Blogger Faces Intimidation Tactics from Anglican Priest

A blogger, Seismic Shock who is trying to expose an Anglican priest and his associations to what he deems extremists is now being targeted with police complaints from said priest, Stephen Sizer.

(Context: Sizer has associated with some very nasty terrorists and Holocaust deniers; McRoy has delivered a paper at a Khomeinist theological conference in Iran comparing Hezbollah’s struggle against Israel via suicide bombing with the Christian’s struggle against sin via the atoning death of Jesus, and describes the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier as an “intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming” man who “gives quick, extensive and intelligent answers to any question, mixed with genial humour”).

Thanks to Stuart for this info. (See here and here).

Wow.

Post By Joel Watts (10,109 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

Connect

77 thoughts on “Blogger Faces Intimidation Tactics from Anglican Priest

  1. I’m not quite sure this is the story. Sizer is certainly strongly opposed to Christian Zonism, believing it to be a distortion of the NT and politically dangerous. He is also quite pro-Palestinian in that he gives a great deal of time to Christian Israeli Arabs and Christian Palestinians. In that cause he attacks a great many evangelical alliances with conservative politics and theology, Christian and Jewish, and above all American religious right. (He is very unusual, because in nearly very other respect his theology is extremely conservative and agreeable to the religious right”s side of the culture wars.)

    I haven’t had a chance to investigate this one in detail, but Seismic Shock does seem to work by selective quotation, and may well be libelling Sizer. I’ve only read one of Sizer’s books, but it seemed to me that, while passionate about the state of the Palestinian people – especially Palestinian Christians – he was not anti-Semitic, only passionately against the alliance between dispensationlist Christianity and ultra-Orthodox Zionist politics with its illegal (on UN terms) settlements in Hebron.

    • Doug. You raise a fair point, but the issue is also freedom of speech. Libel in the UK is a civil affair and not a criminal affair and so the disturbing element is the involvement of the police.

    • Doug, my only concern here is the suppression of speech. I noted that the blogger was taking on Sizer based on views which he deemed extremist – not commenting on Sizer. I’ve watched a blogger on this side of the pond face harassment as well, with the police involved too, which is what bothers me.

      Considering my only stance against a certain congregation here, I would hate to have the police show up at my door.

      • That’s fair enough: I’m however cynical enough to think that when pro- and anti- Zionist bloggers get going I should assume that both are more interested in my support than the facts

  2. Whatever the criticism of Rev. Sizer, it is inappropriate for him to involve the Police.

    Police should not be involved in an exchange of opinions on these issues.

    There is no criminal matters connected to it, thus the police should not be involved, whatever you think of the arguments,

    It is a clear freedom of speech issue.

    Whatever disagreement I might have with any of you, I would NEVER make the Police visit you and try to intimidate you, it is inappropriate behaviour but that’s what happened to Seismic Shock.

    Seismic Shock had two Policemen visit him at his home, over blogging activity, not a criminal activity, but blogging. Rev. Sizer brought the Police into this matter.

    I would hope that Americans would understand why that is so profoundly wrong and a stark freedom of speech issue.

    I hope that you will express your support for Seismic Shock.

    • “It is a clear freedom of speech issue. Whatever disagreement I might have with any of you, I would NEVER make the Police visit you and try to intimidate you…”

      Really? What if we posted material which you considered contained “illegitimate” opinions such as “racism” or “homophobia”? (say bits of the bible…?) Would you endorse the police visit?

      Those are yes/no questions, by the way.

      You don’t believe in free speech, modernity. Please don’t post as if you did.

  3. Doug – Sizer is right to be concerned about extreme Christian Zionism, he isn’t right to preach about this in Khomeinist Iran, in my eyes, or to share a platform with a Holocaust denier.

    If I libelled Sizer it should be a case for the courts not the police!

  4. Doug, your thought was mine. We’re getting one side of the story. We’ve got to be careful. That said, in the UK we do need a legal right of free speech, in my opinion. If there were proper legal lines in cases like this, you wouldn’t get this sort of thing happen.

      • What I’m reading is that Seismic went rather further than just blogging negatively about one man for a year. He also started contacting conference organisers personally and asking them to ban Stephen Sizer from their conferences to prevent him speaking — not exactly a free speech tactic. And he went further still; using a false identity, he obtained access to the facebook group of Rev. Sizer’s church youth group, and used his access to post a series of attacks on Sizer, which apparently was very disturbing for the children there. All of this was done anonymously — no-one seems to deny that –, which limited Mr. Sizer’s options to reply considerably. It was, we are told, at this point that the police were called, and an allegation of harassment made.

        I don’t know how true all of this is. But if it is true, I think we are some way beyond any legitimate question of freedom of speech, and into “stalking” territory. I ask myself what I would do, if friends and their children were being subjected to this, if I was the victim of a campaign of character assassination, if my career was being interfered with? What other choice did he have?

        I agree that we do not want the police censoring opinion online. Only today some people were sent to prison for posting “racist” material on a US website. There is a wind of censorship coming in, and the methods used to do that will be used to shut down debate. But … I am not at all sure that Seismic and co. are not themselves trying to shut down debate, are not themselves attempting intimidation.

        Let’s be wise as serpents here. Something is not right about all this.

  5. Roger,

    What you have stated are merely allegations?

    You need to differentiate between what you been told and what are the facts.

    Of course if you were to make a similar allegation on a British-based blog that ” someone had hacked into a facebook group,” which is what you imply, venue would clearly leave yourself open for a potential libel suit.

    So Roger, you should be more careful with your words and allegations, and don’t take everything as gospel, simply because you wish to believe it :)

    • Interesting. Truth is a defence in any question of libel, yet you claim potential libel? Do you have knowledge that Sizer’s statements are untrue? Does Seismic claim that they are untrue?

      These are yes/no questions, note.

  6. Roger,

    No. I was spelling out the bleeding obvious to you.

    When you state these allegations, you should be careful with your words.

    Surely, you, as a man who is familiar with dictionaries, translations and the subtleties of language you should understand that?

    That is my point.

    You wrote:

    “And he went further still; using a false identity, he obtained access to the facebook group of Rev. Sizer’s church youth group, and used his access to post a series of attacks on Sizer, which apparently was very disturbing for the children there. “

    You are stating these as absolute facts, whereas they are not.

    I hope you can distinguish between the two.

  7. Roger,

    I did not misunderstand your point.

    I’m pointing out, again, that you have used sloppy language.

    The way that you characterise things is inaccurate.

    If you wanted to be a bit more accurate than what you might have said would be:

    “What I’m reading is that Seismic went rather further than just blogging negatively about one man for a year. According to what Sizer has written …..”

    etc etc

    As I said you’re taking one side as Gospel, which as an educated man you should probably know is not the wisest of things to do.

    I haven’t seen those racists being jailed in America, do you have a link to that happening?

  8. I’m only leaving this comment in the hope that by unchecking the tick box I will stop receiving emails every time someone leaves a comment on a topic that long ago on many blogs descended into pointlessness.

    Joel, I really wish you would change your default so that someone actually has to choose to be emailed, like most other blogs, rather than to remember there’s a subtle checkbox hidden below your captcha code which ought to be turned off.

Leave a Reply, Please!