“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Reverend Stephen Sizer

Reverend Sizer, Libya And His Own Bigotry.

with 3 comments

After some time it is not terribly difficult to spot a bigot, a bit like Johnny Speight’s Alf Garnett, they return to common themes time and again.

So it is with Reverend Sizer.

This highly educated man of the cloth is quite happy to spread bigotry around as long as it is aimed at Israelis.

The recent conflict in Libya showed how gullible he was, in believing the very worst of Israelis and then putting it in a blog post.

Simply Jews takes up the story with commendable restraint:

“This news item (written in especially atrocious language, I have to add) was quickly outed as a hoax. To make sure, I have checked Yediot Ahronot English and Hebrew sites too – it is still a hoax. This fact didn’t (still doesn’t) bother our good pastor, who immediately posted an article on the subject under a telling headline The Ties that Bind: Israel to Libya.What you wouldn’t see it this (modified) version of the article, though, is the following, later modified, text (the omitted part is emphasized):

It should come as no surprise that “Saif al-Islam, son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi” made a surprise visit to Israel last week to buy more weapons for his dad.

He goes to Israel regularly because, according to a senior Middle East Ecclesiastical source, both his mother and aunt are Jewish and live in Israel.

Blood is indeed thicker than water. Perhaps this is why the US is reluctant to impose a ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya.

Thanks to Harry’s Place and the ever watchful Seismic Shock fellow, the text was rescued and kept for posterity here. There are also some conclusions re Mr Sizer’s somewhat obsessive behavior too…

Of course, the rumors about Jewish roots of the good colonel are not new. However, being a senior Ecclesiastical source himself, pastor Sizer should know that being a Muslim precludes the colonel from being able to carry this second membership card. Oh well, it probably doesn’t matter to him. Pastor Sizer was hell-bent to make a point. And, in his righteous zeal, he didn’t notice that he is already way past that thin red line…

Blut ist dicker als Wasser indeed. It should also carry some oxygen that feeds, between other human organs, the brain. It seems that our good pastor is lately not exercising enough, depraving his valuable gray cells from this essential nourishment.

[My emphasis.]

Written by modernityblog

14/04/2011 at 21:05

Reverend Sizer And Excuses.

with 17 comments

Seismic Shock picks apart more of Reverend Sizer’s excuses and rationalisations.

I do hope one day that Reverend Sizer can bring himself to admit how neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers and the creme de la creme of Jew haters internationally were invited to Tehran and lionised, not because of some theological issues, but rather because they hated Jews.

Oh and Rev. Sizer if you are reading this, using the expression “Zionist” instead of “Jews” doesn’t fool anyone, the Extreme Right have been using that particular ploy for the years.

Written by modernityblog

20/02/2010 at 15:21

Nicely Put.

with 2 comments

Read it:

“It concerns the issue of liberty: the liberty to publish well-argued opinions without fearing that the local police will drop by for a “friendly chat” aimed at nudging you towards removing posts from your own blog which may have offended someone else’s cherished self-image. For one thing, finding the police at you door on a Sunday morning is not exactly an image of friendliness conjured up by law-abiding conscientious citizens. For another, the preservation of another person’s cherished self-image should not really be the business of our law-enforcement personnel.

I think this is a very simple principle to grasp and to agree with.”

Written by modernityblog

01/02/2010 at 01:27

The State Of Play and Rev. Sizer.

with 61 comments

Hopefully one of my final posts on Sizergate, as I get the impression from Richard Wilson’s blog that Dr. Sizer would like to dampen down matters.

Understandably so, otherwise he might have to answer why did he use an ex-Royal Marine to try to track down Seismic Shock?

I would recommend that readers take the time to study the comments from Rev. Sizer’s associate, Mordechai ‘Motkhe’ Cohen.

The comments are rather nasty, and whilst my memory is faulty it was one of the exchanges that I remember clearly from Seismic Shock’s site, given the ferocity and venom of the remarks.

Richard Bartholomew has put up a spirited defence of Rev. Sizer. A pity, I expected a bit more.

