The Death of Free Speech and Religious Liberty in the UK

In yet another example of an increasingly intolerant Europe, a British Baptist pastor has been arrested in the UK for calling homosexuality a sin – as the Telegraph reports:

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 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.

In this exchange and subsequent arrest, we see all the typical elements of the fascistic gay rights agenda – individuals are offended by something said, a government official whose sole purpose is to advance that agenda involves himself in the process, and then escalates the activity to a ‘crime’ according to some vague and obscure statue. The offending citizen is then hauled off and upon release warned to cease speaking outside of the boundaries set by the politically correct state.

The great myth of the gay rights agenda is that it is merely about tolerance and equality. In Europe, where this agenda is much more firmly entrenched than it is in the US, we see that the agenda is really about coerced affirmation and state sanction. It isn’t enough merely to allow homosexuals to behave as they desire, but the state must recognize such behavior as good and right, and through draconian measures, prevent anyone from saying otherwise.

We must conclude that not only is the gay rights agenda ill-conceived on many fronts; it is also fundamentally detrimental to all our rights and liberties, and should be opposed by those who love liberty, whatever their views of homosexuality itself.

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6 Responses to The Death of Free Speech and Religious Liberty in the UK

  1. CopyrightCops says:

    I hope you’re not in favor of our current copyright laws because if you are I would argue that your post is copyright infringement. Notice what it says at the bottom.

    “Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2010”

    Aside from that, this is a completely unacceptable restriction of free speech. That preacher has every right to preach what he believes to be true without facing punishment from the government.

  2. jackhudson says:

    The actual details of the Telegraph’s acceptable use policy make a clear distinction between for profit and personal use. I make no money from this blog, so I think I could defend linked, attributed, excerpts from publicly accessible news sources.

    Then again if readers started sending me copious amounts of money I might have to re-consider; anyone planning to do this let me know ahead of time so that I can make proper arrangements with my Swiss Banker.

    Beyond that, I am glad you agree that what happened to this pastor is an abrogation of basic civil liberties.

  3. CopyrightCops says:

    Ahh, I didn’t know. Once again, you usually do your homework. Good job.

  4. CopyrightCops says:

    “so I think I could defend linked, attributed, excerpts from publicly accessible news sources. ”

    There is fair use regardless, but fair use is very limited and copyright laws don’t care if you profit or not. Regarding what constitutes a publicly accessible news source, just because a book or newspaper or magazine is in a public library doesn’t mean you can freely copy it and then make free copies for your friends, even if you aren’t profiting from those copies. Now if the Telegraph gives you explicit permission to copy their work so long as you’re not making money, then that’s a different story altogether (I haven’t read their terms and am assuming you have), but if you don’t by law you can’t (well, you can copy very small exerts due to fair use but practically copying the entire thing would be infringement).

  5. jackhudson says:

    Actually it’s an interesting legal issue to me. I think no matter what, if one were to copy an entire work and not attribute it to a source, one could be successfully sued for copyright infringement. I think if one were excerpting a work for the purposes of discussion on a personal site, it would be much harder to argue that one infringed that copyright which exists to protect the rights an author has to profit from their own work.

    For example, if I were giving a lecture on foreign policy and read from a attributed newspaper clipping on a subject relevant to my talk, would I be guilty of copyright infringement in so much as a I was making the content of that clipping publicly available? The law is sketchy here. It would be interested to see how the law comes to treat such public discussions as they occur on the web.

    Nonetheless, I try to be mindful to link, attribute, and not use a whole piece. I do appreciate reminders to uphold as much integrity as possible while maintaining content that is relevant and interesting to readers.

  6. […] with the effects of laws in place elsewhere that presumably protect homosexual rights, as has been noted before on this blog. Already in certain places in Europe one can be arrested for expressing criticism of the homosexual […]

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