Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Written Evidence


  In the course of BBC2 TV programme Taboo, transmitted 12 December 2001, while the text and the cartoon drawing, published in Gay News, were shown on screen, Miss Bakewell said:

  "The other institution you criticised at your peril (was) the Christian church. Blasphemy was an offence and still is. In the 1970s a poem, an explicit homosexual fantasy of the centurion taking Christ's body down from the cross, was bound to offend . . .

  "I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft still throbbed anointed with death's final ejaculation. I knew he'd had it off with other men, with Herod's guards, with Pontius Pilate, with John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus, with foxy Judas—a great kisser, with the rest of the twelve together and apart."

  James Kirkup's poem The Love That Dares to Speak Its Name, pushed what had been a tacit tolerance of blasphemy too far. It was published in Gay News in 1976. Mary Whitehouse took out a private prosecution, the first blasphemy case since 1921".

26 June 2002

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003