NORWICH — A pastor in the United Kingdom was recently visited at his home by police and is now under an official criminal investigation after he sent an email to organizers of a homosexual pride event expressing his concern over what he called an “unashamed carnival of perverted carnality.”
Alan Clifford of Norwich Reformed Church recently attended Norwich Pride with several friends to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees, as he had done in years past. In 2012, he was banned from an area of the parade for distributing what was deemed as “hate motivated” literature.
After this year’s event, he sent an email to organizers, which he copied to other entities, to express his disapproval.
“The planned route took us past the market and the City Hall. Shamelessly displaying the City Council’s decadence, a ‘rainbow’ drape stretched along the entire width of the building,” Clifford wrote. “On the balcony the lord mayor, resplendent in his ceremonial robes, waved to the crowd, supported by other members of the council. It was a truly shameful display of official support.”
He also described the event as an “unashamed carnival of perverted carnality,” and attached two Gospel tracts: Christ Can Cure – Good News for Gays and Jesus Christ – the Savior We All Need.
Norwich Pride organizers then reported the email to the police, asserting that the pastor had engaged in “homophobic” speech.
“We reported the email to the police as a hate incident and are pleased that they are dealing with it seriously,” a representative told EDP 24. “Our mission at Norwich Pride is to ensure that we live in a city where everyone feels safe and proud to be themselves–and nobody feels hated simply for being who they are.”
Police have confirmed that they are now investigating the matter, and Clifford awaits to hear whether or not he will face criminal prosecution. He was visited at his home by the Norfolk Constabulary, who offered him the choice of paying a fine or contesting the allegation.
The pastor replied that he doesn’t hate homosexuals, and that the reason that he attended the event was because he loves them enough to share the word of God and the Gospel.
“Is that hatred? We don’t hate these people. We love them and want to help them,” he told police. “So, even though the gay-pride people are upset, we are guilty of no crime.”
‘I certainly fear the influence of homosexuality on society,” Clifford said, “but this should not be regarded as ‘hatred’ unless criticism is taken to mean ‘hatred.'”
UK reporter Adrian Hilton also defended Clifford, stating that while he disagrees with the pastor on some topics, such as his belief that Islam is “evil,” he believes prosecution is unwarranted.
“Both European law and the English common law establish by precedent that Dr. Clifford may exercise his freedom of speech–especially in regard to religious liberty and preaching the Word of God–even if this might cause offense,” he wrote in a recent article about the matter.
Hilton also stated that he found it to be “deeply and profoundly intolerant” of homosexuals to “reduce public moral discourse to crass displays of boorish posturing and infantile ethics.”
“The Gospel may now only be preached safely to white, able-bodied heterosexuals, and you’d better hope that ‘any other person’ doesn’t happen accidentally to overhear,” he lamented. “It’s a good job adultery, drunkenness and theft aren’t protected characteristics–there’d be nobody left to preach to.”
Photo: Nicky Rowbottom