More on the arrest of a preacher in Norwich for objecting to homosexuality

Further to yesterday’s post, I have now seen the email which caused “Norwich Pride” to report Dr Clifford to the police.  It is entirely innocuous.  Every word of it is benevolent, and addressed to sinners, calling them to repentance.  I would post it here without a second thought except that I find myself asking…. would I be safe in doing so?  Would I find the police at my door?  Had I better ask a solicitor?  Or the police for permission?

I hope someone in the USA posts this material soon.

The email consists of a circular sent to friends and supporters (and cc’d to the organisers of the march), recording the actions of Dr Clifford and four friends in protesting at the Gay Power march in Norwich, and written in a mild and positive way (although we may ask just when parliament decided that the police should decide how we write?).  Nothing about it is unreasonable.  Two tracts are attached, not specifically attacking homosexuality so much as calling the sinner to repentance.  Neither seems in any way offensive to me.

Nothing in any of this material could cause any reasonable person to fear for himself or his friends.

The email ends with the following words:

In the end, the whole event seemed less aggressive than in previous years. We were able to make a visible witness, and a good quantity of leaflets were taken. Apart from the leading [police] officer, his fellow officers were quite friendly and helpful towards us. If we are spared, another witness will be made next year (DV). In the wake of the Same-sex Marriage developments, only time will tell if our relatively-low key witness will be tolerated in the future. It would be worth it if only one soul was saved. We leave events to God and His sovereign and gracious purposes. May HE have mercy on our city and country.

These were prophetic words, it seems.

I have also seen Dr Clifford’s account of the police interrogation.  Unfortunately we do not know very much of what the policeman asked (although Dr Clifford states that he did not feel bullied).  In particular refusing a suspect a copy of the statement he has been asked to sign must be unlawful, I would have thought.  In what kind of legal proceeding is the defence refused a copy of the statements by the accused?

A blog entitled the Libertarian Alliance adds a little in this article:

On Saturday the 27th July 2013, the Norfolk LGBT Project held a Gay Pride demonstration in Norwich City Centre.  ….

We further note that the Norfolk LGBT Project is a registered charity (No.1129770). According to its 2012 accounts, its entire income was £41,021. Of this, £734, or 1.8 per cent, came from donations. £38,666, or 94.25 per cent, came via the National Health Service from the taxpayers.

How do you think the NHS should be spending our tax money? Should it be on providing medical treatment free at the point of use, or on paying for Establishment hate groups to go after dissenting ministers of religion? You may care to write to the relevant funding agencies…

If that is their funding, then we are discussing a tiny band of extremists using intimidation to coerce people like the mayor, the police, and others, it would seem.

UPDATE (4th Sep.): An article at Suburban Banshee makes the very excellent point: why did the recipients open the attachments?  You get an email from a total stranger: do YOU open the attachments?  In these days of email-bombs and trojans?  Not likely!!  The only reason you would do that is if you were looking for trouble, and knew very well that the sender was harmless.

UPDATE (7th Sep.): An overseas blogger has now posted Alan Clifford’s email, the tracts and his description of what happened here.