Landmark Free Speech Ruling in UK

Here’s a court case with an outcome that swims against the tide of political correctness. Are we seeing a slow turnaround? A Christian street preacher (Anthony Rollins) was arrested in the UK for hate speech against homosexuals. One passer by objected to what he was saying and dialed 999. Police arrived with flashing lights, handcuffed Mr. Rollins immediately and threw him in the Police van. He was kept in the West Midland cells for 4 hours. Amazing how quickly and authoritatively the Police can act when its something so vitally important ain’t it?

Judge Ashworth condemned the arrest of Anthony Rollins, who quoted the King James Bible on the subject of the ‘effeminate’ as he preached in Birmingham. The Police were ordered to pay £4000 in damages. The Judge’s ruling was dismissive of evidence given by the onlooker who called police and who said he had been offended by the preaching. He said of John Edwards: ‘I was not impressed by him as a witness. He struck me as a man full of his own self-importance who in the witness box relished the attention and greatly embellished his evidence.’

“The case is a notable victory for the Christian argument following a series of court reverses in recent years. Street preacher Harry Hammond was convicted and fined in 2001 for holding a sign saying ‘Stop Homosexuality’ and an appeal on freedom of speech grounds failed. In a key case earlier this year, judges said a relationship counsellor had no right to refuse sex therapy to gays and that Christians had no right to special protection from the law. A test case on the right of Christian bed and breakfast owners to refuse rooms to gay couples is expected shortly.”

It will be interesting to see if other Judges will show such unusual and unfashionable respect for the convention of freedom of expression.

Full story here.

12 thoughts on “Landmark Free Speech Ruling in UK

  1. Ok, great victory for freedom of speech

    I’m a believing Christian but I wish preachers would preach the Gospel instead of making moral judgement calls. This man was preaching on his own opinion against gays instead of delivering the Gospel message. Our opinions aren’t of God. We as believers need to preach the risen Christ andd a place for humanity at the cross. Anything beyond that is none of our business. We have ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God. That includes heterosexuals. I hope this man will learn the margins he should stay within and respect the right of his democratic freedom of speech by respecting other’s life style choices. We all have a destiny to meet our maker and many of us will be prostitutes, drunks, crims and the least of society who have repented nad be accepted into the kingdom. This guy needs to learn his own Bible and get spiritual.

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  2. “..and respect the right of his democratic freedom of speech by respecting other’s life style choices.”

    Nonsense. Our right to freedom of speech is not contingent upon ‘respect’ for lifestyle choices we disagree with.
    Welfare dependency is often a lifestyle choice–as is a life of criminality. Must I respect that in order to exercise my right to freedom of speech? What an absurd proposition.
    (I’d also point out that the U.S. is a Republic, not a democracy, yet they have the right to freedom of speech enshrined in their Constitution. Freedom of speech isn’t necessarily dependent on democracy)

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  3. @kg

    I gave you a thumbs up but you were speaking more broadly while I was specific about people’s personal life styles, not what affects the community or economy.

    What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. If they choose to ignore God’s gift of salvation they will ultimately be exposed and Judged. But we of course are not God but simply his messengers. Democracy and benevolence are God’s virtues to humanity. His Son is His victory for us.

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  4. “What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. ”
    Absolutely no argument from me there. But I don’t have to respect them for it. And whether I do or not doesn’t affect my right to exercise free speech.
    “Democracy and benevolence are God’s virtues to humanity.”
    That’s at least debatable. Not being privy to the mind of God (if there is a God) means that it’s an opinion –and I respect the right of people to hold it. But if democracy is one of God’s gifts to man, I must say it’s a very mixed blessing indeed. 😉

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  5. Wikiriwhi [December 12, 2010 at] 08:55,

    I’m a believing Christian but I wish preachers would preach the Gospel instead of making moral judgement calls. This man was preaching on his own opinion against gays instead of delivering the Gospel message.

    How do you know he wasn’t doing both? How do you preach the gospel without mentioning sin? You do realise Christ died for sinners and often those sins were identified [murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc, etc]?

    Remember Christ’s encounter with the woman caught in adultery:

    Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
    Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    While Christ didn’t condemn her, He certainly told her to “go, and sin no more”. Surely, as Christians, we are to tell homosexuals that homosexuality is a sin, that they need to repent of (all of) their sin, receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and “go, and sin no more”.

    Otherwise you end up with liberal churches filled with homosexuals et al, who think they are Christians but have never been challenged of their sin, or even had it identified as such.

    If the following –

    1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    – shall not inherit the kingdom of God, then why would we let them think themselves the recipients of salvation when in reality they are still in their sin and, through ignorance or otherwise, see nothing inconsistent with being, say, a HOMOSEXUAL and a CHRISTIAN.

    When I preach or witness I ALWAYS mention sin, usually with specifics; that we are all sinners; that Christ died for all sinners; and that one must BOTH repent of their sin AND receive Christ to obtain the gift of salvation.

    Once again, Christ’s own words: “… go, and sin no more”.

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  6. @Kris

    Christ came to seek and save sinners. All those you mention on your list. In the Gospel there is forgiveness to the rependent. In moralism there is none. America has been lost in the tide of moralism. Their religion is moralism. Moralism is condemnation. You mention a whole list. That street preacher purposely focused on gays. He’s preaching with a chip on his shoulder and he he causes offence by magnifying one group in society. And whee you and I may bless from the pulpit, he’s using the pulpit to his own agenda. It’s very easy to do . That’s why we’re called disciples. We have to learn discipline and have spiritual minds. Then we will preach the truth in love brother.

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  7. Wikiriwhi 19:22

    We have to learn discipline and have spiritual minds. Then we will preach the truth in love brother.

    I agree, we have to preach/witness with love as our foundation. Sometimes, though, I feel liberal Christianity errs on the side of “love” at the expense of “truth”. Of course pure truth without love is the other extreme. Truth and love should always be in harmony – not easy I know – Christ being the perfect example of these two being held in balance when He spoke/preached.

    1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    God [Christ] being the perfect embodiment of TRUTH and LOVE.

    But I think we’re on the same page.

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  8. God’s love is an aspect of His holiness.

    We need to learn as fellow Kiwi preacher Ray Comfort did, from the reformers of the Great Awakening, how to advance the need to flee sin and run to the saviour. As Ray says, too many preachers give the answer before they ask the question. Worldy sorrow does not produce godly repentance. Why do we need God’s love. Why do we need repentance. The difference between preaching God’s holiness to the lost as opposed to giving them a God of love on a plate they have little to fear of, is why we have converts who are neither of the good 30, 60 or 100 fold because they have no measure of faith to begin with to weather the storms of faith. Completely based on sand. Therefore our preaching needs to be balanced and not fixated on a minute part of society that earns the label of hater instead of soul winner. He that win’s souls is wise.

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  9. “What consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business. ”

    Does that include incest and bestiality?

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  10. @Chuck

    I said consenting adults which is a definition for legal relations.

    Do we have to be precious on this blog?

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