A few weeks ago a man in the UK was arrested, charged and held in jail for seven hours all for allegedly saying something really offensive and horrible: That homosexual conduct is a sin.
Reading the discussion surrounding this case takes me back - back to 1984. The important questions here for the UK prosecutors involve whether the man actually said the words “homosexuality” and that it was a “sin.”
Granted, he was preaching in public from on top of a ladder. And while I don’t think that’s normally an effective way to evangelize, I don’t think it’s a crime to be potentially ineffective at evangelizing.
Maybe I could see charging this guy with shouting from on top of a ladder in public. That is a far more serious crime. He could have fallen and hurt himself or others while passionately shouting - particularly if the Holy Spirit was moving him. Also, did anyone even bother to find out if he had somebody holding the ladder for him? Did the ladder meet the proper specifications for standing on and shouting from in public? Did the man illegally carry the ladder to the location himself without notifying the proper union authority and paying them to do it? Did he not get the proper permit for standing on a ladder in public? Does this man even have a state license to operate a ladder? Did he disturb the ratio of the racial quota for people standing on ladders in this particular area?
We know nothing of these much more pressing matters the government is so effective at protecting us from.
But we do think we know that he said the words “homosexuality” and “sin” in the same breath. The fact that that is the smoking gun here - and they are seriously discussing and debating this - tells you just how bad things are getting over there. Embarrassing.
Mr. McAlpine was handing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” with a church colleague on April 20, when a woman came up and engaged him in a debate about his faith.
During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.
After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO (officer) who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr. McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.
The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.
He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr. McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”
The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr. McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van.
At the station, he was told to empty his pockets and his mobile telephone, belt and shoes were confiscated. Police took fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab.
He was later interviewed, charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public.
Chilling. This is one of the main reasons why we should take very seriously the power we give to government - including all the surveillance cameras and hi-tech equipment we are so tempted to put at their disposal. We all sit around saying “oh, that stuff will never happen.” Then tomorrow it does.
All for the “common good.” All for the security and safety of the collective. And all you have to do is shut your mouth. Forget your faith. And ignore that teeny, tiny and unfashionable thing called the Truth.