Contrary to Richard’s assertion, we can see the previous blog or parts of it from the google cache, as I highlighted in this post.

Readers might want to re-read Seismic Shock’s old blog and decide for themselves.

[Use these key words in Google, Sizer, about 49 entries are return with a fair few of them cached and readable about 18.]

The Leeds University’s student newspaper covers matters too.

Concluding, so what in fact you had was:

1) an Anglican vicar annoyed at criticism of his strongly held views
2) an effort was made to warn off that critic
3) when it failed a ex-Royal Marine’s assistance was sought
4) when that failed the Police were used to intimidate the blogger
5) said Anglican vicar gloated about his apparent success at seeing off a critic, and then threatened another blogger.

Less of a rose tinted view of events than we are often told, and I am sure more will come out, eventually.

Written by modernityblog

30/01/2010 at 17:52

Wikipedia, Rev. Sizer And Bits Left Out.

with 8 comments

I am indebted to Judeosphere for pointing out that Wiki has updated its page on Rev. Sizer, mentioning the Barbara Streisand effect along the way.

I am not unduly worried that I was not credited. I won’t cry or moan, but what struck me was more what they chose to leave out of the Wiki entry.

I appreciate that Wiki is trying to achieve some neutral point of view. They are up front about it and I can see why that might be a good idea.

However, what I think is reprehensible is that they do not comment on how Rev. Sizer left another message trying to intimidate another blogger, in particular, Vee of Living Journey in Australia.

The evidence is there for everyone to see, his own comment:

“Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


[Even if it is subsequently denied, which I would doubt, then the Internet record can be pulled up to verify that Rev. Sizer did, in fact, leave that threat.]

Still, I suppose if Wiki had included that information then it would take the polish off of Rev. Sizer’s halo.

But there is a wider problem here and in the past I have been a bit critical of Wiki and Citizendium.

I think there’s a tendency for some of the biographical sections to come out like hagiographies.

Certainly, those of a religious persuasion (or not) would probably see why such an approach is not a good idea, and a bit unlikely under these circumstances, as few of us really have halos and most assuredly they do not need any on-line polishing!

1997 Harassment Act?

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I thought this was an intriguing post, I hadn’t considered it in that light, but it makes a lot of sense:

“In a case of ‘harassment via Facebook’ two years ago, Michael Hurst was brought to trial for allegedly contacting his ex-girlfriend Sophie Sladden online, but he was cleared by Magistrates in Birmingham after the prosecution failed to prove the charge.

The definition of harassment above is deliberately wide-ranging, as it was introduced with the main aim of facilitating action in cases of domestic harassment. Is this law being used appropriately?

For the media and for bloggers, a harassment complaint in circumstances where there has been no documented physical threat or alleged ’stalking’ incident is worrying.”

Written by modernityblog

29/01/2010 at 17:21

Twitter, Rev. Sizer And Be Reported.

with 9 comments

The viral nature of the Internet was shown when Iran’s theocracy tried to push through the fiddled election results.

Iranians reacted and use technology in ways that none of us could have foreseen.

Twitter was seen as a key ally for the regime’s opponents.

Technology has also proven that Rev. Sizer’s desire to intimidate bloggers has rebounded.

Thousands of Internet readers are now aware that Rev. Sizer used the Police in an inappropriate manner, to intimidate a young blogger. On top of that twitter has come alive with users expressing their astonishment at Rev. Sizer’s actions.

All in all, Rev. Sizer’s actions have been counterproductive and unnecessary.

But what I can’t understand is why he felt it necessary to try and intimidate another blogger in Australia with this comment:

Stephen Sizer says:
January 16, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Reported, to whom? Presumably the Police?

That strikes me as rather overwhelming and threatening for a blogger, out of the blue to know that if you mention Rev. Sizer again that Policemen will knock at your door.

It is becoming a bit of a habit with Rev. Sizer, intimidating bloggers. Hmm.

Update 1: I thought this was rather good.

