Police Threaten Cafe Owner For Displaying The Bible
In the latest of a growing number of similar events, a cafe owner in Blackpool, England was threatened with arrest when a customer complained to the police that Bible verses displayed in a video at his restaurant were “homophobic.”
The police are quoted in the UK’s Daily Mail as follows: “The Constabulary is respectful of all religious views. However, we do have a responsibility to make sure that material that communities may find deeply offensive or inflammatory is not being displayed in public.”
The cafe owner, Jamie Murray, who had worked for five years at a homeless shelter prior to running the cafe, complied with police threats and turned off the video display. He believes the complaint may have been caused by a passage from the book of Romans which had played the week before:
“God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural. Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.” (Romans 1:26-28)
The Christian Institute, a group which defends British Christians against infringements of their civil rights, is preparing to sue the police.
According to the Daily Mail story, their representative said, “I have no problem with the police looking into a complaint, but once they realised it was just the words of the Bible being shown on the screen then they should have walked away. They did not even look at the offending DVD. They simply told Mr Murray that he had to stop showing the Bible and warned him that they would continue to monitor what he was doing. This is intimidatory and completely unacceptable. It is a problem right across the country that the police are under huge political pressure to be seen to respond to anything homophobic.”
Last year Dale McAlpine, a Baptist preacher in England, was arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin. Earlier this year a member of the British Parliament made headlines by stating he believed churches should be forced to conduct same-sex marriages.
Will “hate speech” laws and the same-sex marriage movement lead the United States to a similar situation in the near future?