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Preacher wins £7,000 after being wrongly arrested for homophobia

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  1. So you can go on the streets a use homophobic language as long as you justify it with a religious viewpoint.

    What the court has effectively said is religionist can insult, beat and kill us because religious texts justify bigotry!

  2. Jock S. Trap 21 Dec 2010, 2:25pm

    And yet if this had been a racist speech, the outcome would have been very, very different.

  3. Double standards. No one would get paid £7,000 for standing on street corners and shouting racist abuse.

  4. I’d love to see these bigots’ reaction to gays chanting anti-christian slogans at these people. I wonder if we’d be arrested for denigrating their beliefs and “lifestyle”, which is what it is. They choose to believe, we don’t get to choose our sexual orientation. This is truly a double-standard, no question about that. This sends a loud and clear message that its okay to denigrate, dehumanise and villify gay people as long as it reflects one’s religious views. Its time that we gave them a dose of their own medicine!

  5. PumpkinPie 21 Dec 2010, 3:02pm

    And yet if this had been a racist speech, the outcome would have been very, very different.

    Double standards. No one would get paid £7,000 for standing on street corners and shouting racist abuse.

    So very true.

  6. what a joke! this really is ridiculous! these religious zelots should be arrested not only fot the homophobic rubbish that comes out of their mouths but also for the noise poluution they cause! find it really annoying…

  7. Is that the same as saying to Jewish Holocaust survivors that they deserved it and all their relatives who died there are burning in Hell and the experiments that they did on him as a little biy – without anaesthetic – is God’s punishment and judgement on him and a promise of what is to come? Or that disabled deserve their disabilities and that child sex abuse victims need to submit and the poor need teaching a lesson?

    Hmm!! Not that bothered if he has a problem with homosexual himself (his problem) but when his prejudice creates prejudice and discrimination and abuse of others I have a big problem.

    Sin? – Look at yourselves first. As one finger points most of the other fingers point back. Church not looking so good these days. Sort out yourselves first. History of treatment of women and children disabled etc have a lot to be desired.

  8. I think its time we got a step ladder and headed to Workington !!

  9. That’s the predicted Cameron effect. This government was set from the beginning to slowly but steadily, erode all of our hard fought protections.
    Gay tories —-> Duhhhh

  10. Joe Johnston 21 Dec 2010, 3:23pm

    I don’t think any of the comments on here come from people who understand the concept of freedom of speech.
    So a religious extremist says we’re sinners – so what – get a life.

  11. I don’t think any of the comments on here come from people who understand the concept of freedom of speech.
    So a religious extremist says we’re sinners – so what – get a life. –Joe Johnston

    —————————————————–

    No Joe Johnson, you don’t get the responsibility of free speech that requires us to be responsible for what you say.

    If I claimed in public I was going to blow up the prime minister, I should expect a visit from the anti terror squad and prosecution for threats to kill.

  12. Christian street preachers should by law be required to qualify their statements by saying
    “for some Christians being gay is considered to be a sin”
    if they fail to preface their statements so then they should be liable to arrest for publicly defaming all gays & lesbians in a way likely to cause distress and for inciting general hatred toward them.

  13. When we have a chancellor using homophobic jibes in parliament (much to the delight of his aides and party), and a minister for work and pensions saying B&Bs should be able to ban gay couples from their premises, what chances have our gay student youth of shaking off homophobic bullying?

  14. “I don’t think any of the comments on here come from people who understand the concept of freedom of speech.”

    If “freedom of speech” is so absolute, how do you explain libel and slander? Freedom of speech is fine, but you cannot use it to spread lies or threats to others. And freedom of speech is not the right to impunity for your actions or that speech.

    Why is it that those who cry “freedom of speech”, are usually the ones using speech to remove the freedom of others to live their life without hindrance? Without hindrance from interfering superstitious nonsense, I might add.

  15. Will it is untrue that being gay is a sin for non-Christians and it is a lie that gay people generally live more immoral lives than anyone else, to state that gays are sinners and that gay people lead immoral lives is untrue as well as defamatory incitement to hatred of all gays whether Christian or not and whether or not they are bound by dubious Christian or other religious dogma.

