Don’t they speak English over there?
An American chaplain found himself behind bars in England last week for the “crime” of preaching from the Bible on a public street near the Wimbledon tennis tournament, according to a Fox News report.
Tony Miano, a retired sheriff’s deputy who was a chaplain with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told Fox News he spent seven hours in jail after being charged with “using homophobic speech that could cause … anxiety, distress, alarm or insult” when passersby took exception to his reading from the writings of St. Paul to the Thessalonians.
“I never used any gay slurs,” Miano told Fox News. “You would never hear me using slang or discriminatory language against homosexuals or any other group. That would be contrary to my faith …”
“I talked about women addicted to romance novels, men addicted to pornography, people with lustful thoughts, heterosexual fornication and homosexuality,” Miano told Fox News. “When I mentioned that the Bible was clear that homosexuality is a sin, a lady walked by and she glared at me and hurled the f-bomb.”
And that wasn’t all she did.
After reportedly using a cell phone to record some of Miano’s preaching, the woman informed police about Miano’s comments, which led to his arrest.
He was released about midnight, after a stay that included an interrogation.
There was a time when England taught the world what free speech meant. The phrase “stand on a soapbox” came from London’s Hyde Park, where itinerant preachers and political agitators would gather to try to convert the unbelievers to their cause.
In those days, they were part of the culture. These days, they get arrested. And in a crowning irony, the police who arrested a man for preaching from the Bible, gave him a copy of the same book to read as solace in his cell.
Miano got arrested because he was preaching to people who didn’t believe what he believes.
In this country, that’s a big part of what “preaching” means.
Maybe they don’t really speak English over there.
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