Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Atheist given Asbo (Anti-social behavior order) by U.K. Court for leaflets mocking Jesus

Posted by faithandthelaw on April 26, 2010

Harry Taylor, 59, left home made posters at Liverpool John Lennon Airport three times in November and December 2008.

The self-styled philosopher denied three counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress but was convicted in less than an hour by a unanimous jury.

Among the posters, one image showed a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of ”no nails” glue.

In another, a cartoon depicted two Muslims holding a placard demanding equality with the caption: ”Not for women or gays, obviously.”

Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise were told in another: ”Stop, stop, we’ve run out of virgins.”

Taylor, of Griffin Street, Higher Broughton, Salford, told Liverpool Crown Court during his trial he was sexually abused by Catholic priests as a youngster.

But he said he bore no grudge against people of faith and claimed he was merely trying to convert believers to atheism.

Unemployed Taylor, on medication for depression, said it was ”preposterous” to suggest people could be incited to violence by cartoons – another of his depicted the Pope with a condom on his finger.

He had adapted newspaper and magazine cartoons and added captions of his own – one made a crude joke on a picture of a woman kneeling in front of a priest.

But some of his cartoons went way beyond exercising freedom of expression, prosecutor Neville Biddle said.

One image showed a pig excreting sausages with insults to Islam, and others linked Muslims to attacks on airports.

It is thought Taylor, who was convicted of criminal damage, battery and threatening behaviour in February this year, might have dumped the images when he was at the airport collecting and saying goodbye to his Polish wife.

He told the jury he left the posters in tribute to John Lennon, whose acclaimed Imagine referenced ”a world with no religion”.

Today, it emerged Taylor, was convicted of similar offences in 2006.

The previous December he was arrested handing out offensive leaflets in Waterstone’s book store in Deansgate, Manchester.

Police discovered he had also visited a nearby Tesco and unplugged the Christmas music because he found it offensive.

Taylor had also visited two city centre churches, St Ann’s Church and St Mary’s, known as the Hidden Gem.

Inside he left leaflets including a picture of a monk making a finger gesture with the caption ”Father F****r”.

Judge James told him: ”Not only have you shown no remorse for what you did but even now you continue to maintain that you have done nothing wrong and say that whenever you feel like it you intend to do the same thing again in the future.”

Taylor’s Anti-Social Behaviour Order bans him from carrying religiously offensive material in a public place.

He was sentenced to six months in jail suspended for two years, ordered to perform 100 hours’ of unpaid work and pay £250 costs.

Courtesy of  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7624578/Atheist-given-Asbo-for-leaflets-mocking-Jesus.html

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