  16. Crying “free speech” is often an excuse for hate speech.

    Dromio and others are right. If he’d made racist comments the result would be very different – even if he backed it up with ‘proof’ from the Bible.

    LGBT people are just as deserving of protection as any other minority.

  17. “What the court has effectively said is religionist can insult, beat and kill us because religious texts justify bigotry!”

    Um, no, no it hasn’t. It HAS said that the chap hadn’t broken any laws and shouldn’t have been arrested. The court has said that people have the right to express opinions that other people are uncomfortable with.

    “If I claimed in public I was going to blow up the prime minister, I should expect a visit from the anti terror squad and prosecution for threats to kill.”

    And if this man had said he was was going to blow up gay people he probably wouldn’t be getting paid £7,000 just now. I think this guy’s a human turd, he thinks I’m going to rot in hell. If I threatened him or he threatened me then the police should get involved, but he didn’t incite violence, he didn’t encourage people to break the law. He simply said he hates a lot of people, and in a free country he’s just as entitled to hate me as I am to hate him.

  18. MACDONALDBANK1 21 Dec 2010, 4:50pm

    The evil writings in Leviticus 20:13; which exists in the old testament & torah … were written long after Moses — 600BC — regarding “priestly rules” … expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds … to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public — but to priests.

    How would you like it … if hate speech was directed to your brother or sister as you sat in the pew; spewed by some better than thou religious lunatic with a hateful black book about Leviticus — under his arm?

  19. MACDONALDBANK1 21 Dec 2010, 4:52pm

    It’s now time to shut down the churches with bibles with leviticus 20:13. Religion and the churches should now be exposed as a bigoted structure that gets away with hate mongering. It is a criminal offence to cause harm onto others physically or with written items … bibles have been getting away with this for ages. Tony Perkins and his The Family Research Council’s opposition to gay rights have landed the outfit onto a list of “hate groups,” like the KKK. Christian colleges should be classified as hate groups and shut down. UK Prime Minister Cameron is facing this issue; as we speak … regarding hateful muslim & islam extremes & homophobia — being taught to children at the mosques and schools.

  20. I agree with Alex.

    @Macdonald, sounds like you’ve got your own hate group begining there.

  21. Good for him. FREE SPEECH RULES, no matter how much the sad, pathetic militant fringe gays shout and scream! They don’t speak for me in their brazen attempts to police our every thought.

  22. is this what they call ‘turning the other cheek’?

  23. Steve@GayWebHosting 21 Dec 2010, 8:41pm

    ´Free speech´? No, sorry, it comes with a price. Responsibility.

    Racist speech? = Racial abuse
    Homophobic speech = Homophobic abuse.

    Remember, the homophobic playground taunts and abuse can lead to incidents of kids being found hanging from trees (like we have recently seen).

    Sorry free speech merchants.. Responsibility comes first. Being responsible for the actions your speech creates (and is designed to create) is the issue.

    If I speak in the street and say that people of other races are ´less than human beings´ and will ´burn in hell´ and are somehow not worthy of respect and consideration, I will be arrested… (and rightly so).

    I would think that people will now be lining-up to shout homophobic abuse in the streets in the hope of getting arrested and earning a good payout..

    Crazy world.

  24. Good for him. FREE SPEECH RULES, no matter how much the sad, pathetic militant fringe gays shout and scream! They don’t speak for me in their brazen attempts to police our every thought.

    But with this comes responsibily. Whatever hate is preached and too who ever, their will always be some one who will take it to the next step. IN history , hate always started with just words. This man might preach in a street his reglious view point, but some passer by might think hey hes right, what can I do. I know the next gay person I see, I will take the action of hitting them. The gay that was stamped on in London, the last thing he heard was WORDS of hate. you see it is the thin edge of the wedge. Have a view point yes, but at least be able to prove that it is true, other wise it is just hate , wrapped up in something else.

  25. I wish there were more explanation on what he was charged with and why he was subsequently allowed to get away with harassment…

    I’m assuming it’s becasue he is justifying this harassment on the bible and not just freedom of speech only (anyone else would have been charged??? )

    It seems to me that if these relgious preachers are outside the law then the bishops in the house of lords have no right when it comes down to passing any gays laws to the general public… you’re either part of the same legal system that the rest of us are in and obey them or you’re not and therefore you have no rights to vote on them…!!!