Update 2: As far as I can see Vee has not in any way called Rev. Sizer an “antisemite”, yet he is quick to take offence and threaten action.

Apparently there were only three posts mentioning Rev. Sizer at Living Journey and none called him an “antisemite”. So I think Rev. Sizer should apologise to Vee for being unnecessarily aggressive and rather, er, unchristian in his attitudes. make your own minds up, I’d welcome reader’s comments:

Calvin L. Smith: Stephen Sizer as Anti-Replacement Theology Champion?

A little more about Supercessionism and that book…

Worth posting…

Why did Rev. Sizer take offence and threaten to use the Police again?

Written by modernityblog

28/01/2010 at 00:23

The Knock At The Door.

with 3 comments

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a writer, maybe a journalist, a trade unionist, a community activist, a plain letter writer or just a normal person

Imagine that you express your views on politicians and people in the public domain in a vigorous fashion.

Nothing offensive, no swearing, no abuse, just factual comment, backed up by evidence and a few pointed questions.

Suppose you do that.

You write letters, you make comment on society or life, would you expect a knock on your door while you’re still in your night-clothes?

Of course, not.

Still less would you expect to find Policemen knocking on your door questioning you about your writings.

That is unless you lived in a Fascist or Stalinist State.

The Policemen knocking at the door was always dreaded by citizens of those repressive regimes.

Citizens knew they had to watch their words.

They knew they could not express their contempt for their leaders or those in authority. They knew an unguarded word could lead them to a camp or Gulag. So the citizens of these awful regimes do, and have, tended to censor themselves, to be extra careful what they say and what they write, lest Policemen come knocking at their door.

And why should the Police become involved?

They shouldn’t be, unless it is a criminal matter, or there is criminal intent and activity.

The State should not intervened to control legitimate criticism, or intellectual discussions and political activities will become stifled as a result.

We do not want the days of self-censorship and stupefying debate to return, that should not happen in modern democracies.

We should not fear the knock at the door, as Seismic Shock experienced.

Written by modernityblog

26/01/2010 at 23:16

Blogging, The Principle, Rev. Sizer And The Police.

with 8 comments

After my exchange with Roger Pearse I began to think that people looking in from the outside might not see the issues as clear as some of us, given our own closeness to these questions.

Firstly, I would like to point out that this is a point of principle for me.

I do not believe that bloggers who are conducting legitimate criticism or debate, with no criminal matters connected, should be the subject of State monitoring or visits by the Police.

I do not believe that the Police have any justifiable role in political criticism of blogs.

Of course, if there had been any criminal action or intent that might be another matter, but it is clear to anyone who wants to review Seismic Shock’s old blog that isn’t the case.

Granted, much of Seismic Shock’s criticism is rather pointed and relates to Rev. Sizer’s questionable political judgements and activities.

I am fairly sure that Rev. Sizer was extremely annoyed that someone took the time to analyse his views, point out the intellectual inconsistencies and point out how Rev. Sizer should think before linking up with some of these dubious characters.

But annoyance is not a criminal offence.

Even, as much as I might dislike Rev. Sizer’s views **I** would not want the police to question him over them.

In my view, Rev. Sizer is entitled to hold as many, or as few, obnoxious and detestable opinions as he wants, I would not like the State or the Police to question him, merely because of his views.

But by the same token, I think it is proper to debate the contents of Rev. Sizer’s views, as he makes them public.

I would recommend that readers peruse the remaining cached articles from Seismic Shock’s old blogspot.

Just click on the underlined cached link on the right-hand side of each article. [Or put, Stephen Sizer into Google and it will display the relevant posts.]

Please make your own minds up.

I don’t think that any of the criticism was too harsh, which is why I’m happy to repeat them here, to make the point that if Rev. Sizer wishes to attack Seismic Shock then he can take me on too, for I too am Seismic Shock!

Ex-National Front Leader And Rev. Stephen Sizer.

with 6 comments

Another example of Reverend Sizer’s questionable liaisons can be found in Seismic Shock’s previous post on Martin Webster, ex-National Front leader and his praise for Rev. Sizer’s views. This is taken from the Google cache.

