A significant ruling in favour of Christian freedom of speech has been made in the case of a street preacher arrested for quoting the Bible on homosexuality.
The police now have to pay £4,000 compensation to Anthony Rollins, who was handcuffed in Birmingham after using biblical passages to oppose homosexual sex.
Mr Rollins was held at the police station for almost four hours because someone who heard his preaching rang the police to complain that his words were ‘hugely offensive’. However, the judge at Birmingham county court decided that the arrest was made ‘unthinkingly’. The result comes after a string of recent court decisions against Christians on homosexual issues.
Mr Rollins said: ‘I didn’t do this for the compensation. I did it for freedom of speech.’
Apologies, to see the full article you will need to go to the Daily Mail (not a paper I would recommend to a dying dog).
I have no idea what the man is like as a street preacher. I have heard good ones and some that were simply embarrassing. I also know a few people who had their life changed forever as it resulted in them becoming followers of Jesus, such as my friend Don.
Judge Ashworth’s ruling was critical of the evidence given by the onlooker who called police and who claimed he had been offended by the preaching. He said of John Edwards: ‘I was not impressed by him as a witness. He struck me as a man full of his own self-importance who in the witness box relished the attention and greatly embellished his evidence.’
As the preacher said, this is about freedom of speech. I think it is only when people and organisations are penalised, like having to pay compensation, that they remember not to do it again.
Judge Lance Ashworth QC said at Birmingham county court that police who made the arrest acted ‘as a matter of routine’. He said, ‘This was not done in any way maliciously, spitefully or arrogantly. It was done unthinkingly’.
They will think next time!