Police tell Salt & Light Coffee House owner Jamie Murray to stop displaying Bible texts in his cafe

Police have requested that a cafe owner in Blackpool  – Jamie Murray, Salt & Light Coffee House – stop displaying Bible texts on a video screen, because it breaches public order laws.

Apparently the police told him that displaying offensive or insulting words is a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act, and that the Biblical texts contravened this.

It seems that police were alerted to this heinous ‘crime’ following a complaint about “insulting” and “homophobic” material.

You can read about it here in the Daily Mail.

And this video is put together by the Christian Institue:

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13 Responses to “Police tell Salt & Light Coffee House owner Jamie Murray to stop displaying Bible texts in his cafe”

  1. Thirsty Gargoyle Says:

    Interesting. I never trust the Mail, but having said that, that’s troubling if it’s true.

    For what it’s worth, this is the point where somebody needs to inform the police that the Bible says nothing whatsoever about homosexuals, as the concept of homosexuality didn’t exist in antiquity. It does say a few things about homosexual acts, but that’s different.

  2. Sue Says:

    I think if this cafe owner had selected specific bible texts relating to homosexuality and chosen to display these, ie “making a point” then it could be deemed homophobic. But if he is playing the New Testament from end to end, then that has to be understood in that context, as indeed any such verse would need to be seen in context.

    Having said that, the Daily Mail are notorious for stirring over this kind of thing, as are the Christian institute. Police do have to investigate any complaint, even ones which seem or may turn out to be spurious. I doubt the Mail has given a particularly balanced account of the whole thing.

  3. Police Ban Bible in Christian Café « Fr Stephen's Blog Says:

    [...] eChurch Blog brings us the report: Police have requested that a cafe owner in Blackpool  – Jamie Murray, Salt & Light Coffee House – stop displaying Bible texts on a video screen, because it breaches public order laws. [...]

  4. catholic gadfly Says:

    I have just sent your link off to Michael Voris at Real Catholic TV. I think they keep a note of these things and then when they have a few examples from one country they may highlight this issue.

    Thanks for highlighting this extremely serious issue.

  5. Jill Says:

    This is when you start to realise that the Christian Institute and Christian Concern have been right all along to make a big fuss about individual cases where the police or other officious bodies have waded in with their size twelves. They get away with it a few times, and they will gradually get more and more heavy-handed. We must not allow this. It is simply not a case of whingeing about persecution, it is about standing up for the Word of God. If we do not want Christianity to be driven underground, we must continue to stand up to these bullies.

  6. Goy Says:

    When the mindless morally outraged have screamed there ought to be a law, Section 5 of the Public Order Act and other oppressive laws have been the result, next time there is a populist demand for retribution be careful to scream there ought NOT to be a law

  7. Gordon Says:

    Most of the time its an over zealous police officer. Does anyone remember Constable Savage from Not the Nine O’Clock News? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO8EpfyCG2Y

  8. Ted Says:

    Sir, keep up the good work. If it offends any one in your cafe–they have the choice to walk out. Push your case to the very end and congratulations for standing up to Christian Truth!

  9. Hoffman Says:

    Hey Jamie, GO FOR IT!! If they don’t like it; “Arrivederci Roma” = “Pack your stuff and go somewhere else to have your coffe”.

    Keep on showing The Word of God in your place!!

    Hoffman.

  10. Jose ELP-TX USA Says:

    Hey Jamie, I have to say I am very proud, and blessed to find out there are still some believers like you out there making the difference and who stand for what they know is God’s truth. What about our rights? If they don’t like it to bad for them, let them take their bussiness some place else! What about when a pagan does something and causes us to get offended. You got it right Jamie, we are the Salt of the earth, if we loose our saltiness, then we are good for nothing but for men to tremple upon us. Remember the kingdom of God suffers violence and the valient take it by force. The real problem is that; it’s time for all the real believers to rise up and wake up out of their slumber and return to your first love. Please Support Jamies business specially if you leave near by, continue to trust in the Lord Jamie and may he send you many customers. And please people he is just the messenger “God is the author of the bible and and His word is truth. He loves the sinner but hates the sin in our lives” :-)

  11. Jose ELP-TXUSA Says:

    Stand for what you know is God’s truth! What about our rights? If they don’t like it to bad for them, let them take their business some place else! What about when a pagan does something and causes us to get offended. You got it right Jamie, we are the Salt of the earth, if we loose our saltiness, then we are good for nothing. Remember the kingdom of God suffers violence and the valient take it by force. The real problem is that; it’s time for all the real believers need to rise up, and wake up out of their slumber and return to your first love. Please Support Jamies business specially if you leave near by, continue to trust in the Lord Jamie and may he send you many customers. And please people he is just the messenger”God is the author of the bible and His word is truth” :-)

  12. David Healey Says:

    I have just had a short break in Blackpool. Whilst walking along the promenade on the sea front I saw a large billboard that was high up on the wall of a Methodist church. It read, Jesus The Light Of The World. A direct quote from John 8:12 of course.
    I was one of thousands walking along the promenade that day. If the billboard was there for all of the summer season, it would not be unreasonable to say that probably hundreds of thousands of people saw those words. If it has been there for a few short years then its quite possible that a million people or more have read the words. I just wonder how many have complained about it and reported it to the police!!!!!

  13. Simian Says:

    Words, words, words…
    Did the police really ‘ban’ the display? Or they did they advise the owner that the display might contravene the law. And are the police not duty bound to follow up a potentially valid complaint by a member of the public?
    And yet the Chritian blogosphere is full of claims that this is de facto religious persecution and that the display has been banned by the police.
    The man has not actually been charged with any offence, and yet the Christian Institute is treating this as if he had.

    I presume people have read the whole Daily Mail article, but just in case they have not, the following passage is crucial:

    Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint on Saturday afternoon from a female customer who was ‘deeply offended’ by the words she had seen on the screen.
    A spokesman said they were ‘duty bound’ to respond to the complaint and had concluded the cafe could be in breach of Section 29E of the Public Order Act, which warns that people who play images or sounds that stir up hatred against homosexuals could be guilty of an offence.
    However, it also says criticism of sexual conduct ‘shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred’.
    A police spokesman said: ‘At no point did the officer ask the cafe owner to remove any materials or arrest the man and we took a commonsense and objective approach in dealing with the complaint. We believe our response and the action we took was completely proportionate and our officers are always available should the cafe owner want to discuss the matter or need any advice in the future.
    ‘The Constabulary is respectful of all religious views. However, we do have a responsibility to make sure that material that communities may find deeply offensive or inflammatory is not being displayed in public.

    Note the word could in this context…. It’s misleading and unhelpful to imply that this is yet another case of persecution of Christians.

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