John Sherwood, a 35-year veteran conservative pastor who was preaching the gospel at Uxbridge Station in west London, was arrested after making “homophobic” comments in public. “Homophobia”–which the UK defines as offensive comments toward LGBTQ people–is illegal in the country under the Public Order Act–the use of “abusive” or “harmful” language toward homosexuals.
Of course, “abusive” and “harmful” are subjective and ambiguous terms themselves.
“I wasn’t making any homophobic comments, I was just defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. I was only saying what the Bible says – I wasn’t wanting to hurt anyone or cause offense,” said Sherwood.
One witness described the scene, “A number of police officers appeared on the scene, going up to Pastor Sherwood and stating that three complaints had been received from the public about the preaching.” The witness continued, “Pastor Sherwood stopped preaching to speak to them, which he did so in a courteous and reasonable manner for some considerable time, whilst adhering firmly to all that he had said. The accusation which the Police were making was that alarm and distress had been caused to members of the public by the preaching.”
This witness stated that “the policeman responded that some matters simply cannot be referred to in public places, implying that homosexuality is one of them.”
“I was doing what my job description says, which is to preach the gospel in the open air as well as in a church building,” he added.
As one who has been to the United Kingdom to open-air preach, this author can attest to the hostility from the LGBTQ community toward Christians–they will do anything to silence you. Even lie about you. And the police will not protect your freedoms or liberties.