Christian Legal Centre continue campaign for freedom to preach hatred against homosexuals

The Daily Telegraph carried a report today about Mr Hayworth, a street preacher, and his father who the police “threatened to arrest for reading the Bible in public.” Andrea Minichiello Williams, the director of the Christian Legal Centre wrote to Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester after being contacted by the couple and arranged for them to be represented by a lawyer. She claims that Mr Hayworth and his father were unlawfully and unfairly treated as they preached Christianity in the city at the end of July.

I only have the Telegraph report as a source of information. The report says Mr Hayward was reading passages from the Old and New Testaments while his father distributed leaflets containing the message of the gospel. What Christianity were they preaching that day in Manchester, what passages from the OT and NT were they reading, what gospel message did the tracts contain?

The passages included Romans 1.27 and 1 Corinthians 6.9 from the King James Bible:

“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…”

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.”

Chief Inspector Chris Hill said the police were called to St Ann’s Square following complaints from members of the public who considered the comments being made by two street preachers were racist and homophobic. “When spoken to, the men said they were quoting from the Bible. The officers confirmed they were entitled to preach on the street, but advised them offensive behaviour is not acceptable.”

It would seem that Mr Hayward was not preaching the Gospel, at least not the Good News of Jesus Christ as I understand it, but specifically preaching against homosexuality. The law says it is it is an offense to use offensive, threatening or abusive words or behaviour and to incite hatred on grounds of race, religion or sexual orientation. Using selective texts from Leviticus, Romans and 1 Corinthians is not preaching the Gospel of Jesus. It is preaching selectively with the effect of inciting hatred towards those of a particular sexual orientation.

The Christian Legal Centre is fighting for the right to incite hatred against homosexuals. The law says they can’t. The Centre maintains that Christians have a right to read the Bible in its entirety and preach from it, whoever they might offend – but most cases they represent seem to involve preaching against homosexuality.

The report says the Christian Legal Centre “seeks to promote religious freedom and, particularly, to protect Christians and Christianity.” It does not represent the majority of Christians in this country and it does not protect Christians and Christianity – quite the reverse. It is fuelling prejudice against LGBT people and doing untold harm to mission and evangelism, portraying the church as sex-obsessed and against loving, adult gay relationships.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    This seems so unsophisticated and brash in comparison to the polite gentility of the Prince Bishop of Durham's considered and scholarly letter; but of course this is precisely *what the Bishop of Durham really means*

  2. Cleo says

    I think it is clear that he was specifically preaching against homosexuality, given the verses he was using. It is definitely selective preaching. However, is he not entitled to preach any verse he wants? Don't get me wrong, I have encountered many such preachers, and find their ignorance incredibly trying. But I do feel that once they're not deliberately harrassing people (ie following them or trying to force leaflets on them), then they are entitled to say what they like. It's a case of "disagree completely with what they say, but defend to the death their right to say it" kind of thing. He is preaching the Bible, which does say those things. Yes, he is selectively quoting specific passages, which you and I would consider out of context. I guess what I mean is I personally wouldn't always consider some misguided soul calling homosexuals to "repentance" as incitement to hatred. If he was advocating harming of gay people, well that's different! His view of the Bible may be flawed to my mind, but it IS his view. Is he not entitled to voice it?

  3. Anonymous says

    I cannot comment on the current case, but the evidence is that the Christian Legal Centre is doing a good job in protecting the civil rights of Christians. The police have little regard for human rights as the policing of demonstrations and the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes show. Recent incidents show that the police have scant knowledge of the law and take at face value complaints from members of the public with an axe to grind. There is the incident in Chorlton where the police went in mob handed to stop an evangelical church inviting people to the Easter service. http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2009/freespeechclause/jhvideo_22jun09.htm
    And a street preacher in Gainsborough was harassed for no good reason
    http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2009/freespeechclause/arvideo_08jun09.htm

  4. Anonymous says

    The Christian Legal Centre do a wonderful job of standing up for Christian rights in this country and we should be able to fearlessly proclaim any part of the Bible in our streets without fear or intimidation.

    I for one am glad that Christian Legal Centre and Christian Concern for our Nation exist.

    Sadly I know that powerful elites hijack emotive issues like homosexuality in order to promte their anti-christian agenda, however, once complete they will turn on the homosexual community as well, I wish you could see that in advance.

  5. Göran Koch-Swahne says

    This was indeed selective preaching from the Bible. And History tells us these very verses has been used since the 12th century Scholastic changes in the Latin translation then in use to "incite hatred" against Gays.

    Other changes were directed at Jews, Muslims, Heretics (Cathars but not Valdensians), Lepers, the sons of married Priests.

    This socio-political misuse is not to be taken lightly and since 1947, for good reasons, European Law tends to protect the artificial phantom "groups" who were persecuted from Scholastic times.

  6. Sapphire says

    This is yet another case of biased reporting. The viewpoint has been slanted by the comments of the Christian Legal Centre to make it seem as if these people were persecuted for their faith.
    Nothing happened though did it? The police recieved a complaint. They acted upon it, gave the pair some advice to prevent a breach of the law and that was it.
    Next time I'm warned off for parking in the wrong place shall I call the Christian Legal Centre?
    Street preachers are a menace. They are usually untutored amateurs with their own personal axe to grind be it anti-gay or King James only. They make Christianity look bigoted and stupid. Far from defending them the Christian Legal Centre should warn them off and tell them to go home and stop making idiots of themselves and the rest of us.
    I'm surprised this isn't on the Christian Institute's website yet. It's the sort of 'proof' of the 'anti Christian conspiracy' that they love to rake up.

  7. Erika Baker says

    I'm losing track of which Anonymous is saying what, and it makes replying really difficult. Couldn't you all possibly use some initials or any other identifying name that doesn't reveal your true identity?

  8. Mark Zamen says

    The attitude of the CLC towards homosexuals is obvious and there is no doubt they are emphasizing Biblical passages inimical to gays. But, however distasteful and even repugnant their views, they too are entitled to their opinions. One must accept the reality that, even in this day and age, a large segment of society still regards gay men and women as second-class citizens – or worse. It is this perspective that must be vigorously countered, and that is the salient point of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a gay man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for acceptance (of himself and by others). More information on the book is available at http://www.eloquentbooks.com/BrokenSaint.html.

    Mark Zamen, author

  9. Anonymous says

    I am concerned that the point here is not what is said but why it is said, the reason preachers go on the streets is to save those who are lost. This is clear in the scripture go tell the world about the love of God through Jesus Christ that they may be saved, these preachers are risking their lives to save the few who will listen and receive their God Bought eternal life , through the sacrifice of our loving saviour and God Jesus. When this message is given, then the hearts of those who hear it might be turned from sin to salvation. Oh the joy that comes to the soul of those who receive their salvation through Christ, every sin washed from the heart, the spirit of Life in Christ Jesus filling the lonely, rejected broken and making them whole. Yes these street preachers risk their lives for just one soul, whatever his or her sexual orientation, religion , belief, drug addict, WHO-SO-EVER that calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved..These street preachers should be commended for caring for the lost.

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