May 2, 2010

"I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator," said the preacher who was arrested.

"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."

76 comments:

Rialby said...

It doesn't need to be said but I'll say it anyway... try this with someone of the Mohammedian belief system. But they won't.

Synova said...

When I was in the Air Force a friend of mine earned himself an official letter of reprimand for circulating a letter within the chaplain system among those in his own congregation that fear was a sin. He backed this up with scripture in an argument that it was a failure to trust God.

The reprimand was, essentially, that he was not allowed to call *anything* a sin. He was not allowed to tell people that they were sinning. Which was a curious spectacle, really.

But that's what you get when the government gets to dictate religious practice.

Dr.D said...

It is illegal to be a Christian in the UK, and it will soon be illegal to be one in the USA. We are following rapidly in their footsteps.

Read what happened to that man. He did nothing aggressive at all. He simply repeated exactly what the Bible says, that which all Christians are bound to believe. Such beliefs as that are not allowed to be held any longer; they are not politically correct. Goodness knows, we are certainly headed for the maximum in PC ourselves!

vw: beads

HokiePundit said...

Okay, so now I want to know:

What if a Church of England bishop had said the same thing, the CofE being a state entity?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunsong said...

Which do you like - socialism or theocracy?

It is the nature of regimes to grow and liberty to yield.

El Pollo Real said...

Here we have a man arrested not for his acts but for his beliefs?

'I've been reading "Letters To Freya, a collection of letters which Count Helmuth James von Moltke wrote to wife beginning from the outbreak of Hitler's war until his execution in 1945 for alleged conspiracy against the Third Reich.

In a letter smuggled out of prison and dated just weeks before his execution, von Moltke wrote:

"(I've just remembered something else. He asked me: "Do you see that you are guilty?" I said in essence No. Whereupon Freisler: "You see: if you still don't recognize it, if you still need to be instructed on it, it shows that you think differently and have thereby excluded yourself from the fighting community of the people.")"

lucid said...

I certainly don't share his apparent beliefs, but it is stunning that he was arrested for saying this.

I guess the Harvard student got off lightly with only being paraded as a national example of a person needing moral rehabilitation.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

It's more than just a slippery slope now.

I expect to discover soon whatever the preacher may have written about homosexuality in his emails. After all, hate-thought is the root cause of hate speech. We should always look for the root causes of social disorder.

Paul said...

According to the article, the arresting officer, Sam Adams, identified himself as "the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender liaison officer for the police."

Wow, they are really ahead of us over there, by at least two or three years I'll guess.

Diamondhead said...

What a depressing spectacle the UK has become. Once the world's greatest nation, now a sad sack testament to the cancerous effect of political correctness. This is the progress progressives imagine for the US.

Adam said...

Never did much like the neologism "homophobic." What is meant would be better conveyed by "homoantipathic." Plus, it's kind of musical. I can practically hear little Ronny Howard singing it to the tune of "Gary, Indiana," right now.

Penny said...

WARNING! Do not engage in dialogue or debate that may be seen as contentious.

Hell, we used to talk about the weather, but even that is becoming taboo in "polite" company.

Largo said...

Good Grief. As written, the use/mention distinction surely applies. What he said was surely a factual truth.

Oh, I forgot. Truth is no longer a defense in some parts.

But Synova, regarding your Air Force chaplain. The only thing keeping me from wanting to cry here is its farce value! Heller might have used such fodder.

Largo said...

Adam,

I might call myself homeophobic (fearful of homeopathic remedies), but I believe that on the isle, even that is out now.

No, my mistake. It was chiropractophibia, and the case was dropped. Tidy sum, too! :-)

peter hoh said...

Chase, no luck finding a cure for that returnkeyphilia, eh?

Largo said...

Oh, Chase!

I haven't even followed your links, so I don't know whether you are a good guy or a bad guy (we are all on one side or the other now, right?).

Is there stuff in all that vertical white space that my browser is displaying? Could well be, and if so, I apologize for feeling badly about you.

But if not, you are being a proper ass. I might believe the opposite of your links now for spite!

{Really though, it disrupts the flow of the conversation. Don't vandalize.)

Largo said...

