Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Christianity: against the law?

There's been two instances of twenty-first century persecution of Christians in Great Britain that've appeared recently: Dale McAlpine and the Wilkinson couple.

Dale is a street preacher who preaches all over the UK.  On the 20th April he was arrested by police for expressing his belief that homosexuality is a sin.  He was arrested for a 'racially aggravated offence' for simply teaching out of The Bible.  The charges were dropped and many commentators have spoken out against the arrest but, as Melanie Philips of the Daily Mail said: 'It would appear that Christianity...is being turned into a crime'.

Second is the story of Mike and Susanne Wilkinson who are being sued by gay couple Michael Black and John Morgan for refusing them a double bed in their home-ran B&B business.  They acted in order with their conscience as Christians that they didn't want the couple in a double bed together, offering two single rooms instead as they didn't realise their sexuality when they booked.  The question here isn't simply free speech as with the previous case but a couple working towards their own conscience: is that not allowed in case it offends another party?  The couple could have taken the singles or gone to another B&B but if this continues, surely it will come to a point where Christians are not allowed to enter certain businesses in case they are sued.  I agree that as a B&B owner, to give different service to gay couples, you must also treat unmarried couples the same way, but it seems even this is not tolerated by those who don't fit in with the morals of traditional Christianity: Peter and Hazelmary Bull are also being sued after using a 'married only' policy.

In encouragement to these people, the Bible tells us that although 'everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted' (2 Timothy 3:12), those people are 'blessed...for theirs is the kingdom of God' (Matthew 5:10).

Whether Christian or non-Christian, what do you think about this?  Should free speech and conscience of mind be limited in order to not offend other viewpoints?