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Hate preacher Paul Shaw back in court

WAY back in March of this year, Christian street preacher  and wannabe MP – Paul Shaw, of Duffield Drive, Colchester – appeared at Colchester magistrates’ court charged with using threatening words or behaviour towards gays, which he denied.

District judge David Cooper told him:

You said you were spreading God’s word and when interviewed you said children needed to be protected and basically, homosexuals and lesbians should repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.

The case was dismissed as the prosecution could offer no written evidence from complainants, and Shaw argued his right to free speech.

But Judge Cooper warned him that further complaints could land him back in court:

There are other sorts of ‘sins’. Do you think you could concentrate on those for a bit?

Sixty-something Shaw disagreed. He refused to be bound over to keep the peace, which itself is a criminal offence.

Instead, he said:

In four years, I’ve only dealt with homosexuality about twice. I have to act in good conscience, I’m afraid, and I think [homosexuality] is a particularly significant thing for this nation at this time.

Quite unable to contain his homophobia, Shaw used it again as a platform to seek election as an MP in the 2010 General Election. Standing as an independent, the imbecile came last out of nine candidates in the Colchester constituency, polling just 20 votes. This earned him a place in The Telegraph‘s Top Ten General Election Losers.

The miserable loser found himself back before Judge Cooper on Thursday morning, August 26, as a result of a pre-election address he distributed in Colchester in May. In it, he called for a review of whether sodomy and other homosexual acts should remain legal.

Graham Weeks, the 'brains' behind 'The Christian Quoter'

“The Christian Quoter”, a lame fundie blog maintained by Presbyterian nutter Graham Weeks revealed:

It turns out that a couple of homosexual men complained to the police, leading to a completely over-the-top search of Paul’s flat and confiscation of his diaries in June.

Shaw had declared in his address:

I believe for example that homosexual and lesbian acts are immoral and that the law should reflect that; by making them unlawful as they once were; and so acting as a deterrent to such behaviour.

The semi-literate moron added:

The concept of homophobia is nonsense and a play on words; it is not and has never been a phobia! A phobia is an un-natural fear; whereas a rejection of perverse behaviour; is a righteous godly fear; that fears to do wrong because it knows that there are consequences and punishment otherwise! This is the most pronounced example of a nation that has lost its way …

Little wonder that Colchester voters gave him the bum’s rush.

Weeks reports that the latest case was adjourned at the request of the Crown Prosecutor. This was in order, the prosecution said, to consider the case in the light of freedom of speech.

Weeks – a fan of Britain’s funniest fundie, Stephen “Birdshit” Green – quotes Green as saying:

If you can, please come and support Paul at Colchester Magistrates Court, CO1 1FP on Thursday 23rd September 2010. The case is listed for 9.15am, but be prepared for it to be heard, as today’s case was, in the afternoon.

In all, seven brethren came along today [August 26] at a moment’s notice to support Paul and the Gospel, so let us pray for an even bigger witness in four weeks’ time!

Please continue to hold up our brother in prayer at this challenging time.

And please PRAY that justice is done and this attack on our historic freedom to preach the Gospel is defeated.

45 Responses to “Hate preacher Paul Shaw back in court”

  1. Broadsword says:

    It always amazes me how these godcnuts are so fixated on the sexuality of others. Getting twenty votes in the General Election would convince most they were wrong but obviously not the mentally ill.
    Am I right in thinking that certian criminal convictions preclude a potential parliamentary candidate from standing? If so, maybe Shaw could be goaded into overstepping the mark in three years’ time.

    The religious party came last in our constituency at the last GE as well. I wonder how they felt getting soundly beaten by the novelty candidate? I think someone standing on a fun, irreligious platform would show them up each time and get votes from the apolitical.

  2. Lucy says:

    ”I believe for example that homosexual and lesbian acts are immoral and that the law should reflect that”

    Why can’t these people leave everyone else alone?? I believe a few things but don’t think I have any rights to make them law…

  3. Harry says:

    Lemon meringue pie is highly immoral but I would never advocate banning it.

  4. Broadsword says:

    @Harry

    I love your idea.
    How would you dress to “deliver the gift”?

