Mike Overd2
Civil Liberties

To preach Leviticus 20:13 now constitutes a public order offence

 

There is much to be mocked about street preachers. The world has become intolerant of compact megaphones in the market place, boorishly denouncing sin and declaring the coming judgment of God. And sandwich boards proclaiming that the end is nigh scarcely fit any modern (or postmodern) model of missiological engagement. You certainly won’t find it as a validated mission module in any theological college, except perhaps in the context of the historic inducements and origins of revival.

Street preachers are offensive. They purposely set out to be, for to preach the cross of Christ in the public square is to offend against man-made moral codes and the norms of civil society. To confront the sinner with the spiritual poverty of his petty existence is to invite scorn and insult, if not physical harm. You don’t expect to have your feelings hurt while you’re minding your own business walking through Leicester Square munching on a McDonald’s. But the evangelical irritants persist because they believe they have been called by God to proclaim the Day of Salvation to a lost generation. And time is short.

How successful this model of mission may be is unknown, if not unknowable. It isn’t concerned with numbers of converts or depths of discipleship, but with measurements of sermon duration and literature distribution. If you can last two hours of preaching and hand out a hundred gospel tracts, the Lord has blessed your ministry. If you can engage three people in a conversation and talk about accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, the Lord has seriously blessed your ministry. Who knows what seeds have been sown on fertile soil?

The case of Regina v Michael Overd heard in the Taunton Magistrates’ Court on 11th March 2015 is a curious one. Mr Overd had been accused of, inter alia, using threatening language in his preaching against homosexuality on the streets of Taunton, and was reported to the police by a homosexual Christian whose feelings, it seems, had been hurt (he felt “belittled” and “ashamed”). Another passing witness, a Mr Nigel Marley who “was visiting UNISION HQ.. (and) had just done diversity training”, said Mr Overd was “belligerent and angry”, though Mr Marley “did not remember the exact words being used”.

All of which makes the Crown Court Judgment, issued by Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi on 23rd March, even more than curious. Indeed, it is an offence against freedom of speech, if not a fundamental denial of religious liberty.

No one will dispute that the Bible says some nasty things about certain aspects of human behaviour. And since, in this pluralised postmodern era, so much of minority identity is bound up with deeply-held feelings of nature and assertions of ‘rights’, to criticise an attitude or behavioural ethic is to offend against someone’s subjective norm or to commit a crime against the spiritual PC zeitgeist. It just isn’t very nice to be told that your weekly binge-drinking leads to damnation; or that having sex with your girlfriend is sin; or that exaggerating your expenses claim is a sure path to hell. Nor is it particularly convenient for homosexual men (or, presumably, women, and undoubtedly, the bisexual) to be told that ‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads‘ (Lev 20:13). Unless, of course, you say it lovingly.

Which is (more or less, though some may demur) what Mr Overd did, for he purposely omitted the second sentence in his preaching, preferring instead to focus on the offence that the behaviour is to God. It is not, it must be noted, his personal opinion on the matter: he is quoting verbatim from the Bible, adhering to a literal, universal and enduring interpretation of the Levitical holiness code. You may not agree with that hermeneutic, but that is for you to take up face-to-face with Mr Overd (or via the comment thread below). As the Judge notes, “As far as (Mr Overd) is concerned, he is preaching the Gospel.” He adds later: “He has clearly not studied religion deeply enough to comprehend it fully but has accepted whatever others taught him about his religion.. He is clearly selective in his arguments and is blind to any negative points in his own religion.” And there is much evidence of this in Mr Overd’s sometimes painfully injudicious and inconsistent responses to cross examination by the prosecution.

But biblical ignorance and theological superficiality are not crimes. Nor is proclaiming that ignorance or superficiality in the public square.

Yet Judge Qureshi insists that if Mr Overd wishes to preach against homosexuality, he may use Leviticus 18:22 (which is identical to the first sentence of Leviticus 20:13), but he may not use Leviticus 20:13 even if he omits the second sentence (ie Leviticus 18:22). This is a bizarre ruling. It seems that the omission of the second sentence does not mitigate the allegation of ‘threatening’ language, because, the Judge says, “the words he did use have to be put into context with his behaviour which the prosecution allege is threatening”. Ergo, to say that God detests a man having sexual relations with another man may be permissible, except when it is broadcast loudly via megaphone such that he may “upset other Christians” (which Judge Qureshi says is the issue). “Informing people of their fate in the Hereafter is not a criminal offence but threatening them in this world is,” he says. The fact that Leviticus 20:13 has additional ‘context’, and that context is threatening “in this world”, appears to transgress the acceptable boundaries of freedom of speech.

This is not a blog apologetic in support of Mr Overd’s preferred model of doing mission. Nor is it any kind of affirmation of his (poor) grasp of the purpose of Old Testament law, or of his (superficial) grasp of eschatological significance of the irruption of God into the world 2000 years ago. Why Christians persist in preaching this bit of Leviticus while (conveniently) ignoring so much more of the holiness code is the 64,000-treasure-in-heaven question.

This blog is, however, a categorical assertion of Mr Overd’s freedom to quote in public from whichever parts of the Bible he wishes, and if people are offended by the jots and tittles of the Word of God, well, that’s just tough. If you believe Mr Overd to be a crank, by all means tell him. But it was the judgment of Lord Justice Sedley in 1999 that people should be free to express such views, and he quoted Socrates and two famous Quakers in his defence of that freedom. He said: “Free speech includes not only the offensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, providing it does not tend to provoke violence.”

Mr Overd was not inciting anyone to violence, and yet Judge Qureshi has challenged Lord Justice Sedley’s ruling head-on by effectively finding Mr Overd guilty of using threatening words despite the contextual earthly judgment never having passed his lips. Judge Qureshi ruled:

If Leviticus 20:13 is not to be considered as threatening or abusive words, that will be a licence to all and sundry, from the drunkard to the violent extremist of any faith, to use it as a code word without being convicted of a homophobic crime..

Leviticus 20:13 was never quoted in its entirety. But even if had been, it ought not to constitute a public order offence.

And before any readers or communicants speculate on the ethnic influence or possible religious motivations of Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi, it is worth noting that he found Mr Overd not guilty of any offence by calling Mohammed a paedophile.

  • Anton

    The fact remains that Mr Overd called Muhammad a paedophile and Judge Qureshi nailed him. Justice must not only be done but be seen to be done.

    Appeal! On several grounds.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Precisely. I found the whole idea of a sharia judge in this case redolent of the practises of Soviet Russia. Just such a conflict of interest! Were the court clerks sniggering as they stitched up the trial? There was also the episode reported where Overd indignantly refused to pay £250 to the gay agent-provocateur – whose claim to be christian was clearly tactical – and before his counsel could intervene was instantly and bullyingly threatened by the judge with 6 weeks in prison. So much for overcrowded prisons.

      It all looks awful. It makes even someone like myself ask whether the trial was rigged. And that is a far more serious concern. We need honest courts. This case suggests strongly that thesesse political trials are rigged.

  • Anton

    “Why Christians persist in preaching this bit of Leviticus while (conveniently) ignoring so much more of the holiness code is the 64,000-treasure-in-heaven question.”

    May Your Grace not fall for gay propaganda that we are obsessed with the subject. They are, and we are merely reacting to it. But O, that more street preachers were typical of the Christian you meet in our congregations!

    • Albert

      I think I’d like to know exactly what Dr C means by that. Surely, the moral teaching of Leviticus is binding on Christians?

      • carl jacobs

        Neither Sodom nor Canaan was judged according to “the Holiness Code” of the Israelites. The condemnation of homosexuality is universal and is implicit in the created order. That whole argument is a red herring.

  • “And before any readers or communicants speculate on the ethnic influence or possible religious motivations of Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi …. “

    Jack did wonder if there was another possible influence or inclination that might be relevant.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps he was unhappy that bestiality was also prohibited earlier in the same passage. What rights do Christians have to prevent good Muslim men from going home to their goats and camel?

      • … or young girls.

        • Phleb

          … especially “your” children, so that their daughters remain pure.

  • Paul

    If Leviticus 18 has no application today, there is no restriction on having sex with animals.

    I’m not arguing for contextless preaching of the Mosaic code – but that cuts both ways. This post rightly criticises those who preach Leviticus as if it is directly applicable to everyone, now. But given Jesus’ clear opposition to ‘porneia’ which, in context, would have included everything in Leviticus 18, those who want to ignore these chapters altogether are on equally shaky ground.

    • Anton

      I agree that Jesus would have condemned everything that Leviticus 18 condemns, but are you sure that the meaning of porneia was so wide in His time? Porne was the Greek for a prostitute and perhaps it simply meant going with whores?

      • Pubcrawler

        More ‘behaving like a prostitute’, i.e. fornication.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,

    I appreciate that sometimes street preachers can be a little irritating and embarrassing but I honor their boldness for tackling the unwelcome.

    Anton says below, O, that more street preachers were typical of the Christian you meet in our congregations! Who are those in the congregations going to reach out to and how like ‘John the Baptist’ or the ‘Disciples’ would they be?

    Judge Qureshi said “He has clearly not studied religion deeply enough to comprehend it fully but has accepted whatever others taught him about his religion.. He is clearly selective in his arguments and is blind to any negative points in his own religion.”

    How much can this statement equally be applied to Islam. It would seem that the vast majority of Muslims in the West and probably in the East, do not understand the full context of their faith having been selectively taught from the Quran.

    • Anton

      Good street preaching will include words that challenge but spoken by a personality that makes people think “That guy seems to have something I want”. I do worry that the personality profile of many street preachers might not be not of that sort.

      • RuariJM

        That’s not a criminal offence.

        • Anton

          I wasn’t suggesting it was. But I care about evangelism as well as freedom.

          • RuariJM

            Fair enough, but not being very good at street preaching is not a criminal offence.

          • Anton

            At risk of going round in circles, I agree. But I am trying to make another point as well.

          • RuariJM

            I am not diluting what I said, I was clarifying it as you gave the impression that I had not made myself clear.

    • carl jacobs

      The disturbing point in that statement is the unidentified but implicit standard that the Court used to make that judgement. What answers would have satisfied the judge that he had “studied religion deeply?” What “negative points” did the judge identify? I doubt seriously this judge knows anything about the Christian faith, so I suspect he relied on “experts.” And what do those “experts” believe?

      • Albert

        If Christianity is true, then, as touching authentic Christian teaching, there are no “negative points”. So the judge just hit Christianity. I wonder how exactly that stands with the Queen Coronation oath? After all, this was described as The case of Regina v Michael Overd.

        • carl jacobs

          Yes, that was my first reaction. This seems to be a decision that rests upon the assumption that the truth of Christian claims are under the purview of the Court. You now have judges determining the truth of Christian doctrine.

          • Albert

            Come to think of it, that’s nothing new. It’s entailed by the establishment of the CofE. Consider the Gorham Judgement of 1850. What’s troubling here though, is that the judgement is coming from non-Christians according to non-Christian principles, as opposed to Protestant Christian judges judging Christian doctrine (still absurd, but less obnoxious).

          • cacheton

            Yes – but if those in charge of ‘Christian doctrine’ cannot see the blindingly obvious untruths (or no-longer truths) in it, then someone else has to do it for them.

          • Albert

            What if those who presume to do this are themselves wrong? Isn’t that part of the point of freedom? We are free to make mistakes? Or don’t you believe that?

          • cacheton

            So if it is continually pointed out to someone that they are making a mistake, and why, and they go on making it with the sole justification that they are only doing what it says in a book, even if elsewhere in that same book it says the opposite aswell, what do you suggest society does about it?

          • Albert

            It’s not up to society to do anything about it. Why have you got to police other people’s opinions all the time? And aren’t you a sponsor of violence, when you do so?

          • RuariJM

            Hear, hear!

          • cacheton

            ‘Why have you got to police other people’s opinions all the time?’

            Because, as has been very clearly demonstrated recently, you can lose young promising citizens whose young minds can start thinking it might be a good idea to go to a foreign country and get killed.

          • Albert

            I don’t care about people choosing to go off to surprising places. My worry is that they do so, to support groups that are intolerant, like you, of other people’s beliefs and opinions. There’s therefore something internally contradictory about your position. And when you police minority opinions, don’t you realise that what you do is increase the radicalisation further?

            Just try for moment to see this from someone else’s point of view. I am a white, middle-class, happily married Christian family man. I am about as English as you can get. I disagree with what Mr Overd did. And yet, when I hear that his freedom has been undermined in this way, I feel angry and alienated from my country. If I feel like that, how much more might some lonely young Muslim feel like that?

          • cacheton

            ‘..something internally contradictory..’

            Right. There is. There is also ‘something internally contradictory’ about believing in an unconditionally loving god who condemns certain groups of people, who he is reported to have created himself.

            Which brings us to intention. Is it your intention to save those people who demonstrate that they are not yet able to think and act rationally by trying to influence what ideas they are exposed to so they are less likely to get killed and kill others, or is it your intention to uphold a belief system regardless of the consequences that acting on that belief system may have on the quality of life of everybody, whether they subscribe to that belief system or not.

            But even above all that, isn’t it the self-declared role of Christianity to take us out of this inherently contradictive state of mind nearer the unconditional (Christ-like) mind of God? Surely it is appropriate to observe whether this is actually happening or not, and if not to understand why not?

          • If someone is promoting violence then there are already laws that cover the case. If Mr. Overd had been calling for the Levitical law against homosexuality to be established in Britain, he would surely have fallen foul of such laws. However, I thought it had been established that there is a right to offend, or does that only apply to people with atheistic or left-wing views?
            Also, if homosexuality actually is an abomination to God, don’t you think people ought to be told? It might be important.

          • sarky

            But you are playing god by becoming the judge.
            You are interpreting the bible based on your own prejudice and then using that to bash people with. Like someone on this blog has said before, why don’t we see Street preachers shouting about sex before marriage or adultery? Is it because they personally find it more palatable?
            I’m all for free speach, but you have to be a bit responsible in what you say. If what you say is at odds with the general population then you must expect some comeback.
            Just out of interest, do commentators agree with Germany making holocaust denial a crime?

          • First of all, I think you’ll find that Mike Overd did/does preach against sex before marriage.
            Secondly, of course people will come back at folk who preach the word of God. Wesley had stones thrown and manure poured over him. I’m not aware that people took him to court though.
            Thirdly, Germany can make what laws it likes, but I would be very uneasy if holocaust denial were made illegal in this country. Free speech is indivisible.

          • sarky

            People would probably like to throw stones at mr overd, but as that is assault they have to use the court process.

          • preacher

            Hi Sarky.
            I don’t think any of us are playing God or Judging others, nor I would hope are we bashing people with a prejudiced view.
            I believe that in our view it’s important for others to know that some behaviour is going to lead to eternal consequences that we wish them to avoid.
            I would say that we are in the position of people who erect warning signs, “Deep Water” or “Minefield” or similar.
            Preachers should & do preach to others, including those in Churches about the need to eradicate sins in their life & I would say that includes the person preaching.
            If people wish to ignore warnings, they are at liberty to do so, but surely the person who didn’t erect a sign is more guilty of the consequences & loss caused by his omission or laziness than those who choose to ignore them.

          • sarky

            What I don’t understand though, is that If all sin is equal, why expend so much time and energy on this one ‘so called’ sin?
            I don’t see many warning signs for lying, adultery, sex before marriage,
            blasphemy etc etc
            The only conclusion is that there is prejudice at work.

          • Anton

            Any sin is enough to keep you out of heaven unless you are forgiven in Christ. In that sense all sins are equal. But there are lighter and more severe penalties for different sins in ancient Israel’s legal code in the Old Testament, and in that sense al sins are not equal. And this one is TOEVAH, the most serious moral category, and a capital offence.

          • sarky

            But didn’t the new covenant supercede the old testament rules? If not, you should still be stoning adulterers and not eating shellfish? If so, your argument against homosexuality just fell on its arse.

          • Anton

            The Old Testament rules are ancient Israel’s code of law and since the crucifixion they are not binding even on Jewish believers in Christ – who no longer have to bring animal sacrifices to the Temple – let alone gentile believers who live in their own nations. The moral aspects of that code remain God’s guide to moral sin, though.

          • sarky

            Ok, but then all sin is equal, hence my point.

          • Anton

            All sin is wrong, if that is what you mean. May I ask you to clarify what you mean by equal here?

          • sarky

            Sin is sin. A murder is no greater sin than a lie. The punishment for all is the same and didn’t differentiate, hence all sin is equal.

          • Anton

            All sin keeps someone out of heaven unless forgiven in Christ, yes. But when God wrote the legal code for ancient Israel – the only legal code he has ever written – different sins had different penalties differed, and it is worth pondering why.

          • sarky

            But that code is now irrelevant by your own admission.

          • Anton

            Irrelevant is too simplistic. Outdated as a legal code, yes. But the parts relating to interpersonal relations (‘moral’ laws) are still God’s guide to what is and is not sinful, even if Christians are to abide by the laws of their own lands (unless hey are commanded to worship pagan gods and such).

          • sarky

            Doesn’t change the fact that christians tend to spend disproportionately more time on some sins than others.

          • Anton

            That’s a different point and I’m glad to have made clear the previous one. I’ve said before at this blog that heterosexual promiscuity does more damage to our society today than homosexual, but don’t forget that Christian street preachers get asked about gay issues by homosexual provocateurs, and that we are going in to bat for all who believe in free speech.

          • No … Jesus in His words to Pilate distinguished between the gravity of sin and Saint Paul in Roman’s teaches us about the escalation of sin and moral blindness.

          • carl jacobs

            If only you had the authority to do so.

          • cacheton

            Know thyself.

          • carl jacobs

            I do know myself. I know for example that I am not an independent source of truth. And neither are you.

          • cacheton

            And neither is the bible.

          • Alert …. postmodernist – deconstuctionist aboard !

        • Watchman

          As the judge was acting on behalf of Her Majesty does he not wear the mantle of Defender of the Faith when so acting. How does HM justify the appointment of those who have shown themselves antagonistic to the Faith?

  • Albert

    Good post.

    “He has clearly not studied religion deeply enough to comprehend it fully but has accepted whatever others taught him about his religion.. He is clearly selective in his arguments and is blind to any negative points in his own religion.”

    I incline to agree, but I wonder whether a judge should be weighing theological matters like this, and whether, as touching Christianity, Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi is any better qualified than Mr Overd.

    Anyway, as usual, we have the so-called liberals undermining freedom. I just wish they’d be a bit more honest and set out, in a democratic way, the freedoms they wish to remove from us.

    • Anton

      And when will the higher-ups in the Established church speak for our diminishing freedoms with trumpet calls loud and clear rather than muted (1 Cor 14:8)?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Never, I fear, not the current lot. Too busy congratulating themsselves over their latest triumph over God’s Word as written.

    • cacheton

      The freedom to use as sole justification for diffusing ideas ‘But that’s what it says in my book’.

      • Albert

        Thank you for being so honest. You’ve just made Islam, Orthodox Judaism and many forms of Protestant Christianity illegal. You won’t accuse me of boldness if I declare you an enemy of freedom, will you?

        • cacheton

          Or you could just wonder/explore why the hatred and discrimination of certain groups against other groups is sanctioned by society because that hatred is incited in a book, even though the laws of the land do not sanction that hatred.

          There really is a choice to be made here.

          • What about the hatred and discrimination of certain people or groups who report someone to the police just for speaking his mind?

          • Albert

            Even if I accept the premise here (which I don’t), I still stand by people’s right to freedom of speech. A few weeks ago, some Muslim’s murdered some cartoonists in Paris for publishing offending pictures of Mohammed. That was wrong – if non-Muslims wish to be offensive to Muslims (or Christians) that is their right. But it follows from that, that if people wish to proclaim unreconstructed views on homosexuality, they also have that right. If we don’t allow that right to all people and all positions, the state gets to decide which hatreds are allowed and which are not. So yes, there is a choice here. Which will you make?

          • cacheton

            I agree up to a point.
            I do however see a difference between a self-declared belief system, which is what a religion is, and the sexual orientation of 10% of the population. I suppose it is a question of how personal the offense is – people of faith seem to be personally offended by perceived criticisms of that faith, even though those criticisms are not personal. Whereas attacking homosexuality really is very personal.

          • Albert

            10%! where are you getting your figures?! Kinsey?

            As usual, you haven’t had the charity to try to test your beliefs to see if they are prejudices. It would be easier for a homosexual to change his behaviour than it would be for me to change my beliefs. Thus, if your argument made any sense, and was able to justify your proposed legislation to discriminate against Muslims, Orthodox Jews and some Protestants, it would, when more accurate data was added, apply even more against homosexual behaviour.

            The point here is obvious: you are stuck on the law of unintended consequences. So even if your position was just and charitable (which it isn’t), you would end up in imposing it, creating exactly the same kind of problems you claim to be removing.

            Why not just support freedom?

          • cacheton

            ‘It would be easier for a homosexual to change his behaviour than it would be for me to change my beliefs.’

            How on earth do you know that?? And why should a homosexual want to change their behaviour any more than you want to change your beliefs?

            ‘Just supporting freedom’ – that would include the freedom to believe that god will reward those who kill infidels but not the freedom to actually kill the infidels, you mean? And the freedom to declare homosexuality a sin but not the freedom to impose heterosexuality or abstinence on everybody?

