Let us hope that we are not the only gay people to denounce police in Wokington, Cumbria (in the UK) for arresting Dale McAlpine, a Christian street preacher who was “reciting a number of ‘sins’ referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships“:
Police officers are alleging that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and have charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act.
Mr McAlpine, who was taken to the police station in the back of a marked van and locked in a cell for seven hours on April 20, said the incident was among the worst experiences of his life.
Now, we don’t agree with what Mr. McAlpine said, but we certainly support his right to say it. He should not have been arrested. If people were offended by his words, then they should have challenged him, mounting their own stepladders (as Mr. McAlpine) had done and taking issue with his arguments point by point. Indeed, one woman did just that, only to find herself approached by a “homosexual police community support officer (PCSO)”.
After this PCSO spoke with this woman who had engaged the preacher “in a debate about his faith”, he confronted McAlpine who
. . . claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”
This PCSO sounds like a real busybody while the woman sounds like she pretty much knew how responsible people deal with disagreement in a free society. They engage in debate. If this PCSO is going to lock up someone offering an alternative point of view, he must suffer from a severe case of inecurity. Where else have we see such behavior, locking up our intellectual adversaries?
Authorities should drop the charges, fire the PCSO and ask him to attend tolerance training sessions while we should all follow the example of that woman who engaged the street preacher in debates about faith. (Though she would have been wise not to inform this PCSO about her conversation.)