Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pastor Harassed by British police for Preaching the Bible

Report by Rev. Clifford:

I was informed that a complaint had been made to the Police by the ‘chair person’ of Norwich ‘gay pride’ (Norfolk LGBT Project) about an e-mail sent by me on 29 July. This e-mail consisted of a report sent to editors and others of a Christian witness five of us made against the city-centre ‘gay pride’ demo of the previous Saturday, 27 July 2013. (Since their official pamphlet gave a contact e-address, I decided to include them on the larger list of recipients.) The ‘gay pride’ recipient (or another) found the e-mail’s two attached leaflets offensive. These leaflets were ‘Christ Can Cure – Good News for Gays’ and ‘Jesus Christ – the Saviour we all need’.

PC Arnold said that there was reason to believe that I was chargeable with a homophobic incident, having communicated by electronic means something likely to annoy or cause offence. Accordingly, I had two options. I could admit I’d done wrong and pay an ‘on the spot’ fine of £90.00, or produce a signed statement in defence of our actions. I decided on the latter course.

PC Arnold proceeded to ask me a series of questions. Unfortunately, I was not permitted to make a photocopy of the statement I eventually signed (it then would be a document in the criminal investigation), so the following details from memory simply reflect the main points discussed.

Among other things, I was asked why I had sent this e-mail. Was it to annoy or cause offence? I said, “No. I was reporting to the ‘gp’ people our Christian complaint against the public display of their homosexual propaganda, which we find offensive.”

I was asked if I was aware that I’d committed a homophobic offence, as defined by the official police leaflet now presented to me: “Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic by the victim or any other person.”

I rejected the accusation, adding that everything depends on the meaning of ‘homophobia’. Since a ‘phobia’ (from Greek) is ‘a fear’, it does not mean ‘hatred’ in the now commonly-understood use of the term. I certainly fear the influence of homosexuality on society, but this should not be regarded as ‘hatred’ unless criticism is taken to mean ‘hatred’. I reminded the officer that my leaflet was subtitled ‘A Compassionate call to Christian Conversion’. Is that hatred? We don’t hate these people. We love them and want to help them. So, even though the ‘gp’ people are upset, we are guilty of no crime.

I asked the officer that since we are offended by their public display of homosexuality, could we not have made a complaint to the police? He answered that we had such a right to complain.

I then explained that we were perfectly within the law regarding our criticism of homosexuality. Yes, the ‘gp’ people are upset by my leaflets but they contain nothing wrong where the law is concerned. I elucidated this point by quoting as follows:

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in Handyside v UK (1976), made it clear that freedom of expression embraces not only information and ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also, ‘… those that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population. Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no democratic society’.

Lord Justice Sedley, in Redmond Bate v DPP (2000), famously said that, ‘Free speech includes not only the inoffensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and provocative provided that it does not tend to violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having’.

PC Arnold then informed me that a senior officer would decide whether the complaint is sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. A decision on this should be made in about a week’s time.



Anonymous said...

More clear evidence that Britain is doomed, and rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

If the so-called Christian believes in his right to demonstrate and criticize the Gays, why does he use it to object to the Gays' right to demonstrate and promote their opinions. As usual the religious just come across as totally hypocritical and illogical.

Brian from Rochester NY said...

Anonymous 1:33,

Really? That's all you have to contribute? You're as bad as the politicians and the intolerant. Go away until you learn how to use your head for more than a hat rack.

To the point, this Pastor emphatically shows that the people do not buy into the whole PC crap, and has made a definitive case on his own behalf. He clearly points out the misnomer that is 'homophobia'.

May his stance encourage others to stand up to the government bullies!