Adam,

My mistake again. That tidy sum was his court costs :-(

I hope he recovers it all.

Two hundred thousand pounds -- good grief.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think we should go fight a war to remind them of which country really adheres to the true legacy of freedom. Perhaps they forgot that Magna Carta was signed by George Washington in The United States of America!!!

Fucking King George-following tyrannical limeys! Where do they get the gall?

Largo said...

I applaud Ritmo in his attempts to be humorous.

Palladian said...

As Voltaire never actually wrote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

Synova said...

"As Voltaire never actually wrote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"."

A quick google shows who did write it. Without looking it up I don't remember the lady's name, but I *think* she was doing scholarship on Voltaire and that was her summary of him.

But I could well be misremembering.

It was, however, a common computer sig line among self identified liberals for many years. Now it's practically disappeared.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Acts such as this make me even more grateful that we are no longer subjects of the queen.

Largo said...

Synova,

I will defend to the death your right to be awesome!

:-)

(wv: flitin. Was I just flitin with you? Sometimes these verification words are just too good!)

Fen said...

This is why Ann's blog is so great.

You can say whatever you want.

Freedom of Speech. I hear she's a defender of it.

Largo said...

Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.

I just wanted to say that.

It parses too!

(wv: apdfoing. Don't you love the sound of that? "Foing"? Gosh, I'm in an exuberant mood today.)

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Airstrip One is coming along nicely I see.

el polacko said...

when the heck did the main tenet of christianity become "thou shalt rant about homos" ?? of course we don't want people arrested for speech, but this guy sounds like he'd fit right in with the westboro 'church' folks, so neither am i about to jump to his defense.

themightypuck said...

This is mere noise. The signal is police power. Furthermore, the idea that Christians are being persecuted by the state in the UK is ridiculous.

Largo said...

He may have been ranting (sermonizing from the top of a stepladder we are told), but his quoted remark was said, to a passerby, "in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others" ?!

Anything over a whisper might do that given people were passing by.

"Rant[ing] about homos" does not, I think, accurately describe what happened?

Hector Owen said...

Let's not be censorious old fossils about Chases's use of whitespace. It's artistic, modern, edgy. Just the sort of thing that Laurence Sterne, e.e. cummings or Phillip Wylie might do. Pushing the envelope. Only effective if seldom done.

Speaking of Phillip Wylie: It's a crime that Finnley Wren is out of print.

Back on topic: Could preacher Dale McAlpine be related to Amos Starkadder?

It's too bad that people who are offended by the repression of freedom of speech cannot receive respect and deference from the authorities similar to that accorded to those offended by free speech.

(reposted in a probably pointless effort to render phrasing more felicitous.)

Seven Machos said...

so neither am i about to jump to his defense

Well, then, you are a tool and a tyrant. Free speech is free speech.

traditionalguy said...

The art of mind control has morphed into the ONLY art for which rewards and penalties are seriously and instantly assessesd. The practice of a bold free speech like a Sarah Palin's can still occurr. But many digital age communicators will not really like bandwidth being used on those jerks.

rhhardin said...

Mitchell and Webb The Bad Vicar.

TheGiantPeach said...

Context is so important. A simple (and factually true) sentence such as "The Bible condemns homosexuality" could be part of an anti-gay harangue, an attack on the Bible, or a bullet point in a lecture on religion and sexuality.

I suspect the preacher's remarks were more inflammatory than the article lets on, but maybe I'm wrong. It becomes awfully difficult to draw lines when you start criminalizing speech. For example, there are a great many things that one could say about an ethnic group, like, say, Jews, but that one can say about adherents of an ideology, like, say, Zionists. But when "Zionist" becomes a code word for "Jew", what really is the difference?

Eventually, one is forced to resort to the Potter Stewart standard, that hate speech cannot be defined but is immediately apparent as such. It doesn't work for me. Free speech is messy, but I don't believe in the right not to be offended.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'm gay and I am disgusted at how the British government treats its citizens, and how British citizens let themselves be treated by their government. Politicians should not be telling citizens how they may or may not express themselves. If they can't handle debate, then they should stop pretending they are a free country.

Largo said...