  5. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    While I disagree with his sentiments, I do believe he has the right to try to persuade others to his point of view. It’s called freedom of speech and as long as he doesn’t try to get anyone to commit any actual harm to anyone, I don’t agree with him being silenced. Besides, without loonytunes and fruitloops like this, we wouldn’t have so much to laugh at.

  6. Buffy says:

    I think [homosexuality] is a particularly significant thing for this nation at this time.

    Why? Significantly more people get divorced, eat shellfish, lie, commit adultery and engage in other “sins”. Targeting those could keep a clergy person busy for a lifetime. Why focus on one minority group to the exclusion of all other “sinners”?

  7. Jen says:

    Has anybody checked into this guy’s own personal history? He seems to have a gay problem; sounds personal to me.

    I bet you a full biographical article on Shaw would be fascinating.

    And yes, he still deserves freedom of speech. Criminalizing speech is never a solution.

  8. Mike says:

    Would it be a cheap shot to suggest this one too, needs his luggage lifted ?

  9. Broadsword says:

    When I see fundies like Messrs Weeks and Green with those beards this vid springs to mind:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15S0g8pG6HU
    They seem to like the “I’ve spent forty days and nights in the wilderness” look.
    And Mike, it’s got to be hasn’t it?

  10. Linda says:

    I live in Colchester, and I don’t work on Thursdays, so I might trot along to court on the 23rd. I could do with a laugh.
    David Cooper is turning into a bloody good judge. ‘Sfunny, because when he was a solicitor he was the first choice of the local career criminals…

  11. Roger Pearse says:

    Are you really happy saying that, if I should dare to disagree with what people in power have decided we must think, and condemn their favourite vices, at least some atheists will cheer as the police arrest me? That doesn’t seem very like a good advertisement for atheism.

    But hey, don’t worry: I won’t denounce you for inciting religious hatred. (That’s another horrible law which is a violation of free speech).

    Of course we know that law was really designed to give Moslem pressure groups the power to drag critics into court, not to protect Christians, so you’d probably be safe. But just wait until Moslems start in on atheists! Just because the pyramid of who-may-be-criticised is so-and-so now does not mean it will always be so! Ask the Jews, who’re sliding down the scale of “may be criticised” as we speak.

    It’s all very nasty, and very Nazi.

  12. Broadsword says:

    Roger

    In this case it’s about Paul Shaw directing hate speech at a particular section of society going legally about their business. His religion is a secondary issue, except for him, which is why he’s up in front of the beak. I don’t see why people can’t quietly live their lives and adopt an attitude of “Hey man, whatever floats your boat” to other lifestyles.

  13. Lucy says:

    @roger pearse

    People in power do not care what anyone thinks, the laws only apply to how people behave. He was not arrested for his thoughts, only for his speeches which incited murder.
    Anyone can condemn away to their heart’s content, whatever, but they can’t incite hatred, or indeed murder. They can argue, make their case,fine . And why some might cheer, is that for so long people have been able to get away with (sometimes literally) murder, because they plead religion. In the past you could have resisted conscription because you had thought it out and decided it was immoral. No chance, But if you were a quaker, quite a different response. You can have two wives, and be had up for bigamy, but if you are a muslim, everyone might get a bit shifty. It is vexing.
    Everyone’s actions should be subject to thoughtful scrutiny. No one’s actions are sacrosanct because they sign up to one set of ideas or another.

  14. Lucy says:

    I typed a long response but there was an error.

    So I have to start again
    Roger, the man was not arrested for his thoughts but his actions. He incited murder.

    D you really think that inciting hatred is OK? Everyone can argue their case, condemn as they see fit, but inciting hatred???

    Stop lumping people together. Jews, muslims whatever. We all need to do our best to live together and act as ethically as we can, as individuals,

  15. Roger Pearse says:

    Broadsword,

    Surely it’s about someone saying something political or religious that others with links to government ministers do not like. Happy with that? Because I’m not.

