Sin sin sin sin sin

Alex Gabriel reports on Creationism and fundamentalism in Keswick.

Alex transcribed much of it. AM=audience member; P=preacher.

AM #10: No no no no no, I’m asking, d’you not think you are scared – you are scared?

P: I’m telling you what I think. I think that atheism is a crutch for people who are scared of Judgement Day, and they… they cling to the… the… the ridiculous lie of evolution in order to silence their conscience that tells them they are guilty before God, and that they know that they’re accountable because they’ve lied, stolen, looked at porn on the internet, when they’ve slept around, sinned outside of marriage. All sex outside of marriage of one man, one woman, is a sin against God. That’s what God says. Now that’s unpopular today. People in churches believe and tell us that homosexuality’s okay, they were just born that way – that’s a lie from the pit of Hell.

AM #10: Oh, really?

P: Yes.

AM #10: Really?

AM #5: Oh don’t even start…

P: [Inaudible] They feel in their heart, they’re not born that way. They’re not helpless. Homosexuality is an abomination-


Unknown sources: Shut up! Disgusting!

P: -sin against God! And Jesus Christ said unless you repent, you will perish, so…

Then someone from the town council shuts him down.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    All sex outside of marriage of one man, one woman, is a sin against God. That’s what God says.

    Would that be the same God who, in the person of hte Holy Ghost, knocked up Mary?

  2. jose says

    Sorry but I think shutting down ideas is bad. Insults, personal stuff – of course, get rid of that. Ideas, however bad, should be countered with other ideas imho. You never know when your ideas will suddenly be considered bad by a majority of people and you’ll be the one to be shut down by them, despite any argument you may have.

  3. Anthony K says

    Sorry but I think shutting down ideas is bad. Insults, personal stuff – of course, get rid of that. Ideas, however bad, should be countered with other ideas imho. You never know when your ideas will suddenly be considered bad by a majority of people and you’ll be the one to be shut down by them, despite any argument you may have.

    Jesus Christ, they kicked him off the sidewalk. He’s sitting not in a cell next to Solzhenitsyn scratching his memoirs in rotting mortar with bits of fingernail.

    Fuck, there was a day when fleeing censorship meant you had to leave your home, family, nation, and fucking continent and start a new life in land in which you didn’t speak the language. Nowadays it’s apparently Stalinism if Blogger makes you type in a CAPTCHA before you can start to pen your screeds.

  4. says

    Yes Jose, I agree. (Although I can’t say I felt too sorry for him.) It’s a public space and he’s perfectly entitled to use it. I’d have preferred there to be a counterprotest/leaflets being handed out on evolution/atheism/queer liberation. There’s always a fertile atmosphere when something like this happens – that heated, excited, sensational feeling that unites a crowd, whatever side they’re on. I’d rather exploit that for better discussions than sterilise the space.

  5. says

    OK, I actually watched the whole thing. But only because I wanted to see if my cousins (who live about a block from that coffee shop) would walk by. (I love the Lake District. Wish I was there.)

    Otherwise….meh. Another ranting godbotter.

  6. Anthony K says

    You do know what comes after “it’s an abomination” don’t you?

    The word ‘snowman’, followed by stop motion narration by Burl Ives and a commercial break? [Crosses fingers]

  7. says

    Eamon, well Alex took it seriously because Keswick is home. Hey maybe he knows your cousins!

    I too love the Lake District. It’s a great place to explore with Google Earth (as a supplement to reality, not a replacement).

  8. Anthony K says

    Anthony, I don’t know why you’re being so extreme.

    I have no idea how, or even whether, I’m to answer that question. Extreme? Okay, I guess.

  9. says

    Ibis3, the verse that comes after ‘abomination’ is one which forbids sex with animals. If you were thinking stoning or otherwise execution (which comes elsewhere), he didn’t at any point actually demand that. If he’d crossed the line into calling for violence, then sure, I’d have been fine with his removal.

  10. Anthony K says

    Having thought a bit about your last comment to me Jose, I can say I come from a different perspective.

