It is incumbent upon every Christian before God to weigh first the moral and spiritual tenets of these Parties before considering the less important temporal benefits they promise. Our freedom and indeed our eternal salvation depend upon it. We remain indifferent at our peril.


© Copyright March 2009

Martin Blackshaw