    It’s almost an accident that gays have managed to push their way to the front of the queue of special interest groups demanding the power to denounce those who say anything about them that they don’t like to the police. It could be anyone. It will be Moslems. It used to be Jews (although do you notice that these are “going down the wind” and that all sorts of nastiness is now allowed which wasn’t before?) Do you like the idea of the establishment having a table of favoured groups who can silence criticism? Again, I’m not. Who gave these creeps the power to determine what I can say?

    The law in a free country is simple. You can say anything you like on political or religious matters, so long as you do not incite violence. You can call for any policy you like; you can put any policy you like to the electorate, and the electorate will decide.

    As for the word “hate” — isn’t the powerful accusing the powerless of hate itself a sign of bigotry? I think of Goering, after Kristelnacht, who ordered that the Jews be fined a million marks “for their atrocious crimes, etcetera etcetera” and commented “That will work. The swine won’t commit another murder.” Note how he sought to blame his victims for his evil deeds. When the powerful accuse their victims of crimes — especially of thought-crimes, shiver!

    You have to hate people pretty badly to denounce them to the police for merely saying things that don’t harm you but that you don’t like! I don’t think either of us would do that; I don’t think anyone should have the power. This is religion and politics. Let’s keep the police out of it. And … is there any practical difference between what is called “hate-crime” and what Orwell called “thought-crime”?

    I’m for “live and let live”. But if people disagree, I’d rather it was all of us allowed to do so, rather than only the powerful. Wouldn’t you?

  16. Roger Pearse says:

    Lucy,

    Thanks for your note. Query: I didn’t see anything that said that Shaw was charged with incitement to murder. That would be a very different matter. Where did you see that?

    Do I think inciting hatred is OK? You mean, like the post we’re commenting on does? I think it’s weasel-words, actually, for “inciting people to disagree with me strongly.” And I think people should be free to do so. If you want to incite people to hate me, go ahead. Sticks and stones will break my bones (and be the subject of police action), but religious and political arguments will never hurt me.

    I think it is no business of anyone what people feel, or may be led to feel. Inciting violence is another matter.

    And remember … unless you have no objections to anything the establishment chooses to do, next week, the star of the show could be you!

    Thanks,

    Roger

  17. Roger Pearse says:

    Lucy,

    I’ve just had the same happen!

    I had not seen anything suggesting he was charged with incitement to murder. Where is that from?

    As for “inciting to hate” — well, if you think that is wrong, are you going to denounce FreeThinker to the police, then? Come: these are just weasel words for disagreement. I don’t think people should be locked up for what they say about religion or politics, whatever it is, and especially not for objecting to the moral demands of those who control the state (which is the issue here).

  18. Roger Pearse says:

    Lucy,

    I’ve just had the same happen! Twice now! (or have I been moderated here…?)

    Hey, I had not seen anything suggesting he was charged with incitement to murder. Where is that from?

    As for whether I think people should be allowed to “incite to hate” — well, if you think that is wrong, are you going to denounce FreeThinker to the police, then? I think a lot of people are indeed allowed to do that, right now; but only selected people.

    “Hate” is just a code word for “disagreement”, designed to stop us objecting to a very illiberal policy. I don’t think people should be locked up for what they say about religion or politics, whatever it is, and especially not for objecting to the moral demands of those who control the state (which is the issue here).

    All the best,

    Roger

  19. Broadsword says:

    Hello Roger

    It seems “the gays” occupy much of your thinking time.
    “They” haven’t “pushed their way in” but have been accorded equal terms as are other law abiding, tax paying citizens.
    Holding religious views shouldn’t and doesn’t shield a bogot from secular law.
    I think this is a case of ne’er the twain.

  20. Roger Pearse says:

    Hello Broadsword,

    You say: “It seems “the gays” occupy much of your thinking time.”

    That is (a) insulting (b) false (c) irrelevant (d) an attempt to change the subject from Paul Shaw and his arrest to my personal thoughts and feelings. Don’t do this, hmm?

    Your other comments merely called for people who don’t think homosexuality is acceptable — which is most of the world — to be imprisoned if they say so. I don’t think that is an acceptable position in a free country.

