BBC chief rips evangelical Christians

March 8, 2005 at 2:09 PM

LONDON, March 8 (UPI) -- The head of Britain's state-owned media giant BBC says evangelical Christians opposed to "Jerry Springer - The Opera," are threatening free speech.

Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general, said the opera that depicts a Jesus-character who sings that he "feels a little bit gay," was "right and important," the Times of London said Tuesday.

"Small pressure groups can use the Internet, e-mails and other modern communications tools to give a false impression of size and weight," Thompson said of Christian Voice, which has led a campaign against the drama.

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said the Springer flap had nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with the government company's arrogance, as well as its estrangement from viewers forced to subsidize it.

"It must be frustrating for Mr. Thompson that ordinary people have the cheek to phone somebody who takes a decision at the BBC," he said.

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