Saturday, 28 April 2012
Scottish police forces have been told not to accept a gift of free Bibles from the Gideons because the book “condemns homosexuality”. The Bibles have been offered to Scottish police forces featuring each force’s badge. But the Gay Police Association (GPA) is against the move, and has issued a statement demanding that the forces refuse to be involved. In the past, the GPA has been in trouble with the authorities for making untruthful and misleading claims involving the Bible. In 2006 the group was reprimanded for producing an ad featuring the Bible next to a pool of blood with the headline “in the name of the father”. The ad blamed religion, focusing in particular on Christianity, for violent attacks against homosexuals. But the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ad was untrue, indecent and unsubstantiated. Guide Trade union UNISON has joined with the GPA in opposing the offer of free Bibles for Scottish police forces. Gideons say they want to offer Scottish police the Bibles as a “valuable guide to life”. The group said they “can be offered to all members of the individual force, both serving police officers and civilian staff”. ‘Concern’ But the GPA said in a statement: “Members of the GPA have contacted us expressing concern that their Force is ofﬁcially endorsing a religious book containing text which condemns homosexuality.” It added: “The GPA does not feel that a public service, such as the police, should be seen to be endorsing, by their active involvement, any particular religion over and above any other religion or non-religion.” The GPA said if the Bibles were to be offered, “surely this can be done without the actual involvement of the police force concerned”. UNISON commented: “It is not the role of a Police Force either to provide official endorsement of any religion or foist religious views on its staff.” The trade union added that it hoped police forces in Scotland would “reject” the offer.