An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Thursday, 10 November 2011

'Mafia' and 'Gaystapo'

There is something quite disturbing when references to historical events or organisations are made to compare modern day controversial incidents with. To put things in context, the word 'Gaystapo' was used in an article published by the Church of England newspaper. The writer, Alan Craig, compared gay rights campaigners to Nazis. The comparison with the 'Mafia' mob was made today by Tom Watson MP during a select committee hearing which was questioning James Murdoch on the phone hacking scandal.

If nothing else, the use of labels of yesteryear on today's tin cans of public thought and political debate is just plain lazy, at the very least, and factually wrong, at the most. The use of certain words does frame and influence contemporary thought. People in the public sphere need to think responsibly before casting labels into the mass of society.  There is free speech and then there's irresponsible speech.

It is easy to guess the gist of what the labels of 'Gaystapo' and 'Mafia' were meant to refer to: organised stealth like growing influences. Well, why not say this then instead of pointedly citing history by naming organisations associated with killings and torture? Far more importantly, why is a Christian mainstream newspaper lending support to such inflamatory language?


  1. As you say, there is free speech and there is irresponsible free speech. What shocked me apart from the inflammatory language in the CEN article was learning that the editor had not read it before publication. It's only a weekly newspaper with a few pages. If the editor was on holiday, was there no-one available with authority to address this issue to prevent the damage it has caused?

  2. The Editor did not read it! It is irresponsible really to publish such stuff. The use of such language, once again, puts the CoE in a bad light eventhough not all of us subscribe to such views.

  3. I too am really surprised with the CEN. I feel it will have lost its credibility now as a voice of 'evangelicals'. I get a more balanced view of the C of E these days reading Christian Blogs.

  4. Apart from Christian blogs,like you, I enjoy reading Ruth Gledhill's articles.