WorldNetDaily Sense of Proportion Fail


A self-described Christian 12-year-old boy who dared post his views on same-sex marriage on the popular Internet video site, YouTube, has since been ridiculed and insulted by tens of thousands of comments that attack the boy, his sexuality and his faith.

Read how Christian heroes of the past have bravely faced their persecutors with a faith that overcomes in “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs,” newly updated with stories from as recent as 2001.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is an overview of Christians who were killed for their faith, with a particular emphasis on Protestant Christians who were killed in England during the reign of Queen Mary in the sixteenth century. Method of execution was usually burning to death, rather than the infliction of mocking and abusive comments.

More on Marches in Luton

From Bedford Today:

A blogger arrested for inciting racial hatred last year has had his request to hold a St George’s Day march rejected by Luton Borough Council.

Dunstable man Paul Ray was arrested last year by Bedfordshire Police for allegedly inflammatory comments made on his online diary website, Lionheart, and is currently on bail.

…A spokesperson for the authority said Mr Ray had provided scant information about the organisation of the event.

As I blogged at the time, Ray’s arrest briefly made him a  “free-speech martyr” for American Conservatives obsessed with the idea that the UK is under Muslim control; alas, however, he was quickly dropped when pro-BNP sentiments (which he has since supposedly repudiated, although see below) came to light. He has made much of his supposed persecution since his arrest, and he apparently sought political asylum in the USA and at one point relocated to Cyprus.

However, according to a comment he recently made on his blog responding to another commentator, he’s not on police bail after all:

I think you will find i am no longer under investigation or on police bail so that statement is unfounded and baseless, and could also be libelous…

So why did the paper think he was? And why does his blog carry a longer version of the Bedford Today article without adding any correction on this point?

Ray’s request for a march came in the wake of the cancellation of an event planned to demonstrate support for British troops who had been verbally abused by a small group of Islamic extremists during a parade last month. The organiser, James Yeomans, changed his mind when he came to believe that far-right elements intended to hijack it for their own purposes.

In particular, Yeomans was unhappy with support from “March for England”, a group which I blogged on here, and with which Ray has links. Last autumn, March for England took part in a counter-protest against an Islamist rally in London; both the Islamists and an anti-Islamist far-left group claim there were some racist comments, although this was denied by Potkin Azarmehr, the counter-protest’s Iranian dissident organiser. March for England’s organiser, Dave Smeeton, left comments on this blog also denying any racism:

March for England are not anti Muslim. We only protest against extremists who threaten our country. Be that Radical Islam , or any other terror groups.

We where going to luton to show our support to our troops.Our members turn out in there home towns to welcome home our Heroes. Most of your report is bases on hearsay. Never once has any chant or shout on our marches or protests included the word white!!!..

…As stated we have nothing against main stream muslims or any other religion. We have links with sihks and asians etc. But we will not stand idle as Choudry Hamza Bakri and co seek to use terror and unrest on our streets. The same as we opposed the IRA and there splinter groups in the 80s

…From what i know of Far right groups in this Country none would be seen next to or holding the Star of david Flag,or working with Potkin or fighting to get an ethnic group to stay in this country and to have have the same rights as British servicmen that ethnic group being the Gurkhas, To be honest i am offended by your half truths and lies in the above artical. But as usual anybody proud of there troops,Country,history and identity are fair game to be slandered.

Smeeton also promised to “look into” a pro-BNP link on the group’s website that I had noted. Of course, it’s quite possible that the racist comments reported were made up or misheard, or were made by rogue elements. I should also add that I have no wish to “slander” or tell “half truths and lies” about anyone, and that any concerns I raise are I think those that any outside observer might reasonably make.

However, there’s still cause for alarm: Smeeton’s Facebook profile features him standing in front of an England flag on which is inscribed: “Pompey 657 No Surrender”. “Pompey” is a reference to Portsmouth, and “657” is a reference to the “6.57 Crew”, a group of local football supporters who would catch the earliest train out of Portsmouth (at 6.57 am) to away matches. While I am sure that Smeeton is completely law-abiding and would be opposed to any excesses [UPDATE: he clarifies this to some extent in a comment below], it should be noted that the 6.57 Crew has a reputation for violent football hooliganism, and it has been the subject of three books. Here’s the cover of one:



According to the blurb:

6.57…three numbers that are synonymous with the dark world of football hooliganism.

The 6.57 crew were the violent faction that attached itself to Portsmouth Football Club during the 1980’s and reeked havoc the length and breadth of the country…

And here’s the first part of a documentary on the subject. I wonder why Yeomans and authorities in Luton might be feeling rather hesitant?

Meanwhile, PaulRay/Lionheart explains the Christian basis for his belligerence against Muslims (and unlike Smeeton he makes no “extremist” distinction) in his comments, in an argument against a liberal remonstrator:

When I see that Moslem selling heroin to my neighbour as part of their Jihad to rule the World what do i do

Turn the other cheek and walk on the other side of the road like you?

Or do i take the good Samaritan approach?

That’s a rather unusual New Testament mash-up, although Ray goes on to explain that he does not need to be “accountable to a Church”. He also praises Nick Griffin’s Easter message, which he describes “very very good and inspirational”, and goes on to commend the BNP:

It seems that they are the only ones willing to defend and uphold Christianity in this country, as for me i will trust in God to bring about the changes within them to make them the people He wants them to be. As you know there is nothing impossible with Him, and you should not judge these people who God is doing a work with and through.

Griffin’s message is an Easter Sunday call for British Christians to revive their Crusader past in order to oppose Muslims. “Jesus”, “Christ”, and “Resurrection” do not appear to be subjects of interest, and these words are absent from his sermon. Ray also expresses sympathy with a local football hooligan group, the “MIGs” (widely known as the “Men in Gear”, although “MIG” apparently actually refers to the Russian fighter plane):

With regards to the MIG’s, they are born and bred Luton, and this is their community where this is unfolding, and i would rather stand on their side of the fence than your side of the fence any day of the week because they see the World around them the same as I do, only i now have my faith in Jesus Christ.