  26. de Villiers 22 Dec 2010, 12:30am

    The issue here is wrongful arrest.

    A constable may arrest someone (without a warrant) where they believe that the person is about to commit an offence, is in the act of committing an offence or has reasonable grounds for suspecting either of these: Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 2.

    However, an arrest can be performed only it is necessary, pursuant to Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 25. That is:

    (a) to enable the person’s name to be ascertained;
    (b) to enable the person’s address to be ascertained;
    (c) to prevent the person causing physical injury to himself or another, suffering physical injury, causing loss or damage to property, committing an offence against public decency, or causing an unlawful obstruction on the highway;
    (d) to protect a child or other vulnerable person from them;
    (e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or conduct;
    (f) to prevent any prosecution for the offence being hindered by the disappearance of the person.

    If the man was committing no offence (and in law he was not outraging public decency), then it is difficult to see how the arrest was lawful, regardless.

  27. de Villiers 22 Dec 2010, 12:31am

    - only if it is necessary

  28. I looked at the daily mail today and I guess I still don’t know whether he would or would not have been convicted if the case went thru (it was dropped wasn’t it) either it fails because the law doesn’t work or the police are just not doing their jobs correctly? Without this section 5 public order thing then what protection do we have from harassment etc if everytime it is invoked for gays it is dropped before getting to the courts or fails when it does?

    We’re not talking about freedom of speech, we’re talking about harassment,alarm and distress!!!

    Dailymail – “He was accused of uttering ‘threatening, abusive or insulting’ words ‘to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ contrary to Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986″

    I also note that the dailymail also says that

    “Pressure is mounting on the Government to reform the Public Order Act when it introduces its Freedom Bill in the New Year. Campaigners want the word ‘insulting’ removed from Section 5 of the Act because they believe it leaves street preachers and others vulnerable to arrest. ”

    BUT won’t that make us vulnerable!!

  29. This is a perfectly sensible verdict. It was ridiculous that he was arrested in the first place.

    The bible says you have to hate and kill fags. What are you going to do? arrest everyone who owns a bible?

    The answer lies in ridiculing and mocking bible bashers. And maybe to hold Darwin rallies outside churches. Especially evangelical and pentecostal ones.

    However, my right to shred a bible, or a koran, etc in public, should be as protected as this man’s right to proclaim his idea of truth.

  30. Why would anyone want to shred a bible, or a koran, etc in public? How would shredding a bible, or a koran, etc in public, solve the problem of homophobic abuse?

  31. AdrianT – what’s wrong with the law apart from being too wooly and open to intpretation

    - ‘threatening, abusive or insulting’ words ‘to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ contrary to Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986

    Why is the christian org CARE so worried about the word insulting in the law that it wants it removed – I say let it stay there and start testing the damn law and get the police to do use better judgement or something …I’m sick of these cases, I don’t know why people are on the side of these street prechers and the christian org that are financing their cases….

  32. Affter a complaint from the public Mr McAlpine started preaching his anti-gay Christian-based opinions about gays being sinners to one of the investigating officers who happened to be gay himself and who then subsequently made the arrest, had Mr McAlpine made the same comments to a member of the public in the presence of the police officers then his arrest would have been lawful.
    Can a gay Policeman arrest somebody who makes offensive remarks to them while on duty? apperently thius ruling suggests no, but if the policeman was black and somebody made a racist remark I think there would be no question.

  33. if it was a racial comment it would have been successfully brought as inciting racial hatred……. inciting homophobia should be given the same standing in law. Freedom of speech should be at the expense of the law!

  34. oooops ….*shouldn’t be at the expense of the law!!

  35. I’m sorry John, people’s feelings are not to be protected. This person was not threatening anyone, merely quoting what the bible says.

    It’s time we got rid of all these pointless hate speech laws – one law, simply prohibiting incitement to violence.

    A rare moment of lucidity is found In the gospel of St Matthew (10:22), where the supposed Jesus of Nazareth reportedly warns his followers to expect ridicule, and even hatred, because others would find their beliefs to be down right insane. Sometimes, it is a moral obligation to express hatred and tell serious believers what we think of them and their faith.- I really do hate religion, and I want the right to express my hatred for it. If you want to find the warrant for, and incitement to, the murder of homosexuals, genocide, the Holocaust, slavery, the subjugation of women, child rape and xenophobia, then look no further than a book which is venerated in every church across the country. So yes, ridiculing and ripping up this evil, superstitious, incoherent, madn-made rubbish is the first stage of emancipation.

