American Evangelist Arrested for the Second Time in the UK for Alleged ‘Homophobic’ Comments

miano fbDUNDEE, Scotland — An American evangelist was arrested for the second time in the UK while open air preaching this week.

Evangelist Tony Miano, a retired police officer from California, was arrested for breach of peace in Dundee, Scotland this Wednesday following a complaint that he had preached against homosexuality.

Miano had been preaching about the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ and about the nature of sin, including sexual sin, when a woman began to shout at him. The woman blurted out that her son was a homosexual before calling the police.

Pastor Josh Williamson of the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, who was present during the incident, said that Miano’s message did not center on homosexuality.

“Tony wasn’t focusing on homosexual practice; it was about all sin,” he explained. “A woman was yelling at him, and her friend noticed we were filming the preaching, so she ran up to me and tried to smash my camera.”

Williamson said that a council warden soon approached him and Miano and told them to move on, but also advised that what they were doing was not illegal.

Two police officers then arrived at the scene as Williamson and Miano were packing up. According to Williamson, the woman began shouting again so that the preachers would be arrested.

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“The female officer saw that we had a camera and lunged for it and then the male policeman grabbed it and threw it in the police van,” Williamson said. “After Tony was put in the police van, I asked why he was being arrested and was told it was for breach of peace and for using homophobic language.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, says that the incident raises serious questions about police procedure and understanding of the law in dealing with such incidents.

“This appears to be an overzealous reaction by the police,” she said. “The incident adds to the number of arrests of Christian street evangelists for preaching from the Bible. It is indicative of the suppression of the freedom to speak and to live out the words of Jesus Christ in public and present the teachings of the Bible.”

Miano was released the next day after being held in police custody overnight–28 hours after the arrest. He said that he was grateful for all the support he received, but was saddened by what had happened.

“It’s alarming that in a country such as the UK, which helped spread Christianity to the world, [that] we’re seeing police oppression of God’s word being preached in the streets of our towns and cities,” Miano stated.

Miano appeared in court the following day, where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of breach of peace with “homophobic” aggravation. He is now free on bail and may return to America, but is required to appear in Scottish court on April 22.

As previously reported, Miano was also arrested last July in London for alleged “homophobic” comments, but no charges were formally filed.

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  • charles e. killeen

    At last someone finally raised the issue of the misuse of the English language concerning “phobia”. Mr. Miano said it in his video. Phobia refers to fear. People are using it to mean “hatred of” or “opposition to”. Very few people are “afraid” of homosexuals. The English language has taken enough of a beating without those in high places adding to the muddle. There are suffixes and prefixes in abundance to denote opposition almost anything. A Francophile loves the French; have you ever met a Francophobe? Anglophiles love England or the English; what would an Anglophobe be? An Irishman? Do a little work if you want to coin words. ——— Charlie

  • Maree Whitty

    Dr. Murphy, you have written a long discourse on ‘words on learned’ subjects by learned people – however, the only Words that are going to stand up under any scrutiny are the Words of Jesus Christ – His Word – The Bible – alone are the final words above all others. Since He is God, He knows far more than any learned ‘mere’ man. As for homosexuals, I love them, I have no phobia about them meaning that I have no fear of them. Jesus speaking 1 Corinthians 6:9b … ‘do not be deceived mislead neither the impure and immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, v10 nor cheats, swindlers and thieves, nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.
    Romans 2:27 And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze burning out, consumed with lust for one another – men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was their fitting retribution = Verse 25 because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen.’
    Homosexuality is only one of the many sins listed. All are wrong in God’s eyes and He doesn’t want any of us to be deceived by any of them. God loves the homosexual, just as He loves the thieves and robbers, however, all these sins He died for and took the punishment for them so that we could be forgiven for them and be set free from them.
    God loves the sinner, He died on the Cross so that we could be forgiven and set free from the sin.

  • Loyd Allen

    The Bible says be fruitful and multiply. I fail to see how a homosexual Adam and Eve could have accomplished this !

