Police Interrogate Christian Grandmother for Homophobic Hatred
By Jerry A. Kane
Anti-Christian bigotry is rife throughout the United Kingdom. Christians are targeted and persecuted for expressing their religious beliefs about homosexuality. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act passed in 2006 has given anti-Christian bigots the power to criminalize Christianity.
In July, Pauline Howe wrote a complaint letter to her local council about the verbal abuse she had received while handing out Christian leaflets at a homosexual pride parade in Norwich, England. Instead of the council sending a response acknowledging her complaint, she received a letter informing her that the duty of the local authority is “to eliminate discrimination of all kinds” and that she might be guilty of a homophobic hate crime.
The council’s deputy chief executive, Bridget Buttinger, responded threatening to prosecute the 67 year-old grandmother:
“The content of your letter has been assessed as potentially being hate related because of the views you expressed towards people of a certain sexual orientation. Your details and details of the contents of your letter have been recorded as such and passed to the police.” [emphasis mine]
Later, two Norfolk police officers arrived at the crime scene, the retiree’s home, and took her to task for writing a “potentially hate-related” letter regarding homosexuals and homosexuality. In the letter, Howe wrote that the march was a “public display of indecency” and “offensive to God,” that homosexuals were sodomites and homosexuality had “contributed to the downfall of every empire,” and that “gay sex was a major cause of sexually transmitted infections.”
Howe, a minister’s wife, said that her comments were expressions of her Christian beliefs and not of hatred or homophobia as the police had thought. Having sufficiently stressed the inappropriateness of her word choice, the officers told Howe that she would not be prosecuted.
Howe said the police presence in her home was an unpleasant experience and made her feel threatened.
“Our freedoms as Bible believing Christians have just been squashed. We’re not allowed to express our Biblical, evangelical beliefs anymore without being frightened, quite frankly,” Howe added.
For almost a decade, Christians in England have been accused of the crime of homophobia for criticizing homosexual practices or advising abstinence from homosexual activity:
- In 2008, Miguel Hayworth, a Christian street preacher in Manchester, was forcefully removed from the street, put in the back a police van, and questioned for over an hour following a complaint of homophobia.
- In 2006, Stephen Green, a Christian campaigner, was arrested for handing out leaflets that contained biblical quotes about homosexuality at a gay pride festival in Cardiff. He was taken into custody, questioned, charged, and was awaiting trial when the case was dropped.
- Also in 2006, the Archbishop of Glasgow defended traditional marriage and criticized civil partnerships in a church service, and a Member of the Scottish Parliament called upon the Strathclyde Police to investigate his remarks.
- In 2005, author Lynette Burrows was a guest on a radio talk show and said that two homosexual men adopting a child would not be good for the child. Later, a police officer phoned telling her that a “homophobic incident” had been reported against her comments and that the police would keep a record of it.
- Again in 2005, retirees Joe and Helen Roberts were interrogated by police for opposing their local council’s use of public money for gay rights’ projects.
- In 2004, the Christian Union of the University of Cambridge was reported to the police for hosting an evangelistic meeting where the Dean of Sydney Cathedral spoke on the traditional biblical view of homosexuality.
- In 2003, the Bishop of Chester, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Forster, told a local newspaper that therapy had helped some homosexuals re-orient to heterosexuality. His remarks were considered a hate crime and the case was submitted for prosecution but later dropped.
The list is by no means exhaustive. Many Christians, usually evangelicals, have been interrogated, arrested, and charged with homophobia and hate crimes for daring to criticize homosexuality. And unfortunately the trend of illiberal laws, which swept over Europe for the last ten years, have breached the great divide and will now blow unrestrained throughout the United States in the guise of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
This draconian legislation just signed into law October 28, 2009, by Brother O is similar to the United Kingdom’s Racial and Religious Hatred Act. And like its predecessor, the Matthew Shepard Act will make ridiculing Christians and their beliefs an acceptable form of bigotry. Gluttonous, lecherous bigots the likes of Jerrold Nadler and Barney Frank will garner the power to silence anyone who dares speak out for religious reasons against the practice of homosexuality, and they will do so brazenly without accountability, and in defiance of the people’s will.
The birthplace of political liberties and the home of the Magna Carta is arguably the most intrusive nanny state in the western world, but the Brits won’t hold that distinction for long. The land of opportunity and once proud safe haven for religious refugees will assuredly supplant it, and unlike the dubious decision from the Nobel Peace Prize committee, this distinction will be earned.