    Looking at the whining comments above, some of you here are I think, too chicken to take these people on, and you want to hide behind laws which wrap you all in cotton wool. You need to learn to argue, and to reason. It’s a problem, for the religious among you who claim ‘you don’t speak for my god’ – without saying how you know god’s mind in the first place.

  36. We all know the people that awarded will be Christian or Catholic.

    This has just opened the flood gates.

  37. But, Adrian, isn’t one point that if he’d made racist comments backed up by Bible quotes, he would probably have been treated differently? What gets me – apart from the fact that the Bible does NOT condemn gay people – is the general impression I get that homophobia is more tolerated than other forms of abuse.

    Yes, ridicule’s good, but quoting bits of the Bible back at them is good too, because these full-of-themselves preachers don’t actually know the Bible as well as they think. That usually makes them embarrassed and they shuffle off.

    If they persist, I generally just go with “YOUR bible, YOUR rules, YOU burn in hell”.

  38. I agree entirely with Adrian T. This is about freedom of speech. The police had no right to arrest either of these people, and are being made to pay for having done so. It’s a dangerous road to suppress people’s right to express views we dislike. And it makes us lazy.

  39. @ AdrianT “The bible says you have to HATE and KILL fags”

    No it doesn’t.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm

  40. Iris and Will

    I tend ro agree with Adrian. Of course no one should be stirring up hate and the law is there to stop this. But to punish someone merely because someone else takes offence (which is what I believe happened in this case) is both wrong and sinister. I am not keen on a compensation culture but if there is to be one the damages paid to the preacher would seem proportionate.

    About what the bible teaches about homosexuality, I think the following is sensitive and balanced:
    http://www.woundedheart.org/hmarriage.html

    Btw: Merry Christmas to you both :-)

  41. Having read Adrian further, I disagree with what he says the bible is supposed to teach, especially the purported hate bits – but that discussion is for another thread!

  42. £7,000 award plus $10,000 court costs = £17,000 of tax payers money wasted.
    Had this homophobic preacher kept hisunpleasant trap shut and behaved in a civilised manner by following his claimed religion and treating his neighbour as he would like to be treated himself, not judging or accusing others, then that money could have er! cough! gone toward the enormous policing costs left in the wake of the Pope’s recent visit.
    Religion costs everyone so dearly.

  43. John, a Merry Xmas to you too :D

    But…. I must say that after a promising start, I was very disappointed with the end of that article you linked to.

    “At the heart of the homosexual condition is a deep loneliness…”

    Er, no there isn’t. That article stated some correct interpretations of the Bible eg the sin of Sodom being inhospitality and it went on to do similar with other parts of the Bible – and then the writer just reverted to the default ‘christian’ position on LGBT people!!! So he totally ignored the facts that he’d explored above!

    That’s just gobsmacking – really, I can’t explain how frustrating it is as a teacher to think someone gets it then to find out they don’t. It looks like wilfully ignoring anything that doesn’t fit in with their preconceived notion. The phrase that sprang into my mind was “There’s none so blind as those who will not see”….

    It’s sad. And it’s the reason why deluded preachers like the one in this story get laughed at – because it’s a waste of time trying to be nice and explain anything no matter how patient you are.

    It’s THAT that puts me off religion as much as anything – the rejection of facts just because they don’t fit in with some dogma.

  44. Any of you are welcome to argue what was actually meant by the various quotes in the bible. Will’s useful link shows numerous interpretations – but what ReligiousTolerance does not do, is to say which interpretation is the right one. How do you use the bible to deduce that you are right, and others are wrong?

    Even the moderate Church of England cannot, will not say fundamentalists are wrong. The Archbishop of Canterbury goes out of the way to show unity with the Churches of Africa, even violently homophobic Uganda, whose religious leaders really do believe they have God given right to kill homosexuals.

    If the Primate of the Church of England will not condemn that, then I don’t see how any member of that church can argue with me on this issue.