"""
Eventually, one is forced to resort to the Potter Stewart standard, that hate speech cannot be defined but is immediately apparent as such.
"""

I can live (with varying degrees of happi-or-unhappiness) with a the Potter Steward standard as a standard for uses for personal approbation.

When it is used in the exercise of majesty, I shudder at the thought of which particular Steward might be the magistrate of the hour.

(I assume a shared etymology of majesty and magistrate, but I may will be wrong!)

HDHouse said...

Wow. Such a temptest in a teapot. My golly, you would have thought someone asked for the papers.

edutcher said...

Coming soon to an appellate court near you.

HDHouse said...

Wow. Such a temptest in a teapot. My golly, you would have thought someone asked for the papers.

You mean like your driver's license?

Roux said...

The speech police will be here soon enough. The Louisiana legislature has already passed a law (not yet passed in the Senate and signed by the Gov) on curbing bullying.

The text of the law...

House Bill 1259 would criminalize the transmission of electronic textual, visual, written or oral communication that is intended to “coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass or cause emotional distress” to anyone under the age of 17.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/blogs/politicsblog/92374039.html

MadisonMan said...

to anyone under the age of 17.

The old Think of the Children!! gambit in law-passing.

In regards to the preacher, I'd say that any apology/explanation that contains the word but, as his does, should have been rephrased. Turn the arrest for homophobia into an arrest for practicing one's religion: I am being arrested for preaching words out of the Bible, the book of the Religion I follow.

Dark Eden said...

The obvious answer is the Church of England should behead the arresting officer, have riots for a month, burn 5,000 cars or so, and chant 'death to gays!' in the streets.

Then they would be given protected special snowflake status like the muslims.

But since we all know they would never do all that... off to prison you go you mean old christian trying to push your religion on others! Just ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room you brave brave gay rights people.

Calypso Facto said...

Did England learn nothing from the departure of the Puritans seeking freedom of speech and religion? (And setting the stage for a large part of the empire to go with them?)

And, Paul, we are NOT behind the Brits! Harrumph! "Each year, two out officers are appointed to serve as LGBT Liaison officers.

AprilApple said...

Got free speech?

As leftwingers and scared PC control freaks gain control, say goodbye to it.

Radical Islamic free speech is fine.
It's that pesky Christian speech that is so offensive.

Ann Althouse said...

@Chase I can't accept putting in all that white space. You can repost without the space.

Kirby Olson said...

Doesn't Obama want to model America on England?

SMGalbraith said...

Justices Breyer and Ginsburg, I know you visit here often (which one is you is "Jeremy" again? or is that Scalia pulling a Moby?) so please: don't use foreign law or court rulings when making your rulings (treaties excepted).

Thank you.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

House Bill 1259 would criminalize the transmission of electronic textual, visual, written or oral communication that is intended to “coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass or cause emotional distress” to anyone under the age of 17.


So, I guess we can't say "nanny nanny boo boo" anymore to our 5 year olds?

Or draw stick figures with funny hair? We already are under threat of death for showing art that depicts Mohammed so I guess that means that Muslims are mentally under the age of 17 and also a protected class.

Brian said...

Fucking King George-following tyrannical limeys! Where do they get the gall?

Think a few years down the road, Ritmo. First, they charge a preacher for saying something out of the Bible that offends (or could offend) someone who's gay. It becomes a crime, and he is jailed.

Then, it becomes "we've always been at war with Baptist preachers."

jvermeer51 said...

Great Britian sounds just like your average American university.

Quayle said...

The Church of England has properly adapted such that these embarrassing things don't happen.

anon2 said...

@Theo "No Church of England bishop would say such a thing."

Really? Here is what the Bishop of Durham said in a 2004 interview:

"So a Christian morality faithful to scripture cannot approve of homosexual conduct?
Correct. That is consonant with what I've said and written elsewhere."

The whole interview is at:
http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/wright.htm

AFAIK he hasn't changed his stance or lost his position

Jason said...

The violence inherent in the System!!!!

Pundit Joe said...

As a result of foolishness like this, I am beginning to have second thoughts about visiting friends in the UK. Visiting doesn’t sound terribly appealing when conversations become minefields with the potential of a night in jail and criminal charges.

“So long, and thanks for all the fish”

E.M. Davis said...