If you believe Martin Webster, then the good Reverend sent him a copy, which would be unforgivable, given the fact that Martin Webster is a committed racist with a record as long as your arm, but also a vile neofascist.

It is hard to know who to believe, I will leave it to readers to make their own minds up:

“Thursday, 25 September 2008

Stephen Sizer & the former National Front leader Martin Webster.

pro-BNP blog called North West Nationalists hosts this article.

The power of the ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ organisation. [Editor’s warning, a link to a neo-fascist web site]

Martin Webster introduces the piece, and has this to say:

The article was sent to me by the Rev. Stephen Sizer, Vicar of Christ Church (Church of England) parish church at Virginia Water, Surrey. Rev Sizer is author of two books which expose “Christian Zionism” and has been hounded by litigation from ‘Christian’ Zionist sympathisers. He is hosting an all-day anti-Zionist conference in his church on Saturday 14th June.

Why is Stephen Sizer in contact with Martin Webster?

How did Martin Webster know about this conference? Did he attend?

Why has Sizer sent out this email?

Posted by The Maverick at 15:36″

Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect

with 101 comments

I believe that Reverend Sizer will live to regret trying to intimidate a blogger with the police.

Instead of shutting down the debate on his questionable views and why French Holocaust deniers [Warning, a cached copy of AAARGH’s material] see fit to recommend his work, instead Dr. Sizer will bring attention to them, with the Barbra Streisand effect.

Previously, Seismic Shock had commented on this very point:

Stephen Sizer article found in Holocaust-denying anti-Semitic newsletter

The group Aaargh! publishes a newsletter called The Revisionist Clarion every now and then. Now, what is a Stephen Sizer article doing in the November 2004 edition?[Editor’s note, warning link to extreme right web site.] Did he contribute it to them? Did they use it without his permission? Or is Rev Sizer fully aware that neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers are using his work? Did he offer the article to Aaargh! or did Aaargh! approach Rev Sizer?

Once again, the Maverick is asking the questions that Stephen Sizer’s readers and parisioners daren’t ask.”

That’s courtesy of the Google cache, Monday, 29 September 2008, which Rev. Sizer can’t intimidate with the police.

As David Hirsh has pointed out Dr. Sizer has form.

Apparently, looking at the evidence Stevens Sizer was on first name terms with the notorious racist, Israel Shamir, Large Blue Footballs has more.

Not forgetting this wonderful post from March 2009 at Engage, If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn.

Good old Barbra Streisand, an Internet marvel.

Update 1: The following sites have a post covering Rev. Sizer’s antics: Judeosphere, We Are All Seismic Shock at Z-word blog, at the Echurch Christian Blog, Solomonia, Have Me Cautioned If You Can, You Anti-Judaic Twunks! at efrafan days, We Will Not Be Silenced from CiF Watch,

If I have missed anyone off, please just leave a comment and I’ll add you.

Update 2: Shiraz Socialist is as subtle as ever, Simply Jews puts it as We are all Seismic Shock or Rev. Sizer and Big Brother, Zionism Israel see it as Reverend Stephen Sizer and his anti-Zionist Anglican thought police, HP and Rosie’s finely worded Plod and Blogs.

Update 3: Jonathan Hoffman at the JC, and it’s even made it down under, Deadman Turner says “I am Spartacus and so is my wife.”

Update 4: Edmund’s there too. Not forgetting the Anglican Samizdat.

Update 5: Richard Wilson is supportive, as you’d expect. Bob’s on the case,

Update 5: In Spanish from Fabian, Francis is very good, I liked this comment “Sizer is a typical crypto-Baptist Anglican priest.”

Update 6: Francis argues:

“Why, then, does Sizer, who with a doctorate is obviously an intelligent man, think it acceptable to threaten a critical blogger with legal action? For that is what the priest has done in the case of the Christian blogger known as “Seismic Shock”. I shall not repeat the details, but simply explain that Sizer made a complaint to the police about Seismic Shock, following which the boys in blue paid a visit to the blogger’s home in Horsforth, to have an “informal chat”, to use their words.

