Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a police community support officer overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships. The 42-year-old Baptist, who has preached Christianity in Workington, Cumbria for years, said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the word of God.

Police officers are alleging that he made the remark in a voice loud enough to be overheard by others and have charged him with using abusive or insulting language, contrary to the Public Order Act.

Mr McAlpine, who was taken to the police station in the back of a marked van and locked in a cell for seven hours on April 20, said the incident was among the worst experiences of his life.

“I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know," he said.

COMMENT: Well, Mr McAlpine, you reap what you sow and God has one wickedly ironic sense of humour. But, really, you didn't have to go through all that to find out what it's like to be victimised by the authorities and made to look a criminal in your own community. You could have just gone down your local gay bar and asked the lads. I'm sure they would have been more than happy to explain to you how shit awful their lives can be because of homophobic, Bible-perverting people such as your good self.

Thanks to Paul (A) for sending this one in. And, no mate, I hadn't come across it myself. I've been too busy today having major dental work and then sleeping it off. So, once again, thank you.



  1. Oh, s***, major dental work again, MP? I decided it’s genetic. I have my late mother’s rotten mouth and my brothers have my late dad’s never-have-to-go-to-the-dentist-ever mouth. I lift up prayers for you.

    Oh, and what was the post about? Can’t seem to remember.

    wv: porans – the proper stance from which to pray for the poor.

  2. Like most English people I only ever have MAJOR dental work. This is because we only ever go to the dentists when the septicaemia has reached the “almost definitely fatal” stage.

  3. Whilst I fundamentally disagree with Dale McAlpine’s interpretation of the Bible and application of “proof” texts to present-day situations, the reports I’ve read in the press do imply that the police officers were over zealous in their actions, and that the law they were enforcing was never meant to be used against light-weights such as him. It was designed to oppose preachers of hate and violence. In a country that states it allows free speech, Mr. McAlpine is surely entitled to express his understanding of scripture in conversation, just as I am able to tell him via this medium of communication that I believe he’s wrong.
    (Though I do agree that maybe he’s now experienced a taster of what those he preaches against have to put up with day after day).

  4. Coincidentally, my dental work was on Monday.

    Sorry if I attributed omniscience to you, MP, but . . . reputations are reputations.

    wv -senescha
    (medieval lady judge)

  5. Shame on you Brits! If the Sermon on the Mount had been subjected to the same terrible oppression as the Sermon on the Stepladder…

    Never mind. My troll voice isn’t working well.