So the Bishop gets of for actually hurting somebody’s life and the three foul mouthed, aggressive Muslims go to gaol despite the fact that they just shouted nasty things and offended everyone. Shouldn’t the bishop go to prison and the Muslims just be told off for abusing other people’s sensibilities?

The bishop of Hereford for reasons of pure prejudice denied someone a job for the simple reason that he was gay. John Reaney, the most reasonable of men took him to a tribunal and won. Mizanur Rahman, Umran Javed and Abdul Muhid shouted “Bomb, bomb Denmark, Bomb the USA”. One of them, unpleasantly, shouted for the soldiers to be brought back from Iraq in body bags. But, you will note, Denmark and the USA were not bombed, not by Mianur and his friends anyway, and they have not killed any soldiers in Iraq. They just offended everyone.

We have to get a handle on how we deal with these clashes of lifestyle, belief and freedoms. So see if this helps: there is a difference between words and actions and a difference between offence and material hurt.

The publication of the Danish cartoons caused my head to spin. Freedom of speech fought with the idea that we needed to protect people from being offended. Then I realised we didn’t need to protect people from that. In fact being offended is part of the deal in a free society. Religions have the freedom to practise and the rest of us have the freedom to offend them. I can’t shut up the Bishop’s prejudiced words and he can’t stop my feelings of anger towards him.

Nor can we stop the silly extremist posturing of these Muslim men. “Freedom of speech has to be exercised with restraint,” says the usually admirable Lady Scotland today. Why? Incitement to action when there is a real and proven connection between words and action should be policed. Yes indeed there is a dotted line between general racist abuse and the death of Stephen Lawrence. There is certainly a jagged connection between the foul faggot bashing and perverted poof punishing of the homophobes in the streets and the vicious murder of Jody Dubrowski. But that doesn’t mean that words are actions. They aren’t. We should police actions but just suffer the offence caused by words

The Bishop of Hereford had the cheek to hold a press conference yesterday after being found guilty by the Tribunal and said, with no apology at all, “I took the decision after a great deal of though and prayer and anguish”. Oh yes Your Grace this is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me, as the sadistic headmaster said while he hid behind the thin veil of false concern.

Next time think why don’t you think harder and pray to a God that might advise you against harming someone’s life. At least in their perverted appeal to their God the Muslim guys only postured. You sacked someone.

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