Libel is a matter for civil and not criminal law, and it is a gross misuse of police resources to have officers intervene as they have in the case of Seismic Shock. I would recommend to the blogger that he make formal complaints to the Chief Constables of West Yorkshire and Surrey, and also discuss the matter with Christopher Hill, the Bishop of Guildford.”

Update 7: David Schraub says “I, too, am Seismic Shock”

Update 8: The Echurches web sites is faster than me and contains a list of supporting blogs. Not forgetting Seismic Shock’s recent posts.

Update 9: Red Maria has a nice way of putting it:

“Reverend Stephen Sizer (pictured below) the incumbent at Christ Church, an Anglican parish in stockbroker-belt Virginia Water, Surrey, is a man with strong feelings about Israel/Palestine. Ok, fine, lots of people have too. But what’s not so fine is the way he seems to have reacted to blogger, Seismic Shock’s online polemics.

Seismic shock, who has very different views on Middle Eastern politics to Sizer and has openly expressed his view that Sizer is a disreputable person on his blog, got a seismic shock when he was paid a visit by PC Plod,

Update 10: Not forgetting the Poor Mouth, who always has such wonderful selection of photos.

Update 11: El Nuevo Pantano says:

“The odious Stephen Sizer is an Anglican priest and is happy to share platforms with Holocaust deniers and mouth off about the evils of Zionism on Iranian TV. He is now attempting to intimidate Seismic Shock.”

Update 12: Possibly more alarming than a visit by the police, is the assertion by Rev. Sizer that an innocuous blogger was monitored by the British police? But why?

I assume that Rev. Sizer instigated such monitoring, as anyone else would naturally see that Seismic Shock’s mild criticism is always backed up with facts and evidence, and not abusive or criminal.

And even if there were dispute, it would be a civil one and not a criminal one.

It is obvious even to the cursory reader that Seismic Shock does not articulate any criminal action or intent.

The plot is thickening, quite frankly I wonder if Rev. Sizer is playing with a full pack of cards?

To deliberately involve the police, as he has, in what is clearly a political dispute is unheard of, outside of China, the USSR and other dictatorial states.

It is certainly not something that should happen in modern Britain, where police have many other pressing matters to investigate and pandering to the ego of a petulant clergyman shouldn’t be one of them.

Update 13: Pub Philosopher argues:

“Seismic Shock has been the victim of censorship by intimidation. Worse still, this was done using the taxpayer-funded forces of the state rather than the civil law. Regardless of where you stand on the Zionist vs Anti-Zionist conflict, or the various Jewish-Christian-Muslim arguments, this is a vicious attack on free speech.”

Update 14: Soccer Dad is supportive.

Update 15: Support is coming from Canada too, Terry Gavin.

Update 16: Flesh is Grass has posted on it too.

Update 17: Adam Holland, one of my favourite Stateside bloggers, covers it as well.

Whilst there you might look in at his informative posts on Limbaugh’s view of Jews and Gilad Atzmon supports rise in anti-Semitism.

Update 18: Mustn’t forget Vee from Living journey, who suffered from Rev. Sizer bullying.

Update 19: Trawling the Google cache provided more questions in the form of Ex-National Front Leader And Rev. Stephen Sizer.

Update 20: Weggis posts:

“It seems that a UK Vicar has got all hot and bothered under his Cassocks and has engaged the UK Police to pay a visit to a Blogger who exposed that Vicar’s credentials.”

Update 21: The Texas Scribbler is showing Blogger solidarity.

Update 22: Minnie is in a fury about it. Martin’s direct with his condemnation, Rev. Stephen Sizer: enemy of free speech.

Update 23: The New Centrist is on board.

Update 24: Weggis makes an excellent comparison:

“Let’s see now. There is a difference between “being” an anti-Semitic holocaust denier and giving credence to or associating with anti-Semitic holocaust deniers. I understand it is the latter that our Vicar stands accused of. But I may be wrong.