  45. Pavlos: It irks me too when money is wasted when there are more important things to spend it on. But the guy was arrested, handcuffed, imprisoned etc. for no other reason than that someone took offence and complained to the police. To me, what Judge Ashworth said: “this was not done in any way maliciously, spitefully or arrogantly. It was done unthinkingly” is pretty telling and no one should be treated like that preacher was. See also: http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/religious-freedom/christian-street-preacher-wins-damages for a slightly different spin.

    Iris: I appreciate you taking time to read the article I referred to! While I don’t agree with John Stott (the author) on everything, he does, I suppose, often articulate well the views of Christians like me. I was a bit sleepy when I read the article myself but felt is was quite balanced. I was also struck by his foresight – remember he wrote in 1985 and society frowned on homosexuality in a way that tends not to happen these days. I mentioned it because he is an excellent bible expositor (who, as you point out, even shares some of your bible understanding – like me, he accepts that the bible does not necessarily condemn gay sex yet also it only commends straight sex within marriage) I also felt he wrote in a concilitary and generous way given his staunch evangelical position. I do note your objections though and hope and believe that while we won’t agree on this, there is much we do agree on. Take care :-)

  46. Also, Iris, it should go without saying, I support the right of anyone to say what they think about race, as well as sexual orientation.

    You cannot challenge people like Nick Griffin unless you debate him. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the DNA record have extinguished any notions about racial superiority: we are all Africans. Once again, reason is the best way of combatting racism, just as it is with combatting homophobia

  47. Exactly AdrianT, we are homo’s whether we are homosexual or homophobic.

  48. By the way, I think there is some truth in the assertion that ‘Jesus never said anything about homosexulaity’ – after all, the evidence for Jesus is scant enough.

    Hector Avalos’s excellent book ‘the end of biblical studies’ (2008) explains that there is basically no evidence for any event in the books of Moses. The legends attributed to the character Jesus are borrowed from all sorts of Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek myths.

    Prof. Avalos’s talk on the evidence for biblical events is worth looking at – pour yourself a hot coco and get comfortable…

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2569440864215926514#

  49. Will Dublin 22 Dec 2010, 10:26pm

    John, many thanks for the Christmas wishes, (and to Adrian-T) but that last “Will” is not me. Apparently there’s another diametrically opposed “Will” out there. An “Evil Will” so to speak. :)

    And I’m with Iris on this one, I read that article with some disdain. There is no “loneliness” in my heart. The end of that started when I came out many many ago, and finished completely when I met my partner. Its easy to demonise what is seen to be “pathetic” in some way. The reality is most gay people are nothing of the sort, and certainly not in my case. I wouldn’t change who I am, or who I was born to be, for all the “approval” in christianity.

  50. Adrian T, thank you for the link, I watched all 2 parts of Prof Avalo’s lecture, excellent.

  51. So we have double standards where the police are now being told to be more thick skinned and we as adults are saying it’s ok to be harassed etc all for the sake of freedom of speech yet we are all up in arms about our kids being bullied and harassed at schools – perhpas some of you would say we are denying nasty kids their freedom of speech and that perhpas we should be asking our kids to be more thick skinned becuase afterall some of you all think it’s perfectly ok to be bullied as you get older – I’m afraid we’re not all as militant and thick skinned as Adrian T– how old is this public order law anyway, it’s there to protect and it’s certainly pisses of the relgious orgs for some reason!

  52. ‘De Nada’, Pavlos!

    It would be wonderful to share the truth with Mr. McAlpine someday.

    I’m vocal, aggressive, and evangelical about my anti-theism. I make no bones about my belief that religion is incoherent, coercive, man-made nonsense. I really do want to extinguish, eradicate, exterminate, eliminate faith. Doing this requires honest discussion with religious believers. But to enable this to take place without fear of persecution, the abolition of Section 5 is a necessity.

    By the way, Christian Concern are complete fanatics – many of their members want to recriminalize homosexuality, their representatives have called for the teaching profession to be barred to LGBT people; they camnpaign against any rights for gay people. Andrea Williams, who runs the organization, pretends evolution never happened and thinks the earth is no more than 4,000 years old – what a nutcase.

  53. Benjamin,

    How do you propose to challenge bigoted opinions? How do you propose to change someone’s mind?

