Christian preacher Dale McAlpine said homosexuality was a sin, along with blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness. Then he was arrested in Wokington, Cumbria.

Speech in England is apparently only free if the cops personally like what you say.

McAlpine had been reciting a number of sins in the Bible, not mentioning homosexuality while delivering his sermon from a stepladder. Afterward, he was passing out leaflets outlining the Ten Commandments when a woman approached him and engaged in a debate where McAlpine said he conversed quietly about Corinthians 1.

When she left, a police community support officer (PCSO) who is homosexual approached the woman, spoke with her, then approached McAlpine saying a complaint had been made against him. The woman was obviously in so much distress about what McAlpine had said, she couldn’t approach the police herself. Thankfully, however, the officer had above average discernment skills and could sense the woman’s distress.

Dutifully, the officer spoke with the woman who had approached McAlpine specifically to debate him and ascertained her hidden desire to file a complaint, though the officer had no personal feelings about the situation one way or another. That’s why he immediately identified himself to McAlpine as a homosexual and as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police.

McAlpine reportedly spoke with the officer for 20 minutes about Biblical teachings on sin, but did not mention homosexuality. He was arrested for using abusive or insulting language, according to the UK Telegraph.

“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know,” he said. “My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn’t apply.”

The law he is referring to is the Public Order Act, established in 1986 to stop riots, violent disorder, affray (aka physically fighting), provocation of violence, or harassment, alarm or distress, the section he apparently violated. That section is defined by:

“(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”

Case law in England, however, has already established that preaching against homosexuality is not abusive or insulting language. The officers were either ignorant of the case law or ignored it.

Sam Webster, a solicitor-advocate for the Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr McAlpine, said it is not a crime to express the belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.

“The police have a duty to maintain public order but they also have a duty to defend the lawful free speech of citizens,” he said.

“Case law has ruled that the orthodox Christian belief that homosexual conduct is sinful is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

McAlpine was transported from the scene in the back of a marked van, locked in a cell for seven hours, had his pockets emptied, his phone and belt and shoes confiscated, his fingerprints taken, his palm print taken, his retina scanned and his DNA swab taken.

Dale McAlpine, 42-year-old Baptist, has reportedly preached in Wokington, Cumbria for years