At Liverpool Crown Court this week, 59 year old, Harry Taylor has been found guilty of ‘causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.’ In 2008/09 Taylor had gone to the prayer room of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and had left sexually explicit images and cartoons of Christian and Islamic religious leaders. He maintained in court that ‘he bore no grudge against people of faith and claimed he was merely trying to convert believers to atheism’.
As a result of Taylor’s behaviour and his perceived lack of remorse, the Judge ordered a six month sentence (suspended for two years), 100 hours community service and an Anti-Social Behaviour Order [ASBO] banning him from ‘carrying religiously offensive material in a public place’. This case has once again highlighted the difficulties inherent in freedom, not only in speech and expression, but also belief. It remains to be seen if the court’s sentence will be enough to deter Taylor from his one man ‘militant atheist’ campaign in the future.
Ethics and Religion
By G. Scott Davis
(Vol. 3, October 2008)
Theology and the Lure of the Practical: An Overview
By Mary McClintock Fulkerson
(Vol. 2, February 2007)