    And do enlighten me – how is argument, based on evidence and reason and logic, ‘militant’? If that be the case, then it really is the end of civilisation.

  54. “Once again, reason is the best way of combatting racism, just as it is with combatting homophobia”

    I absolutely agree with that, Adrian. But I think that’s easier with racists than with some religious people. Religions practically demands the acceptance of vague ideas that have no basis in truth (I don’t mean to be insulting there, John and others). Therefore facts and truth and reason seem to hold little sway.

    You can prove 2+2=4, but if someone has an investment in some belief that it actually equals 17, then no amount of reason will change their mind. Sad.

    That article is proof of that. The guy disproves all the ‘clobber passages’ about gay people in the Bible, but then finds it impossible to draw the obvious conclusion and reverts to some ‘belief’ instead. What would make someone do that?

    Got your video bookmarked to watch later :)

  55. “I wouldn’t change who I am, or who I was born to be, for all the “approval” in christianity.”

    Well said, Will! And as you said, the only pain I felt was before meeting my partner. I imagine exactly the same could be said by any straight person. Religion seeks to divide and that’s another reason why i hate it. There must always be some baddie, somebody to persecute, to treat as less than others. That’s how yoy rally the troops. The other way is to promise a reward to those true followers if they do as you say.

    None of that has anything to do with god if he/she/they exist(s). Religion is a man-made construct.

  56. If you are going to say it is a criminal offence to state that homosexuality is sinful then you have to make it a criminal offence to say that Christians are deluded. That would mean Dawkins being arrested.

    I agree with Geert Wilders definition of free speech – you can express any opinion you like provided you don’t encourage violence.

    Oh, and by the way, homosexuality is an abomination – and unrepentant homosexuals will end up in Hell.

  57. How do you know where homosexuals will end up, bob? is it something you know to be true, or were brought up to believe when you were a child? all muslims, and many christians of other denominations, say exactly the same thing about you.

    until you answer that coherently, then you must expect to be ignored and laughed at in the street, like all preachers are.

  58. Will Dublin 23 Dec 2010, 9:38pm

    “you can express any opinion you like provided you don’t encourage violence.”

    Yeah, and there’s never any violence against gay people, bob… Never any gay teenage that are tied to fences to die of exposure. Never any gay people hung for their love. Never any mindless attacks on gay people marching for their rights, as their freedom of expression. Wake up Bob.

    “Oh, and by the way, homosexuality is an abomination – and unrepentant homosexuals will end up in Hell.”

    Apparently anyone who eats shellfish is also an “abomination”, Bob, so no doubt hell is full of sushi lovers. Seriously, this crap is tiresome.

    “until you answer that coherently, then you must expect to be ignored and laughed at in the street,”

    Exactly, Adrian. The right to freedom to faith is not the right to to impunity to be made stand to account for such stupid statements like Bob’s point in case cherry picking of prejudicial lines from a contradictory book.

    “There must always be some baddie, somebody to persecute, to treat as less than others”

    Very well put Iris, seems religions only work if there is something to fear or persecute. Sure old Bob here is longing for the days of burning “witches” and stoning women.

  59. High Five Will :-)

    I think we’ve polished off the crackpots and fanatics once more.

    Merry Christmas!

    A.

  60. Will Dublin: it seems there is more than one Will in these forums just as there are several Johns. It can be quite perplexing when they say opposite things. I think I was referring the the guy who calls himself just “Will”. I would have thought from what you say you would agree. It happens that in the past I have had a number of robust exchanges with both Will and Iris and look on them as old friends despite our differences. But Merry Christmas to you too and thanks for your reflection on the article I referred to – I respect both you and Iris for expressing your views and including where you differ from me.

    A slightly philosophical point – I don’t believe it is possible to say “gay sex is ok” is any more (or less) a fact than “straight sex is ok”, unless there is an authorative external reference point, like the Bible, to base such assertions upon, since it is not something that science can verify or refute (in such cases it merely observes). The best you can say, without such an external reference, is that it is an opinion, however considered and reasonable you might think that opinion is.