          • Albert

            How on earth do you know that??

            Unless someone is suffering from some kind of sexual compulsion, they do not need to have sex. Thus they can change their behaviour. I can at this moment no more change my belief that Jesus is Lord than I can change my belief that I am working at a computer. Thus there is a world of difference.

            And why should a homosexual want to change their behaviour any more than you want to change your beliefs?

            I’m not saying that they should. I am saying that your argument against religious freedom works a fortiori against homosexual behaviour. So answer your own argument.

            that would include the freedom to believe that god will reward those who kill infidels but not the freedom to actually kill the infidels, you mean?

            This is just muddled. The idea that refusing to make a cake promoting gay “marriage” is in the same category as blowing someone up in the name of religion is extraordinary. Obviously, the former is wrong for the same reason that forcing someone to do the latter is wrong. Both violate human dignity.

            And the freedom to declare homosexuality a sin but not the freedom to impose heterosexuality or abstinence on everybody?

            I have never argued that, neither is it entailed by what I have said. Isn’t this the problem with your opposition to freedom, that, apart from it being unjust and uncharitable, it is based on a series false premises and logical errors?

          • cacheton

            Unless someone is suffering from some kind of religious compulsion, they do not need to have religion.

            ‘This is just muddled.’

            I don’t think so. My point is that sanctioning people’s beliefs (freedom of religion) whilst forbidding them by law to act on those beliefs is unsustainable. So, sometime in the future, something has got to change.

          • Albert

            Who said that homosexual acts should be illegal? I never did! So your argument here fails because it does not address my point and therefore leaves it unanswered. In fact, you have ended up supporting it: My point is that sanctioning people’s beliefs (freedom of religion) whilst forbidding them by law to act on those beliefs is unsustainable.

            So if someone believes Lev.20.13 condemns homosexual acts, you must allow them to act on those beliefs and express them.

          • cacheton

            So for you acting on a belief is merely expressing it? I see. I was thinking more about deeds as well as thoughts and words.

            So you think it is OK to have laws against deeds of hatred (laws prohibiting murder, discrimination etc) but it is also OK to permit or even promote thoughts and words of hatred and discrimination. Have I got that right?

            What do you think sinning in thought and word and deed is then?

            We seem to agree that this is unsustainable. But you seem to prefer a misalignment between thought and word and deed in order to accommodate your belief that the bible is the word of god. Do you not see that as somewhat contradictory?

          • Albert

            So for you acting on a belief is merely expressing it? I see.

            No you don’t see. Preaching is expressing a belief. You make it sound like the preacher here was murdering someone. This you need to do, because you desire to undermine other people’s basic freedoms is so extreme that you have to express it as a response to someone else’s violence. Be fair to the person and you will have to withdraw your demand for the removal of his freedom.

            but it is also OK to permit or even promote thoughts and words of hatred and discrimination

            Yes, I do think that, because there is no position of neutrality by which to judge these matters. Please understand, that from my perspective, your position is one of promoting hatred and discrimination.

          • cacheton

            Albert, many people, including myself, experience walking down a street and having to endure a street preacher’s bigotry and condemnation as violence.

            ‘there is no position of neutrality by which to judge these matters’

            This is just so sad. There are positions of spirituality, there is spiritual wisdom, spiritual perception, inspiration etc etc. Many religious people seem not to be able to recognise them, because their religions are not designed to help them with this. But we’ve been here before haven’t we.

          • Albert

            Albert, many people, including myself, experience walking down a street and having to endure a street preacher’s bigotry and condemnation as violence.

            And I experience your posts as an example of bigotry and a threat of violence. If you have your way, expressing certain opinions will be illegal. To enforce your law, you will need violence. And yet I still defend your right to express that opinion.

            This is just so sad.

            What do you mean? It’s just a fact – the only thing sad about it, is that it is a fact that undermines your position from a moral point of view.

          • CliveM

            Albert

            People must be free to agree with what the State decides it is right for us the believe. It is also right that we have the freedom to believe in nothing else. These freedoms must be vigorously enforced.

            How else can we be free?!

          • cacheton

            I think enforcing any law will be seen by some as needing violence.

            If you have your way an incitement to violence is merely ‘expressing an opinion’.

            ‘It’s just a fact’ if you (we) are stuck in the dimension of ‘good v bad’, ‘right v wrong’ etc. Duality. A constructive spiritual teaching will take people beyond that, and what is sad is that the so-called spiritual institutions do not seem to be able to recognise a spiritual teaching, and encourage teachings which are designed to keep people in ‘right v wrong’, ‘good v bad’ etc.. And most so-called religious people think that being ‘good’ rather than bad, or ‘right’ rather than wrong, is somehow spiritually superior. That is sad. But we’ve talked about all this before I think haven’t we.

          • Albert

            If you have your way an incitement to violence is merely ‘expressing an opinion’.

            I never defended that.

            ‘It’s just a fact’ if you (we) are stuck in the dimension of ‘good v bad’, ‘right v wrong’ etc. Duality.</i.

            Yes, we are all "stuck" in a right v wrong" duality. We all think the holocaust was wrong. We think homophobia is wrong. We think looking after the starving is right. We think assisting the sick is right. You think your opinions are so right that you are entitled to police other people's freedom and stop them expressing theirs. I have never seen anyone on the internet, ever, express such opposition to other people's freedom as you have done today. And yet you denounce "right v wrong" morality.

            A constructive spiritual teaching will take people beyond that, and what is sad is that the so-called spiritual institutions do not seem to be able to recognise a spiritual teaching

            Why would I want to move beyond seeing the holocaust as wrong, to seeing it as morally neutral? But if you do, please say so clearly.

          • cacheton

            I see that you really do have no idea about what I mean when I say ‘move beyond’. It does NOT mean change your opinion about the holocaust to see it as a neutral event.

            And FYI we are not all stuck in this ‘right v wrong’ polarized dimension. This does not mean that from our current perspective we change our opinions about right and wrong. It means that we recognise that the way we move out of having to judge everything and everybody as good or bad, right or wrong, in order for human wellbeing to progress past seeing war, ethnic cleansing and terrorism as answers to the state of affairs in the world – by killing or denying certain rights to ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ people – it serves us to reach another perspective.

            Of course those of us who are stuck in the ‘right/wrong’ perspective will immediately want to label any other perspective as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’! Which is why in our earlier conversation I suggested – actually I can’t now remember exactly what I suggested but it was something along the lines of helpful/unhelpful, inspiring/uninspiring, constructive/destructive etc.

          • Albert

            I see that you really do have no idea about what I mean when I say ‘move beyond’. It does NOT mean change your opinion about the holocaust to see it as a neutral event.

            If there are no right propositions, then the position you take cannot be right. In which case it is all the more bizarre that you demand that those who disagree with you be silenced.

          • cacheton

            ‘If there are no right propositions, then the position you take cannot be right.’ But it could be helpful or not. Or constructive or not. Etc.

            Where have I demanded that those who disagree with me be silenced?

          • Albert

            And you think doing violence to people who disagree with you is constructive. What other opinions would you be prepared to use the violence of the law against?

          • cacheton

            Where have I said that I think doing violence to people who disagree with me is constructive?

          • Albert

            You want the law to prohibit people who disagree with you from speaking in public, and even, as I quoted earlier from thinking differently from you. Now if the law is to have any force, it must be able to be enforced, and that requires violence. Therefore, you want to be able to use violence against people who disagree with you.

          • cacheton

            Where have I said that? You do not show me where I said that, you just reaccuse me of saying it!

          • Albert

            I have already given the quote.

          • cacheton

            You quoted me writing something which did not support your view that I would like to use violence against some people. Just for the record, I would not like that – hope that is clear. But there is a conversation to be had about this, which is why this blog post was posted, and why we are having this conversation!

            Of course the law could never determine what people think. It is not possible to read people’s minds. But it already determines what people can and cannot do. ‘Saying’ is between these two – hopefully the direction we are moving in is that people will understand that promoting things which would be against the law to do is itself feeding the mindset of people who would do those things, and that this is undesirable. But we are not yet there, are we.

    • RuariJM

      Good point. The judge seems to have got a little confused. His obligation is to the civil or criminal law, not to judgement of anyone’s theology. As it happens, I agree with His Grace about Mr Overd’s theology – it’s rather poor and his interpretations seem to ignore the arrival of Christ into the world.

      But that isn’t a criminal offence. Saying something that people find upsetting isn’t a criminal offence either. Calling on a mob to attack and kill someone IS a criminal offence – but Mr Overd didn’t do that. All witnesses agree that Mr Overd did not do that. The judge should have restricted himself to what Mr Overd actually said and did. He should definitely not have imposed his is questionable interpretation of Mr Overd’s interpretation ofLeviticus as the basis of his judgement. In that, I submit he was in error.

    • Grouchy Jack

      All he seems to have said was that God views homosexuality as an abomination and that engaging in such behaviour leads to Hell. How sophisticated a theologian do you have to be to state this?

      The suggestion appears to be that because of his lack of sophistication in teaching scripture in a rounded way, that blindness to negative points in his own religion was wilful and driven by homophobia and an intention to cause public disorder.

      Question: How do you guard against people using scripture selectively to cause trouble if they are so minded? There are plenty of passages against Jews, for example, that can be and have been used in this way.

      • Albert

        I think what the man did was questionable, although the point you make here is clearly correct. But I’m not sure it is up to a court to decide someone’s motivation – how can a court measure that? In regard to your last question, I think it is impossible. But at least with Christianity, one has the ministry of the Church to pronounce whether something is Christian or not. Muslims don’t seem to have that advantage.

  • Mungling

    I wonder if the courts would be so zealous at “protecting” Catholics when some street preachers identify the Church as the whore of Babylon. Probably not, and as a Catholic I wouldn’t want them to. Sticks and stones may break our bones…

    • Anton

      Glad of your commitment to free speech. That’s not my view of Rev 17, by the way.

  • preacher

    It seems that revival always starts in the Church.
    As Christians we can become comfortable & happy with a God who loves but doesn’t judge sin. It’s easy to be lured into a false state of security, that as soon as a simple prayer is uttered & we ‘Accept’ Jesus as Lord, we are then free to go & do as we please & follow our old lifestyles to our hearts content.
    The Bible tells us that this is not so, it’s all there to be read. But many people it seems edit out the parts they don’t like, because it interferes with their lifestyles. If we do this we end up with a very thin Bible & a false assurance of salvation.
    If the ‘Christian’ who called the police felt ” Belittled & Ashamed “, perhaps he should have searched himself as to the reason, rather than calling the police.
    It takes a long time to get rid of our sins & this fact should keep us humble when we preach or share the gospel with our fellow man, ” There is none righteous – not one ” but in His grace & mercy, God has imputed Christ’s innocence onto us in exchange for our sins.
    This however does not however excuse us from attempting to share God’s loving kindness & mercy with others, who can freely share in our salvation. Scripture is clear that many will expect to enter Paradise with a forged passport & those that preach a false gospel will be held responsible for their loss & will be judged accordingly.
    Fear of men has closed many mouths that should be sharing the gospel with those in danger of Judgement, but it is sometimes essential to speak of things that people don’t want to hear. Why did John the Baptist not hold back?.

    Why does revival always start in the Church? Because it has to, firstly to wake up the sleepers & secondly to cleanse & prepare us to take the gospel to the lost.
    Religion will not save anyone, if open air preaching is tough, try telling a Church full of Christians that they need to get right with God, many will hate you, some will walk out, maybe one or two will inform the Police.
    But if the majority listen, repent & start getting right with the Lord. Revival!!!!.

  • Judge Queshi is a Muslim and a Sharia Court Judge. In explaining his finding that Mr Overt, beyond a reasonable doubt, intended to harass, distress or alarm others, he said:

    “All people exercise their right of speech and religion and this country’s laws protect their rights to do so. On the other hand, Mr Overd asks me to interpret the law to endorse his desire to shout, bully, and berate members of the public until they convert to his branch of Christianity.

    “Ironically, those who complained about him at court were Christians. I cannot interpret the law in the way Mr Overd and his legal team ask. Such a decision would not be the upholding of equal human rights and would be seized upon by fundamentalists and extremists to be the first step to public disorder.”

    Perhaps this judge is more concerned about defending other “fundamentalists and extremists” from criticisms about their faith system and especially if visual imagery of prophets is used and historical facts given about their sexual morality.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      What tommyrot his claim was. Overd merely asked to be protected from malicious prosecution.

    • carl jacobs

      What is the legal definition of “fundamentalist?” What is the legal definition of “extremist?” Those would seem to be important definitions since the judge based his decision upon them.

      • cacheton

        The more you interpret the incitements to violence in your holy book literally, the further along the spectrum of of ‘extremist’ and ‘fundamentalist’ you are.

        The more you act in accordance with the inspirations to love in your holy book, the more tolerant you are – love neighbour as self etc.

        Ironic isn’t it.

        Surely it must be someone’s job to sort out why there are both in these holy books – and take out unhelpful incitements!

        • carl jacobs

          The cited verse isn’t an “incitement to violence.” It was part of the Law given to the Israelites as part of the Mosaic covenant. There is no Scriptural warrant to invoke the punishments of the Mosaic covenant absent the existence of the Mosaic covenant. If someone cites Leviticus as justification for murder, then you can throw him in jail for murder. What you cannot do is overturn the divine condemnation of homosexuality.

          I know full well the conventional meaning of “fundamentalist” in common parlance. What I don’t know is what the judge means. He denied Mr X legal relief because giving Mr X relief would be “seized upon” be “fundamentalist and extremist” Mr Y. I want to know what that means legally. And I would like to know why Mr X should be held to account before the fact for what Mr Y might hypothetically do.

          • cacheton

            ‘What you cannot do is overturn the divine condemnation of homosexuality.’

            But I can ask for reasons why it is believed that the divine does indeed condemn homosexuality, why I should believe that the bible in general, and this passage in particular, was written or even remotely inspired by the divine, etc etc.

            And in the absence of credible reasons, which could be judged by a judge according to the laws of the land, I could conclude that in fact the divine does not condemn anything at all. I would even have the added bonus that elsewhere in the book it even says this very clearly!! Yippee!!!

          • Grouchy Jack

            I could conclude that in fact the divine does not condemn anything at all. I would even have the added bonus that elsewhere in the book it even says this very clearly!!

            Care to say where the bible says God does not condemn anything at all?

          • William Lewis

            “I can ask for reasons why it is believed that the divine does indeed condemn homosexuality … And in the absence of credible reasons, which could be judged by a judge according to the laws of the land, I could conclude that in fact the divine does not condemn anything at all.”

            Really? Reasons for divine condemnation are subject to your and/or judicial review? How very odd. Do you live in a theocracy or is there something special about you that allows you to determine the reasonableness, or not, of divine condemnation?

          • cacheton

            divine condemnation

            Do you really not see a problem with those 2 words being side by side?

            Is there something special about you that allows you to determine that your idea of the divine wrote a book in which he apparently states he condemns certain things, and this ‘specialness’ also entails endorsing these condemnations without further thought or critical evaluation?

        • Albert

          Hang on a minute. Below you set out (presumably without realising it) your desire to make Islam, Orthodox Judaism and some Protestantism illegal. Now, how are you going to enforce that, unless by force? Aren’t you just an extremist and fundamentalist on your own terms?

          • cacheton

            Its not me who desires making things illegal, those groups you mention desire to make themselves illegal. Using the only justification that they are doing what is says in their book, and they are not legally required to think any further because that would be denying their ‘freedom of religion’. And religion is above the law.

            It’s a mess. I don’t know how or when, but sometime in the future this ‘freedom of religion’ will change.

          • ‘It’s a mess. I don’t know how or when, but sometime in the future this ‘freedom of religion’ will change’

            You are undoubtedly right (Revelation 13:5-10). It’s getting nearer all the time.

          • Albert

            My point would be that, if the law prohibits beliefs and expressions of beliefs that find their justification in a book, then the law is unjust and should be changed. Moral beliefs stemming from holy books are less internally arbitrary than moral beliefs stemming from most secular positions. Is it your intention to make secular opinions illegal, too? And how are you going to enforce all this? Your intolerance ends in violence.

          • cacheton

            My point would be that those beliefs and expressions of beliefs do not find their justification in books. The beliefs are found in the books, but as we saw in that lengthy discussion we had a while ago about homosexuality and discrimination, the ‘natural law’ view you use to justify the belief is not in the bible, it has been thought up to justify what the bible says. We could argue about whether this view is ‘right’ or not, but the outcome of that should not be swayed by what the bible says.

            But I know, you think that just because it IS in the bible, it should automatically be considered ‘right’.

            Ah well.

          • Albert

            Firstly, the natural view existed first outside of a biblical milieu. Secondly, you just seem to have it in for beliefs that come from books. That would make sense if you had it in for all arbitrary beliefs and you demonstrated that beliefs stemming from books were arbitrary. But you haven’t done that. So I think you are guilty of an unjust and uncharitable discrimination against religious people.

          • cacheton

            ‘you just seem to have it in for beliefs that come from books’

            No no, that would be equivalent to saying I have it in for books, which I most certainly do not! Quite the contrary! I do have it in for uncritical evaluation of books, however, and the fact that the existence of certain books for some people bizarrely seems to justify anything at all that may be written in them!

          • Albert

            So if the chap had been able to offer his opinion on the basis of a critical evaluation of his holy book, you would have been happy with him preaching it, yes? It’s not opinion coming from a book, but the uncritical evaluation of the book you want illegal?

            I find it hard to believe that you really think that, but if you do, answer this: who decides when someone offers a critical or uncritical evaluation of their book, and on what basis?

          • cacheton

            Now I’m wondering what the difference between ‘preaching’ and ‘saying’ or ‘expressing’ is! Oh, the online Thesaurus says ‘preaching’ is ‘moralising’. Kind of makes it sound as if preaching is somehow superior to saying, and we should therefore take more notice of it.

            So in answer to your first question, if you replace preaching with saying/expressing, then yes.
            If the book is expressing what he thinks anyway, then he does not need to justify himself using the book, and a debate can be engaged.
            If however his opinion is this ONLY BECAUSE a certain thing is written in a certain book, I think this needs challenging. I remember that our previous conversation arose from my answering a post from someone else saying they would love to accept homosexuality but they couldn’t because the bible says we shouldn’t.

          • Albert

            If you want to know what a word means, you should look in a dictionary, not a thesaurus. Had you done that, you would have got a definition of preaching which is more accurate. I’m not sure whether you would want to defend your position once you’ve got a better understanding of what preaching is.

            If however his opinion is this ONLY BECAUSE a certain thing is written in a certain book, I think this needs challenging.

            I agree, but it may be that the opinion can be defended. If you make it illegal, as you want to, we may never know.

            I remember that our previous conversation arose from my answering a post from someone else saying they would love to accept homosexuality but they couldn’t because the bible says we shouldn’t.

            And my answer then, I am sure, would have been to say that that is not the only reason for taking that position. And yet, somehow, you continue to assume that that is my position. Isn’t this one of the reasons that you really ought to support freedom against your previously stated position of legal violence: it might just be that you don’t understand someone else’s position, and so your stand against them is unjust?

          • cacheton

            ‘I agree, but it may be that the opinion can be defended.’

            Of course it may be, and when I challenged you, you did defend it. Your reasons for believing what you believe can therefore be debated without referring to the book from which your original idea came. Fine.

            Believing something merely because it happens to be written in a certain book, and threatening people on the streets with your belief? Not fine.

            Should I not have the freedom to walk down the street without having to put up with the loud and threatening voice of someone who believes in judgment and discrimination, against which we have laws in this country, ringing in my ears?

          • Albert

            Believing something merely because it happens to be written in a certain book, and threatening people on the streets with your belief?

            Sorry, where’s the threat?

            Should I not have the freedom to walk down the street without having to put up with the loud and threatening voice of someone who believes in judgment and discrimination, against which we have laws in this country, ringing in my ears?

            Where was the threat of discrimination? The only threat of discrimination I can find is coming from you – your desire that some people’s voices may not be heard.

          • cacheton

            Where’s the threat? That I will be consumed by fire in hell forever if I don’t share the belief of the preacher? That I will be judged ‘wrong’ by my creator for doing certain things, even if those things have not harmed anyone? Etc. You know these threats well, i’m sure. Now you will say that in this particular case these threats were not explicitly made, but I’m sure that even you recognise that it is a very short and slippery slope to them from what he did say.

            And with your last paragraph, it is not his personal opinion I do not want to hear, it is him uncritically subscribing to someone else’s opinion that I do not want to hear, especially when the logical action arising from that opinion is against the law.

          • Albert

            This is just bizarre. A person listening either believes the (implicit) threat of being punished is real or not. If he thinks it is real, the preacher is arguably doing him a favour by giving the warning. If he thinks the threat is not real (he is an atheist, for instance), then of course he thinks the threat is not real. But with your chronic opposition to freedom, everyone agrees the threat of violence is real: the threat of the police, of the courts of bailiffs etc. So you argument continues to count against your own position and not against the street preacher.

            it is not his personal opinion I do not want to hear, it is him uncritically subscribing to someone else’s opinion that I do not want to hear

            What’s it got to do with you where his opinions come from? Why are you so intolerant?

            especially when the logical action arising from that opinion is against the law.

