Thursday, 11 June 2009

Local Atheist Defends Local Christian

Distracted as I was by elections and all that, I forgot to mention this little item that's been doing the rounds: Police crack down on preacher. Also commented upon by Cranmer.

It's quite possible that this is the very same preacher who sometimes delivers his message in central Lincoln just outside Barclays Bank, I don't know. It doesn't matter. I'm an atheist but I have no problems with people spouting their creeds on the street like this as long as it's orderly and not harassing me. I can put up with people in public speaking all kinds of stuff that I consider nonsense (politicians do it all the time) and even making statements that I find 'offensive' to my own thinking. Offensiveness against beliefs, however, is not a question of law unless it gets to the point where someone is openly encouraging violence against another person or groups of people (though I'd be unsure about even this, since I'd be quite happy to encourage violence against certain politicians and their supporters, etc).

In this case there may be doubts as to the authenticity of the 'complaints' - what are they, how many of them are there, who made them and when?

What we are witnessing is the cleansing of our public spaces of any self-determined activity by ordinary people; any activity, that is, that isn't either sanctioned by, determined by or in agreement with the state. In my view, this is a part of a long historical process of inclosure; the inclosure of the British mind. It started with the physical inclosure of common land and now continues into public urban, ie 'common', spaces and into the minds of the people at large. Soon we'll have nothing left.

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