    I know we can easily get sidetracked, but when I read comments like religion is divisive (which it can be) or religion is untrue (which sometimes is the case) then my ears prick up. I have just been reading a book tackling subjects like the Big Bang, relativity and quantum mechanics. I believe the evidence for this to be overwhelming and would also point to an earth whose age is measured in millions rather than thousands of years as creationists often claim. This gives rise to challenges, for example how we interpret the book of genesis. My point really is for all of us that we need to be beholden to the truth and seek it out as a matter of foremost priority, which is why I believe finding out what the bible actually teaches matters (but only if it is true). Truth must be our yardstick whether we are straight or gay, religious or atheist.

    I note btw Adrian’s interesting links to website and video. I will try to get to look at them and come to a view.

    Best wishes to all :-)

  61. Will Dublin 23 Dec 2010, 11:41pm

    Adrian, right back at you, mate! Merry Christmas to you too :)

    John, I (as in Will Dublin) am the “Will” that (with Iris’ insightful comments) have debated with you in the past.

    When you say “authoritative external reference point” with regards sex, do you not see that sex was here long, long before the bible? Sex is sex. Its not a morally relative issue, unless you make it so, and even then its not for others to impose their own morals on. Humans have evolved beyond the procreative use for sex, and is more of an intimate bonding, gay or straight. For examples of this, you only have to look at our closest genetic cousins, the Bonobos – they use sex in a very similar bonding way. They are removed form us by only 6m years, which is quite short in evolutionary terms. The real discussion is about whether that sex is in a stable bond to further that relationship, or if someone chooses, to not have that bond in a sexual encounter. Either is fine in my eyes, the choice on how and with whom one person has intimate relations with another is quite frankly no ones business – unless that bond is destructive to one of the participants (for example, paedophilia, which is almost an orientation of its own, and not related to gay orientation despite the lies spread by certain sections of religious organisations)

    “I believe the evidence for this to be overwhelming and would also point to an earth whose age is measured in millions rather than thousands of years as creationists often claim.”

    I am glad that you recognise this. Most people are not willing to see beyond the literacy of the bible, and chose to ignore the proof that stands before them. So, if genesis is a story about creation, then why assume any of the rest of the bible is anything other than a lose moral guide for those who chose to believe? And if people do not believe in the bible, as I do not, why should another have the right to impose their relative morality on them, from a book that is overwhelmingly proven to have contradictory “truths” to that which we know to be reality i.e. evolution and the “big bang”?

  62. Religion gets a free pass on atrocity ……again…….

  63. £7,000 will allow him to hire quite a few rent boys…and you KNOW he does!

  64. de Villiers 24 Dec 2010, 9:28am

    > I agree entirely with Adrian T. This is about freedom of speech.

    This is incorrect and misses the point. This is not an issue of freedom of speech. It is about the power of arrest contained in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This is an entirely legal and entirely unpolitical matter.

    Two conditions must be satisfied before a police constable can make an arrest. The first relates to a reasonable suspicion about a crime taking place or having taken place or about to take place. The second is a condition of necessity.

    Even if a police officer has the reasonable suspicion part, he may make an arrest if, and only if, the conditions in section 25 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 are satisfied. THose are:

    - to enable the person’s name or address to be ascertained;
    - to prevent the person causing or suffering physical injury, causing loss or damage to property, committing an offence against public decency, or causing an unlawful obstruction on the highway;
    - to protect a child or other vulnerable person;
    - to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or conduct;
    - to prevent any prosecution for the offence being hindered by the disappearance of the person.

    Even if the man was committing a criminal offence, and it may be that he was under the Public Order Acts, it is unlikely that it was necessary to arrest him.

    The compensation would be for the unlawful arrest (trespass to the person) and the unlawful detention for however long he was at the police station. It would be an unlawful detention insofar as the original arrest was unlawful.

  65. PS Will, de Villiers and others, I was amused to see the comments raging on a previous thread – shame I didn’t reply earlier. I have added my thoughts accordingly. (I should read Kant!! Well indeed, but Kant knew nothing about Hubble, Watson, Crick, Darwin…that changes a lot. )

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=21392

  66. Hi Will Dublin

    Thanks for clearing up the mystery! I sort of recalled you once said you were Irish but I failed to make the connection. My preferred tag is John but since there is another John, who got in first as they say, I should alter it, out of respect and to save confusion, I suppose :-)

    How to interpret the Bible continues to be a hot topic among believers as well as non-believers. While I am not a fundamentalist, in the way people usually understand the term these days, I do regard the bible as inerrant and the ultimate authority, which is why I am loathe to stray too far from the literalest view even though some imagery e.g. in Song of Solomon is mataphoric. For example if certain events reported in the Bible, like the resurrection of Jesus, did not take place then I would say one can safely ignored its teachings as being based upon a lie.