            The logical action arising from his preaching is that one does not have sex with someone of the same sex. Unless you think homosexual acts should be compulsory, you cannot say that what is being preached here is against the law.

          • cacheton

            Albert, I do not exist in a vacuum. I interract with who and what is around me, and I am of course influenced by it. This includes when I am walking down the street. Even if I think that the threat the preacher is talking about is not real, I still experience the violence of his preaching in the firm knowledge that any protest I may make about it (including if I only protest about the noise) will only serve to boost his ego even further, as I have explained before. Why can he not go to a place where people can choose to go and hear this sort of thing, and are not forced to? Or maybe you think I should not be free to walk down the street?

            ‘The logical action arising from his preaching is that one does not have sex with someone of the same sex.’ So people who do have homosexual sex are protected by law from discrimination, but the preacher is not saying there is anything wrong with the law, only that they should just stop having sex. Have I got that right?

          • Albert

            will only serve to boost his ego even further

            Your arrogance in assuming that is always going to be the case is extraordinary. What if he thinks God is calling him to do it? What if he thinks he needs to do this to protect people from the harm of their actions? If so, isn’t he going to do it whether or not you allow it in law. And when he speaks, you are going to demand some policemen come, and if he refuses to stop and go quietly, they will beat him up. In the name of love, of course.

            Why can he not go to a place where people can choose to go and hear this sort of thing, and are not forced to?

            Is it your view then that no one may offer an opinion in a public place?

            So people who do have homosexual sex are protected by law from discrimination, but the preacher is not saying there is anything wrong with the law, only that they should just stop having sex.

            Correct. Outside of your extremist position, it is possible think something is wrong without demanding it be illegal.

          • cacheton

            ‘What if he thinks God is calling him to do it? What if he thinks he needs to do this to protect people from the harm of their actions? If so, isn’t he going to do it whether or not you allow it in law.’
            Yes. This is where it is pointed out that the difference between religion and mental illness is minimal.

            No. But we have Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. Maybe we should have a few more of those to accommodate street preachers? It is generally accepted that unwanted and unsollicited physical attention forced on someone is not desirable. Street preachers offer unwanted and unsollicited verbal attention.

          • Albert

            This is where it is pointed out that the difference between religion and mental illness is minimal.

            Please explain.

            It is generally accepted that unwanted and unsollicited physical attention forced on someone is not desirable.

            Certainly. But is street preaching physical attention? If so, in what sense?

          • cacheton

            If you substitute any other name for ‘God’ – what if he thinks Joan of Arc, Jeremy Clarkson or King Kong are calling him to do it, he would get a psychiatric diagnosis pronto. Why, in this context, is God treated any differently from them?

            Maybe you missed my last sentence – Street preachers offer unwanted and unsollicited verbal attention.

          • Albert

            Why, in this context, is God treated any differently from them?

            Because (obviously) God, if he exists is the highest good, and therefore his will is the highest good. That cannot be said for those you mentioned.

          • cacheton

            Good? What perspective are we coming from here? Not that of God, but anyway…

            If one has freedom of religion and belief, that still does not explain why one should be institutionalised if one believes one is being told to do certain things by someone or something else, but not institutionalised if one believes that one is being told to do things by god, who is believed to be ‘someone’ or at least ‘something’ else by those who believe in him.

            We are kind of back to square 1. Even if you believe that he exists, and that he has a will (even though you mentioned recently that he doesn’t have opinions), how do people know what his will might be? You take the stand (as I understood from our last conversation) that you as a mere human cannot know right from wrong fully because you are not God, therefore you have to get your info from a book which you interpret in a certain way. How do you, or street preachers, know that this way is ‘right’, if you are merely human?

            I am presuming that street preachers interpret that it is god’s will that they preach loudly and indiscriminately in the street even as, for reasons you yourself outlined, it is counter-productive. You will argue that they should be free to do it anyway, even though preaching on any other subject would incur an ASBO or a psychiatric diagnosis. They are free to let their belief and their interpretation trump the observation that it is counter-productive and annoying to others.

            I really do not see any other way forward except change of perspective.

          • Albert

            Good? What perspective are we coming from here?

            If you are trying to engage someone else, you have to understand their perspective. For this person, God is good. The fact that you don’t believe that does not alter their opinion. Your second paragraph just shows you have not understood – and it shows why your violent approach would be so harmful. This preacher feels he was doing God’s will. He will do so anyway. So all you get, on your model a world in which he has violence inflicted on him – and all because you cannot (or will not) understand someone else’s point of view.

            how do people know what his will might be?

            You can find his will embedded in nature in natural law or you can receive it, by faith, from scripture.

            You will argue that they should be free to do it anyway, even though preaching on any other subject would incur an ASBO or a psychiatric diagnosis

            That’s just a nasty prejudice. I’ve heard people proclaiming all sorts of things – the right of women to abort their babies for example.

          • cacheton

            ‘If you are trying to engage someone else, you have to understand their perspective.’
            Well quite. Street preachers seem not to agree however.
            But that was not what I meant by perspective in my last post – in a good v bad perspective, for a believer god will be good. But that (or rather this – as this is where most people are) is not god’s perspective – we’ve been through this all before.

            ‘He will do so anyway.’
            Exactly. We agree that there is no way of getting him to understand the inconvenience and verbal abuse he is doing to others. In other contexts we have laws preventing this, so that people who have not ‘got’ that are prevented by law from doing certain things. There are benign ways of expressing points of view; this is not one of them.

            I don’t yet quite know what to make of your assertion that natural law, nature is as good a source of info and teaching as the bible is, because it seems so contrary to other things you say. I’m still thinking about that one!

          • Albert

            But that (or rather this – as this is where most people are) is not god’s perspective

            But you’re not engaging with God, but with the preacher.

            Street preachers seem not to agree however.

            And that is a failure of their strategy – they are, in effect, doing what you are doing. That achieves nothing, as it persuades no one. But the question is, should legal violence be used against them, for that?

            We agree that there is no way of getting him to understand the inconvenience and verbal abuse he is doing to others. In other contexts we have laws preventing this, so that people who have not ‘got’ that are prevented by law from doing certain things.

            You seem to think that street preachers are not governed by the same laws that apply to every other speaker. All those other laws still apply. The point at which the law becomes unjust and violent is when it prohibits the expression of a view because some people don’t like that view. The question then arises as to whether all street speaking should be banned. Here, I think you nod. But the idea of that fills me with fear. And how would it be defined? How about two people having an argument with raised voices? Should that be banned? And whatever it is you ban, how do you stop that law being abused and used against other things? I don’t think you have thought about what you are defending, nor, historically, the company you are keeping.

            Alternatively, you could just be in favour of freedom.

            I don’t yet quite know what to make of your assertion that natural law, nature is as good a source of info and teaching as the bible is, because it seems so contrary to other things you say.

            That’s because you haven’t understood what you are criticising. Before you start trying to remove freedoms, you really do need have the charity to realise that there may be issues you don’t understand. But that kind of charity seem utterly alien from your moral position.

          • cacheton

            ‘But you’re not engaging with God, but with the preacher.’
            With a preacher who thinks he is doing god’s will. As you yourself pointed out, it is not possible to engage with street preachers, and therefore not possible to engage with god’s will via them. I think the impossibility of engagement is a problem, but I know we do not agree on that.

            ‘they are, in effect, doing what you are doing.’
            No they are not. They are proclaiming loudly and indiscriminately to unsuspecting bypassers on a street!

            ‘The point at which the law becomes unjust and violent is when it prohibits the expression of a view because some people don’t like that view.’
            But the law does not prohibit that! Though we are now at the point where the difference between ‘expressing a view’ and ‘inciting violence/discrimination’ is beginning to matter, because we see that some people get killed as a result of it. What is your definition of the difference between them?

            ‘Alternatively, you could just be in favour of freedom.’
            The freedom to think and say, but not the freedom to do what you think and say. We have come back to where we were several posts ago. As Jesus showed, freedom is experienced/lived when there is an alignment between these three.

          • Albert

            I think the impossibility of engagement is a problem, but I know we do not agree on that.

            When you send the police round to shut him up, and if he won’t physically remove him to a prison cell, you are engaging with him. If you do this, you need to be fair to his position. You aren’t.

            No they are not. They are proclaiming loudly and indiscriminately to unsuspecting bypassers on a street!

            Both you and they are doing the same thing: manifesting an opinion without recourse to defence: they by speaking (although you can often engage them privately) you by having them arrested.

            But the law does not prohibit that!

            That is what you are calling for.

            because we see that some people get killed as a result of it.

            Would you care to give examples? You might have forgotten that some years ago, the police made a similar claim in an advert. The ASA struck the advert down because the evidence did not support it. But what is known is that when the state prohibits freedom of expression, as you desire then that does result in people being killed.

            I am terminating this discussion. I think you are a truly worrying person. Your willingness so openly to oppose freedom of speech, and to support violence against those who express themselves in this way is at best naive, at worst wicked. And all this from someone who claimed some months ago that love was the heart of their moral vision. I think we can now see how vacuous that was.

          • cacheton

            You have repeatedly accused me of wanting to treat people who express opinions in the street violently, as again alluded to in the first 3 paragraphs of this last post, yet you cannot find where I said this. I have made it repeatedly clear that this is not the case, nor do I think it is the solution, but you continue to accuse me of it. I am left wondering why.

            You have also not explained what the difference is, in your opinion, between expressing an opinion and inciting violence.

            In your last paragraph you again accuse me of opposing freedom of speech and supporting violence against those who express themselves indiscriminately and threateningly in the street, without addressing the issues that this poses for the people who find themselves in the street, and only defending the issues of the preacher who decides to do this. Again I am left wondering why.

          • Albert

            If you want something to be illegal, you are asking that, in the last analysis, the state use force to stop it. You can dress it up as you like, but you cannot avoid that corollary.

          • cacheton

            ‘In one you say what you think, in another you encourage others to fight people.’
            And if you think that others should fight people?

            ‘since your opinion is that the state should be able to use violence.’
            WHERE have I said this?
            I’m going away for a week without internet so will not be able to reply to your answer anyway as I expect the discussion will have been closed by the time I get back, but I’ve asked this before and not received an answer.

            Bye for now then Albert. Always a pleasure conversing with you – you are a rare breed. Keep it up!

          • Albert

            Anything that is illegal, logically entails the use of violence, by the state against the person breaking the law. You want street preachers made illegal (or some of them), therefore, you want, in principle, the state to be able to use violence against them to enforce the law. I do not say that you like that violence, or want it, or desire it be used a first resort. But it is violence that you want to be held in reserve. That is logically entailed by your position, and it is that logical entailment that renders your position utterly immoral and contrary to your stated moral foundations.

            I wish you a happy trip!

          • Powerdaddy

            “It also condemns sex outside of marriage.”

            Did God marry Mary?

            Is it true she was around 14 years of age when she became pregnant? She was the only/best option for God? I would have choose someone with more experience/years….would you choose a 14 year old for your next child?

            Was God an absent father? Why wasn’t he around to change his own nappy?

            Just too much ridiculousness.

          • Albert

            Did God marry Mary?

            No.

            Is it true she was around 14 years of age when she became pregnant?

            There’s nothing in the Bible that says so. The reason this is assumed is that she was unmarried, and so, in the culture, could have been as young as 14 – although she could have been older – up to about 19, I think I saw somewhere.

            She was the only/best option for God?would you choose a 14 year old for your next child?

            Well, if God had decided she had to be unmarried at the time of conception, and 14 was the oldest such a woman could be then, yes. Moreover, by grace, God can make up what is lacking in the mother, and of course, he ensured she had a human father with her in the shape of Joseph. Then you have to recall that in that society, the extended family always helped out.

            Was God an absent father?

            For the reasons just given, no.

            Why wasn’t he around to change his own nappy?

            Errr…because he doesn’t have a body.

            Just too much ridiculousness.

            Yes, drawing your conclusion before you have heard the answers to your questions is ridiculous.

          • Powerdaddy

            The net energy in the universe is zero, so do we have nothing from nothing?

            I don’t know enough about the universe to say it has a definite beginning. Neither do you. Neither do the experts in this field.

            Why should anyone accept premises 1. What evidence for a beginning do you have?

          • Albert

            The net energy in the universe is zero, so do we have nothing from nothing?

            What are you saying there, that the universe is nothing?

            Why should anyone accept premises 1.

            Premise 1 is about things that begin to exist needing a cause. As I have said already, that can be excepted even if the beginning of the universe is not accepted.

            I don’t know enough about the universe to say it has a definite beginning. Neither do you. Neither do the experts in this field.

            There are philosophical arguments in favour of thinking the universe has a finite past. Now if these arguments are successful, it means you have to face the beginning of the universe and decided whether you think it is caused or uncaused. If, on the other hand these arguments are unsuccessful, it makes little difference to me – I just move on to another cosmological argument. As I have already said, the most important ones work on the assumption that there is no beginning.

            Thus you have a problem here that I don’t. The fact that it is possible, and can be seriously argued that the universe has a beginning is a problem for you. The fact that it is possible that it has no beginning is not a problem for me.

            Now, it’s curious that you keep going on about evidence, because this all started with you making a range of claims about the Bible, claims for which, not one piece of evidence has been furnished.

            You really cannot have it both ways.

          • Powerdaddy

            Do you understand the fact that it can “seriously argued” that we do not know if the universe has a beginning?

            Do you understand why I can’t just except premise 1?

          • Albert

            Do you understand the fact that it can “seriously argued” that we do not know if the universe has a beginning?

            Do you not understand that almost all of my previous post was about saying that the fact that it can be argued either way is a problem for you and not for me?

            Do you understand why I can’t just except premise 1?

            This is premise 1, as I put it earlier in the discussion:

            1. What ever begins to exist has a cause.

            This is what you said:

            According to current knowledge energy (which is what matter consists of) cannot be created nor destroyed. The energy that exists in this universe is, as far as we know, permanent.

            Now if that is true, then it is not possible for something to begin to exist without a cause, for it it did, energy would be being created from nothing. Now since energy cannot be created, as you say, it follows it cannot be created from nothing. So no, I do not understand why you can’t just accept premise 1. On the contrary, you seem to me to be committed to it.

          • Powerdaddy

            You said earlier…….

            “Now concerning the first premise, obviously whatever begins to exist has a cause – this is proved by the very point you are making. If that
            premise isn’t true then something comes from nothing – but that flies in
            the face of the principle that energy cannot be created (a point you
            confidently asserted earlier, but now seem to be doubting). *Thus, if
            there is a part of the argument you shouldn’t argue with, it is premise
            1.*”

            I replied…….
            Did the energy in this universe “begin to exist” at some point, or has it always existed? This is currently an unknown. There is no justification to say either way. Especially in this context, there is no justification to say that it did begin to exist. Hence the premise is unfounded. Among other things…..

            Now you say……

            “If, on the other hand these arguments are unsuccessful, it makes
            little difference to me – I just move on to another cosmological
            argument. ****( next argument please )**** As I have already said, the most important ones work on the assumption that there is no beginning”.

            and

            “Do you not understand that almost all of my previous post was about saying that the fact that it can be argued either way is a problem for you and not for me?”

            Spot the difference between “you said earlier” and “now you say”.

            If premise 1 can be “argued either way” like you now seem to admit (my point all along) surely means the 1st version of the kalam argument you put to me is pointless? Premise 1 is a false premise.

            Why would your flip flopping on premise 1 be “a problem for me and not for you?” ?? Its YOUR argument YOU brought forward willingly in defence of YOUR beliefs. I dont get it??

            I also object to premise 2, but seeing as premise 1 can be argued either way by your own addmission, ( false premise ), I see no point in a discussion on it.

            Did you have a religious up bringing? What brought you to God?

          • Albert

            If premise 1 can be “argued either way” like you now seem to admit (my point all along) surely means the 1st version of the kalam argument you put to me is pointless?

            You really are very confused. I have never said that premise 1 can be argued either way – on your assumptions, premise 1 is certain. I am saying premise 2 can be argued either way. Isn’t that obvious? I have made that point, probably four times now.

            Your second confusion is this. You need premise 2 to be false. If it is uncertain, it does not follow that it is false. As it is uncertain, it could be true. And if it is true, then given that you must accept premise 1, it follows that you must accept the universe has a cause.

            Did you have a religious up bringing? What brought you to God?

            Yes I did, although, I also think that philosophy supports belief in God. I have had numerous arguments over the matter both on the internet and in real life. These arguments only serve to support my view that reason can be used in defence of God. The fact that objectors consistently misunderstand the arguments, and usually do not even know what the word “God” names, only supports that contention.

            Did you have a religious upbringing? What brought you to atheism (assuming that’s what you are)?

            Are we ever going to get any evidence to defend your original claims? Or is it only theists that can come up with evidence and reason for their beliefs?

          • Powerdaddy

            Albert, I will lose patience with you if you keep being dishonest.

            I SAY AGAIN:- I AM NOT COY OR CHANGING THE SUBJECT. PROVE PREMISE 1.

            My stance on premise 1…….

            Did the energy in this universe “begin to exist” at some point, or has it always existed? This is currently an unknown. There is no justification to say either way. Especially in this context, there is no justification to say that it did begin to exist. Hence the premise is unfounded.
            Prove “begin to exist” as laid down in premise 1.

            YOU SAID

            Thus you have a problem here that I don’t. The fact that it is possible, and can be seriously argued that the universe has a beginning is a problem for you. ***The fact that it is possible that it has no beginning is not a problem for me.****

            PLEASE RE-READ YOUR LAST SENTENCE!!!!!!!!

            I shall retype it just in case you try to be dishonest again.

            ***The fact that it is possible that it has no beginning
            is not a problem for me.****

            CAN PREMISE 1 BE ARGUED EITHER WAY OR NOT??? IF NOT PLEASE PROVE “BEGIN TO EXIST”.
            PLEASE STOP YOUR FLIP FLOPPING ON THIS ISSUE.

            For future referrence….i am not making assumptions…..I am pointing out YOUR ASSUMPTIONS – IN YOUR ARGUMENT.

            Did the energy in this universe “begin to exist” at some point, or has it always existed? This is currently an unknown. There is no justification to say either way. Especially in this context, there is no justification to say that it did begin to exist. Hence the premise is unfounded.

            Prove “begin to exist” as laid down in premise 1.

          • Albert

            I will lose patience with you if you keep being dishonest.

            How dare you accuse me of that? As any reader can see, I am not being dishonest, you keep missing the point. If we are arguing about premise 1 we are only talking about whether everything that begins to exist has a cause. You cannot reply to that by saying:

            Did the energy in this universe “begin to exist” at some point, or has it always existed? This is currently an unknown. There is no justification to say either way. Especially in this context, there is no justification to say that it did begin to exist. Hence the premise is unfounded.

            because premise 1 could still be true even if the universe did not begin to exist. Nothing in premise 1 makes a claim about the universe beginning or not beginning. You therefore cannot falsifying it by talking about the universe or energy beginning or not beginning. It’s as if I had said:

            1′. All cats are mammals.

            And you had replied

            “But goldfish are not mammals”. It’s irrelevant. Can you really not see that? You are arguing against premise 2 when you question whether energy began to exist. Can you really not see that?

            Let me show you again how your position shows serial misunderstanding.

            1”. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

            2′ It is unknown whether the universe began to exist.

            Therefore what? Therefore nothing. There is no middle term here. You can maintain premise 1 and dismiss premise 2 without contradiction. You are arguing against premise 2. This is not a difficult point.

            CAN PREMISE 1 BE ARGUED EITHER WAY OR NOT???

            Premise 1 follows of logical necessity if you believe (as you seem to) that energy cannot be created. If something begins to exist without a cause, then energy has come from nothing.

            Let me put it again:

            1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

            2. The universe began to exist.

            3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

            Now when you say Did the energy in this universe “begin to exist” at some point, or has it always existed? This is currently an unknown. You are clearly challenging 2 not 1.

            Are we going to get any evidence to defend your original claims?

          • Powerdaddy

            i dont mean to be insulting, maybe I am getting my wires crossed (but I dont think I am). Either way I apologise for the dishonesty jibe. There are other inconsistencies you have typed that also come across as dishonest to me, but maybe you could clear it up if I show you?

            My point on this ( premise1 ) is if energy is eternal and has always existed it WOULD NOT need to be created, then the kalam argument is not worth pondering. The truth of reality could be that actual nothing ( the absence of energy, matter, time, space or any potential ) is real impossibility. There is no justification to say either way. Especially in this context, there is no justification to say that it did begin to exist.
            Hence the premise is unfounded.

          • Albert

            Okay, don’t worry.

            My point on this ( premise1 ) is if energy is eternal and has always existed it WOULD NOT need to be created, then the kalam argument is not worth pondering.

            That is certainly true, but that is questioning premise 2! You asked me to defend premise 1, which I have done. The real issue arises if premise 2 is uncertain. In that case, of course, the argument fails to prove God exists. But it would not follow that atheism was reasonable. For unless 2 was shown to be false, it could still be true. But if 1 is granted, atheism needs 2 to be false. I think that on balance, both 1 & 2 are more likely than not (while acknowledging either or both could be false). And therefore, I think that on balance the argument shows it is more reasonable to believe in a cause for the universe than not.

            The truth of reality could be that actual nothing ( the absence of energy, matter, time, space or any potential ) is real impossibility.

            Unless you can show that it is logically impossible, then it is still contingent in some sense. Now you would need a kind of ontological argument to prove it is logically impossible for the universe not to exist and such arguments are bound to fail. Therefore, there is still some sense in which the universe is contingent.

            Secondly, I think the kalam argument makes it more likely than not that it is contingent.

            Thirdly, I have other arguments.

            I won’t have time to reply for a few days, I think. I hope the thread stays open!

          • Powerdaddy

            1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

            This doesn’t sit right with me. We are talking about the universe, not a watch or a chair. You cannot fit a rule for parts of the universe that also fits for the whole of the universe in this example (premise 1)

            Fallacy of composition.

            For your info I am not sure what my beliefs are on God so I need not prove anything but I will point out what I think is wrong. You already know but your arguments aren’t very convincing to me

            As long as you stay on disqus we can pick this up again any time, if we are both willing.

          • Albert

            Given that the universe is nothing more than a collection of things, and not a something different, it seems rather odd to exempt it from the general principle. Let us suppose that what popped up in the Big Bang was a chair, that would presumable need a cause. Why if what pops up is a whole load of other stuff does it not need a cause?

            Now I don’t think that that commits the fallacy of composition. In any case, the causation principle follows from your principle of conservation of energy. I don’t need to infer it inductively from examples in the world.

            For your info I am not sure what my beliefs are on God so I need not prove anything but I will point out what I think is wrong.

            Thank you – that’s helpful. I don’t think the presumption of atheism can reasonably be granted, but perhaps the presumption of agnosticism makes sense.

        • “Free speech includes not only the offensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, providing it does not tend to provoke violence.”

          I see no indication that Mr. Overd provoked violence or intended to do so. If someone tells me something I don’t wish to hear, I walk away.

      • Albert

        Ironically, all Muslims are fundamentalist, insofar as they take the Qur’an as the literally dictated word of God.

        • … and thus incapable of a deeper reflection and understanding and any contextual adaptation and application.

          • Albert

            I’m not sure I agree there, Jack. Muslims have sophisticated forms of interpretation of the Qur’an. Perhaps the most popular is the doctrine of abrogation. Unfortunately, this form of contextual interpretation is precisely what is used by Islamists (or whatever we should call them) to justify their atrocities.

      • Presumably anyone who interprets and accepts a literal or literalist meaning of particular holy texts and regards them as inspired (or dictated) by their god or gods, thus giving them universal and unchanging status.

        Jack has been told in no uncertain terms we live in a postmodern world and must deconstruct all meanings from scripture that reflect the ideological biases and cultural assumptions of their writers about sex, gender, race, economics, politics and authority.
        He has also been informed by various ‘scholars’ and ‘theologians’ that philosophical and religious “truths” reflect our human history of trying to understand and define ‘reality’ and has resulted in a patriarchal-heterosexualist-capitalist system entailing the domination of the planet, of animals, people of colour, the poor, homosexuals, children and women.
        He has been learning that nowadays we understand all this and appreciate it is actual ‘experience’ on the ground that really counts and not ‘abstract ideas’. We shouldn’t try to produce and impose any universal ‘truths’ as science and human understanding advances and unfolds. What was ‘true’ yesterday, isn’t going to be ‘true’ today and will not be ‘true’ tomorrow. By centralising power and in a ‘holy’ and ‘priestly’ caste who claim certain ‘truths’ must be accepted, we sustain unjust patriarchal-heterosexualist-capitalist control and power systems.
        Fascinating ……….

  • Je suis Mike Overd.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Je suis Mike Overd.

      J t’aime Leviticus.

  • cacheton

    ‘This blog is, however, a categorical assertion of Mr Overd’s freedom to quote in public from whichever parts of the Bible he wishes, and if people are offended by the jots and tittles of the Word of God, well, that’s just tough.’

    So anyone can quote in public any divisive and discriminatory view based on ignorance and hatred and that’s OK as long as it is not technically their view but something from a book written by someone else?

    • Albert

      Yes, it’s called freedom of speech.

      • cacheton

        So the laws against inciting hatred etc would only apply to someone if they were (or if the person saying them said they were) saying what they themselves thought, but not if they were merely quoting what someone else thinks or thought.

        I’m wondering where this is going.

        • The law requires an intention to harass, alarm or distress. It’s not gauged by whether you feel harassed, alarmed or distressed or react in an aggressive manner towards what is said.

          It is an impossible law to implement in a multicultural, diverse and multi-faith society without curtailing freedom of speech and the right to express an opinion.

        • Albert

          I’m really not sure we should have law against inciting hatred. Would you prohibit people from inciting hatred against anti-Semites?

          • cacheton

            Ideally there would not have to be any laws of this kind, because people would have reached the understanding within themselves that hatred of any kind is neither conducive to their wellbeing nor that of society

            Oh, wait a minute, isn’t that supposed to be what religions are for, you know, those mighty spiritual institutions…

          • Albert

            You don’t think you should hate injustice and evil? I’m quite happy to hate Communism and Hitlerism. I don’t think I should attempt to reach some kind of understanding within myself that hatred of any kind is neither conducive to my wellbeing nor that of society. Here’s one reason why not: the reason you gave there isn’t true.

          • cacheton

            I’m not sure what reason I gave where you are talking about, but re understanding within oneself – of course you don’t think that because your religion tells you that god is outside and separate from you, that what is deemed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in this physical dimension is what life is about and to be ‘good’ rather than ‘bad’ you just follow a book of rules without question.

            And you call that freedom!

            And however I feel about injustice or discrimination is not going to change them – action does that, making laws etc…

          • Albert

            I’d love to answer this, but I haven’t faintest idea what you are talking about.

          • cacheton

            You said :’Here’s one reason why not: the reason you gave there isn’t true.’

            I do not know what reason you are referring to.

            Of course you don’t think that you should look inside yourself because your religion tells you that god is outside and separate from you, that what is deemed morally ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is what life is about and to be ‘good’ rather than ‘bad’ you just follow a book of rules without question.

            Is that any better??

          • Albert

            Yes, it’s clearer, but again, your ignorance and unjust lack of charity blinds you to what I am saying. I am not a divine command theorist. I do not simply follow a book of rules without question. I am simply defending someone else’s right to do. That’s why I pointed out that the corollary of your position was making illegal Islam, Orthodox Judaism and Protestant Christianity. You might notice that that list does not include all religious positions – not mine, indeed.

          • cacheton

            ‘I am simply defending someone else’s right to do.’

            But why? Why are you defending that when it has been shown time and again that when people do this it leads to destruction, murder and segregation?

          • Albert

            Quoting from Lev.20.13 leads to destruction, murder and segregation? Would you please list the last 5 occasions when this has happened?

          • cacheton

            So why is the preacher on the street corner in the first place? Intention again. Isn’t it to try and convince others of his ‘rightness’ and those he is condemning of their ‘wrongness’? If anybody actually takes on board his belief this will obviously lead to segregation of those ‘wrong’ people from society.

            Or maybe the preacher is only on the street as a massive ego trip, to try and win brownie points with god, and whatever opinion he is expressing is irrelevant??

          • Albert

            I asked you to give examples of your assertion, and you have failed.

            Or maybe the preacher is only on the street as a massive ego trip, to try and win brownie points with god, and whatever opinion he is expressing is irrelevant??

            I repeat: I don’t like what he did. But should it be illegal?

            Isn’t it to try and convince others of his ‘rightness’ and those he is condemning of their ‘wrongness’?

            Isn’t that what expression of opinion and debate overwhelmingly intend? Should it then be illegal?

            f anybody actually takes on board his belief this will obviously lead to segregation of those ‘wrong’ people from society.

            Really, so if I stand on a street corner and condemn telling lies, or vivisection and I convince people, that will result in segregation? On your grounds, you would remove all right to protest against anything. And that sends a chill down my back.

          • cacheton

            ‘Isn’t that what expression of opinion and debate overwhelmingly intend?’

            Yes, of course. But evangelists are not expressing opinions and inviting debate – they KNOW the opinion of the creator of the universe, and use it to threaten people with, all the while saying ‘I am only saying this because this is what GOD thinks’. If you then engage them in any way, this increases the power of their ego trip and they are therefore even more likely to continue. There is never any debate.

            Except on the Archbishop Cranmer blogsite of course…!

          • Albert

            But evangelists are not expressing opinions and inviting debate – they KNOW

            There are two possibilities here. Either you think you know what you are saying is true or you don’t. If you do, then you also think you know the truth. If you don’t think you know, then you admit that may have got some things wrong. But if you know you may have got some things wrong, then your opposition to other people’s freedom is all the more disgraceful.

            he opinion of the creator of the universe, and use it to threaten people with, all the while saying ‘I am only saying this because this is what GOD thinks’.

            No Christian who has thought about the matter thinks God has opinions.

            There is never any debate. Except on the Archbishop Cranmer blogsite of course…!

            And isn’t that the flaw here? What you say to defend your uncharitable morality is, by your own admission, false. As for there being no debate, why don’t you read some proper Christian theology or philosophy? You will find lots of debate. But instead, you decide not only to judge everyone by your mistaken prejudices, but also to undermine their freedoms on the same basis.

          • cacheton

            Your first paragraph is rather a good example of the dilemma of moving out of the right/wrong dimension! Well done!

            And I do not oppose other people’s freedom, but neither do I wish to sacrifice my own to satisfy a street preacher’s ego.

            ‘No Christian who has thought about the matter thinks God has opinions.’
            Well I’m very glad to hear it. I’m not sure how many of the Christian posters on here would agree with you however!

          • Albert

            Your first paragraph is rather a good example of the dilemma of moving out of the right/wrong dimension! Well done!

            By the law of the excluded middle, you cannot exclude the logic of the first paragraph, and therefore cannot duck the point.

            And I do not oppose other people’s freedom, but neither do I wish to sacrifice my own to satisfy a street preacher’s ego.

            So if it’s not for the preacher’s ego?! In any case, your freedom is not being sacrificed. He offers a point of view, that increases your freedom by opening up the possibility that you may learn something new and change your mind – or not. He is not forcing you to do anything. You can choose to listen or walk away. To agree or disagree, to abide by his view or not. But you wish to shut him up and remove his freedom of speech. A freedom for which people died.

            Well I’m very glad to hear it.

            I suspect you don’t understand the point.

          • cacheton

            Shouting at people in the street increases their freedom!

            Well that’s it then! I suppose you must be right!!

          • Albert

            It’s the shouting, not the expression of an opinion you object to?

            What about if he held up a noticeboard which simply said what he thought?

          • cacheton

            I think that’s an excellent idea. Then anybody who wanted to engage could do so which would overcome the problem of the preaching being unsollicited, rather than him shouting at all of us indiscriminately.

          • Albert

            And naturally, this would have to apply to any protest, or expression of controversial opinion, yes?

          • cacheton

            It already does. That’s kind of my point….

          • Albert

            No it doesn’t. People speak about all sorts of things publicly. What about the case then of the pro-life group arrested for showing the reality of abortion?

          • cacheton

            I know nothing about that case. But were they putting large pictures in the street which passers by could not avoid seeing?

          • cacheton

            ‘I repeat: I don’t like what he did.’

            Just out of interest, why do you not like what he did?

          • Albert

            I think it is too simplistic simply to appeal to Lev.20.13 to end the debate. I think that it is counter productive to preach at people in this way – you have to connect with people before you can impart anything to them. I find street preachers annoying because they make a lot of noise. If you had complained about him simply because of the noise pollution, then I would have had more sympathy. But your desire to make his preaching illegal because you don’t approve of him saying it, is appalling. People died to give us these freedoms, and you would abolish them with the force of the law.

          • cacheton

            What is it about street preachers that they disregard all of those things and go ahead anyway, do you think?

          • Albert

            I don’t see how the answer to that makes any difference to their right to free speech. Neither do I need to know the answer to that question. They think differently. They are entitled (on my world-view, not on yours) to think differently. I defend their right to think differently, just as I defend your right to think differently.

          • cacheton

            ‘I defend their right to think differently’

            So do I. But how then do I defend my right to walk down a street without being shouted at? Shouting at people in the street is acting differently as well as thinking differently, and would be classed as ‘antisocial behaviour’ if it weren’t for freedom of religion.

          • Albert

            ‘I defend their right to think differently’So do I.

            No you don’t. The other day, you passed scorn over the idea of freedom of thought, in the following words:

            So you think it is OK to have laws against deeds of hatred (laws prohibiting murder, discrimination etc) but it is also OK to permit or even promote thoughts and words of hatred and discrimination.

            You continue:

            But how then do I defend my right to walk down a street without being shouted at?

            You have the right to go somewhere else. Look, how about asking this question “How do I defend my right to walk down the street without running into air polluting traffic?” We will have to say that we don’t have that right (unless we have property we can enforce it on) but we can go somewhere else. You do not have the right to be hermetically sealed from other people, when you are in a public place. If you cannot bear hearing other people’s opinions, don’t go out.

            and would be classed as ‘antisocial behaviour’ if it weren’t for freedom of religion.

            It can be if goes on too long or is too noisy. But it cannot be that if it is to be banned only on the basis of content. Do you object to all opinions being publicly expressed in this way?

          • cacheton

            ‘So you think it is OK to have laws against deeds of hatred (laws prohibiting murder, discrimination etc) but it is also OK to permit or even promote thoughts and words of hatred and discrimination.’
            Was there not a question mark after that? Meaning that it was a question? To which you answered yes? Where do I say that I do not also answer yes? Actually I’m not sure about promoting hatred, but permitting it certainly – if it is not expressed then it cannot be dealt with. There are however times and places, and I would not support the idea that loudly and indiscriminately in the street is an appropriate place to express it.
            Plus I’m pretty sure that the post that came from was pointing out the misalignment between thought and word and deed – a point which I do not recall you answering.

            Whilst observing that most of society is not there yet, would you agree that an alignment between thought, word and deed would be desirable?

          • Albert

            Where do I say that I do not also answer yes?

            It wasn’t rhetorical then? I think it was, because it would not advance your position, if it was not.

            There are however times and places, and I would not support the idea that loudly and indiscriminately in the street is an appropriate place to express it.

            I agree. But should it be illegal?

            Plus I’m pretty sure that the post that came from was pointing out the misalignment between thought and word and deed – a point which I do not recall you answering.

            I would need you to direct me to your post, and my reply.

            Whilst observing that most of society is not there yet, would you agree that an alignment between thought, word and deed would be desirable?

            Yes, certainly. For example, as you expect to be able to express your opinions (and you use a Christian blog to do so), so you ought to allow others the same right.

          • cacheton

            I do allow others the same right.

            Expressing opinions on blogs, in newspapers, or even on a placard in the street, where people can choose to go and engage, or not, is exercising a hard-won freedom without causing inconvenience to anyone who chooses not to read them. If they do choose to read them but are inconvenienced by the content, they can express that.

            The same cannot be said of street preaching.

          • Albert

            So you would ban all people making speeches in the street, on whatever topic? You don’t think that would be a little draconian? What about a politician coming to a town centre to give a speech? You want to ban that? It’s part of democracy! Now what about other things. I find the semi-pornography of much bill-board advertising offensive. Will you say it should be banned, because I am offended by it?

          • cacheton

            No, I would not. Politicians usually announce that they are going to be around and give speeches, and they therefore attract people who choose to turn up and listen. Or not.

            I also do not like the semi-pornography of billboard advertising. Our society is still at the point where making money out of selling lingerie is more important than promoting the objectification of women. One day that situation may be reversed, when the negative results of objectifying women are deemed to be too high a price to pay for advertising lingerie. Despite thinking we are an enlightened society, we haven’t got that far yet ….

    • Dude

      I don’t want to live in north Korea thanks or some other totalitarian wonderland, where the state tells me what to think . If someone upsets me with a view I can tell that person to sod off or ignore them or engage them to try and change their minds. Being part of a relgion which has been attacked viciously in the past, where our Talmud was publically burned for its alleged offences, I have no desire to see that happen to anyone else’s religion.If speakers are enciting anyone to riot, murder or violence then there are plenty of current laws for the police to use.

      PS: politics, philosophy, religion etc are by their nature divisive, as we saw in the green party thread yesterday :it’s called having different views and living in a liberal democracy.

  • Athanasius

    Is homosexuality compulsory yet?

    • sarky

      Why? Is it something you’re considering?

      • Dominic Stockford

        If it is something that someone can consider ‘being’, then it is also something that someone can consider ‘not being’. This makes it a lifestyle choice – and they don’t like you saying that.

        • Phil R

          Sarky is correct though. The evidence indicates that it is something you chose.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I agree, it is a choice, but he’s just said “because it’s not” – so I think he must be conflicted… or defamatory… or even both…

          • carl jacobs

            We must be precise. The desire may not be a choice. Acting on the desire is a choice. Behavior is chosen. The actual argument is not about the nature of the desire but the nature of the behavior. The homosexual apologist deliberately conflates those two concepts. He in effect says that because he possesses the desire, he is justified in acting on it. Why? Because it is consensual and it allegedly doesn’t hurt anyone. (And there occurs the conflation.) His true argument is based upon autonomy. But he conflates desire with behavior to answer the obvious difficulty of non-complementarity. It’s a way to assert that the structure of complementarity doesn’t apply to him by nature.

          • DanJ0

            “He in effect says that because he possesses the desire, he is justified in acting on it.”

            Note the sleight of hand there.

            “But he conflates desire with behavior to answer the obvious difficulty of non-complementarity.”

            What difficulty? I’m completely fine with sucking a bloke’s nob. I suspect the difficulty is at your end.

          • sarky

            Or with his end 🙂

          • DanJ0

            Eww.

          • DanJ0

            Having considered suicide because of my sexual orientation when I was 18 at university, back when society in the UK was far less pleasant for people like me, I’m inclined to think you’re a feckwit for saying it’s a choice. But hey, being a feckwit may be in your nature too so I probably shouldn’t make too much of it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I think Carl has the best answer, below this.

            I also think that being rude may be in your nature, but you shouldn’t make too much of it…

          • DanJ0

            When I look back at that time, I can see that it wasn’t me that was messed up but society’s attitudes. You deserve my rudeness for perpetuating that religionist crap, I think. As for Carl’s comment, I’ve already pointed out the sleight of hand though whether it was deliberate or due to cultish religious blindness is hard to tell.

          • carl jacobs

            DanJ0

            In the first place, saying “Look! There’s a slight of hand!” is not the same as demonstrating it. Those kinds of tactics are why I ceased interacting with you.

            Second. You are the one who constantly refers to the intrinsic nature of your desire reflecting as it does a wholly separate ontology. What was it you said the other day? That I separated sex from the body? But when I mention that desire is not it’s own justification, you immediately jump to the nature of the choice behind the act. But if the permissibility of the act is ultimate determined by the nature of the choice, then what difference does the nature of the desire make? Who cares if it’s naturally occurring in not? And yet you do care. Because it is the only argument you can muster against the observation that male and female complement each other – that your sexual choice is by nature perverse.

          • DanJ0

            “But when I mention that desire is not it’s own justification, you immediately jump to the nature of the choice behind the act.”

            You want sexuality to follow from one’s biological sex because it fits your religious beliefs. But acting on one’s sexuality requires no inherent justification. You are a prisoner of your religious beliefs there.

            That acts are consensual and harmless is about justifying behaviour in specific situations. It applies to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals. Paedophiles are limited by this, despite their desires.

            The stall you set up about autonomy is basically a religious argument. You want people to be limited by your god’s design. Like your limitation regarding justification, your point about autonomy is your own construct.

          • DanJ0

            A little more on this for the general reader. Some people are left-handed but most are right-handed. Hands allows us to do all sorts of things, especially with opposable thumbs on them. It’s easier for right-handed people generally because we have optimised stuff for right-handed use. However, left-handed people can get by quite happily in life, especially when provided with special scissors and can openers. Just because nature creates more right-handed-ness doesn’t mean that left-handed people shouldn’t favour their left hands. Justification for their favoured use isn’t necessary. Their left-handed-ness just is. That a religionist or superstitious person might claim that left-handed-ness is sinister or evil or unlucky is neither here nor there. Not a perfect analogy, I agree, but it makes a particular point.

          • DanJ0

            Most religionists want sex to be treated differently because the purpose of it is wrapped up in their religious belief that their god designed the sexes, with sex for procreation and for bonding couples in marriage. To deviate from that is to deviate from their god’s specific design and plan. They make sex a moral thing in itself because of this, rather than a moral thing because of the consequences.

          • Owl

            Dan, actually it’s cultural, as in society (and what it’s based on, i.e. the family) but you did offer a fair red-herring.

          • William Lewis

            “But acting on one’s sexuality requires no inherent justification.”

            For heterosexuals it does. It has profound consequences. Sexual intercourse is inherently bound up with humanity and the having and raising of the next generation. How many women a man has sex with is a moral question because families live and die by these decisions. This is just as true for an a-theist as anyone else but, of course, you are right that there is no such inherent justification in gay sex.

          • DanJ0

            “For heterosexuals it does. It has profound consequences.”

            Note the basis of that argument, everyone.

          • William Lewis

            The importance of stable families?

          • To be fair, Danjo doesn’t rely on whether homosexuality occurs naturally. Being a self defined a-theist he disregards arguments about permissibility and justification based on a teleological order in creation with complementarity between male-female being morally binding by a Creator. You’re right it is about autonomy and freedom to engage in acts he chooses without demonstrable evidence of harm to himself, others or society at large. He and the homosexual lobby dismiss any evidence there might be as inconclusive and/or prejudicial and homophobic. In that respect, his position has a degree of integrity because, in a liberal secular society, the burden of proof is on those who want to curtail his freedom and ‘rights’. Faith in an ancient religious text, is inadmissible.

            Jack considers the greater threat comes from those within the Church who seek to give moral legitimacy to homosexual behaviour (and a range of other activities) based on the ‘new enlightenment’ of
            postmodernism, deconstruction, structuralism and post-structuralism. Those promoting this approach deny the bible contains specific objective moral laws because it reflects the cultural biases of its authors and the interests of power groups at the time it was written. Beneath all this human influence is the ‘real’ eternal message from our Maker – “love” and “equality”. God demands little else from us. Each generation has to work out how to interpret and apply this according to the particular situations it faces.

            The ‘progressive’ heterodoxy is seditious and a natural ally of atheism and secularisation in liberal plural democracies because of its theological permissiveness. It fosters religious indifference and places emphasis on the ‘objective’ tools of social and natural science. In Jack’s opinion, it is the heresy of heresies because it incorporates all others.

          • dannybhoy

            That has to have been a very dark time for you, and I am truly glad for your and your parent’s/family’s sake that you didn’t.
            I wonder how much your unhappiness was down to how ‘society’ treated you, and how much your own sense of anticipated rejection drove you towards considering such a drastic course of action?
            I remember years ago in my merchant navy days a guy deciding not to sign in a ship with myself and some others. He told me privately that he was homosexual and greatly attracted to me.. Being but a callow youth I was rather embarrassed and relieved.
            I have had a few other similar experiences where homosexuals have confided in me. Whether it was due to my superb physique, dashing good looks or that ‘ cherry red lipbalm’ I favoured at the time, I don’t know.
            But I refuse to single out homosexuality as the thing we Christians pick out as representative of sin.
            Sin is sin and we are all sinners however we express it.

          • DanJ0

            “I wonder how much your unhappiness was down to how ‘society’ treated you, and how much your own sense of anticipated rejection drove you towards considering such a drastic course of action?”

            Society didn’t treat me badly as my homosexuality wasn’t known in public. I could see or heard about other people treated very badly though, typically violently. I also foresaw issues around the societal and familial expectation of marriage, and conforming to the standard life plan of career, marriage, house, family, etc. I didn’t expect society to change, and didn’t see much of a future for myself. I was certainly wrong there. This is why I advocate the normalisation of homosexuality, not for some Cultural Marxist reasons to destroy the nuclear family as imagined by some tin foil hat people here, but to make cultural space for young homosexuals to be different but fulfilled anyway.

          • dannybhoy

            “I could see or heard about other people treated very badly though,
            typically violently. I also foresaw issues around the societal and
            familial expectation of marriage, and conforming to the standard life
            plan of career, marriage, house, family, etc.”

            I guessed that might be the case. And now you’re happier or not? And why worry about what we as Christians think?
            I have no problem as a citizen with civil partnerships, Just not marriage, and I honestly fail to see why two people of the same sex would want to be married anyway unless it’s a desire for recognition and acceptance from society in general?
            Being a homosexual isn’t a sin, it’s the practice of homosexuality that we reagrd as sin; just as adultery, murder etc is a sin. So if you don’t like what Christians believe (and I mean this in the gentlest way possible), stay away from them.

          • DanJ0

            “And now you’re happier or not?”

            Happier than when I was considering suicide on a window ledge? Considerably!

            “And why worry about what we as Christians think?”

            Worry? I am a witness to your moral faults and a thorn in your flesh to remind you of them.

            “So if you don’t like what Christians believe (and I mean this in the gentlest way possible), stay away from them.”

            No.

          • dannybhoy

            “Worry? I am a witness to your moral faults and a thorn in your flesh to remind you of them.

            We all have moral faults and failingsDanJ0. No one should claim otherwise. The important bit is that we Christians have been called on our sin and pleaded guilty and been reconciled to God.

            No.
            Fair enough. I look forward to more verbal sparring and possible points of agreement in the future!

          • DanJ0

            Christians don’t believe they have a moral fault about this. It’s a good thing for us to stand in plain sight, being normal, to highlight your position; to look you lot straight in the eye and make you see people as you talk about us.

          • dannybhoy

            DanJ0
            You have me so wrong! I don’t think I’m any better than you. I have plenty of faults. Ask my wife and friends.
            I am only picking up on your constant attacks on Christianity, and therefore wondering why.
            Most sensible people here would admit that they too have their secret sins and struggles. They’re not trying to say that they are better than you or Linus or any other homosexual. You don’t even know and have perhaps have never asked, WHY they became Christians.
            And one assumes tha is because you’re not really interested, because all you care about is that Christians on a Christian blog are saying that God says that indulging in homosexual behaviour is wrong.

          • DanJ0

            You’re being eccentric again.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m being straightforward DanJ0!
            I am a caring person. I have worked with the young, the old, those with learning difficulties, those with physical handicaps.
            I don’t like to think of anybody being so unhappy that they contemplate suicide -my own sister tried it.
            So please don’t think we Christians are self righteous or innocent. Many came to faith from pretty difficult backgrounds.

          • DanJ0

            “I don’t like to think of anybody being so unhappy that they contemplate suicide -my own sister tried it.”

            You understand that I wasn’t ready to commit suicide because I was unhappy, right? I was ready to commit suicide because I saw no desirable future for myself at that time and I didn’t have the life experience to balance that view. You need to get to the cause to understand the situation. The UK was not a nice place for homosexuals back then, and I couldn’t foresee any likely improvement. It’s several orders of magnitude better now. However, there are a fair number of Christians here who want to see society reverted back to those dark days and people like me shamed and stigmatised simply for being homosexual, despite it being an inherently harmless and immutable thing. I see those people as evil, at least in that respect, and they should be shamed and stigmatised instead.

          • dannybhoy

            “You understand that I wasn’t ready to commit suicide because I
            was unhappy, right? I was ready to commit suicide because I saw no
            desirable future for myself at that time and I didn’t have the life
            experience to balance that view.”

            Ah, I get it. You weren’t unhappy, you just didn’t see a future for yourself.
            You were perfectly happy in every other area of your life except when contemplating your future..

          • DanJ0

            I see you don’t get it then. Hey ho.

          • dannybhoy

            I never said that homosexuality is a choice – although I don’t believe all are born homosexual. The normal state of affairs is to be born heterosexual of course. Else we wouldn’t be having this verbal exchange..

          • DanJ0

            I brought up the subject with Dominic, not you.

          • dannybhoy

            “I brought up the subject with Dominic, not you.”
            (Danny experiences a sudden sense of rejection, sobs quietly into hankie..)

          • CliveM

            No, no DanJo, he’s right he has plenty of faults. I have been working on the however.

          • DanJ0

            “I am only picking up on your constant attacks on Christianity, and therefore wondering why.”

            Constant attacks?

            For the most part, I think I just position Christianity as one belief system amongst many and treat it as a special interest for those who want it. That’s hardly attacking it. For sure, I poke fun at the more outlandish marginal beliefs, such as young earth creationism, but that’s not attacking Christianity per se. Are you sure you’re not just adopting a victim mentality in the face of someone who simply does not accept your personal beliefs?

            Can you provide a typical example of an attack for me?

          • dannybhoy

            If Christianity is one among many (true) may I ask if in the interests of religious equality you blog on any other non Christian websites?
            As to quoting a specific attack in the grand scheme of things it’s a non starter, but I shall do my best to flag up future events… 🙂

          • DanJ0

            “If Christianity is one among many (true) may I ask if in the interests of religious equality you blog on any other non Christian websites?”

            If by blog you mean comment then yes. This is not news here as I have talked about it before. No doubt you are asking to try to prove your Christian victim theme as far as I am concerned and are now disappointed.

            “As to quoting a specific attack in the grand scheme of things it’s a non starter […]”

            What a surprise. Well, if I’m constantly attacking Christianity then you won’t have to wait long … if what you say is true rather than an attempt to justify your self-appointed policing of this place contrary to the blog owner’s stated policy.

          • dannybhoy

            🙂
            Oi! You can’t do that..

        • sarky

          Because it’s not. ( not going in to this again, it’s been done to death on here)

          • Dominic Stockford

            So he clearly isn’t considering it, and you are clearly being defamatory in suggesting that he is.

          • sarky

            Lighten up, it was a joke!! You christians are so miserable.

          • Serious …. no Christian is “miserable” except about the abusing and insulting God and the fact that souls go to Hell.

        • dannybhoy

          Dominic do you believe some people are born with a homosexual orientation?

          • Dominic Stockford

            “IX. Of Original or Birth-sin

            Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the
            Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered
            of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone
            from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, “Phronema Sarkos”, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.”

            No, I believe that all men were born sinners – a rather different thing.

            “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,
            following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of
            the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
            among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out
            the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of
            wrath, like the rest of mankind”

          • dannybhoy

            Right,
            So we know that homosexuality was there back in Genesis and we know that God condemns it, but you and I also accept that it is but one manifestation of our fallen nature.
            I believe some are born with this inclination and some learn it, but it is just one expression of the human condition.

            There is I think a legitimate social concern regarding the gay agenda, and its impact on family life, education, and freedom of the individual to live and work according to their conscience. That does seriously concern me.
            But as individuals homosexuals should be treated with respect, they should hear the Gospel as a sinner, and not marked out as ‘a homosexual.’

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes – however, they must also be brought to know that homosexual activity is sin.

          • dannybhoy

            Of course, but it is the preaching of the Gospel and the real conviction of sin that comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Then we as Christians need to welcome them and support them in their new faith.

          • That is Pope’s Francis’ position too – more or less.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Starting by telling someone they are a sinner is pointless – as unrepentant sinners who don’t believe, they simply don’t believe you. However, Jesus did say ‘Repent and believe’, and we need to bring both into the equation from the beginning – or the prospect of salvation is meaningless – ‘What am I being saved from? I’m not lost.’ In the end therefore, it is the Holy Spirit who drives their hearts into Christ’s corral. Our task however is to preach the Gospel that proclaims that they are lost, and that they can be found.

            When, as Mike Overd was, we are asked a direct question about the teaching of the Gospel on some moral issues, we would be wrong not to answer as the Word speaks – but the way we do so makes a difference to be sure.

          • “And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.”

            Jack would want to explore this sentence a bit further but, this aside, agrees with Article IX.

    • Accepting it as normal, healthy behaviour that harms no one – in this life or the next – is.

  • well dudes

    I’ve been compiling a list of things which have made me feel belittled and ashamed, first and foremost the fact my sister has installed a pair of pink fluffy dice in the car….

    • carl jacobs

      Do you have to drive this car? Perhaps you could accidentally leave the car “unlocked” whereupon “thieves” would “steal” the offending article.

      Hey, it could happen.

      • Ah dude

        LOL! Sadly yes I am forced to drive this car, although it is for sure for a noble cause. My besheret has to use a wheelchair and I’ve sold my car and motor bike ,so I can buy a motor vehicle that’s suitable for when we’re a family.

        • dannybhoy

          Your soulmate forced you to sell your car and mototorbike?
          She insists on hanging pink fluffy dice in the car??
          Hm.

          You do realise this may not turn out well Shmu’el?

          • Dude

            I’ve heavily edited that post. Basically I’ve sold my own car for some savings for I and my fiancee. The pink fluffy dice are Hannah’s : she has let me use her car when I need to.

        • CliveM

          If all you have to put up with are pink dice, you’re lucky!!

    • hi Sam

      Pink fluffy dice are well cool….

      • carl jacobs

        No. No, they’re really aren’t.

    • William Lewis

      Dude! The shame of it. No dude has pink fluffy dice in his car.

  • Uncle Brian

    Mike Overd can console himself with the ancient American proverb, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” It’s cost him a few quid, though.

    Also the chap got who got run in for quoting Winston Churchill in public, somewhere in
    Hampshire (I think), on the subject of the detrimental influence of the Mohammedan religion.

    • Dominic Stockford

      In fact he simply read out loud from Churchill’s history.

  • Andrew Price

    I’ve never felt the need to quote Leviticus in an open air preach yet.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Romans 1 would get them excited enough…

      • dannybhoy

        It has to be balanced surely. I applaud the man for preaching in the open air, but we are all sinners, and if you’re going to preach on homosexuality you’d have to include adultery and everything else a holy God condemns.
        Why is homosexuality so often apparently, the only sin?

        • Dominic Stockford

          It is the only one that people bring up.

          I have seen a street preacher preaching on salvation and the cross, they are then approached by people demanding to know what they think of homosexuality – the preacher didn’t bring it up, the crowd did.

          • Anton

            What might a wise reply be?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I can tell you what the Bible says, if you really want to know.

        • CliveM

          Good question.

          • sarky

            Isnt it obvious?

          • CliveM

            In a way yes. But I’d like explicitly answered.

          • sarky

            Why, if it’s obvious?

          • dannybhoy

            Why is it obvious Sarky?

          • CliveM

            By making the statement I did I underlined the point DB was making. I don’t expect the question DB is asking will be answered properly because I suspect some people will be uncomfortable with it. But that is revealing in itself.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t remember homosexuality ever being talked about amongst evangelicals in my younger days.. Only sin.

          • CliveM

            Likewise DB, likewise.

            In the early Church some Christians went out seeking persecution as a way of proving their faith. I suspect some of this may also be happening here.

          • sarky

            Have to agree with you.

        • dannybhoy

          The other thing that occurs to me after reading our resident Frenchie’s comment above is that preaching from Leviticus is to be preaching from the commandments given to Israel as God’s Covenant people.
          Nowhere in the New Testament is homosexuality condoned or excused, but neither are we as Christians called to put them to death.
          Again, I don’t remember hearing preachers I knew in the old Gospel Hall days using the OT to rail specifically against homosexuality.

      • Andrew Price

        No doubt it would.
        I should be able to preach in public on anything. But I think John 3:16 is a far better text! Tried and tested.

        • bmudmai

          Though, did you know that we have John 3:16 is wrong in the English? Should be read more like (mild paraphrasing to understand the meaning of ‘loved’ in the verse and to clarify that ‘thus’ means in a similar way): ‘for in a similar way God paid attention to a need in the world that he sent his son so that who ever goes on believing in him shall not be destroyed but have eternal life’

          Might confuse people when evangelising as we don’t know in what similar way… The verse doesn’t actually make sense on it’s own.

          But still better than trying to convert through leviticus I must admit.

          • Andrew Price

            Then I shall preach it in the original Greek 🙂

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I recall several offensive things I’ve seen on television like “Jerry Spring, The Opera”, and numerous programmes where Christianity is mocked by a smug, self-righteous comedian. Nobody got arrested for that. This street preacher was however, not mocking but rather warning people about the dangers of certain sins. If his “offence ” can result in an arrest, then can I get the bobbies to go round to the BBC too?

    • Anton

      Try it. And the best of British luck to you.

  • John Waller

    If, after all these centuries, His Grace still does not know why Christians cite some parts of Leviticus but not others, then it really is time he corrected this oversight.
    Theologians going back to Thomas Aquinas could have enlightened him as to the separation of the Holiness Code into its moral, civil & ceremonial aspects,

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector has never been inclined to do public God bothering, but if he was so, he would be reaching out to the Godless, not necessarily going out of his way to upset or irritate them. So no, it is not appropriate to mention Leviticus at all, or, come to that, taunt a member of the English Collective of Prostitutes by laying it on think about the whore that Christ saved. One rather thinks those who do are nothing more than another “Len of Cranmer’s parish” who after addressing the heathen in the public square, finds the time to deny Christ to ‘lesser Christians than themselves’ should they encounter any on the way home.

    Street preachers should aim to introduce the word to those who want to find it, not cross the i and dot the t at the same time. Obvious really, but then the street preacher is by his very calling a somewhat unusual animal in as much as the light has blinded him to the way you conduct yourself if you want to get a message across to rational human beings who don’t like being herded and in the case of sensitive gay types – embarrassed.

  • Inspector General

    A fellow called Lennon on Pink News (JK Rowling thread, nothing to do with today’s topic directly) has this to say…

    “I dream that one day speaking out about homosexuality will be a criminal/imprisonable offence.You may say I’m a dweamer”

    You may have a speech impediment, Lennon, but you’re no dreamer. Whatever you types demand you tend to end up getting. All you need to do is to whisper into Mr Cameron’s ear, it seems…

    Christians might want to bear that in mind when they find themselves holding a pencil over a list of candidates shortly…

  • DanJ0

    This for me is too far:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-16985147

    Yet proclaiming Leviticus 20:13 in full is not really that much different. That said, I wouldn’t feel threatened by it myself but that’s probably because I’ve been brought up with Christianity. On top of that, street preachers tend to make me laugh more than anything else.

    • Dominic Stockford

      However, had they handed out leaflets asking for the law to be changed so that…

      I wonder what then? After all, that is simply part of democracy.

      • DanJ0

        It’s an interesting point. Perhaps I’m being too sensitive there. Clearly no-one would make a fuss if the Muslims were calling for the law to be changed in favour of capital punishment for being Jewish if they didn’t leave our shores in leaflets handed out in the high street instead.

        • Dominic Stockford

          So it’s a no to free speech then?

          • DanJ0

            If you’re backing the right for the Muslims to hand out leaflets in the high street calling for a law change to hang Jews if they don’t leave the country then I’m happy to stand aside and watch provided it’s a level playing field. You’re backing that right, yes?

          • Linus

            If you’re happy to stand aside and watch then you’ll be just as responsible for the deaths as those who do the killing.

            The right to incite to violence is not guaranteed under the laws governing free speech. I don’t think much of the British monarchy, but if I were to express the opinion that you should do with yours what we did with ours, I would be committing a crime. I could be prosecuted for it and rightly so. Responsible news outlets would refuse to give me a platform to air my illegal agenda and rightly so. My freedom of expression would have been curtailed and rightly so.

            Freedom of expression is not the ultimate right. It is trumped by many other considerations.

          • DanJ0

            I’m uncomfortable limiting freedom of speech and expression, and when we do we need to clearly justify why. This is on the boundary of potential incitement given what an uneducated ear might hear. I’ve provided an equivalent example, swapping out homosexuals for people favoured by the Bible, and simply asked for a level playing field. You’ll note that Dominic has declined to answer my question about it. I expect he’s stuck on the horns of a dilemma and hopes that no-one will notice.

          • CliveM

            Moving on from the fact that Linus’s example regards the British Monarchy is wrong, even the US has limitations on free speech. Although no where near as strict as ours. Speech will be prosecuted if it represents a real and immediate danger. The example of shouting fire in a crowded theatre when their is no fire seems to be the common example.
            However the US example is an interesting one and to a point I don’t know the answer to the question. Are groups at more danger in the US with their Freedom of a Speech rules, then the same groups are here?

          • Linus

            If it means that one single gay person can avoid being attacked by ignorant thugs who’ve been influenced by even more ignorant street preachers to enact god’s vengeance on gays, I’m quite happy to live with your intellectual discomfort. While you shift uncomfortably in your seat and agonise over the mental anguish felt by a partially educated zealot who isn’t allowed to recommend attacking or even killing people he doesn’t like, I’ll be looking at you and reflecting on the fact that intellectual myopia is the death of common sense.

            Incitement to violence is a crime that is not excused by a sacrosanct right to freedom of speech. The whole point of Atheism is that we don’t worship concepts or ideas. If you erect freedom of speech into an untouchable shibboleth, you’re taking the first step along a road that leads to religion.

            Take a step back from the purity and beauty of your own ideas and look around you. We live in a real world surrounded by real people who are affected by what we say and do. Freedom of speech is important but it is not – cannot – ever be THE cardinal virtue. Not in a civilized society where diverse populations try to coexist in peace. Restraint must be exercized or anarchy will ensue.

          • CliveM

            Calling for someone’s death will almost always be encitement. Hard to see how else it could be viewed.

        • CliveM

          If I was in a street and someone was calling for my death, I think I might be a little sensitive.

  • GKoH

    One wonders how it might be possible to be both a ‘Fundamentalist’ and an ‘Extremist’ at the same time…

    • Dominic Stockford

      Jack Straw could probably give you an answer, or then again he probably couldn’t. Although he has conjoined the two in the past, as has his mate Dave Blunkett.

  • Inspector General

    Having arrived back at Inspector Towers, the Inspector finds himself
    gripped with annoyance that the BBC have sacked Clarkson. The man who’s earned them a few hundred million in his time there. Why that blasted organisation
    can’t do what top level football clubs manage when discipline their errants and
    fine him fifty thousand quid is quite beyond one’s own sense of reasoning.

    Now, the buffoon is a bounder and a cad. If he had any sort of breeding about him, he would have instinctively known you do not strike servants. It just isn’t done, no matter what the situation. And he calls himself an Englishman…

    Anyway, the point is, the blighter used his Sun newspaper column a few weeks back to mock the virgin birth. That is his prerogative. If that’s what he thinks was the case, then someone give him a loudhailer. It’s called freedom of speech, you know.