  • Abraham Bahago

    I think its just signs of the end time, and the only thing we are to do is to fight back with our kneels on the floor, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of this present world”.

  • Dr. Norman C. Murphy

    After talking to a number of authorities on Koine, I learned that aρσεvoκoiται (arsenokoitai) at the time of it was written into scripture had only one meaning “child molester.” Leave it to the English to change the meaning and leave a legacy of hatred for Christians to follow to their graves.

  • Mary Waterton

    The 1st century Christians, many of whom personally knew Christ, and among whom this letter in 1st Corinthians was circulated, understood EXACTLY what Paul meant by “arsenokoitai” … homosexuality in all its forms, whether between consenting adult homosexuals or homosexuals preying upon children. There is no mistranslation. You’re not going to get away with this lie in the God’s court.

  • Dr. Norman C. Murphy

    Mary, Just what is your training in Koine Greek? It sounds as if you have none. Parroting mistranslations is not a scholarly exercise. You are entitled to all the ignorance in the world.

    In I Corinthians 6.9-10, as translated by some into English, St. Paul (coming from a cross-cultural Hebrew, Greek, and Roman perspective) discusses pagan sanctioned temple (cult) male prostitutes (πρvoι, pornos), effeminate males or catamites (μαλακoί, malakos), and homosexuals (aρσεvoκoiται, arsenokoitai). St. Paul’s statements taken literally, as translated into English, would condemn celibate effeminate homosexuals. Boswell, using Koine Greek contemporary to St. Paul, translations into other languages, and early Christian scholarship and commentaries on I Corinthians 6.9-10 convincingly argues St. Paul was not discussing homosexuals or homosexuality.113

    Saint Augustine, considered Pauline, admitted homosexual practices with much anguish. When Saints John Chrysostom and Augustine–both vehemently opposed to homosexuality–comment on I Corinthians 6.9-10, neither mentions homosexuality. St. Augustine’s major apologist, Martin Luther, wrote derisively of homosexuals, but translated “aρσεvoκoiται” as “Knabenschänder,” or child molester. The Christian Emperor, Justinian, who herded whole villages into rivers to be baptized so they could die in Christ, believed homosexuality caused earthquakes, famines, and pestilence and legislated homosexual behavior should be subjected to penance much like adultery.116 His wife, Theodora, avoiding abortion, had many of her illegitimate children murdered.

    Saul of Tarsus was writing about temple practices among the pagans and not specifically homosexuals. Homosexuality was not a real topic until the 1800s by German authors.

    Christian, Jewish, and Moslem passages against homosexuals may derive from the stories of “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “Ham.” Based on many Bible passages, the most illustrative to explain God’s wrath at Sodom and Gomorrah are found in Ezekiel 16:
    “49. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it.” (RSV)
    Homosexuals per se are not mentioned either in the original story of Sodom and Gomorrah or in later biblical explanations. Linguistic scholars of Koine, Aramaic, classical Greek, Latin, and Hebrew convincingly argue “temple prostitutes” and being unclean during religious ceremonies–not homosexuals per se were the topic of biblical discussions regarding “unnatural” sexual practices.121 It is unlikely St. Paul or the rabbinical scholars he studied understood the relationship between differences in brain anatomy and natural sexual orientation. In biblical times, natural sexual practices based on brain sex/gender would have appeared unnatural–particularly because procreation was not involved. It has been argued that St. Paul may have been condemning heterosexuals who engage in homosexual behavior (e.g., Ted Haggard, etc.). How a professed former homosexual could pronounce a total cure and heterosexuality on behalf of Rev. Haggard is unsupported by objective data. St. Paul writing to the Romans who were surrounded by idolatry and pagan religions (Romans 1.23-32) appears to renew and augment the Old Testament prohibition against homosexual behavior found in Leviticus 20: “13. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” (RSV) The use of “abomination” in the Bible in both Hebrew and Greek referred to sacred ceremonies, idolatry, and pagan worship.

