Monday, May 03, 2010

British anti-hooligan law used to prosecute Preacher

There is a reason that the American Founding Fathers were afraid of an overbearing government, and put in a Bill of Rights to protect freedoms. Especially Free Speech. It is because human nature will inevitably use its power to suppress any opinion it considers offensive. Even opinions considered orthodox for thousands of years.

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.

The 42-year-old Baptist, who has preached Christianity in Wokington, Cumbria for years, said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the word of God.

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.
This incident happened in Britain, not America. But it shows that even a society close to ours historically and philosophically can easily turn to abuse of power over controversial opinions.

No comments: