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Play The Man
05-03-2010, 08:13 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7668448/Christian-preacher-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.html


Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin
A Christian street preacher was arrested and locked in a cell for telling a passer-by that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God.


By Heidi Blake
Published: 1:05PM BST 02 May 2010

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.

Mr McAlpine, who was taken to the police station in the back of a marked van and locked in a cell for seven hours on April 20, said the incident was among the worst experiences of his life.

“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know," he said.

“My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn't apply.”

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."

Mr McAlpine was handing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” with a church colleague on April 20, when a woman came up and engaged him in a debate about his faith.

During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.

After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.

The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.

He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”

The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van.

At the station, he was told to empty his pockets and his mobile telephone, belt and shoes were confiscated. Police took fingerprints, a palm print, a retina scan and a DNA swab.

He was later interviewed, charged under Sections 5 (1) and (6) of the Public Order Act and released on bail on the condition that he did not preach in public.

Mr McAlpine pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing on Friday at Wokingham magistrates court and is now awaiting a trial date.

The Public Order Act, which outlaws the unreasonable use of abusive language likely to cause distress, has been used to arrest religious people in a number of similar cases.

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.

Stephen Green, a Christian campaigner, was arrested and charged in 2006 for handing out religious leaflets at a Gay Pride festival in Cardiff. The case against him was later dropped.

Cumbria police said last night that no one was available to comment on Mr McAlpine’s case.

Chuck
05-03-2010, 10:15 AM
What a horrible abuse of power by a confused individual. Imagine if a straight police officer arrested someone for saying it's ok to be gay???? :scared0015:

NateR
05-03-2010, 01:10 PM
Were is Cumbria exactly?

This is typical of the Gay Rights movement, though, which is why I laugh at the silliness of people comparing it to the Civil Rights movement.

County Mike
05-03-2010, 01:14 PM
That's so gay!

Blade
05-03-2010, 02:10 PM
Cumbria is a county in the north-west of England, also known as The Lake District.

logrus
05-03-2010, 02:17 PM
Nice to see other areas of the world other then the US are filled with sensitive babies,

Tyburn
05-03-2010, 08:24 PM
Well England does take a very dim view of street preachers that much is true...they always have done

But I have never heard of anything like this happening before, particularly not in a rural shire :blink:

flo
05-03-2010, 08:36 PM
The Public Order Act, which outlaws the unreasonable use of abusive language likely to cause distress, has been used to arrest religious people in a number of similar cases.
Cumbria, and the UK in general, need to get with it and give their citizens the right to freedom of speech.

flo
05-03-2010, 08:37 PM
Nice to see other areas of the world other then the US are filled with sensitive babies,
:laugh::laugh:

flo
05-03-2010, 08:38 PM
But I have never heard of anything like this happening before, particularly not in a rural shire :blink:

Yes, Bilbo would never stand for it! :wink:

Blade
05-03-2010, 10:34 PM
It should be pointed out that the tool who initiated the arrest of this guy wasn't an actual police officer, but a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer). They're employed by police forces and they patrol the streets but they don't have the same powers as regular police officers, hence they have to go bitching to the cops when they see something because they don't have power of arrest. They just wanna stroll around in a uniform feeling important but without getting their hands dirty. Not quite operating on the same sub-human scumbag level as traffic wardens but in that sort of ball park.

Tyburn
05-03-2010, 10:41 PM
It should be pointed out that the tool who initiated the arrest of this guy wasn't an actual police officer, but a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer). They're employed by police forces and they patrol the streets but they don't have the same powers as regular police officers, hence they have to go bitching to the cops when they see something because they don't have power of arrest. They just wanna stroll around in a uniform feeling important but without getting their hands dirty. Not quite operating on the same sub-human scumbag level as traffic wardens but in that sort of ball park.

:laugh: good point!

we see more PCSOs then we do proper police in Harrogate...I do think that MacDonalds have actually hired some kind of law enforcement/bouncer type peeps because of the terrific teenaged gangs which hang around right outside...when I saw them they didnt even have anything identifying them as police or subsiduries thereof...but they were certainly acting like the police...it was fascinating to watch...they didnt really understand the meaning of crowd control at all :laugh: before anyone goes mad...I do have experience in crowd control myself, specifically with people that might not be able to understand English...so dont go ranting about how difficult it must be for them... :ninja:

Play The Man
05-04-2010, 12:47 AM
:laugh: good point!

we see more PCSOs then we do proper police in Harrogate...I do think that MacDonalds have actually hired some kind of law enforcement/bouncer type peeps because of the terrific teenaged gangs which hang around right outside...when I saw them they didnt even have anything identifying them as police or subsiduries thereof...but they were certainly acting like the police...it was fascinating to watch...they didnt really understand the meaning of crowd control at all :laugh: before anyone goes mad...I do have experience in crowd control myself, specifically with people that might not be able to understand English...so dont go ranting about how difficult it must be for them... :ninja:

Do tell!:huh:

Tyburn
05-04-2010, 11:51 AM
Do tell!:huh:

:laugh: One of my Duties at Saint Paul's Cathedral was crowd control, in particular trying to get people to go away at the end of the day when half the tourists didnt speak English and felt like they had a right to remain in the Church all night.

Or there would be the times where we got a bomb threat and had to evacuate...the worst of them being 7/7

...right down to the "Excuse me, Sir, do you really regard what you're wearing as appropriate dress for a Church" ohhh the South Americans with their String Vests in the height of summer... :ashamed:

:laugh: