Magazine article The Spectator

You Really Shouldn't Arrest Someone for Quoting from the Bible

Magazine article The Spectator

You Really Shouldn't Arrest Someone for Quoting from the Bible

Article excerpt

'If a man has sexual relations with a man, as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.' Leviticus xx 13 Britain's most energetic and entertaining bigot, Stephen Green of Christian Voice, has at last managed to get himself arrested. His crime was to hand out leaflets, which quoted the above passage from the Bible, in a park in Cardiff. Stephen believes that Leviticus got it right about homosexuality, although perhaps it does not go far enough, all things considered. He will, if you press him, tell you that homosexuality is an abomination and wicked and evil and so on.

It's all in his book The Sexual Dead-End.

Anyway, what happened in Cardiff was this, Stephen told me. 'We were there handing out these leaflets when a couple of coppers turned up, wearing fluorescent jackets with "Minority Support Unit" on the back. One of them came up to me and said, "Stop handing out those leaflets." I asked why I should stop and he said that if I didn't, he'd do me for littering. I told him I had no intention of stopping and handed a leaflet to the next person who passed by, at which point the copper said, "Right, you're nicked, " and carted me off to Cardiff police station where I spent four hours in the cells.' Stephen, with some justification, finds all of this very funny indeed and we had to break off our conversation for a while because he couldn't stop giggling about the policeman 'prancing around in his fluorescent jacket'.

The upshot was, Mr Green got charged under Section Five of the 1986 Public Order Act and there was, as it transpired, no charge relating to the alleged 'littering'. He is due back in court on 28 September and, I dare say, will be fervently hoping to get banged up.

What a terrible thing it is to find oneself unreservedly on the side of a chap like Stephen Green, a man who serves to remind us that Islam does not have a monopoly on intolerance and mediaeval opinions (or, indeed, pre-mediaeval in Stephen's case). But one cannot always choose one's allies. So much about this case is simultaneously ludicrous, offensive and hilarious that it is difficult to know quite where to begin.

There's the comparatively minor infringement of human rights in the actions of that puffed-up rozzer bullying and threatening Stephen Green with a wholly fictitious charge of littering (assuming, for a moment, that Stephen was telling the truth. It sounded as if he was and -- remember -- God speaks to Stephen on a daily basis so He would be mightily aggrieved if He discovered Stephen had lied to The Spectator).

It was not Mr Green who was doing the littering, of course, but sentient members of the public who read the leaflet and found it so stupid that they immediately cast it to the ground, unable to wait until they found a suitable receptacle. Then there's the mere existence of these Minority Support Units; the chest-beating pomposity of the name; the knowledge that your local police force, wherever you are, is compelled to divert its manpower and capital into these fatuous and fashionable cadres, while the statistics for real street crimes, i. e. , crimes where you get stabbed or smacked about and your wallet is nicked, continue to soar.

But the real point, the crucial piece of lunacy, is that these days one can be arrested for simply quoting from the Holy Bible, the book upon which our society is based, which has given us our language and our code of morals. …

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