    Hey, I was amused by your suggestion that “secular law” must be the foremost moral authority, however sleazy the process by which it was made. You endorse the “religious hatred” law, do you? The poll tax? Any law that Call-me-Dave cares to pass, you’ll obey it and demand people conform, regardless, because “it’s the law”? Really? I don’t think you’re that much of a slave, really I don’t. You mustn’t write like one!

    Regardless, if you really DO like the idea of locking people up for their political or religious opinions, well … good luck. But since you write under a pseudonym, I have an idea that you wouldn’t like getting what you advocate for others. Does your hate for Christianity so exclude reason that you’ll defend the methods of the police state, even though many atheists already are concerned about the idea of being prosecuted for inciting religious hatred? Really?

    Atheism does not mean this kind of stuff, and you can read 19th century atheists who will tell you so. Nor should it.

    All the best,

    Roger Pearse

  21. Roger Pearse says:

    Can’t reply – my comments vanish.

  22. Roger Pearse says:

    Well that worked. But my repost again did not appear.

    Sorry Lucy, Broadsword; something stops my replies.

  23. Roger Pearse says:

    Lucy, I had not seen anything suggesting he was charged with incitement to murder. Where is that from?

  24. Roger Pearse says:

    Broadsword, You say: “It seems “the gays” occupy much of your thinking time.”

    That is (a) insulting (b) false (c) irrelevant (d) an attempt to change the subject from Paul Shaw and his arrest to my personal thoughts and feelings. Don’t do this, hmm?

    Your other comments merely called for people who don’t think homosexuality is acceptable — which is most of the world — to be imprisoned if they say so. I don’t think we should do that!

  25. Roger Pearse says:

    Sorry lads, but I can’t debate with you. Something is definitely interfering, and I weary of trying to tease my comments through a filter. Try the eChurch website instead!

  26. Broadsword says:

    I reckon this one would have dined on all three Billy Goats Gruff.

  27. Broadsword says:

    Roger

    On this website I feel one’s sexuality should not be a matter for debate. Why bring it into the political sphere? It seems you think it does from your reference to “Dave”.
    You have given a list of things you oppose. Get them emblazoned on some multi-coloured placards and stand next to Pastor Fred Phelps.
    You also seem to have a borderline paranoic view of our democracy. If you’re not getting what you want then why not found your own party and see how far you get? You know xianity is on its way out. Please, enjoy it for yourself but don’t try and impose any of its “values” on the sane.

  28. Broadsword says:

    @Lucy
    I should have read your post sooner.
    Only the mad would object……….
    ……..and the religious.

  29. Roger Pearse says:

    And suddenly my comments turn up — all of them, repetitively… I do apologise to anyone who trudges through them!

    Broadsword — most of your comments seem to amount to kicking the player, not the ball. Sorry, but I don’t see the need to respond to that level of “argument”. And the rest of your comments don’t address mine, or the issue, so again I don’t have any comment on them.

    Just consider this, everyone. How badly do we have to hate someone or something to denounce a man to the police for expressing a religious or political opinion? For saying what 2bn people say? Should this be possible, in our country? I’m sure none of us want it done to us. But are we comfortable doing it to others?

    Paul Shaw is harming no-one, inciting no-one to violence. All of us, whatever our religious or political beliefs, should not hesitate to denounce this evil business of informers and policemen and court-officials. Unless, of course, we are happy to be next, when the establishment so decides.

    All the best,

    Roger Pearse

  30. Har Davids says:

    I like the judge’s suggestion that Paul Shaw concentrates on other sins for a bit; I guess it’s about as close as he could get in Court to calling the guy a fool. Let’s leave our village-idiots ply their trade in peace – we may laugh, I hope – and concentrate on the really dangerous nutters. I don’t mind being hated, as long as the haters don’t have the balls or power to harm me.

  31. MrGronk says:

    My problem with “hate speech” is that it gives the religious freaks and their self-pitying persecution mania a spurious sense of legitimacy. They should be able to froth against teh ghey all they want – just no advocacy of violence.

  32. Peter Hearty says:

    I would like to add my voice to those who say people have the right to express their views in public, no matter how distasteful those views might be.

