Musings on Special Snowflakes

I’m a skeptic, humanist, atheist, secularist and feminist who is part of the LGBT community. I’m telling you this so that you can see that people have reason to disagree with my opinions on a regular basis. It happens and I welcome it. We all have our opinions and we’re allowed to voice them and to disagree with one another. Sometimes we might *gasp* change our minds. Continue reading Musings on Special Snowflakes

Free Speech Is Bittersweet And That’s The Whole Point

When I started Project Barnum (the now defunct online resource into how to spot psychic trickery) I did so with a petition that urged theatres and performance venues to not host psychic stage shows. At the time there was some controversy with people suggesting that the petition was calling for the censorship of psychics (something Deborah Hyde suggested in an interview at the time) but that wasn’t the case. Continue reading Free Speech Is Bittersweet And That’s The Whole Point

Offensive adverts vs. misleading adverts

Some people seem shocked that I don’t agree with the recent decision to not run the ‘gay cure’ advert on London buses because I made a complaint about the Christian groups ‘Healing on the Streets‘ and an advert they were handing out. Let me explain why very briefly…

The ‘gay cure’ advert is offensive and horrid, but we all have a right to be offensive but not to have our offence catered to. Remember the recent controversy over the Jesus and Mo cartoon being used by Atheist groups on University Campuses and how most of us non-believers were outraged that one group could use their offence to this to censor the other group? Remember being angry that Rhys Morgan could be threatened by his school with expulsion if he didn’t remove the offensive cartoon from his personal blog? Well, those atheists and skeptics who were angry in those instances but protested the ‘gay cure’ ad and are happy that the ‘gay cure’ advert has been blocked are being hypocritical.

The ‘Healing on the Streets’ advert was different because the claims were found by the ASA to be misleading and in breach of CAP codes, and as a result, they were told not to use those adverts anymore. That wasn’t an issue of censorship because they are still allowed to do what they do, they’re just not allowed to make specific health-based claims on the adverts.

Hopefully, the adverts for the ‘gay cure’ weren’t rejected because of social pressure by those who were offended. Hopefully, they would have been rejected anyway because they breach CAP codes or are misleading (i.e. being gay isn’t an illness), but if not and they were blocked because people were offended, that’s just a shame.