    Today, mainstream churches express the belief that homosexual acts, not homosexuals, are “sinful.” While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints adopts the same position, the Book of Mormon fails to mention homosexuality. In the United States and in other countries, the Metropolitan Community Church has pastors ministering predominantly to Gays. Among several protestant religions, Quakers, Unitarians, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Eposcopal Church, etc. accept homosexuals and lesbians as congregants and sometimes clerics. Most Jewish synagogues in the United States fully accept homosexuals as congregants and rabbinical scholars. Many Christian churches oppose discrimination against homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals and promote acceptance of same-sexed couples.
    Evangelical Christian scholars state:
    “Christian canon law laid down penalties [for homosexual behavior] ranging from nine years’ penance to permanent excommunication. In general, the [early Christian] church treated homosexuality as a sin needing spiritual cure rather than a crime for magistrates to punish. … In [the words of the preeminent theologian] Karl Barth’s phrase, much homosexual inclination is ‘moral malady’; it is no more to be blamed than left handedness or color blindness. . . . An alert church will not ostracize but befriend those whose constitution and circumstances make Christian living harder for them than for most.”

    The Roman Catholic Church, while eschewing homosexual acts, indicates homosexuality is innate and tells parents not to force change oriented therapies upon their children. Far from being anti-homosexual, the Vatican Declaration on Sexual Ethics exhorts pastors to be understanding of homosexuals and to include them in the communion of worship. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith advised American Bishops to fight laws extending civil rights to homosexuals. The Congregation stated, “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”125 Before becoming Pope, while head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Pope Benedict the XVI publicly stated “homosexuality is evil.” Still, American Roman Catholic Bishops have adopted a much more accepting attitude toward sexual minorities.

    To the Religious Right homosexuals are an affront to the nuclear family and “family values.” Family accepted homosexuals are major contributing members to their nuclear families. Research shows that homosexual parents are as effective as heterosexuals in parenting and that living in a Gay household lacks influence on the sexual orientation or psycho-social adjustment of children. Many jurists appear to use the classical “traditional family” as their model in second-parent adoption cases. Although religious motivation appeared to have a negative influence on some, pre-service elementary teacher’s attitudes towards gay and lesbian parents appeared increasingly accepting. Same-sexed affirmation and commitment ceremonies, much like marriages, are performed by some religious groups and individuals. Allowing Gay couples to marry is seen by many as a way to decrease promiscuity, increase monogamy among Gays, and promote a healthy view of homosexuals. Marriage between same-sexed couples is accepted in some states and not others, and in some culturally advanced countries.

    The Religious Right, through Exodus International and PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-homosexuals), support their views using a pseudo-journal, The Journal of Human Sexuality, consisting of an anti-homosexual diatribe using argumentum ad hominem, half-truths, deceptions, and articles from questionable sources, use flawed research of found in some mainstream vetted research, selectively quote from legitimate sources. Among many professional bodies, the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations have condemned Exodus International and similar organizations for giving false hope to ego-dystonic homosexuals desiring to become heterosexual. While stating many living the “homosexual lifestyle” have become heterosexual through “reparative” or “Christian conversion” therapy, Exodus International and others offer no reliable or valid scientific evidence of these metamorphoses and refuse long-term follow-up studies. A study which does not distinguish between male pseudohomosexuals and natural homosexuals indicated that 11 men changed sexual orientation as a result of “folk therapy” as part of a pentecostal experience.131 Many chapters of Exodus International have fallen by the way. “Two of Exodus International’s founders, Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, fell in love and left the organization in 1979.”132
    The Religious Right, exemplified by the Family Research Institute and Family Research Council, have a narrow self-righteous view of sexuality and use flagrant deceit and exceptionally questionable research methods (e.g., inadequate and biased subject selection, sampling methods, peer reviewed publishing, and data sources–followed by unsupported conclusions, conjecture, and speculation). Some defend their views by misrepresenting and dismissing a massive body of professional literature and scientific research. A look at their internet sources illustrates their facile use of illegitimate and legitimate research to create a hostile view of homosexuals. Other religions with ultra-right elements also show similar bias against homosexuals.