Sunday, 30 May 2010

Of bigotry and fairy tales on the rates

Apparently the street preacher arrested for telling a gay copper that homosexuality is a sin is now suing both the officer and his chief constable for “unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
To briefly summarise for those who didn’t read of the case (possibly they don’t regard the Daily Mail as a newspaper either), Dale Mcalpine was ‘witnessing’ in a Cumbrian street, and, to be fair, whatever else he railed about in his sermon it wasn’t homosexuality.
That came up when a couple of Police Community Support Officers tried to move him on. One happened to mention he was gay (perhaps as an example of the kind of folk who might take offence) and Mcalpine seems to have told him that was a sin. At which point he got his collar felt.
But the funniest thing about the original case is that the charge against Mcalpine wasn’t dropped because of outpourings of bile from Mail readers, or splenetic columnists like Malignant Phillips, or even homophobic professional godbotherers (though they, of course, still pretend they were influential). They were dropped when Peter Tatchell said that, on principle, if Mcalpine went to court he’d turn up and be a witness for the defence. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, also weighed in, tongue-in-cheek, saying: "This was a ridiculously over-the-top reaction to someone exercising their right to freedom of speech. Mr Mcalpine has as much right to criticise homosexuals as I should have to call him a crank."
It won’t surprise anybody that the hypocrites underwriting this under the pretence of defending freedom of speech (see ) are the same godbothering, over-sensitive whingebags who get art exhibitions closed for having piccies that question their muppetry, or mount campaigns to stop Anne Summers shops nationwide wishing us a horny Christmas.
It wouldn’t, either, surprise Manx people who’ve noticed how many superstitiously challenged bigots hang out at the Department of Home Affairs that when some of our nastiest Christians then started skulking around the local Anne Summers shop, giving staff and customers ugly looks while muttering under their breath, the police did not act. Funny that, because if all else fails a section of the Mental Health Act allows a police officer to remove lunatics to a temporary place of safety if they judge either the lunatic or the public are in danger.
But there’s a more positive way to look at this too. Once upon a time this Cumbrian imbecile would have had no problem rounding up enough loons to fill a small building, and get them to pay enough for the dubious privilege of hearing his twaddle to earn a living. Now he has to practice in the street, and like others of his ‘profession’ increasingly relies on public funds to get by.
Is this court challenge, in effect, anything but another Christian trying to con a public payout because he’s offering a product no-one needs or wants? A bit like, say, cartwrights after the motor car was invented.
Which might also explain why local Anglicans are trying to reinvent their biggest, least useful or popular barns as ‘heritage sites’ and ‘community facilities’ in order to keep them open – if, as ever, empty – with us mugs paying for buildings we wouldn’t be seen dead in (or married in either, in the case of straight heathens), and where our kids will never learn anything except hate or hypocrisy.

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