    • dannybhoy

      to mock the virgin birth..
      I like Clarkson a lot but his religious comments truly make me cringe. For me any devoutly held religious belief is not something to mock, full stop.
      Question yes, mock no.
      I think Jeremy’s run his course with Top Gear. I could really see him on some sort of interview show quizzing politicians and public figures with James May and Richard Hammond to balance things out a bit. I think there’s quite few opportunities open to him. He’d be a hoot.

      • Inspector General

        Thin line there Danny. One is convinced that God’s word is resilient enough to stand the mocking, and not only survive but thrive out of it…

        • dannybhoy

          So you’re a Mick huh? And you sound so quintessentially English!
          Ah well, another bitter pill to swallow..

          No Inspector, I am happy to be poked fun at and ridiculed, but religious mockery really does make me cringe.
          I’m a sensitive soul, as Clive well knows..

          • Inspector General

            But born in England, that man. One is starting to sound like Father Jack these days…

          • dannybhoy

            Ah, dear old Father Jack,..

          • Only a fool mocks God.

    • carl jacobs

      BBC America might as well be called the “Top Gear” channel because that is literally all they show. Here’s hoping for something better. Personally I found the show unwatchable. That’s the funny thing about British TV as I see it. It’s either really good or really bad.

  • Here’s a cunning plan worthy of baldrick: simply change the verses, so Leviticus 20 verse 13 becomes verse 14 and so on and so forth.

    Other cunning plan is to use the Hebrew and then most people won’t even know that :

    “V’ish asher yishkav et-zachar mishk’vei ishah to’evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d’meihem ”

    Says:

    “And a man who will lie down with a male in a woman’s bed, both of them have made an abomination; dying they will be put to death, their blood is on them.”

    • dannybhoy

      Love the hat Shmu’el..

      • I do also sport a good top hat or fedora, but I’m not gonna be wearing a shtreimel!

        • dannybhoy

          I’l tell you what I want
          What I really really want..
          Yes, a shtreimel!
          Please buy me one Shmu’el.

    • Inspector General

      Lying with an animal in said woman’s bed is right out then. A few years in the
      small town of Cricklade, that very thing happened. Pet dog involved, and the abominable act was picked up by the (frigid) wife.

      But there is form with that place. It was said in Roman times the women within were so dreadful, that no small animal would willingly walk in through the town gates for fear of being lifted by the scruff and brought to a bed chamber by some wretched love starved fellow…

      • Dude

        This may be the way things happen in Gloucestershire*, but I’m sure not the rest of the UK……

        * I can’t comment as I’ve not dated a girl from Gloucestershire.

  • petej

    There is a fine line between freedom of speech and verbal assault. I wasn’t there, but given he has caused much upset in the past and we don’t hear of any other street preachers feeling the long arms of the law and, from his trial, he seems to have actively sought this verdict, I think justice has been done. We are still free to quote from leviticus all we want.

    • Anton

      What is “verbal assault”? Provided that there is no direct incitement to violence then speech should be free, however offensive. People should man up and if they don’t like it then either reply in kind or walk on by.

      • LoveMeIamALiberal

        Quite. I suppose one can use words to harass someone but that supposes one has targeted an individual or specific named individuals. It’s rather like the libel law; to call someone who is a lawyer a fraudster may result in civil action but one can proclaim ‘all lawyers are fraudsters’ without fear of being taken to court.

        • The trigger is intent to harass, distress or alarm person or persons as this behaviour might result in public disorder. In practice, it seems to mean you can unintentionally cause this harass, alarm and distress. If you’re assaulted, or if disorder starts or looks like it might, the offended person is legally at fault. However, if you seek to provoke this outcome then you’re at fault.

          It’s a professional victim’s dream in a PC world (not the shop) where certain groups are favoured over others.

          It’s all down to interpretation. Can justice really be blind in such situations? It’s wide open to someone looking to experience harassment, distress or alarm and a police force “seeing” this potential in the dynamics of a situation and intervening.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Quite. So when a homosexual journalist poses as a homosexual seeking to be freed from slavery to that particular temptation, and then surreptitiously records the sessions with a psychotherapist who seeks to do what he asks, then following it with a complaint to both police and thier professional body, it is the psychotherapist who ends up losing their professional body membership.

          • Linus

            And rightly so.

            Nobody argues with the entrapment techniques used to identify and expose pædophiles. They want to harm young children and use them for their own pleasure. They need to be stopped.

            Idem for the “psychotherapist” in question. A zealot who takes pleasure in helping gay men in denial to self-harm is someone who should not be practicing. She was a public danger and deserved to be struck off.

          • LoveMeIamALiberal

            The current law does indeed provide a modern totalitarian liberal with plenty of freedom to censor.

      • petej

        LoveMe and Anton – you are clearly much stronger people than me, but I for one am glad I don’t live in Taunton and haven’t been subjected to this sort of behaviour

        • Albert

          So am I. The question is, does the fact that I don’t want to be subject to this kind of behaviour give me the right to prevent someone else’s freedom to behave in this way? What actually should be banned here? Offending someone? You’d have to ban most comedians. Publicly expressing opinions people don’t like? You’d have to ban all public expressions of opinions. People expressing anti-gay views? Why stop there?

          • petej

            Yeah – this is what we have to wrestle with. I doubt any law could be perfect on this, but I’m glad we have some nonetheless. There is also the confusion between public opinion and the law. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but people sometimes seem to claim their freedom of speech is being curtailed, but what’s actually happend is just a lot of people have exercised their freedom of speech to disagree!

            I guess street preaching, particularly when it is designed to attack individuals, could be in itself a breach of the peace, let alone free speech coming into it. I guess comedians is a bit different because it is for entertainment and it’s not usually done to incite hatred.

            I think it will be a shame if this case leads to a tightening of what can and can’t be proclaimed in public spaces….but it happend in the westcountry so I doubt it will reach the ears of westminster!

          • Albert

            but people sometimes seem to claim their freedom of speech is being curtailed, but what’s actually happend is just a lot of people have exercised their freedom of speech to disagree!

            I think that’s right, and it is much better for a society to “moderate” opinions simply by culture, rather than by law. That way, if people are so determined to express their opinions, they still can, and people can show what they think about it, by expressing disapproval.

            I guess street preaching, particularly when it is designed to attack individuals, could be in itself a breach of the peace

            If it is inciting violence then yes, if not, then I am unsure of the moral justification of such a law, and of the consequences of having such a law.

            I guess comedians is a bit different because it is for entertainment and it’s not usually done to incite hatred.

            When you are on the receiving end of it, then it certainly feels like inciting hatred. As a Catholic I have personal experience of this. But think back to people like Bernard Manning…

    • LoveMeIamALiberal

      “There is a fine line between freedom of speech and verbal assault.”
      No there isn’t. One cannot assault anyone with a word. Go ahead, try and verbally ‘assault’ me. I’ll just stand here, you pick your word and take your best shot.

      • Shadrach Fire

        Hebrews 4 v12;For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

        • “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
          (Luke 12:51)

    • Dominic Stockford

      Street Preachers are regularly either arrested and/or forced to ‘move on’ or be arrested. I personally know of two – even though I do not ‘move in those circles’. The media don’t report it, it is true, but it is happening far more often than is reported.

      • petej

        Thanks for correcting me Dominic. I just hadn’t heard of this happening to any other street preacher

        • Dominic Stockford

          That’s fine. The worst cases often involve the more unhelpful preachers – who allow passion to overtake them – but some very calm and serene preachers have been either arrested or threatened with it. Christian Concern used to have a list on their website, but I’m not sure it is still there.

          • petej

            I’m a bit wary of Christian Concern. They seem like an extremist political group to me … Somewhere to the right of ukip.

          • Ian G

            You know that isn’t true.

          • petej

            It’s just my personal opinion. But im sure I read they actually went to a ukip conference, but I may have made that up in my head. Certainly they never seem to have anything nice to say about anyone. The media love them for a quote and it irritates me a bit as quite often I think their answers are just coming from an extreme conservative ideology and I am concerned that it brings the church (because non christians think we all think the same) into disrepute.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I don’t beleive they have been at a UKIP conference, and if they had it wqouldn’t mean a lot. The Protestant Truth Society have been at all major party conferences, does that make all three major parties whatever it is you do not like?

            Their answers come from the Bible.

          • petej

            Ive googled and found a link saying UKIP were trying to distance themselves from CC because they were too extreme! So I was correct to say they are somewhere to the right of UKIP since UKIP have disowned them as being too right wing!

            I think the attitude of “we know which is the true interpretation of scripture and anyone who thinks differently isn’t a proper christian” (sorry I know you didn’t say that, but it is characteristic of them) is exactly my problem. I don’t come from an authoritarian denomination so this is maybe why I have a distaste for this sort of thing.

            It begs the question why they are not in favour of incest (abraham & Sarah, Seth etc), slavery, child marriage and rape and against mixed race marriages.

            I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a high view of scripture, but at least let’s be a bit more humble that we might be wrong with our interpretation and not act like the bible is entirely clear in matters that it isn’t entirely clear on.

          • Pubcrawler

            The ease with which you switch between ‘extreme’ and ‘right wing’ intrigues me. What do you understand by each in this context, and are they synonymous in your mind?

          • petej

            I mean they are extremely right wing. I was saying UKIP have distanced themselves because CC are too right wing for them. UKIP are probably our most right wing westminster party

          • Old Blowers

            “UKIP have distanced themselves because CC are too right wing for them.”
            Think you will find they mean ‘too concerned specifically about the things of God’…UKIP prefer vague references to an almighty that is linked as loosely as possible to the UK historically/culturally (lowest common denominator stuff) and nothing more definite than that, ta very much. UKIP don’t DO Jesus, merely the nominal bit uneducated joe public can latch on to.

            Imagine the panic if St Paul came to speak at the PPC’s…The religious bigot?! Far too extreme!!!

          • UKIP, like al political parties are prostituting themselves for their share of the popular vote. It’s the nature of the beast.

          • Ian G

            Have you actually been to their website or read their literature? If they went to a UKIP conference, they also went to other political conferences – which they did. (Suppressio veri, suggestio falsi?)

            What is extreme about fighting for the right to wear a cross or to refuse entrance to your own home on the gronds of blatant immorality?

          • petej

            No sorry Ian … I wasn’t trying to suggest I was an authority on them, but i have heard them on the news etc and they seem a long way from my understanding of scripture. They seem to be beloved of the media, but never use that platform to promote Christ and the gospel message of redemption. It is always “God hates…” Ive never been on TV doing that either so I guess I can’t complain about them too much.

          • Ian G

            The clips you see on TV will always be what they wnat you to believe.i.e. heavily edited. I have a modicum, and I mean a modicum, of experience with the media. If they are on your side then they will edit accurately. They will always edit – time constraints etc.

            If they scent a controversial story – enven by gross distortion they will distort. Also, many of today’s reporters are clueless and completely misunderstand what they are looking at.

          • In a world of moral relativism any group taking a stand “appears” extreme.

  • Linus

    Incitement to violence should be prohibited whether inspired by religious principles or not.

    The passage quoted clearly contains a call to violence, so even if it wasn’t quoted in full, the implication that homosexuality should be violently punished was clear. It therefore seems to me that the correct judgment was reached in this case.

    • Phil R

      On my way to work tomorrow with a group of guys as we are rebuilding a old house.

      On the way we so the local gay tied to a fence and being beaten by two other guys.

      We stop the van and the 6 of us are asked by the gay guy to intervene to stop him being beaten. We ask the assailants if they will stop and they state that they will not. The gay guy asks us to intervene physically since there are 6 of us and we are reasonably fit and mostly used to physical work.

      The 6 of us are considerably distressed by the gay guy’s call for us to use violence that we all take the day off to recover our emotions. We call the police stating that the gay guy was inciting us to do violence. We also contact our solicitor to recover 6 X 1 day loss of pay due to us being unable to continue working for the rest of that day after being too emotionally upset by being called to use violence in a public place.

      • A decent citizen, Christian or not, could legally and most certainly would intervene and use all reasonable force necessary to protect the man from harm and detain the assailants whilst the police were summoned.

        You’d have an issue with that?

        • Darter Noster

          Absolutely what HJ said.

          I’m thoroughly confused by your post Phil.

          • He’s a macho-man from Wales where men are men and have a quaint custom of shoving timid boys in puddles.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I think he is making a point about the definition of ‘incitement to violence’. It is clear that it can be used to mean what the law wants it to mean.

          • Then it was a poor analogy … .

          • Phil R

            Jack

            I just thinking of situations that might upset my guys.

            Calling them to do violence and all.

            BTW throwing poofs in puddles on the rugby field was fun. (And it was good for them)

            Am I inciting violence? Oh dear….

          • DanJ0

            I read it as that, but sighed anyway.

          • Phil R

            You are always sighing at my posts

            There is a solution…

            Don’t read them!

          • DanJ0

            A solution to what problem?

          • Phil R

            Prepare yourself for more sighing then…..

          • DanJ0

            Phil, you provide an endless source of interest to me … great quotes that I pass on to my Facebook friends. You’re like the blog equivalent of the Strange! section on the Sky News app. Just because I might stare open-mouthed etc at that doesn’t mean I don’t check it out quite regularly. Similarly with your stuff.

          • Phil R

            Any other fascinating insults or are you done for today?

          • DanJ0

            I’m just being open and honest given that you set up the situation anyway.

          • CliveM

            Bizarre to say the least.

          • Owl

            Not at all Clive, Phil is just carrying the absurd decision to it’s absurd end.

          • CliveM

            Is he?

      • Linus

        In France you would be prosecuted for failing to offer assistance to a person in danger. It is perfectly legal here to defend yourself or others from violence, using reasonable force if necessary.

        I don’t know what the laws are like where you live. But if you really believe what you wrote above then you clearly have a problem with the concept of morality and therefore pose a real danger to those around you. I would advise you to seek professional help.

        • Phil R

          Don’t you see how terrible it is…?

          My sensitive builders could be incited to do violence!

          How awful……I think I will have a sit down.

          • Linus

            If you’re morally incapable of distinguishing between unprovoked violence used to bully, intimidate and oppress, and defensive force used to counter such violence, then I suggest that sitting down and taking a long hard look at yourself can only be beneficial.

            Does your imaginary god have to do all your thinking for you, or does the brain you imagine he gave you actually have a purpose and a use?

          • Phil R

            The two scenarios were essentially the same.

            In the case of the preacher it was just the case of the homosexual using the state to bully.

          • Linus

            If you can’t see the difference between the two situations then you have a problem. I don’t want to take a leaf out of that amoral old charlatan Sad Jack’s book and start issuing diagnoses online. But I would highly recommend that you seek professional help.

          • Phil R

            There is no essential difference

            BTW I get plenty of suitable help with relating to the world.

            Church on Sunday small groups during the week……..

            Oh but you mean re education. Gulag style

          • CliveM

            And they tell you pushing ‘poofs’ into puddles is fine? Oh well how you must all laugh together.

          • Phil R

            In my Rugby playing days I was not a Christian.

            Not that perhaps it would have made much difference…!

          • Linus

            No, I mean therapy to help you manage what looks very much like an Asperger’s or OC-related issue.

            Of course it could be something else, but this inability to distinguish between reasonable defensive behaviour and unreasonable aggression speaks of socialisation and empathy issues that are commonly found on the autism spectrum. The fact that you use extravagant vocabulary like gulag and re-education merely reinforces that impression.

            But don’t take my word for it. See a mental health professional and get an expert opinion.

          • Phil R

            Clearly it annoys you when statements are made that you do not agree with, but cannot refute and challenges your worldview.

            Far easier to focus on the messenger rather than the message. It allows you not to engage whenever you find it convenient.

            Totalitarian regimes have always used this technique. It allows them to use fear to suppress unwanted messages by marginalising or removing the messengers.

            There are too many to be dealt with in this way at the moment and also you do not have the power. Therefore it is policy to create a climate of fear and ridicule to those that oppose your message.

            It is the way evil works and it is the way evil always seems to work.

          • Linus

            Uh huh, and then there are the crazy people who see themselves as principled heroes and freedom fighters when really they’re just a shilling shy of a full pound sterling.

            You can usually spot them mile off because when criticized they start posturing as selfless martyrs while portraying their opponents as evil oppressors bent on their destruction.

            Quite honestly the more you write, the more away with the fairies you sound. It’s noble and virtuous Phil R against the world, is it? That’s not what’s coming across here. It’s more like paranoid Phil R and his persecution complex.

          • Phil R

            Linus

            you do realise that many on the blog have said the same about you.

            Phil

          • Philip Lishman

            I would consider seeing a solicitor, not a psychiatrist.

            I can’t fathom the minds of leftists. They all seem to have something broken within them that makes them believe that they can use the most offensive libels against anyone they disagree with.

            Normal people just don’t feel that sense of arrogant, self-righteous entitlement. And history shows that whenever leftist activists are fully in control of a society, these insults turn to murder.

            They need to be nipped in the bud.

          • Phil R

            Bullying works, so thanks for your comment.

            They use it because it is effective when all else fails and they are losing the argument which frequently they do.

            I have pondered why the left and atheists in particular resort to this and how they justify it to themselves.

            The most important reason is that we are attacking the very core of their belief. Athiesm is far more to them than they they claim for it. It is a false god and they therefore defend and promote this worldview tenaciously.

            Linus and Danjo on this blog both claim to be homosexual atheists and both regularly use this type of bullying when their argument has failed.

            The reason? Generally it works well for them!

            Further advice appreciated.

          • Philip Lishman

            Just awareness of it is necessary. Christians are not litigious. They use liturgies instead of litigation!

          • Philip Lishman

            Are you a psychiatrist? You certainly use a lot of big – and possibly actionable – words against Phil R.

            I notice it is common for left wing extremists to accuse normal people of mental incompetence when the leftists’ assertions are exposed to scrutiny that they cannot bear.

          • DanJ0

            How is it actionable when Phil R is anonymous here?

          • Philip Lishman

            He has an online presence under that name – much as any company does. If he became known under that name as insane he might have to give it up, along with his posts, which would be tainted. Left wing twitter mobs have been sicced on to others for expressing the sort of views he has, and for less. In some cases it has done psychological harm.

            I take your point that not using his real name ameliorates the possible scope for legal action against the aggressors, but I don’t believe it nullifies it.

          • Linus

            Sue away. If you obtain “gain de cause” then I’ll be able to recoup any losses from others whose amateur psychological analyses of me are every bit as disobliging as anything I’ve ever said about anyone here.

            I agree with you that it’s unpleasant (to say the least) to cast aspersions on someone’s mental state, but attacking an opponent’s sanity is de rigueur on this site, so when in Rome…

            Of course this isn’t Rome. It’s that ersatz, decaffeinated version of it called Canterbury. Mushy peas and vicars’ wives with your Hail Marys rather than pasta sauce and dubious celibacy. In both cases you can understand the sexual frustration that leads to such unbridled aggression. But to take it out on the very people you’re supposed to be evangelizing seems like a self-defeating proposition. Are threats of legal action your standard response to heathens who refuse to accept your imaginary god as their lord?

          • Philip Lishman

            I didn’t threaten legal action. I recommended it. An atheist. All is explained.

  • Darter Noster

    “Why Christians persist in preaching this bit of Leviticus while (conveniently) ignoring so much more of the holiness code is the 64,000-treasure-in-heaven question.”

    Without wishing to state the obvious, it would seem to be because certain Christians are much more interested in the splinter in other peoples’ eyes than the logs in their own.

    “But biblical ignorance and theological superficiality are not crimes. Nor is proclaiming that ignorance or superficiality in the public square.”

    No they aren’t, and nor should they be unless used to incite violence. But preaching a narrow and distorted version of the Gospel message which panders to your own particular prejudices seems like an unlikely method of storing up treasure in heaven. I am not saying that that is what Mr. Overd has done, because I do not know him or his preaching well enough to make a judgement, but using a selective and/or inaccurate version of your faith (whichever it is) as a justification of your own personal obsessions and desires is hardly faithful.

    • dannybhoy

      I agree with that.

    • He may not have that ‘insight’ or he may fervently believe this passage should be urgently preached.

      Who are you to judge?

      • dannybhoy

        You consider the issue through reading the Scriptures Jack.

        • Jack may agree with DN from his reading of scripture and the teaching of his Church. However, this reading would not be binding on another person who has the legal right, if not an objective the moral right, to do as he sees fit.

          • dannybhoy

            This is also true, but as has been pointed out several times now, some of us do not remember homosexuality being singled out for special attention by Christians as it is now.
            It really is unbalanced.
            Why aren’t they preaching against adultery and unfaithfulness and breaking up families or stealing or murder?
            Are these things lesser sins?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Because there is an agenda to make homosexuality normal, and to undermine and attack anyone who dares say otherwise.

          • … and Jack agrees with this too.

          • bmudmai

            Because noone is trying to argue these things are right and good in God’s eyes. However, others are trying to do so with homosexuality and so members of.the Church are raising their voice to counter this narrative. If people made such a big fuss to say adultery was good and call us adulteryophobe (or whatever it would be) you would find a very similar response. It’s big from the Church because it’s reactionary from the current narrative. You see the same things through Church history on all sorts of issues which were the pressing issues of the time.

