London, England, May 4, 2010 / 08:36 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a case which has disturbed religious freedom advocates, a preacher in the English town of Workington was reportedly arrested for describing homosexual conduct as a sin after a public sermon. A Baptist from Workington, the 42-year-old Dale McAlpine was preaching in the town on April 20. He said he never spoke about homosexuality during his public sermon, which was delivered from the top of a stepladder, the Telegraph reports.
McAlpine said that he later quietly listed homosexual practice among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians during a debate with a woman passerby.
She was then approached by a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), who spoke with her briefly.
The officer approached McAlpine and identified himself as a homosexual who was a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer. He said a complaint had been made against the Baptist.
According to McAlpine, the PCSO warned him not to say homosexual conduct is sinful because it would be a crime. The preacher told the officer that it is not a crime to describe same-sex practice as a sin.
Police officers later arrived on the scene during another of McAlpine’s sermons. They arrested him and charged him with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” contrary to Section 5 of the Public Order Act. They claim he made the alleged offending remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others.
According to the Telegraph, the act was introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans. Its use against a preacher has caused concerns among Christians that it is being used to curb religious free speech.
I wonder hat is next in the UK, also keeping in mind the coverage by Investigate Magazine last year on the developments in the UK. Can we soon expect the Bible to be blacklisted in the UK, because it contains material that may not be politically correct or disturbing to some members of society? Or will the UK have it’s own cleaned up and compliant version of the Bible?
If the reported facts did not indicate otherwise one would think this is a very bad joke.