26 April 2010

Shawn the Baptist

Below this comment you can read the entire article, or jump to it here:

But for now, let's just say that "Freedom of Speech" got hit with a massive blow in Glasgow, Scotland last month. Seems an American Baptist, Shawn Holes, who is pictured with the Bible in hand, was answering questions at a public forum and said, matter-of-factly that homosexuals are going to hell. He also said that Mohammed was a sinner "just like the rest of us."

Under the Criminal Justice Act, he was arrested and given a 1000 pound penalty (Aussie $1660). Wow, a massive penalty for conversational question and answers. He was charged with "uttering homophobic remarks" in a breach of the peace that prosecutors said was "aggravated by religious prejudice."

I'm all for police and the courts keeping the peace. I'm all for people not being allowed to incite to violence. At the same time, freedom of speech must be safeguarded or you will have thought police monitoring all our conversations, emails and public speeches. That's not right.

Even Peter Tatchell, a gay rights activist (also pictured above), said, "The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive."

Goodonya Peter. Not for your views on homosexuality, but for your giving people a "fair go." That's the Aussie way (even though you are a Scot). A person with convictions is open to contrary views and welcomes good debate and conversation.

What about you? Are you open-minded? Do you have alternate opinions about God, Jesus, religion, atheism, etc? If so, you should be willing to discuss this and other matters. In a forum especially!

Shawn the Baptist (as he self-identifies) from upstate New York, is one we are highlighting, but this could be a conversation starter in your house today.

What do you think about Jesus?

Happy Anzac Day (celebrated) weekend.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1262310/Gay-rights-campaigner-condemns-1-000-fine-preacher-said-homosexuality-sin.html#ixzz0m9insbx7

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1262310/Gay-rights-campaigner-condemns-1-000-fine-preacher-said-homosexuality-sin.html#ixzz0m9iF75hV

Here's the full article:
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell defends 'homosexuals are sinners' preacher and slams £1,000 fine as heavy-handed

By Arthur Martin
Last updated at 8:45 PM on 30th March 2010

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has defended a Christian street preacher fined £1,000 for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

Baptist Shawn Holes was taken from a busy shopping street in a police van and locked in a cell for the night.

He appeared in court the next day charged with 'uttering homophobic remarks' in a breach of the peace that prosecutors said was 'aggravated by religious prejudice'.
Peter Tatchell
Shawn David Holes

Campaigner Peter Tatchell (left) has defended Christian street preacher Shawn Holes (right), who was fined £1,000 for saying that homosexuality is a sin

Last night Mr Tatchell attacked the fine as 'heavy-handed' and 'totally disproportionate'.

He said: 'The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive.

'Just as people should have the right to criticise religion, people of faith should have the right to criticise homosexuality. Only incitements to violence should be illegal.'

Mr Holes, an American preacher who was travelling around Britain with a dozen colleagues, was arrested in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, on March 18.

After discussing general Christian topics, the married father-of-two, a former wedding photographer, was fielding questions from the crowd.

When asked about his views on gays, Mr Holes, 47, from Lake Placid in New York State, said he told questioners: 'Homosexuals deserve the wrath of God - and so do all other sinners - and they are going to a place called Hell.'

He also said he told listeners, when asked for his views on Islam, that he believed there is only one true Christian God and he believed the Prophet Mohammed is a 'sinner like the rest of us'.

Mr Holes added: 'Two men who were listening went over to a couple of police officers and they came over and told me, "These people say you said homos are going to Hell". I told them I would never say that, because I don't use the term homo. But I was arrested.'

Mr Holes appeared before Sheriff Rita Rae on March 19, charged under the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.

Although he denied criminality, Mr Holes said he felt he had no choice but to plead guilty.

He explained: 'I am not a rich man and was due to fly back to the U.S. where my father is seriously ill.'

Christians in the Glasgow area helped Mr Holes, now back in the U.S., pay the fine.

A spokesman for the Crown Office - the Scottish prosecution service - said: 'We take all crimes of prejudice extremely seriously.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1262310/Gay-rights-campaigner-condemns-1-000-fine-preacher-said-homosexuality-sin.html#ixzz0m9gb7oTO


Anonymous said...

Whilst Shawn indeed has the right to express his opinion of how he interprets the scriptures, he should also adopt the scriptural mandate of Yeshua who said, "I am sending you out like sheep amongst wolves, therefore be as wise as serpents…"

MathewP_Thu22269 said...


Bob Mendelsohn said...

I wonder if honest answering is better than a bit of non-disclosing as you anonymous, might be suggesting