By Gudrun Schultz
SCOTLAND, United Kingdom, September 13, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The UK’s online Herald newspaper ran a headline referring to Pastor Green as ‘gay-hating this morning, in coverage of the Pentecostal leader’s lecture tour through Scotland to discuss Christian sexual ethics.
Pastor Green has been vilified by the mainstream media since he was prosecuted by the Swedish government for preaching against homosexuality to his congregation in 2003. Accused of “inciting hatred,” Green was sentenced to one month suspended sentence, a conviction that was overruled after lawyers argued for his freedom of speech rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Pastor Green denies all accusations of hate-mongering. Speaking to a congregation last night in Scotland,Â he emphasized that he was there to hold a “reasoned Christian debate,” not to promote hatred, the Herald reported.
“I’m here to talk about sexual ethics from a Christian point of view,” he said. “I believe homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle, as stated in the Bible.”
The lecture series was organized by the evangelical Christian Institute. Mike Judge, spokesman for the institute, said the event highlights the clash between free speech and religious ethics.
“[Pastor Green] preached a traditional Christian sermon on sexual ethics, but found himself in threat of being imprisoned. He is here to say how vital freedom of speech is.”
Growing hostility toward Christians who speak out against homosexuality has led to gathering alarm among some politicians, and religious leaders from multiple faiths, who see opposition to Christianity setting a dangerous precedent in limiting freedom of speech rights.
Last week an evangelical Christian was arrested in South Wales for handing out pamphlets opposing homosexual activity outside a Mardi Gras festival.
“Why gay rights are regarded as more important than freedom of expression I do not know,” Reverend Rod Thomas, with the Church of England evangelicals, told the Daily Mail. “There is a real danger that those who have tried to support gay rights for liberal reasons may find themselves responsible for suppressing vital liberties.”
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Christian Arrested for Distributing Bible Quotes Opposing Homosexuality
Swedish Pastor Ake Green Acquitted of Hate Speech against Homosexuals
Swedish Pastor Sentenced to Month in Prison for Preaching Against Homosexuality
Swedish Pastor Before Supreme Court November 9 for “Hate Speech” in Sermon
Sweden’s Conviction of Pastor for Preaching on Homosexuality Violates International Law
Same-Sex “Marriage,”“Hate Crimes,” and the New Totalitarianism
by Michael D. O’Brien