There was a case recently where one of ours, Peter Tatchell, was libelled in a book. He did not issue threats or engage the Police or the Lawyers. He stood up for himself and argued his case.

The point here is that if our Vicar has a case he should be able to articulate and argue the point, not issue threats via the Police.”

Update 25: Al Jahom’s Final Word spots support from the Index on Censorship:

“Blogger Seismic Shock, a Yorkshire-based student, received an alarming visit from local police late last year. Seismic, a Christian, had been heavily critical of Anglican vicar Stephen Sizer on his blog, alleging that Sizer associated with Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites.

On 29 November, he received a visit from local police, who advised him to remove certain posts from his blog. The police officers maintained that this was an “informal chat”, but the blogger, understandably intimidated, agreed to remove his original Blogger site, while maintaining his WordPress blog.

Index on Censorship has made numerous attempts to contact West Yorkshire Police in order to clarify a) under what authority the blogger was visited by police and b) what potential breach of law had been commited by the blogger that warranted such a visit.

So far, no explanation has been offered.”

Update 26: The Index on Censorship has managed to get a statement from the West Yorkshire Police:

“UPDATE: This just in: “A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “As a result of a report of harassment, which was referred to us by Surrey Police, two officers from West Yorkshire Police visited the author of the blog concerned. The feelings of the complainant were relayed to the author who voluntarily removed the blog. No formal action was taken.”

This begs a question; was any attempt made in the investigation to establish whether any material posted on Seismic Shock could conceivably be construed as harassment? And was any consideration given to free expression and critical debate?

Those latter questions need answering.

Update 27: Ye Gods, even Little Green Footballs is covering it too. Now I heard they are “under management” so here’s the link. Thanks SocRep.

Update 28: Support is coming in from Ireland, The Skanger ably picks apart the police’s involvement:

“Let’s be clear – we have no idea what views the Rev. Stephen Sizer actually holds or whether there is any basis at all for the position taken by Seismic Shock, but we can take it from his reported comments that Sizer completely refutes the accusations made about him.

That is beside the point that we’re making here.

If Seismic Shock has defamed Sizer then that is a civil matter and not a criminal matter. Why the police are involved is consequently baffling. The statement issued by West Yorkshire Police refers to a complaint of harassment. This presumably means that they had in mind the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), which defines harassment as a course of conduct that causes alarm or distress.

Even that doesn’t make it any less baffling.

Does this mean that any course of conduct (i.e., doing something more than once) that causes anyone alarm or distress is going to result in a visit from the police? Not if it’s a course of conduct reasonable in the circumstances – see the Act (1 (3) (c) – emphases added below) for that:”

Read more.

Update 28: Kenneth Hynek in Canada has some interesting comments.

Update 29: The Blogspotting Anglican Episcopalian is rather questioning.

Update 30: The Online Journalism Blog asks some simple but pertinent questions:

“Forget about the specifics. Here are the questions:

Why are police getting involved in a libel issue ? Update: West Yorks police say it was a claim of “harassment”. Is that all it takes?

Why are they ‘paying a visit’?

Why are they approaching an educational institution to gather information on that person?

Why does that educational institution then get involved?

Extremely worrying. Watch this one.”

Update 31: Support even coming in from non-religious types, the New Humanist blog. [btw, I am an atheist.]

Update 32: For the sake of balance, Roger Pearse admits “I could still be wrong. But I have this bad feeling…” The problem, however, is that Mr. Pearse does not really engage with the evidence, or provide any cogent answers to the obvious questions

1) Shouldn’t a member of the clergy be alarmed when neofascists in Europe use his work?
2) Isn’t that a legitimate question to ask?
3) Why is Rev. Sizer apparently on first name terms with a well-known anti-Jewish racist, Israel Shamir?
4) Why is the ex-National Front leader, Martin Webster so complimentary to Rev. Sizer.

They are just four questions and I haven’t even bothered to hunt around for more, yet.

I think if someone was as obviously intelligent as Reverend Sizer then they should be sensitive to these issues and avoid **any** association with semiprofessional antisemites, either directly or indirectly.

