Preacher arrested in UK for calling homosexual conduct sinful :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

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.

Read there rest at  Preacher arrested in UK for calling homosexual conduct sinful :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).


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.

Radical Expressions by (Belgian) MP Sanctioned by the European Court for Human Rights

sy01004aDiscriminating language by a member of Parliament can be punished according to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. This is probably not what the Belgian politician Daniël Féret imagined to be the outcome of the case he brought on himself. Opposite to what he hoped to achieve, the case led to a limitation of the freedom of speech for politicians. In 2006 Féret was convicted for encouraging hate/ endangering social peace, which resulted in a sentence of community service and he is not allowed to exercise his voting rights for 10 years, as a voter and as a candidate.  Féret was prosecuted on the basis of a law that criminalizes hate against autochtones( ethnic minorities) and racism. Part of the considerations were that these actions fell outside the normal scope of his work as a politician (writing pamphlets). The court decided that the texts he produced encouraged discrimination, segregation, hate and even violence on the basis of race, color, nationality or ethnicity. Féret stood up against the so-called ‘islamization’ of Belgium en pleaded for closing down a refugee center. He complained with the ECHR but found four against three votes against his complaint. The press release of the judgement can be found here >>>.

The complete judgment is available in French only and can be read here >>>

A similar opinion was held by the Court of Amsterdam in the Netherlands in relation to Dutch politician Geert Wilders and the question whether or not he should be prosecuted. In this case the court emphasized the constitutional character of a democracy which implies the protection of minorities, that should have no problem in trusting the constitutional character of democratic institutions. This brings up the question of how far the freedom of speech of politicians reaches. In the legal discussion it is often set of against the principle of equality.

At the same time however, and based on limited information, part of the issue at hand appears to be not so much WHAT a politician expresses but about IN WHICH ROLE he does that. It strikes me that little or no attention is being given to the specifics of the case which according to the Belgian judge as I understand the media. The Belgian judge found as I understand that the writing of in this case litigious pamphlets/flyers was not part of the normal task of a member of parliament.

I guess this is an issue to give some more thought.


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Posted via email from John Dierckx