Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, June 02, 2008

Christian preachers face arrest in Birmingham

When I saw the headline, I thought it meant Alabama. Nope: England.

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths.
Asian? They couldn't narrow that down at all?

A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs.

They said when the officer realised they were American, although both have lived in Britain for many years, he launched a tirade against President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Cunningham said: "I told him that this had nothing to do with the gospel we were preaching but he became very aggressive.

"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."

The preacher refused to give the PCSO his address because he felt the officer's manner was "threatening and intimidating".

The ministers claim he also advised them not to return to the area. As he walked away, the PCSO said: "You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned".
If that's the way it happened, that's a hell of a thing for a peace officer to tell somebody who's peacefully standing on a street corner, exercising their rights of free speech.

Of course, I don't know whether "free speech" means the same thing over there as it does over here. Plus I wonder what the law in either place - here or there - could do if, for example, we knew for sure that trying to convert Muslims in that way would cause, for example, violent riots. Does preaching the Gospel then become the same as yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater?

And have I now given tolerance-laden appeasers the excuse they need to keep right on appeasing?

Just asking.

I also hope these guys really were sincere in what they were doing: that they weren’t simply looking for conflict to further a political agenda.