Update 33: Tony Hatfield’s Retired Ramblings sizing things up.

Update 34: VirtueOnline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism is covering the issue as well.

Update 35: Mike’s Musings exchange with Rev. Sizer is revealing, I’d even say in many extraordinary, read Seismic’s cut on it.

Update 36: The famous Derren Brown has posted on it too.

Update 37: The Church of Jesus Christ blog is debating the issue.

Update 38: I would like to thank Barbra Streisand and the readers, it certainly has worked. WordPress informs me that the blog had some 3,943 unique visitors yesterday, up from its normal couple of hundred.

I would remind new readers that all posts are available at Odiogo as MP3 files or can be listened to on-line here.

The Itunes feed is here.

The open source Juice feed is here.

Thanks Babs! This is her singing Ave Maria on YouTube.

Update 39: Over at New Appeal to Reason, Stuart argues:

“Seismic Shock is a valuable UK-based site by a theology student which has featured well-informed critiques of anti-semitic tendencies about certain Christian theologians. Now, it seems that one of those he criticized has retaliated by apparently using his position as a pastor to get the police to intimidate the young blogger into removing his blog.

The minister in question is Rev. Stephen Sizer, a prominent critic not only of “Christian Zionism, “but of Jewish self-determination. Like many other critics of “Christian Zionism,” Sizer has a pre-Holocaust theology, which revives many of the age-old anti-Semitic memes of Christian theology.”

Update 40: Paul Bradshaw at the Online Journalism Blog has more.

Update 41: Seismic Shock comes out of the closet at HP.

Update 42: The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones has picked up the incident and covers it in typically moderate language:

“But the whole incident raises interesting questions about the limits of free expression on the web, and the role of the police in pursuing complaints about the contents of a website.”

Update 43: Matt Wardman makes some excellent points:

” I don’t think that a published author and controversialist will cover himself in glory by complaining to the police about hostile articles by somebody else. I hope that authors would pay more attention to the principle of freedom of expression. If material is defamatory, then the action should be for defamation. If it is a vigorous argument, then argue back. Note: I have not of course – since it has been deleted – seen all the original content of the Seismic blog.

I think we have a problem with a nebulous definition of harassment, which is being assessed too heavily on the basis of the statements of the victim; some reform is needed.

And, I’m reluctant to say it, but I think that there are so many petty interferences and use of laws to intimidate individuals by different varieties of policemen – the most topical example is photographers – that I think we need to make it almost a principle not to give in to “a quiet word from a Constable”; we need to make our police justify their actions at every point.

I think that it is important to keep the principles of law at stake here separate from the arguments about Middle East politics and religion.”

Update 44: Kellie sees it as The priest, the policeman, and the blogger.

Update 45: Mystical Politics comments:

“I’ve tried to read Sizer’s blog and his other online writings, but since everything he pens is smothered in a thick flannel of ostentatious piety, it’s rather hard to get through.”

Update 46: Simon Rock at the JC comments.

Update 47: Not forgetting Carl in Jerusalem.

Update 48: Paul Lewis at the Guardian discusses Sizergate.

Update 49: Sergey Romanov at Holocaust Controversies says:

“I guess it’s a “sleep with dogs, wake up with fleas” situation.”

Update 50: Rather appropriately Calvin L. Smith comments:

“However, leaving aside the manner in which he has gone about expressing his views (to the detriment of Christian unity), nonetheless Sizer has every right to express those views as he pleases. Likewise, given how and where he has chosen to express them, he must be prepared for and expect his foes to react and respond equally forcefully and brusquely. “

“And neither will it end there, I suspect, because the issue goes to heart of a debate already taking place in this country concerning diminishing freedoms and police powers.

People are already asking why the police became involved in what appears to be a civil issue. Is criticism of someone’s views a crime?

Can it really be considered harassment?

Also, did this issue progress through the police’s proper complaints chain, and on what basis? Meanwhile, given how Sizer has blogged about his involvement and relationship with the police, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some stage someone will want to know if this has had any bearing at all on how the complaint was handled.

