There are many ominous signs surrounding the visit by Pope Benedict XVI to England in September. First, there are now over 100,000 Brits who have signed “certificates of de-baptism” renouncing their former Christian status. Second, there are hate-ridden atheists like Richard Dawkins who are paying anti-Catholic lawyers to investigate the possibility of arresting the pope for “crimes against humanity.” Third, Catholic bashing by the British media is flourishing. Fourth, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are in a very tenuous state for Christians.
Regarding the latter, just recently a Christian street preacher was arrested in Britain for the crime of spreading the Gospel. To be specific, a 42-year-old Baptist male was arrested by a policewoman when she heard him declare as sinful such matters as blasphemy, drunkenness and gay relations. It was his comment that homosexuality is a sin that got him into hot water—he was thrown in jail for breaking a 1986 law that penalizes “abusive” speech. Not only that, he was fingerprinted, given a DNA swab and retina scan. Now this modern-day revolutionary must stand trial.
Had the preacher been a young Muslim calling for jihad, or an ordinary Brit ripping on Catholics, he would have been tolerated, if not cheered. And this is no exaggeration.
There are times when dialogue is a mistake. This is one of them.