    If Paul Shaw really was inciting violence and murder then that, of course, is another matter. Does anyone have a reference to support this?

  33. Angela_K says:

    Roger Pearse, this forum software is sometimes unstable so posts often don’t appear for a while.

    I agree Mr Shaw should be free to shout his nonsense and display his bigotry for all to see, but any suggestion of incitement to violence should bring the full force of the law upon him. However, free speech should mean hearing views we may find abhorrent, but for the religious, free speech is a one way street: they want the freedom to criticise anyone who does not agree with their perverted ideology but scream victim when challenged. Unfortunately the Law does not protect all groups equally and frequently allows the religious bigots free rein.

  34. barriejohn says:

    I’m with Peter Hearty, Mr Gronk, and others on this one. Was he actually inciting murder? And any violence that occurs as a result of “homophobia” (and he certainly has a point regarding that word), is incidental. This question of “free speech” is a quagmire, but efforts to limit it can backfire badly.

  35. cnocspeireag says:

    Mike, cheap perhaps but splendidly apposite.

  36. terry says:

    Paul Shaw, is a poster boy for atheism, we need more like him to help our cause. These idiots do more for atheism and freethinking than Denit, Harris, Hitchings and Dawkins put together. A constitutional society should uphold freedom of speech and should not concern itself with its citizens’ feelings. If it sought to protect sensibilities, there would be no limit to the abuse of freedom that the principle would justify. The principle of free speech limited only by the direct call for violence and/or racism. Remember It’s not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone to listen, and to hear. Because we would all still benefit from his perhaps outrageous or appalling view.

  37. Lucy says:

    Dear all, sorry to have wrongly introduced the ‘incitement to murder thing’. Got muddled with the thread about the guy wanting someone to shoot the pope.

  38. Broadsword says:

    @chrsbol

    The three Billy Goats Gruff are once again toast.

  39. stargraves says:

    2 billion non-educated illiterates living in poverty who have been exploited by their tinpot governments and told what to believe and how to think by zealots, hate gays, persecute them, and murder them. Funny how some folk in the developed 21st world want to side with them.

    Just because something was written down by ignorant bigots a few thousand years ago, doesn’t mean it isn’t immoral.

    “Morality is doing right no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right” -HL Menken

  40. barriejohn says:

    Great quote there, Stargraves, and already utilized on another blogsite! Mencken was another genius!!

  41. Angela_K says:

    I have a new word, Boswellox: mindless crap spouted by a person of limited intelligence who has a brain damaged by religion.

  42. Janstince says:

    Troll infestation. Best call the exterminator.

    Incitement to violence is a hairy subject. We have the right-wing fox news mouthpieces spewing garbage left and right, as well as rush limbaugh, “Dr” Laura, and all these other rich, hypocritical white people blaring on about how much the US is being hurt by our first black president and such. They complain and sometimes put a toe over the line of incitement, but nobody can go after them successfully because of the lack of “sustained will towards incitement” or some such nonsense. Hell, limbaugh or o’reilly can slander and libel to their hearts content without fear because they are so fucked up in the head that the judges would most likely dismiss because of a lack of conviction about what they are saying. Or at least, most judges would buy that.

    Frankly, I think some of these people wronged by all of this should go instead after faux news itself. If the people they put on air aren’t responsible for what they say, then the damned network should be held accountable.

    Somewhat OT, I know, but it pisses me off when people say “freedom of speech” without realizing that it doesn’t mean there are no consequences. You should still be held accountable for what you say. And if people use their free speech to counter you, en masse even, you shouldn’t be able to go crying to the courts about mythical persecution. That’s what it seems your “religious hatred” law is all about. I’m rooting for you guys to wrap that thing in a sack with a brick and throw it in the Thames. Wish I could help more.

  43. Robster says:

    Bigotry, hatred, poisonous attitudes, violence, lies, lies and more lies. He should be taken away for lying. There’s no truth in what he says. It’s a bit like a real hamburger looking nothing like the one on the TV commercial. You can’t go around lying, selling a spurious product with no proven effect or benefit. Put the twit in a home, surrounded by people in white coats.