    Like you, I have a high regard for science. Unlike you, I think, I have an equal regard for God and believe it is possible to believe both orthodox science and orthodox religion. I believe God speaks though the bible and in creation and it is the job of science to unravel the mysteries of creation.

    I am also of the view that while science explains many things and if we keep going it will eventually explain most things, I doubt it will ever explain everything, for example the meaning of life and the purpose of our existence.

    I have read books by athiests like Professor Dawkins and I usually end asking myslef if they satisfactorily answer these questions and imo they don’t. The bible purports to do so but then, unless it is true, should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    Of course sex is a wonderful thing, whatever one’s view on life happens to be. When man started out, he was told (if you believe it): “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Gensis 2v24. For me, and notwithstanding the multitude of arguments, considerations etc, this has to be the starting point in coming to understanding of an appropriate setting for sexual expression.

  67. de Villiers 24 Dec 2010, 12:57pm

    This article really is about the power of arrest rather than the power of religion.

  68. Amen de Villiers – but how often do Pink News threads keep strictly on subject :-)

    Btw, I thought your explanation in your previous post was briliant – thanks.

    Adrian: thanks for more food for thought – I do intend to look these.

  69. AdrianT, thanks for replying to a thread from two weeks ago. I’m sure everyone is really excited to see what you think.

    get a life mate.

  70. John wrote

    “While I am not a fundamentalist, in the way people usually understand the term these days, I do regard the bible as inerrant and the ultimate authority, which is why I am loathe to stray too far from the literalest view even though some imagery e.g. in Song of Solomon is mataphoric”

    John, it is truly wonderful how you contradict yourself in the same paragraph.

    John, you tell us that you are not a Fundamentalist; then tell us that the bible is the ultimate authority.

    John this is fundamentalism . . . we can see that – it is odd that you cannot!!!

  71. John likes to play games. His tactic is to play the intelligent, thoughtful person who appears to be respectful of LGBT people . . .

    Check out the thread below, towards the end of the discussion we expose his games which are aimed at condemning, dishonouring and in the process converting LGBT people to Fundamentalist Christianity.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=20530

    As a fundamentalist evangelical Christian . . . would you expect anything else from John?

  72. Will Dublin 24 Dec 2010, 2:31pm

    “AdrianT, thanks for replying to a thread from two weeks ago. I’m sure everyone is really excited to see what you think. get a life mate.”

    As you can see Adrian, this one is just full of the intellectual responses… not to mention christmas cheer.

  73. Will Dublin 24 Dec 2010, 2:38pm

    “I do regard the bible as inerrant and the ultimate authority”

    John, that is fine, you can believe in what you want, once you keep that to yourself and don’t impose your belief in that on others, as so so many christians. The bible is no such authority on my life, and that number who believe as I do is growing. If you believe gay sex is somehow “wrong”, don’t partake in it, its of no concern to anyone else but you. The bible in my opinion is nothing more then a collection of whimsical and sometimes brutal stories, not to be taken as any authority on the lives of others.

    But I am curious how a book can be an “inerrant and ultimate authority”, when the book has proven flaws in it (historically and scientifically), and when that same book condones murder, rape, selling of children into slavery and stoning of women? Might I be so bold as to suggest that you find another “ultimate authority”, one not so inclined to justify such horrendous actions as “the word of god”.

  74. Any time, Toby. If you can’t stand the heat, and put forward such weak arguments, don’t argue with the big boys. Big kiss xxx

  75. bob ‘Oh, and by the way, homosexuality is an abomination – and unrepentant homosexuals will end up in Hell.’

    That is based on two factors:
    1) That hell exists in the first place.

    2) That you haven’t misinterpreted the ‘Word of God’.

    I’m no Bible basher, but I seem to remember a line about “Judge not others lest though be judged oneself.”

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