For his part, one wonders why Sizer is not prepared to take on his critics in the very arena he has himself entered and subsequently been challenged – the blogosphere – or else simply ignore the issue, which is what politicians, academics and others debating in the public square do on a daily basis. “

[My emphasis]

Dr. Smith’s contribution is measured, lucid and brings up pertinent questions, please do read it in full.

Update 51: A final few additions, one from the JC Police question blogger over anti-Zionist ‘harassment’

Update 52: Dr. McRoy has replied and here’s Seismic Shock’s response.

Update 53:Richard Silverstein has managed to get the wrong end of the stick, which is a shame. He often comes over as an intelligent articulate man, but in this instance is using unnecessarily inflammatory and inaccurate language.

For example:

“The point is that Joseph Weissman does not have the right to engage in acts that may be illegal against anyone including Stephen Sizer. “</blockquote"

They were not illegal, they were probably rather annoying but not illegal, which is why the Police's involvement was wrong.

Update 54: Again, Richard Silverstein confuses himself with another obsessive post attacking Seismic Shock, WEISSMAN: HITLER ‘HEARTS’ SIZER:

“And here are some other choice steaming bits of hyperventilation served up by Mr. Weissman:”

The only problem is it wasn’t written by Mr. Weissman, and anyone with the ability to click on the mouse about three times would find that out. I feel sorry for Richard Silverstein he seems to be fighting shadows and hyperventilating at the same time. Poor man.

Written by modernityblog

24/01/2010 at 15:28

Reverend Stephen Sizer Uses British Police Against A Blogger.

with 22 comments

For a number of reasons I hadn’t intended to blog for a few days, but the news that Reverend Stephen Sizer has used the British police to intimidate a blogger caused me great alarm and I felt I must comment.

I am not unduly worried for myself, as I am rather immune to threats or legal action, but this heavy handed police action was against one of my favourite blogs, Seismic Shock.

He was silenced and intimidated by Reverend Sizer, read more at Engage.

Seismic Shock in his blog covers many theological issues and particularly keeps an eye on the Far Right crossover with some marginal Christians and how barely concealed racism often comes in the form of “Anti-Zionism”, and is used against Israelis and Jews.

Reverend Sizer is a prize example. Understandably he’s touchy when people criticise him for sucking up to the theocratic dictatorship in Tehran.

Certainly, Reverend Sizer wouldn’t care for bloggers who remind him that associating with Far Right and Holocaust Deniers is not a good idea.

I suspect that Reverend Sizer, much like the dictators in Tehran or Beijing, can’t take criticism because it exposes the darker side of his soul. It exposes his contempt for Israelis and Jews, it shows his ignorance and lack of sensitivity on the Middle East.

Whatever you think of the arguments put by Seismic Shock (and I find them convincing), whatever you think it is extraordinary that Reverend Sizer should actually use the police to intimidate someone, a blogger, that’s unheard of.

We all know of situations where major corporations have sought protection in the Courts against bloggers, but to send the police around to coerce a blogger, physically, is extraordinary.

To me it shows that Reverend Sizer is small minded, insecure and petty. He can’t deal with the arguments. Reverend Sizer can’t handle the criticism and so he tries to intimidate people, with the police.

Above all, it shows that Reverend Sizer has contempt for the notions of freedom of speech and debate.

All bloggers, and also those of a sincere religious persuasion or not, should stand up against Reverend Sizer’s bullying and strong-arm tactics, not only because it sets a dangerous precedent for bloggers, but also because it is profoundly wrong.

So Reverend Sizer, if you read this, you won’t intimidate me for “I too am Seismic Shock”**. Attack him and you attack all bloggers. I stand by him, sue me if you like.

Reverend Sizer, remember bloggers won’t be intimidated by you, the Courts, aggressive corporate lawyers or all the world’s dictators.

** Anyone familiar with the film, Spartacus, will understand the reference.

Written by modernityblog

23/01/2010 at 22:14