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).

COMMENT

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.

A NEW TWIST TO SMACKING DEBATE: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


In the Dutch newspapers a story was covered about Christian Preacher Gertjan Goldschmeding. Goldschmeding, who adheres to a literal translation of the Bible quotes the Old Testament where it says “spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Goldschmeding and his wife, who have three children, were arrested in March on child abuse charges and released after questioning. ‘They told me I can no longer teach using that passage from the Bible. But it is not a doctrine I made up,’ he told Dutch newspaper The Telegraaf.

Goldschmid defended his teachings on the basis of his right to “freedom of religion.” It is noted here that in the Netherlands, “freedom of religion” is recognized human right which is incorporated in the Dutch constitution. This may well prove to be an interesting angle for the New Zealand jurisdiction as well. I could also see how such an argument could be expanded into a cultural debate.

DVDs of the preacher’s sermons have been confiscated.

A survey of parents in the Hague, Netherlands last year found 50% think giving a child aged one to five a ‘light slap’ is an acceptable form of punishment. Like New Zealand, the Dutch law in principle forbids the use of a correctional smack. The discretionary powers of the police to investigate and of the public prosecutor to prosecute however are well more embedded in the Dutch legal system.