          • CliveM

            In what way is society not saying that sex before marriage, multiple sexual partners, children born out of wedlock and all the rest of it is not normal. Society has been pushing this agenda for years, we’ve just got use to it. It doesn’t offend in the way two men having sex does. So despite the damage on communities, families and children caused by the heterosexual sexual revolution, which far out weighs the damage caused by the Gay sexual changes, people choose to focus on homosexuality.

          • bmudmai

            The Church over the years have rigorously opposed those things, just because there hasn’t been a media frenzy or lawsuits for ‘hate speech’ against the Church doesn’t mean the Church doesn’t oppose. That’s my point. It’s only made a big deal because others make it a big deal. If people didn’t make their homosexuality a big thing then it wouldn’t be. The Church focuses on it no more than those outside the Church. Why don’t you question why people keep posing homosexuality at the Church/against the Church? It’s beyond reason to expect the church to stay quiet and be walked over or give a topic less focus than those who oppose the Church.

          • Phil R

            It doesn’t offend because it is normal.

            Homosexuality isn’t hence the huge push to evangelise this sort of behaviour amongst schoolchildren as young as 5.

          • CliveM

            Firstly the point isn’t about offence (Jesus was happy to offend), but sin.

            My son is 10, no one has tried to persuade him about homosexuality one or another.

          • Phil R

            My 5 year old daughter came home from school last week and asked my wife if was possible for a family to be “made by two dads” as was described in a story in class.

            She seemed genuinely upset at the fact that the child would not have a mum

            My wife told her not to be silly, as all children actually have a mum. We told her that the teacher was speaking rubbish.

            In the last week we have also made arrangements for my daughter to attend a different school from September.

            We have not told the school or challenged, the teacher, as we do not want our daughter picked on during her last term.

            As you see the threat of bullying works wonders to close down debate.

          • cacheton

            What threat of bullying?

            If you won’t talk to the teacher how will you ever know what he/she actually said, and give him/her a chance to clarify anything your daughter may not have fully understood.

            Why did you not simply answer your daughter’s question? No, it is not possible for two dads to make a child, but in cases where the mother and father cannot or no longer want to look after their child, that child may be adopted by a couple of dads. Simpler that all this bad feeling, your daughter now thinking that some teachers speak rubbish, and a change of school, no?

          • Phil R

            Some teachers do talk rubbish and yes I we answered her question and no we have no intention of raising this with the teacher.

            The chance that our daughter will be bullied by the teacher for holding unfashionable views and asking awkward questions is far from insignificant

          • Linus

            There’s a website here in France that promotes extraconjugal liaisons. It recently undertook a huge advertising campaign in the métro with enormous posters inciting women to cheat on their spouses.

            The Church was duly horrified and its lawyers are now bringing a suit against the website, not for incitement to commit adultery, which isn’t a crime in France, but rather for incitement to disregard the contractual obligations of marriage, one of which is fidelty (so it amounts to the same thing). No decision has yet been handed down, but it seems likely that the website will be forced to modify its methods of communication and cease to actively encourage the non-fulfillment of a legal obligation.

            Is this an attack on free speech? Hardly. They would be free to say they disagree with the obligation of fidelity in marriage. But should they be free to incite others to renege on their contractual obligations? I personally think they should not be.

            How much more imperative is it to ensure that incitement to violence and murder should not be tolerated?

          • DanJ0

            I saw that the other day. Interesting case as it appears to be based on civil code. I don’t think the arguments apply in the UK with our common law background.

          • avi barzel

            Incitement to violence and murder by quoting from Leviticus? I suppose peacefully lobbying for the death penalty is also incitement to violence and murder?

            Relax. Before anyone can get you stoned (the unpleasant version), we’d need a Davidic monarchy with a supreme court and a hereditary priesthood with a (somehow) revived legislation and a judicial process requiring nearly impossible levels of evidence against the accused, with unanimous agreement by all judges, proof of previous warnings, improbable numbers of witnesses, and stuff like that.

            This is why the written Torah properly belongs to the Jewish people who interpret it in its original language according to the teachings of the orally transmitted Torah and should not be interpreted by those of other religions…or those with none, like yourself. Otherwise, it all looks like fun and games until someone loses an eye! ;-O

          • dannybhoy

            I get that but isn’t there still a danger that it comes across as unbalanced? If that’s the only sin preached the Church could be accused of being bigoted.
            Also in our Lord’s ministry, whilst He does talk about religious hypocrisy, unbelief, hardness of heart and greed, he still majors on the state of the heart before God and the need to be born again.
            My own opinion is that the ‘gay agenda’ poses a real threat to the (already shaky) stability of society, and we Christians have to oppose that through organisations like Coalition for Marriage http://c4m.org.uk/
            But it seems to me that we might be alienating individual gays who have no agenda.

          • Indeed, Jack agrees.

      • Darter Noster

        I’m not judging. I’m going out of my way not to judge; the question is one for the conscience of the individual.

        But how many of us suspect that many in ISIS are using doctrine to justify their inherent psychopathy, or that many SS men were not particularly committed Nazi ideologues but found in Nazism a convenient way to enact the bestial desires and lust for power they possessed anyway?

        • Pope Benedict, when a Cardinal, wrote on erroneous conscience. Interesting article too.

        • Ivan M

          I have to agree with you here. Judge Qureshi who one presumes has a Pakistani background and is therefore familiar with the type of summary “justice” meted out by stoners in the public square, is concerned about the incitement to violence in the language used, not the opinion expressed. The language in Leviticus gives carte blance to whoever takes it upon himself to do likewise to a homosexual person minding, or not minding his or her business anywhere they find themselves.

          • avi barzel

            Leviticus doesn’t give anyone and everyone a carte blanche, you malicious, slandering idiot, you. You would need to recreate the political and judicial infrastructure of two millenia ago, and even then, accummulated traditions and decisions would not allow those kind of penalties.

          • Ivan M

            The plain sense is what matters under English Common Law. Judge Querishi stands in that tradition. He is using the Mustafa in the Clapham bus test. Your Sanhedrin has no jurisdiction here.

          • avi barzel

            You don’t get it do you? The preacher doesn’t need Leviticus. He could just easily have quoted Common Law from a hundred or so years ago and only the manner of execution would differ. And he has every right to do so. The point is that the preacher did not call for extra-judicial actions, neither specifically, nor by inference.

            This where the Sanhedrin matters; if you are going to blame Leviticus and try to make stupid inferences you made, you have to take into account that the laws of Leviticus are to be applied in a judicial context. So, all the preacher is “inciting” for is a court and laws similar to the Sanhedrin. And that’s perfectly legal. Capisce?

          • Ivan M

            Leviticus is implicated because it is in the post. If the preacher man quoted the Book of Manu then that would be what is quoted.

          • avi barzel

            Still no compute? As I said, doesn’t matter what legal system the preacher quoted, including English law of a century or two ago. What matters is that he referred to past laws and legal bodies they operated under and called for their return…presumably to British law. That’s allowed. He did not cite the minutes of the Grand Poobah of the KKK and call for a bottle of whisky for himself and a length of rope of the offended felllow. What is more, he quoted from a document, the Bible, which enjoys a special status in the British system of law and government. Alas, neither you, nor the nitwit judge would get this.

          • CliveM

            Ahem if I could make a tentative point (swallows hard, pulls at collar and wipes baldy head with hanky), whilst I disagree with the judgement, it is possible that the judge felt even allowing for the correct context of Leviticus, your average meat head, queer basher may be unaware of the contextual legal requirements of Leviticus and judged said meathead would jump to erroneous conclusions?

            I still think the judge is wrong but that maybe part of the basis for his judgement.

          • Ivan M

            The correct context is irrelevant, for it is not the judge’s place to decide what is happening in my brain or decide the myriad ways in which the prevailing culture influences it. He has a simple task:

            Is the taking of a homosexual’s life warranted by this verse?

            Answer: Yes it is.

            The rest are simply soothing misdirections. Judge Querishi is an empiricist in the British tradition. He has upheld the letter and spirit of the common law, which exists to uphold the individual’s right to his own conscience and liberty, and why he passed over the earlier verse which apparently did not call for blood.

          • CliveM

            Are you saying the Courts ignore context?

          • Ivan M

            You don’t contextualise plain words in the sense of excusing it, that is just a weasel way out. If I say to you: “You deserve death.”, how is one to contextualise it. Perhaps I can say, it was done in the heat of the moment – a possible context – in which case I owe you a profuse apology. Or perhaps I really mean it, in which case I have to be detained in the name of public safety. Another course would impinge on your liberty. All the handwaving aside, it is correct that I be detained since I am the one making the threat.

            Now it is because Querishi had sufficient respect for the sanity and integrity of the preacher that he took him seriously. He had to respect the man’s conscience. If he had treated him simply as a harmless loon, he would have laughed him off and asked for a psychiatric examination. Which is better if Michael Overd is indeed a serious man, both for him and the complainant ?

            So either way there is a context, the judge prefers the plain facts, the empiricism I mentioned, Those who are against him suggest some version of the Mosaic discourse as it unfolded in history and the lives of the pious.

          • Gordon

            So are homosexuals being beheaded by orthodox Jews?

          • Ivan M

            Where are orthodox Jews in the proceedings?

          • dannybhoy

            “Is the taking of a homosexual’s life warranted by this verse?

            Answer: Yes it is.”

            One would legitimately ask the question,
            “Where does it say that?”
            Answer: “Leviticus.”
            Who’s Leviticus?
            Answer: “A book in the Torah .”
            What’s the Torah?
            Answer: “It’s the holy book of the Jewish people.”
            Is the street preacher Jewish?
            Answer: “No.”
            But he’s quoting from their holy book?
            Answer: “Well, it’s complicated…..”

          • Dude

            The blog post says the preacher left out this bit , the bit about the death penalty deliberately. Would a meathead, Jeremy Kyle show type, even have a bible to read the rest of the verses and if so I doubt he’d be able to find Leviticus, let alone be able to read it , even in English. I’d have also thought that whilst a Christian may disapprove of gay sex, there’s still a certain code of conduct as to how Christians should interact with people, love they neighbour (Also from Leviticus) etc.

          • CliveM

            Hi Sam

            Yes you’re right. As I say I think the Court was wrong (I bet that shakes the foundations of the judicial system!) and I am confused, but make the observation that simply saying homosexuality is wrong must now be a crime or at least an incitement to crime. My comment to Avi was idle conjecture.

            However some meatheads do have some understanding of the bible and seem to believe physical intimidation is acceptable! :0(

          • avi barzel

            Alright, alright, you needn’t sweat it, you raised your hand politely.

            The case itself was secondary to my opening rants, which addressed a common misunderstanding of the real world implications and applications of Leviticus by Linus and the characteristically crude and stupid hostility by Ivan.

            Nonetheless, the little that I’ve read of the judgment convinces me that the judge is out to lunch and may even be a relative of Ivan’s, in which case it’s time for the gold watch and a trip to the pasture. Looking at the case with Canadian eyes, admittedly, the onus is on the prosecution to establish willful attempt to incite, to prove actual harm or damages and convincingly argue the probability of a misinterpretation of a public document…the Bible…by someone who, of all things, claims to be one of the adherents of the said document’s tradition…a Christian.

            The other problem with the judgment is that it sets the precedent for suppressing religious texts, or at the very least banning religious ecpression from the public arena. If a citation from the Bible can incite on the street, why not in Church and Synagogue, in a bookstore or library, in pravate conversation or debate. This is what I think makes the judge in that case a dangerously incompetent nitwit; his inability to see the broader implications affecting core legal principles and rights, whilst being stuck in jumbled letters of the law, fashionable memes and his own cockamanie opinions.

            His eminent Honour, Judge Avi of the Ontario Sepreme Court, would rule “not guilty” of intent to incite or cause harm, much less actually causing such. The complainant’s whining deserve ridicule and contempt…and perhaps a penalty for waisting the court’s time. (Note to Ivan: Intent and actual damages, not might’ve beens or whatifs needs to be established) At most, heJudge Avi might whip off his glasses, peer sternly at the defendant bench and caution him about disturbing the peace, especially if he was using an annoying bull horn or was lathering folks up for riotous conduct…which in Canada means forgetting to smile and say, “excuse me.” Bang; judgment is for the defendant.

            That being said, the case would be “relaxed” speedily by Canada’s “social justice” machinery to Canada’s notorious Star Chamber, the Left-leaning Human Rights Commission, which would promptly and without the unnecessary burden of accountability or even a need to provide logic, impoverish the fellow with civil fines for crimes against trendy political correctness.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            It’s difficult for me to fathom the logic. As Sam says the parts about putting to death had not been read.
            If I was a conspiracy theorist I would suspect a Muslim plot!

            I see no justification for the guilty judgement. Personally I strongly dislike most street preaching and I suspect the individual was after some form of martyrdom, however that can hardly be justification for a guilty verdict. It’s bizarre.

            But yes I agree with your comments.

          • avi barzel

            I like it when folks agree with me! I doubt, though, that the judgment and the logic had anything to do with His Honour’s religious bias. On the contrary, it seems to me like an attempt to over-compensate against such a perception with a half-arsed, clumsy attempt to toe the trendy, secular, politically correct line and to bring home a result our masters and betters want… without a sentient appreciation of the butchery to jurisprudence and common sense which made this possible. This isn’t the end of it, I wager; the judgment shouts “appeal me” and no doubt there will be line-ups of junior lawyers with pro bono and court costs offers, looking to make a name for themselves. At least, this is how things eould play out on this side of the Big Pond.

          • CliveM

            Oh yes this will go to appeal.

            It does seem to me that this is a battle that needs to be won. If it isn’t, well we can all say good bye to expressing what others might find uncomfortable beliefs.

            I’m not big on a written constitution, end up with absurdities. But I do wish we had the US attitude to free speech.

          • avi barzel

            Don’t worry, us colonials in the New World will try to hold the torch until you folks in the Mother Country of parliamentary democracy and common law sober up from what is hopefully a temporary case of Continentalism.

          • CliveM

            What are Canadian immigration rules like?

    • Shadrach Fire

      2 Timothy v16; All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      This would say that any verse can be taken for instruction and teaching and reproof, so what was the Judge on about.

      • Darter Noster

        ALL Scripture, not just the bits that happen to support what you believe anyway.

        • Old Blowers

          Ditto my RC fella.

  • Inspector General

    “…it’s true. Bowel control has become a real issue. Lord knows how gay people manage. Anyway, have to leave it there. Am commentating on Cranmer”

    So there you have it chaps. Freedom of speech trumps all. Even over complaints about street preachers. Freedom of speech is everything, and we should cherish our right to be annoyed by them.

    Good night

  • Based on Roman’s, there is a strong case that Satan’s defining sin is the normalising of homosexuality. Genesis describes what happens when a society parts company with God’s law. Homosexuality accepted as normal behaviour, challenges our God given natures where sex is a selfless act of procreation in cooperation with God. It focuses on self and consequently threatens family life and our communal common good. Additionally, it undermines the metaphor of fidelity God uses to describe His relationship with the His people and for His Mystical Body on earth.

    In short, from a an orthodox Christian perspective, based on scripture, homosexual ‘marriage’ is the culmination of a diabolic process intent on undermining faith, destroying society and dragging men’s souls to Hell – whether they are homosexual or not and whether individual homosexuals are heading that way themselves or not.

    Seen like this, it is fundamental and calls for urgent action. These street preachers are doing what they believe God is calling them to do – and who’s to say He isn’t? Both John the Baptist and Jesus were provocative in their day and incited violent reactions. There is a disagreement over tactics and approaches, but let’s not question their motives or their understanding of scripture and label them loons. And remember, if the Church was as consistently clear as it should be on this and on the moral framework for relationships between men and women, their actions wouldn’t appear so extreme.

    • Ivan M

      Well I think you are reading too much into it. Where is the homosexual tempter in Genesis? The whole business was about the search for knowledge. For some reason Adam and Eve became ashamed of their nakedness after that. But why only after eating the apple? Were they otherwise happily engaged in buggery?

      • My comment was not about homosexuality per se. It was about human rebellion, where it leads and God’s plan of salvation.

        • Ivan M

          Don’t want to egg you sir, but here goes. What is this knowledge that the serpent speaks about? Is he some kind of kind of Promethean figure bringing fire and the arts as In the opinion of some poets. Is he the same serpent that Moses lifted up and Christ Himself alluded to as a pre figurement of His Death. And what about the entwining serpents in the medical symbols.

          • Anna055

            The serpent was originally made and lifted up to heal the israelites of bites from live serpents. They just had to look at it to be healed. I think the medical symbol of the serpent was taken from Moses’ one, because it was associated with healing. Also, my understanding would be that Jesus alluded to Himself as being like the serpent held up in the desert because He was made “sin on our behalf” ….. thus fitting the serpent picture. He was lifted up and we simply have to look at Him. Amazing!

          • Ivan M

            Thanks, that makes sense.

          • dannybhoy

            The knowledge of good and evil..
            For me the real essence of this passage is that Adam could either continue in obedience to his Creator, or he could allow his curiousity to take over and follow his wife into tasting the fruit.
            I don’t think there was anything special about the tree or its fruit. It was that when Adam and Eve listened to the serpent they were in effect electing to obey another created being rather than God.
            I think there was some real cosmic significance here as Lucifer had at some point rebelled against his Creator, and was using this opportunity to lead another sentient being with freewill into disobedience. What Lucifer’s original relationship or ‘official position’ was to the earth and its inhabitants we don’t know…

            “4 “Where were you when I founded the earth?Tell me, if you know so much. 5 Do you know who determined its dimensions or who stretched the measuring line across it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together,
            and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

            Job 38> Complete Jewish Bible

          • Ivan M

            While the consequences were apparently monumental, it is difficult to put all the blame on the primordial parents. They had no prior memory or experience to go by. The Sepent

          • dannybhoy

            Genesis 3 Complete Jewish Bible..

            “Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which Adonai, God, had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die; 5 because God knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

            They had the knowledge and awareness and commandment of their Creator, Ivan.
            The point is that it happened, and somehow this whole world passed into the hands of the evil one who had already rebelled against his Creator.

          • Ivan M

            Maybe so, but telling eight year olds – which is the mental age displayed by the primordial parents – not to do something is an effective way to actually get them to do it. I agree that the consequences were monumental, guilt, frustration, work, pain, nostalgia, loss and death, but to put everything on their puny shoulders seems unfair.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Let’s just pretend that this curious piece of mythology in Genesis is actual history and look at it closely. Adam and Eve had been warned that on the day that they ate any fruit from the prohibited tree they would die. The serpent said oh no, they needn’t worry about that, they wouldn’t die – and they didn’t. In fact not only did they not die on the day that they ate the fruit, but Adam went on to live for about 12 times our average lifespan (Gen. 5:5). The serpent said that if they ate the fruit they would become like gods, knowing good and evil. As Yahweh himself explicitly acknowledged (Gen. 3:22), they did. According to the Bible, the serpent spoke nothing but the truth.

          • dannybhoy

            Welcome back Guglielmo.
            Good to see you posting again after a lengthy absence. I trust all is well with you?

            The serpent spoke some truth, not all of the truth.
            Adam did die and he earned his bread by the sweat of his brow whilst the ground brought forth weeds and thistles.
            However much of this is allegorical (and there are those more learned than I hear who might comment), I think the main issue is acknowledgement of the Creator and seeking His wisdom and guidance rather than trusting our own wisdom.
            That means in every field of human endeavour we look to Him to guide our way.
            Interesting that the same attitude displayed by the serpent is with us even today: the determination to do it our way without acknowledging He who made us.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I’m sorry, but this where a bucket of fudge gets thrown over the issue, isn’t it? There is no suggestion in Genesis that Adam had ever been promised immortality in the first place. The serpent didn’t say that Adam wouldn’t have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow whilst the ground brought forth weeds and thistles, nor had Adam previously been threatened with that consequence if he partook of the forbidden fruit. Similarly the serpent didn’t predict that Adam wouldn’t die at some time in the future, say 9 centuries or so later. The warning that Adam had previously been given was that ON THE DAY that he ate any fruit from the forbidden tree he would die. The serpent said he wouldn’t die. He didn’t. The serpent said that Adam and Eve would become like gods, knowing good and evil. They did.

            The point is that this Genesis legend, no matter how we look at it, is a very questionable basis on which to ground the doctrines of the Fall of Man and Original Sin. It should be remembered that Genesis was part of the Jewish scriptures long before it was part of ours. I think it significant that those doctrines form no part of mainstream Jewish doctrine.

          • dannybhoy

            Greetings Gug!
            I have not forgotten your post. I have been mulling it over. Indeed the issue of original sin came up with some Jewish friends recently, so to start off may I refer you to this article I unashamedly lifted from Jews for Jesus..

            http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter/september-1996/me

            As the article suggests it depends what one means by original sin…
            “the tendency to evil supposedly innate in all human beings, held
            to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall. The concept of
            original sin was established by the writings of St Augustine.”

            A fuller exploration here..
            http://www.gotquestions.org/original-sin.html
            Personally I think all men are estranged from God and inclined towards sinfulness.
            Not that we can’t or don’t do good things, but we remain estranged from God and only accepting redemption through the sacrifice of Messiah Jesus can bring us back into God’s family.
            Otherwise what does this from Isaiah 53 mean??

