LONDON (Dailymail): This is the moment police pulled an elderly Christian preacher off his podium and arrested him for making ‘homophobic statements’ – after supporters say he refused to stop reading from the Bible about how God wanted families to be headed by a ‘father and a mother’.
Two women can be heard shouting ‘this is a Christian country’ as two policemen lead the 71-year-old man away when he refused to stop addressing the crowd outside Uxbridge Station in West London.
Police said they had received complaints the man had been making ‘allegedly homophobic comments’ and arrested him under the Public Order Act, which can be used under the vague proviso that someone is using ‘abusive or insulting words’ that cause ‘harm’ to someone else. He was later released without charge.
A statement posted to a Christian Facebook his supporters read: ‘Whilst he was preaching, he expounded the final verses of Genesis 1, declaring that God’s purpose in creating mankind was to set human beings in families, headed by a father and a mother, not by two fathers, or by two mothers.
‘The distinction within mankind of just two genders, male and female, made in the image of God, constitutes the essence of God’s created order.’
Earlier in the footage, filmed on Friday, two officers can be seen urging the man to step down from the footstool telling him: ‘You’re under arrest.’
The pastor repeatedly refuses, prompting both officers to take him by the hands and guide him down from the steps.
Bible passages preacher’s supporters claim he referred to
God ‘created two genders’ –
‘So God created mankind in his own image… male and female he created them.’
‘For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.’
A struggle then ensues as the older man appears to free himself from the police officers’ grip.
Several onlookers, including an older woman and a barking dog jumping into the fray.
The two police officers then struggle to cuff the man as one tells him: ‘I don’t want you getting hurt.’
He is then marched away from the crowd by one of the cops as several onlookers can be seen with their mobile phones out.
A woman behind the camera says: ‘For a man preaching about Christianity, look at how he’s ripping him.’
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘At 1.35pm on Friday, April 23, officers on patrol were flagged down by a member of the public who made them aware of a man allegedly making homophobic comments close to Uxbridge Underground Station.
‘A number of other people also approached the officers with concerns about the man’s language.
‘Officers spoke with the 71-year-old man and he was subsequently arrested on suspicion of an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
‘He was taken to a west London police station and later released under investigation.
‘A file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for review and consideration.
‘The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards [DPS] have since assessed the footage and found no indication of misconduct. The arrest will not be subject to a full DPS review.’
The statement on the Christian page continued: ‘Police officer also spoke to [a second pastor] about homophobic speech.
‘The minister explained that to uphold God’s moral law and speak about the dangers of sin in respect of LGBT issues implies absolutely no hatred or unpleasantness towards any individual or group of people.
‘Nevertheless, the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality is plain.
‘To this the policeman responded that some matters simply cannot be referred to in public places, implying that homosexuality is one of them.
‘The officer also stated that there is no freedom to make statements in public which offend people.
‘[The second pastor] responded that the Police would have no objection whatsoever to a Pride parade being held in Uxbridge, yet that is highly offensive to Bible-believing Christians.’
The statement concludes: ‘This arrest of a faithful preacher for doing nothing other than declaring what the Bible teaches about one of the important moral issues of our time reveals a dangerous assault taking place in modern Britain upon freedom of speech, and not least, upon the freedom of Christian pastors to proclaim in public all that the Bible teaches (see Acts 20:27).’
The pastor has been contacted for comment.
It comes after police recorded a ‘hate incident’ against a retired teacher who wrote a ‘polite’ letter to a campaigner defending a mother’s right to abort a baby with Down’s syndrome.
Douglas Kedge, 85, penned a letter to a woman protesting about an episode of Emmerdale in which a couple decided to terminate a pregnancy after the baby was diagnosed with the genetic disorder.
He wrote that although he understood some may regard having a child with Down’s syndrome as a ‘great privilege and joy’, there are other ‘perfectly decent people’ who may wish to avoid ‘what could well be for them an appalling change in their lives’.
According to the Times, he added: ‘You disgracefully suggest that the reason for the inclusion of this situation in the script is a deliberate attempt to perpetuate prejudice against Down’s syndrome children.’
Former parish council chairman Mr Kedge later received a call from Thames Valley Police to inform him that a record had been made of his involvement in a ‘non-crime hate incident’.
Despite this, officers accepted that the letter was ‘very politely written’.
It followed a complaint by Rachel Mewes, from Northumberland, who had received Mr Kedge’s letter in response to a comment she made in the Times last November.