Great Britain Outlaws Christianity
posted at 5:48 am on May 3, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Or so it appears, if this story from the Daily Telegraph is accurate. Ministers in Jolly Olde E. are being arrested under the Public Order Act of 1986 — for saying out loud that Christianity dubs gay sex a sin:
Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships….
Police officers are alleging that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and have charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act.
Evidently, it’s legal to preach the Christian faith (or the Jewish faith, for that matter)… so long as you whisper inaudibly.
Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech.
Sam Webster, a solicitor-advocate for the Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr McAlpine, said it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.
“The police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens,” he said.
“Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Unless you run into “the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police;” in which case, thousands of years of religious teaching are swept into the dustbin of history, along with free speech, to make way for acceptable speech that doesn’t offend anyone — rather, anyone opposed to Western civilization. (You’re allowed to offend Western civ. itself, of course; soon it may become mandatory.)
This is our future if we continue down the route of “hate-speech” laws and codes. The busts may start out restricted to clearly repugnant speech that is deliberate and intended to inflict emotional distress; but inevitably, their scope will expand to cut off controversial political opinions… where “controversial” is tendentiously redefined to mean “bucking the secular leftist trend in the European Union.” Thus the anti-Judeo-Christian argument becomes a paradigm of “Shut up,” he explained. Give ’em an itch, and they take a snarl.
Oh… did I forget to mention until now that I personally find nothing at all sinful or criminal about homosexual activity; and that I completely support Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruling that overturned all so-called anti-sodomy laws nationwide? It’s irrelevant to my point; but I suspect that liberals who started this post already stopped reading long ago; and they’re now busily telling their friends that I’m a right-wing, fascist, homophobic bigot who wants all gays arrested, branded, and send to concentration camps.
The point is that I have a number of crabbed and cranky opinions of my own that flout in the face of conventional wisdom, so I have a vested interest in seeing that everybody gets to exercise his freedom of speech. An almighty State big enough to take that fundamental liberty away from a Bible-thumping religious zealot like McAlpine — is big enough to take away my fundamental right to say that Barack H. Obama is a national socialist.
So I make common cause with people who reject probably 75% of my core beliefs… because within the remaining 25% lurks the most sacred creed in my generally secular worldview, my own rewrite of the slogan of the French revolution: “Liberty, Accountability, Individualism!”
I reckon that’s no longer fashionable in the United Kingdom — and is rapidly becoming quaint and déclassé in my own land as well.
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…