            4″In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
            our pains from which he suffered;
            yet we regarded him as punished,
            stricken and afflicted by God.
            But he was wounded because of our crimes,
            crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,and by his bruises* we are healed.
            6 We all, like sheep, went astray;
            we turned, each one, to his own way;
            yet Adonai laid on him
            the guilt of all of us.”

            Isaiah 53 Complete Jewish Bible.

            If God tells us we all like sheep have turned each one to his own way, that’s what original sin is. Most of us are aware that even if we claim to have our own system of moral values, we are incapable of living up to it, yet quick to condemn those who transgress!

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Thank you very much for those links, which I have read with interest. Whatever one thinks of the concept of original sin, and some theologians now question whether it is really to be found in Scripture at all (e.g. the late Swiss biblical scholar Herbert Haag), the Genesis legend is a poor foundation for it, which is why the doctrine is not part of mainstream Judaism.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Gugs’
            I found this article (which I have yet to wade through – I make no profession to anything above average intelligence)

            ” Sin somehow enters the world and becomes, as Haag
            puts it, a rushing torrent, but we maintain our freedom and enter into the world not as
            sinners until we commit our own personal sins. Baptism is therefore not for the removal of
            original sin, and the adult rite of baptism is not suitable for children.69
            There is a sobriety in all this that tries to counterbalance past excesses, but we can
            certainly ask, is this all Scripture is saying, that is, that sin began and spread, and we
            add to the disaster and so are in need of redemption? “

            http://www.innerexplorations.com/chtheomortext/human.htm

            This article is much more my level!
            “What’s wrong with the world? As the story goes, Chesterton responded with just two words: “I am.”

            http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/april/mystery-of-original-sin.html

            I will return to this later, because it is a very important issue.

          • dannybhoy

            Gugs,
            Further to my response below I have continued ruminating on your earlier comment and doing a little more research.
            Original sin means different things to different denominations, and truth to tell I have never really given it a great deal of thought.
            For instance my own conversion came about through the sudden revelation of my own hypocrisy, and this confirmed the Christian understanding that “all men are sinners.”
            But from reading your comment I realised that whilst there is no stated doctrine of original sin in the Tenach, there are numerous verses where God states that (eg)

            Jeremiah 17 (Complete Jewish Bible)
            9 “The heart is more deceitful than anything else
            and mortally sick. Who can fathom it?
            10 I, Adonai, search the heart;
            I test inner motivations;
            in order to give to everyone
            what his actions and conduct deserve.”

            There are many more similar verses, and they reinforce what our Lord Jesus says here..

            Matthew 15 (Complete Jewish Bible)

            ” 18 But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean. 19 For
            out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and otherkinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders. . . . 20 These are what really make a person unclean, but eating without doing n’tilat-yadayim does not make a person unclean.”

            Add to that the institution of the Mosaic sacrificial system and it becomes obvious (to me anyway) that it is sin -our own sin, which separates us from a holy and righteous God. That is why the Meshiach in Isaiah 53 is to die for the sins of the people, and being also God His willing sacrifice of His human self is available to all men in all generations until Judgement Day.

          • dannybhoy

            Genesis 3 Complete Jewish Bible..

            “Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which Adonai, God, had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3 but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You are neither to eat from it nor touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “It is not true that you will surely die; 5 because God knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

      • chiefofsinners

        It would seem unlikely that Adam and Eve were engaged in homosexuality, due to a lack of opportunity. Likewise Satan would be hard pushed to tempt them in this direction.

  • Old Blowers

    I am reminded by Revelation 7 that God uses 144,000 Jewish street preachers in the future to announce the gospel to the world after the church is translated and produces an amazing number of believers that give their lives under antichrist’s tyranny for their witness…and ALL 144,000 are men.

    It appears that God ignores the progressive religious equality agenda plaguing the via media, so as man sees a way that is right to him, God goes His own way as He knows best and does His will. Surely He must be oblivious to the current changes of women priests and bishops in the church bearing His name or He would have had quotas within the 12 tribes anointed for this task for an equal number of women to be included?.

    The line has always been that the reason God did not include women in the disciples or apostles was because of cultural sensitivities etc etc…and yet this event above is still future!!!

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

    When will we ever learn and just DO and accept as He commands us.

    Blowers

  • Ivan M

    I think in some obscure way this ties in with the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson.

  • I don’t see this as threatening language at all. It’s more a warning.

    Leviticus 20:13 KJV

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them
    have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death;
    their blood shall be upon them

    Well yes they shall end up dead. It’s true, AIDS and all that.
    It’s only man’s advanced medicine and contraceptives keeping them from this fate.

    • Ivan M

      You read it as a warning. It serves just as well as incitement, which is what the judgement is about

      • Where does it incite?

        • Ivan M

          The missing sentence that the preacher man avoided:

          they shall surely be put to death;
          their blood shall be upon them

          • avi barzel

            Calling for a change in law to reflect what the preacher thinks Leviticus means is not incitement, fool. He didn’t tell anyone to pick up sidewalk pavers and start tossing them. People can lawfully argue for and lobby legislators for anything currently forbidden in law, no matter how shocking, sick or or bat-shit crazy it may seem; assisted suicide, legalized pedophelia, euthanasia of the sick and poor, same sex marriage….as long as they don’t jump ahead and break existing laws. Some things stick, others don’t; it’s your job to speak up.

          • Ivan M

            It is incitement all the same. Few will dispute, the person who brought the case was a homosexual Christian who in the nature of things would know the implications of this verse. In any case the preacher man would feel vindicated when jailed as it is a judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah in the last days. Happiness all round.

          • Watchman

            “Homosexual Christian” is an oxymoron.

          • Ivan M

            Small technicality even if true.

          • DanJ0

            A significant number of the priesthood, both Roman Catholic and CofE, would disagree.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            What? Like “heterosexual Christian”?

          • Watchman

            I’d respond to you if I understood the point you were trying to make.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The point that I am making is that the assertion that “homosexual Christian” is an oxymoron is as daft as the assertion that “heterosexual Christian” is an oxymoron would be.

          • Watchman

            Not according to all the translations of the bible that I have.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            A person who is sexually attracted to people of the other sex is heterosexual. A person who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex is homosexual. Being homosexual does not prevent a person from being a Christian any more than it prevents a person from being a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, or an adherent of any other religion (or none). Conversely, being a Christian does not prevent anyone from being homosexual any more than it prevents anyone from being heterosexual.

            Thus, reasoning closely, we perceive the assertion that “homosexual Christian” is an oxymoron to be poppycock.

          • avi barzel

            “It’s incitement all the same.” Because you say so. And because the supposedly injured party maybe thought so…as would be the nature of things for a Christian. Wow.

          • Ivan M

            Perhaps its time for the reductio ad Hitlerum, but I have no time for it.

          • carl jacobs

            Or you could … you know … admit that he beat you like a rug.

          • Ivan M

            Captain Kurtz to the rescue !

          • carl jacobs

            Rescue? One thing I’ve noticed about Avi. He doesn’t need rescuing. Anyways. I just calls ’em like I sees ’em. When someone says something like “its time for the reductio ad Hitlerum” I find it’s generally a face-saving way of running for the treeline.

          • avi barzel

            I do need rescuing…like stopping me from hitting my head against the wall of impenetrable illogic.

          • carl jacobs

            What? Have you been trying to converse with Jack again? I warned you about that.

          • avi barzel

            Jack? Jack’s tenatious, but creative. This guy is haughty, without the depth or wherewithals to get away with it. The Argentines would say, “he shits above his head.”

          • carl jacobs

            Well, yes but .. It was such a beautiful set, I just couldn’t resist. The ball just hung there in the air above the net and said “Spike me!” It’s my nature, you see. I must obey my desires.

          • avi barzel

            Ah. Exploiting the tactical environment for a minor or even irrelevant strategic advantage, but significant psychological benefit . Fair enough.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Grouchy is keeping a record of these of these insults, cream cracker brain.

          • Ivan M

            Oh is that right? I didn’t notice it Batman. He comes barging in with some irrelevancies about how Leviticus should be interpreted or executed, which is not the issue at all. The issue is the plain sense of the words. Now unless you personally can guarantee that the words will not lead to violence each and every time they are invoked I don’t see what cachet you have. Surely you can guarantee this being a resolutely logical thinker; a single contradiction and you are forfeit.

            And not to clarify matters for you or Robin, but for the sake of the one or two friends I may have on this board, the Hitler allusion was in reference to easily made arguments, having the same menacing content, from any number of sources targeting people that this or that person may care about.

          • avi barzel

            This should be fun. I hope Batman’s still awake and in the mood.

          • carl jacobs

            Ivan

            I’m not responsible for what other people do with words. Do you know what Charles Manson did with the Book of Revelation? Should I therefore accuse the Book of Revelation of inciting race war? Your standard is ridiculous. There are no words that I could guarantee would never lead to violence. The words aren’t at fault for what men do with them.

            “Plain meaning” can never be divorced from context. The context of the punishments in Leviticus is the Mosaic Covenant. You begin there. You don’t rip the words out of context to understand what they mean. You read them within the context in which they were given. That’s just basic exegesis.

            And if I’m Batman, I wonder what that makes Jack. I was thinking one of the Penguin’s stooges…

          • CliveM

            Catwoman

          • The yellow Jack , egghead, the blue Jack Mr freeze?

          • CliveM

            Ok how about Mad Hatter and Scarecrow?

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. Catwoman is the coolest of all the Batman villains. Maybe King Tut.

          • CliveM

            Are you saying Happy Jack isn’t cool? :0)

          • Ivan M

            Carl,

            Alright then, we arrive at an impasse as is usual with these things.

          • carl jacobs

            Ivan

            I talk a lot of smack about Jack on these threads. Do you know why? Because it’s fun. Do you know why I can get away with it? Because I have spent four years developing a relationship with Jack. I respect Jack and so he knows not to take me seriously. I said Jack was the definition of “impenetrable illogic.” Those words would have a different “plain meaning” if they were divorced from that context. But they can’t be divorced from that context and still be comprehensible. That’s the point.

            We aren’t at an impasse. You simply refuse to accept what is obvious.

          • Ivan M

            So yous and Jack are really brothers under the skin? With Avi, the Canadian trucker as the go-between. Well I’ll be damned.

  • IanCad

    If this awful ruling is not reversed on appeal then it will be another big step down the road to serfdom.

  • Philip___

    “Why Christians persist in preaching this bit of Leviticus while (conveniently) ignoring so much more of the holiness code is the 64,000-treasure-in-heaven question.”

    1) Because Biblical teaching on homosexuality is being contested. Of course there are other issues, but I’m not aware that anyone is saying we must have more poverty or human trafficking, for example. Biblical ethics is not being vocally opposed in those sorts of things. But it is in things like traditional family values,

    marriage, sexual ethics, abortion, sanctity of life, so it’s these issues that are particularly urgent for Christians to address. To fail to make the case for truth where it is opposed, and only saying things that are acceptable to the “world”, cannot be Christian discipleship.

    2) Having said that, I’ve probably heard 1000s of sermons, and I should think only a handful have even mentioned homosexuality, and these are in response to opposition to what the Bibles teaches.

    I note the slightly sneering nature attitude to street preaching in this piece. True, it’s not the only way to preach the Gospel, but 1) the sowing seed of the word principle means one never knows how God is using what people hear, even if there’s no response at the time, and 2) it has to be stressed that it is verbal sharing or proclamation of the Gospel that God uses to bring people to Christ, and is therefore how God’s kingdom is extended.

    • Anton

      Re your last paragraph, the issue is that many street preachers are loose cannons – the Manic Street Preachers didn’t take their name from nowhere. Yet the only time the subject of street preachers comes up is when one of them is being persecuted and we need to back him up. It is time for a separate discussion on the anointing needed to be a godly and effective street preacher. I suggest that being a regular family man is a good start.

      • Willy Hamil

        You make a good point, Anton! Theologically, many street preachers preach a deficient or even false gospel. Some are Pelagians or Semi-Pelagians, a heresy denounced by the pre-Roman Catholic Church in direct confrontation with Augustine. They teach that each person CAN believe apart from any intervention on God’s part, so that if they don’t believe and get their lives in line with God’s moral standards, they are totally at fault. It is a man-based and unbiblical view of man’s role in conversion, salvation and sanctification. It also tends to promote works vs. grace in salvation. Many street preachers are lone rangers, so using the criteria of 1 Tim. 3 wouldn’t be practical. But for those who are sent out from solid, bible-teaching churches, your suggestion is GREAT!

        I also have a problem when street/campus preachers use derogatory terms that are not used in Scripture, when they deliberately try to “start a fight” to draw a crowd. Rom. 1:16 says the gospel is the power of God for salvation, not man-made techniques. And this goes for ALL evangelistic methodologies, as I see it!

    • Willy Hamil

      As a street preacher, I picked up on the “sneering” too, Philip. But hey, what can you expect from an “archbishop?” Our ministry is not so much misunderstood as it is criticized because of the “guilty by association” factor that so many so-called “Christians” would love to avoid. Rather than use the street – or campus – preacher’s message to his or her evangelistic advantage, the tendency is to “run for cover” and try to distance oneself from any association with the preacher and his message. That is unwise, because the preaching of the law is the primary tool the Holy Spirit uses to convict people of sin, righteousness and judgment (Rom. 7:7).

  • Jim Fox

    Shamim Ahmed Qureshi

    THIS is what happens when a Muslim is elevated to the judiciary

  • len

    “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.
    Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great
    number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2Timothy 4;3) That time is now!.

    This scripture speaking to the lost speaks also to christians who have created’ a form’ of christianity to suit their own opinions and personal desires a form of christianity without the Cross indeed without Christ as well.

  • len

    Is it not strange that Muslim extremists are the ones causing laws to be brought forth to control religious extremists but no one seems interested in confronting Muslim extremists only confronting Christians?.
    If the Word of God offends then ban it but in doing so this government must admit that free speech is also banned which is totally hypocrisy in view of the marches led by government officials proclaiming the right of ‘ free speech’ in response to the Charlie Hebdo murders.

  • Anton

    This is a far, far sadder day for Britain than for Mr Overd or for the church.

  • mollysdad

    If Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi found Mr Overd not guilty of any offence by calling
    Mohammed a paedophile, it proves nothing about his religious motivations and does not convince me that it is fanciful to imagine that this Judge would have sentenced Mr Overd to death if only he were sitting in an Islamic country.

    Convicting Mr Overd on that point would have virtually guaranteed that the trial would have been declared null on grounds of bias. Instead, he convicted him of homophobia, a conviction which is bound to have widespread support among a sodomy-sympathetic public.

    • Philip Lishman

      Judge Qureshi convicting on the Islamophobia charge in the same breath as convicting Mr Overd for preaching verbatim from the Bible might have encouraged the media to a more forensic inspection of the Koran’s teaching on the treatment of homosexuals and the infidel generally, something which they usually avoid with studied inattention.

  • Willy Hamil

    Very good defense of freedom of speech, but I will have to take issue with your questioning Mr. Overd’s hermeneutic. We see the same view of homosexual practice (in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13) in the New Testament, do we not? Take Romans 1:26-27 as an example: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Isn’t this why the “effeminate” and the “sodomite” (from “arsenkoitai” – a reference to the Greek Septuagint translation of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 – “arseno” = “man” and “koitai” = “bed,” “lie with,” “coitus”) are part of the group of sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (not to mention 1 Tim. 1:10)? In other words, Paul is ENSURING that God’s moral law, in this case, is understood to still be binding upon humanity, just as “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” “Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not murder.”

  • Bill Ericky

    Supreme Court Justices Hale and Nueberger (sp?) in commenting on the Bull case said there is no right in this country not to be offended. Freedom of Speech must be protected and the recent tragedy in Paris has highlighted which way the West is going with this. To say that a preacher may not quote the Bible is a serious restriction of freedom of speech guaranteed under the Human Rights Act (and upheld by the ECHR) and an even more serious offence against the Judeo-Christian Heritage that defines, or should define, our culture.

    I am reasonably certain the Magistrate’s finding will be reversed on appeal. If it ends up in the Supreme Court and Nueberger and Hale are consistent, the case will be dismissed and costs will be awarded against the police.

    Je suis Overd.

    • Anton

      Which won’t look good on Judge Qureshi’s record either.

  • Bill Ericky

    Further thought. Leviticus should not be quoted other than as a context for the teaching under the New Covenant. Much of the OT law was covenantal as between the Jewish people and God in the context of nation building. The New Covenant teaching on homosexuality is set out by Paul in Romans 1 which does not make any changes to the original command of God. Homosexuality is as much a sin now as it was under the OT law. The difference is in relation to the carrying out of the sentence which also remains the same but delayed until the offender stands before The Judge (Christ). In the interim period before Jesus’ parousia, the laws of the land must be obeyed (Paul again) and homosexuality is no longer a crime in the civil or criminal law.

    If I were to preach on this topic I would use Paul’s teaching in Romans 1 just as I would teach on adultery by referring to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew which makes it a sin to even think about committing the act.

    Best to avoid being like the foolish Galatians and see the law as fulfilled in Christ who has set the bar even higher as a matter of relationship between the believer and God. Whenever Jesus confronted sinners on this earth he offered forgiveness with the caveat to sin no more. He did not execute judgement there and then as that is a matter for the day set aside when all will be judged.

    If we are going to win people to Christ best to follow the things that work. The Great Awakening of the 18th Century focused on the New Birth as it has done through the ages. Sin is important to cover but best in the New Testament context and the higher standard used by Jesus. The Holy Spirit plus the Word of God in the context of the New Covenant is adept at convicting mankind of sin.

    That all said, the Magistrate was wrong in law and the decision will probably be reversed or freedom of speech and religion will have been violated.

  • Guest

    There other places in the scripture where only part of a verse is quoted. Our Lord did this to emphasise his main point, as did this preacher. The advice to the gentiles by apostles in Acts is very clear about sexual immorality. This confirms that the Jewish understanding of sexual immorality is placed on the gentiles as they have from the Old Testament. Only a Jewish state could impose the penalties for those caught doing sexually immoral acts, so they speak of God’s judgement that awaits them, irrespective of what the law their country states.

    The New Testament does not change God’s commandments and standards on sexual behaviour. Whereas the rituals that were shadow of the the real e.g. day of atonement are fulfilled in Christ (more detail in Hebrews), sexual immorality is still sinful in God’s eyes.

    It is offensive to be told that pleasurable sexual sins are wrong and one needs to repent; but this is what the the Apostles, Old Testament prophets and preachers still do! There cannot be any ‘accommodation’ of some ‘acceptable’ types of sexual immorality and rejection of others. All are sinful in God’s eyes.

    Bear in mind that sexual immorality was rife in the Greek and Roman cultures. Homosexuality was common in Greek society although less accepted in Roman society. The Emperor Hadrian had a male lover who was even worshiped after his mysterious death in Egypt.

    It is highly likely that Christians in New Testament times faced a more sexually corrupt society the we do. However, to my knowledge, they were never targeted for persecution by the state simply because they challenged sexual immorality. Quite the opposite, the Jewish community was often given special recognition because they were sexually pure and law abiding.

    My concern is that the state/homosexuals are silence those that speak against homosexuality. This bible is clear in Romans Ch 1, about the origins of homosexuality. I love the phrase “God gave them up…” when the worshiped the creation instead of God who created it!

  • Guest

    I also get news from other countries about the state/homosexuals persecuting Christians or any else for the matter, who dare to challenge their ‘protected’ characteristics. But most people are missing the main attack of what I read one person termed the “Gaystapo” of LBGT activists. This that they appear to have read the propaganda methods written by Dr Goebbels. He particularity targeted the young by subverting the education system to produce a loyal Hitler youth.

    The LBGT movement have been doing this for some now, suggesting that any skeptical or negative views on this topic are ‘homophobic’ and unacceptable, even of part of a ‘open’ debate. It is also apparent that the mass media and the arts are heavily influenced by LBGT people in policy making positions. LBGT people have a great influence quite disproportionate their total percentage of the population.

    For a long time time, Christians have neglected teaching their flocks about God’s standards for sexual behaviour, idolatry and the occult. In Romans Ch 1 Paul links homosexuality with idolatry – it was choice on the part of corrupt men who had rejected worshiping their creator! Some will ask “where is God’s love in my message”?

    God loves every sinner, and will forgive those that repent. LBGT sins are not more offensive than other sins, because we are all sinners before God. The problem is when someone says “I have no sin” God cannot forgive them. Promoting the acceptance LBGT practices as ‘biblical’ is making it harder for them to repent so come to Christ. My suggestion is hardly new, which love the sinner and hate their sin. Sin brings death and Jesus died that we can be saved!

  • Anton

    The Somerset County Gazette

    https://gallery.mailchimp.com/bed173cc9adfcad1e0e442a35/images/7d967ded-4d33-4b44-b72c-24df7ebf2e03.jpg

    carried police statements encouraging the public to record exchanges with Mr Overd that they found obnoxious, and send the recordings (presumably as mp3 files) to them at

    [email protected]

    (this address is in the newspaper article as shown at the link above).

    Perhaps his Grace’s readers might wish to email the police asking why they are actively soliciting evidence of crimes that they consider might be committed while they regularly ignore evidence relating to burglaries and car crime?

    Can the police be charged with wasting police time?

  • Philip Lishman

    Wherever homosexuality is lauded, Christians are persecuted. That is enough to tell its provenance.