"When I got up on my step ladder to preach, I never mentioned homosexual conduct," he said. "I mentioned a number of other sins like drunkenness, adultery and blasphemy, but I never once mentioned the sin of homosexuality while I was preaching."
He was later arrested and held overnight in a cell at the Cumbria Police station and was charged with a crime. McAlpine told CBN News he was in complete shock to find himself locked up simply for sharing his beliefs.
"I was shocked that I was taken off the street," he added. "I didn't expect to be taken to a prison cell that day. I went out to preach the Gospel and I was shocked that I found myself in a cell and my freedom taken away from me. Yet I had a wonderful peace from the Lord and I had my Bible."
The police were unable to comment on the case.
"We would like to reassure the public that we respect, and are committed to upholding, the fundamental right to freedom of expression. We are just as committed to maintaining the peace and preventing people feeling alarmed or distressed by the actions of others in public places," Chief Superintendent Steve Johnson said in a written statement.
The Christian Institute helped McAlpine with his legal defence. Spokesman Simon Calvert said the police must be held responsible for their actions.
"The Cumbria Police can't just walk away from this," Calvert said. "They arrested and charged an innocent man for no other reason than he peacefully expressed his Christian beliefs and it's happened in other parts of the country too. So there's clearly a problem with the system and it has to be put right."
McAlpine along with the Christian Institute have considered his legal options to ensure that something like this won't happen again. But while many cases like this continue across the United Kingdom, Christians remain concerned that their ability to openly express their beliefs in the country remains under threat.
Here's the vid the police used as evidence:
The transcript, found at the link above:
Dale: We’re not out here to break any laws. We want to abide by the law. There isn’t any law against saying that them things are sins. There isn’t any law against that.
Police: Hello sir. What’ve you been saying, homophobic wise?
Dale: Well, homophobia is hatred towards homosexuals. That’s the definition of homophobia but I’m not a homophobia [sic]. I spoke to your officer earlier and he was upset that I was saying homosexuality was a sin – which is what the Bible says. And I affirm that’s what I say because that’s in the Bible. And there’s no law, there’s no law…
Police: Well there is.
Dale: No there isn’t.
Police: There is. Unfortunately, mate, it’s a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
Dale: It actually isn’t.
Police: Sir, it’s a…
Dale: We wouldn’t do that because if it was against the law, y’know. Lord Carey, was it Lord – the guy who passed that law in the Houses of Parliament recently – the free speech [inaudible].
Police: [inaudible] It protects free speech to a degree but [inaudible].
Dale’s friend: Actually, I certainly didn’t. These two gentlemen listened to probably all I’ve said. I certainly never mentioned homosexuality.
Police: Yeah, we know.
Dale: The only time I mentioned it was when I was talking to this gentleman here. When I was up on the steps preaching, I didn’t mention it. Even so, y’know, it still is not against the law.
Police: It is against the law. Listen, mate, we’re pretty sure. You’re under arrest for a racially aggravated Section 5 Public Order offence. You don’t have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
Dale: Fair enough.
Police: OK. Do you want to walk this way to our van?
No, it's not fair enough. They arrested him for a racially aggravated offense. Did he say anything about race??
Now, I wonder what would happen if that were an adherent of the Religion of Peace? Islam also considers homosexuality a sin, but whereas Jesus taught His followers to forgive, Mohammed taught his to kill, and death is the penalty for homosexuality under Islamic law. What would happen if it were some Pakistani mullah advocating killing homosexuals, the way mullahs advocate killing everyone else who opposes Islam?
What it all boils down to is the title of this post.