All speech is hate speech.

Calypso Facto said...

RE: DBQ and HB1259...

Or we can't text our 17 year-olds, "Be home by midnight, OR ELSE!"

Largo said...

I am your king!!!!

Joe said...

For anyone who dismisses this lightly; how will you react if the government of Britain makes any statement about homosexuality, whether condoning or condemning it, a crime?

Kirk Parker said...

Largo,

As long as you don't say "water buffalo", fine...

JAL said...

Quoting from a reported comment in the newspaper, Sam Webster 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."

So where's the beef?

Here's the beef:

A court determining WHAT is a belief "worthy of respect in a democratic society."

Now THAT'S the chiller.

(Minow work for them too? "(R)espectful" free speech, and all that.)

I am loving the guys and gals of the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers more every day.

Harry Hammond, a pensioner, was convicted under Section 5 of the Act in 2002 for holding up a sign saying “Stop immorality. Stop Homosexuality. Stop Lesbianism. Jesus is Lord” while preaching in Bournemouth.

United States Congress
1789
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

logdon said...

"Paul said...

Wow, they are really ahead of us over there".

Judging by the way things are going over here, you wouldn't want us behind you, would you?

Gabriel Hanna said...

This is the same country where Muslims carrying signs saying "Behead those who insult Islam" were NOT arrested.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/02/06/london.cartoon.protests/

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/155479.php

Learn the lesson. Be violent and intolerant, and the police will leave you alone.

mariner said...

logdon:

... you wouldn't want us behind you, would you?


Some of them might rather enjoy it.

Paco Wové said...

Largo:

buffalo water buffalo water buffalo water buffalo.

Methadras said...

Synova said...

He was not allowed to tell people that they were sinning. Which was a curious spectacle, really.


And do you know why? Because calling out sin requires there to be judgment and of course we are not allowed to judge, because some jerk-off will bring up some nonsense about rocks and glass houses knowing perfectly well that only a fool wouldn't call a sin a sin because of the doctrine of non-judgment rules as a measure of political correctness. The Velvet Mafia and their cohorts have done a fine job of infesting speech codes wherever they can. The UK is a lost cause at this point, the US hopefully will shake off this type of nonsense wherever it exists.

Largo said...

Paco Wové said...
"""
buffalo water buffalo water buffalo water buffalo
"""

Brilliant! I'm now trying to see if it that can be parsed in more than one way...

Why yes, yes it can!

Largo said...

Loco,

The syntax is great! I just wonder about the semantics. Can we find a plausible scenario which might give rise to describing a (water) buffalo as watering another?

Largo said...

Oh, and it would be great if we could get the word "sensitive" in there. "Sensitive Water Buffalo...."

(Unfortunately I don't think "sensitive" can be read as a noun, and would probably end up making the syntax simpler, kinda defeating the porpoise.)

Largo said...

Paco:

I just visited your pacopacopaco blog. What the hell?!?

I do like that your sentence generator knows about "user states, (/etc/init)" :-p

(But seriously, what the hell?!? I mean, what purpose? I'm curious!)

Largo said...

[
I'm tempted to refer everyone to your blog and say "Hey, I know who's been sending us all this email!"... but I don't want you to end up like the Comic Sans guy in Achewood! ;-)
]

Largo said...

[[
I mean, it would be an hilarious sight to see ... but no. ;-) ;-)
]]

wv: sulsh. You'll be beaten into sulsh!

Largo said...

If I seem to be posting in batch mode here, it's because I'm about twelve hours removed from Althouse time.

'Nite, y'all.

Largo said...

Paco,

Final thought. Alas, I'm unable to construe your sentence in the imperative mood.

Otherwise we could go out onto the street, wild-eyed, screaming at each other:

"Buffalo Water Buffalo Water Buffalo Water Buffalo!!!"

I suppose we could do in the indicative mood, but would that allow us to maintain the same crazed wild-eyedness?

Goodnight out there, whatever you are.

Paco Wové said...

Largo: What the hell?!?

Perl, a pile of source texts, and perhaps too much time on my hands.

Largo said...

Perl, a pile of source texts, and perhaps too much time on my hands.

The first two I pretty much guessed. The third was the missing piece! :-p