    I’m Canadian, and we have laws against hate propaganda (though there are exemptions for beliefs based on religious belief, for all the reasons we’re well acquainted with), and I don’t believe such things constitute an undue suppression of rights, nor do they constitute some sort of slippery slope. I’m Canadian because one of my parents actually fled Soviet rule in Eastern Europe, making their way through a number of countries post-WWII to land in Canada, and I don’t think being asked to not shout at passersbys constitutes anywhere near the kind of abridgement of rights that people who’ve actually fled totalitarian regimes were faced with.

    But I could, of course, be wrong.

    And as Alex just pointed out, he didn’t actually incite violence or genocide (I doubt his performance would have fallen afoul of Canadian laws), so perhaps your concern for his rights, and Alex’s, is the more reasonable position, and I am being extreme.

    So, that’s the rationale for my comment, and I mean that to explain my comment, not justify it.

  11. hjhornbeck says

    I’m Canadian, and we have laws against hate propaganda

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Anthony K, but we don’t. Stephen Harper got rid of them a month ago, apparently because he was losing the white supremacist vote.

    Shall we begin the customary round of curses, as the “Progressive” Conservatives dismantle our social safety net while the media looks the other way?

  12. hjhornbeck says

    Back on topic, though: I gotta defend my fellow Canuck, here.* Placing limits on or even banning street preaching makes a lot of sense.

    The public streets are shared by everyone, and therefore secular. That means we have to compromise about what we can do on them. I might really, really want to play paintball downtown, but that might inconvenience others (not everyone has an awesome paintball gun, after all). Since I have a little bit of private property, or can buddy up with someone who has a spare acreage lying around, I’m not too badly off if we all agree to ban downtown paintball games, and everyone else benefits greatly from not having to reveal their crummy $30 pistols.

    EVERYONE agrees on this bit. Where we disagree is on how these rules should be enforced, and how far they should go. Alex Gabriel @5 hits on the traditional American solution to hateful speech: don’t put public rules in place to regulate this stuff, instead let private citizens police these spaces. The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about updating sluggish laws to keep up with social norms, that’s done automagically by the system.

    There are some big drawbacks to this, however. First, it assumes people will speak up and act against this hateful crap. Think of conferences: would you argue they don’t need codes of conduct, because there’s no shortage of people who wouldn’t tolerate harassment? The sad fact is, people are slow to act. We can exhibit a herd mentality, and rationalize action away by saying “there are so many people around, someone else will handle it better than I could.” As a result, counter-protests are slow to arise if they happen at all.

    Secondly, it ignores that aggressors have the upper hand. Sometimes, they show up in places you can’t easily counter-protest, like along a narrow strip on land near an airport. They don’t give you warning, and thus time to prepare. Even if someone takes the time out to yell at them, do they also have the time to hang around until the street preacher has left? Relying on private people to protest makes it easier for the jerks to gain an audience, and makes it impossible to punish them for violating public space after the fact. It becomes an “act first, ask forgiveness later” situation without step two.

    Third, what this preacher is spouting isn’t a new theory of gravity or a cookie recipe. They are arguing a group of people are inhuman, spouting lies and misinformation about them in the hope of stripping them of their rights. We’ve collectively agreed that rights are untouchable except by trained experts, and in all other cases must be protect. We’ve already agreed this speech is wrong. The collective decision has been made, so why not collectively act on it?

    There’s good reason to have hate-speech laws. I too was skeptical, until I walked through the arguments for myself and realized that.

    * Even if he is an Edmontonian…

  13. jose says

    We had Franco here just a few decades ago so you don’t have to teach me censorship. We also have a law against criticizing the king. Some guy burned a picture of the king a a few years ago and was fined with 2700 euros.

    Too many times I find myself outraging supposed allies and I’d like to be able to continue. Public spaces are the last refuge for ideological minorities because the people who own private places don’t want to put up with them. Precisely because public spaces belong to everyone, including the less liked citizens, people should try to be extra tolerant there.

  14. Anthony K says

    Jose, I didn’t mean to jump down your throat, and I’m sorry for doing that and putting you on the defensive.

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