Three Christian MPs have written to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), asking them to overturn an advertising ban on leaflets that claimed "God can heal".
Gavin Shuker MP is one of the signatories.
Last month, the ASA ruled that the Christian ministry "Healing on the Streets, Bath" were 'socially irresponsible' and used 'unsubstantiated claims' in leaflets on that could be downloaded from their own website, which stated "NEED HEALING? GOD CAN HEAL TODAY!"
The complaint, which came from just one member of the public was upheld by the ASA. The Bath based group were forced to change their promotional material and were told they were not allowed to make any future claims to healing by prayer received from Healing on the Streets members.
Now, Gary Streeter (Con), Gavin Shuker (Lab) and Tim Farron (Lib Dem) have taken the bold step of challenging the ASA's decision, following the collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba during a match last week, which sparked various "Pray for Muamba" campaigns across the social media networks. The slogan even appeared on Muamba's team mates' football shirts, a high profile space that is usually reserved for high paying team sponsors.
In the letter written to the ASA, the MP's said: "It is interesting to note that since the traumatic collapse of the footballer Fabrice Muamba the whole nation appears to be praying for a physical healing for him.
"Are they wrong and will you seek to intervene here also?"
The letter questions the ASA about the basis on which their ruling against Healing on the Streets was made asking: "On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based (your)decision?"
They go onto say that prayer for healing "cut(s) across two thousand years of Christian tradition and the very clear teaching in the Bible. Many of us have seen and experienced physical healing ourselves in our own families and churches and wonder why you have decided that this is not possible."
The MP's have demanded a detailed response to their letter, saying that they will raise the issue in Parliament, should their questions not be answered.
March 28th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Riyaza Rodriguez