Is There Free Speech for Christians in Britain?

Another street preacher has been arrested in Britain.

This is the third preacher to be arrested since July.

Put that together with people being fired from their jobs for following their faith, and the question Is there free speech for Christians in Britain? rises to the top.

Is there? Or is Britain becoming too politically correct for freedom of speech?

From TheWay.

Another street preacher arrested

A Christian street preacher was arrested in Perth, Edinburgh last Wednesday for ‘disturbing the peace.’

This is the third Christian street preacher that has been arrested since July, the Christian public have become concerned that Christianity is losing the right to freedom of speech. Reverend Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church was arrested on Wednesday last week, he said that the trend point to “an increasingly hostility towards Christianity.”

Mr Williamson is known in the area and regularly does open air preaching in the streets of Perth, he argued that he was not using any amplication and enquired of the arresting officer what an acceptable noise level would be?

The officer informed Rev Williamson that the noise level was not the issue but that a complaint had been made against him, the officer informed him that he was breaking the law by being a “breach of the peace.”

The officer went on to warn Rev Williamson that if he continued preaching he would be arrested. Rev Williamson replied that he would not comply because he was not breaking the law.

A second man intervened and defended Rev Williamson’s right to preach but he was arrested by the police officer as well.

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  • D. A. Christianson

    The short answer is, “No”

  • abb3w

    There is as much Free Speech for Christians in Britain as there is for any other religion in in Britain … which is to say, not much. Disgust with censorship of religious/political controversy in the public square on excuse of “breach of the peace” is one of the major reasons for the First Amendment. While British tolerance has increased in the years since that fissure between legal systems, there remains a basic difference in the fundamental legal premises of the two countries.

    • FW Ken

      It’s worth remembering that England has a history of blasphemy laws, now ignored or repealed. I’m not sure. But I can’t believe that the British consciousness isn’t permeated by the notion that some things should just not said. Probably Fabio can expound on that, but it seems reasonable to me. Apparently, considering same-sex acts morally wrong is currently something that should just not be said.

  • Sven2547

    Tellingly, the article makes no mention of what he was actually saying. I bet if I were to go loudly slurring people on busy city corners, I would be reprimanded for “breaching the peace” as well.

    • FW Ken

      I read several articles, none of which referenced Your Personal Obsession. Since he was arrested for “breaching the peace” and not hate speech, you, Sven, are the one casting slurs. But that’s what we expect from atheists.

  • FW Ken

    John Wesley gathered crowds of 20,000 or so when he finally obeyed the call to preach outdoors. He saved Britain from the fate of the French and their revolutions. What will happen now?

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      John Wesley gathered them in peaceful fields, not in rushing streets at working time. And besides, I would be surprised if any of these gentlemen turned out to be a Wesley.

      • FW Ken

        There’s a fellow who holds forth on the corner by our old office. It’s on my way home and I pray for him when I drive by. Ok Wesley he’s not, but I don’t see anyone else addressing themselves to the no-tell motels on two of the corners. Maybe it’s worthless, maybe not.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    You already heard me on this, but to be fair, I don’t think the British regard the right to make an unprompted public noise as part of freedom of expression. They are more apt to regard it as a public nuisance, on the level of ranting drunks or howling football fanatics. For all the change that has taken place, English reserve is still a very real fact; you would not believe how softly people speak around here,or how little. You can have an underground train full of commuters at peak time, and still be only a little above the ordinary level of noise.