Letter from Alan Clifford Regarding Prosecution for “Hate Crime”


Yesterday evening about 5.45, we were visited by two plain-clothes police officers. They had shown no ID when my wife opened the door, but she invited them into the lounge. In my study at the time (choosing the psalm & hymns for our church study and prayer meeting), Marian informed me that some police officers wished to see me. I thought, “Were they delivering a summons from the CPS?”

The two officers – one was very tall, the other of average height – stood as I entered the room. The tall officer then showed me his ID.

The purpose of their very brief visit was to announce that I am to face no charges regarding the Norwich Gay Pride complaint. When I said, “Do you mean the CPS do not intend to prosecute me?” they said that is so.

Rather taken aback by this unexpected and unannounced call, all I could say was, “That’s very kind of you, thank you.” The officer courteously added that there was a proviso, that I should send no further e-mails to Norwich Gay Pride. Otherwise, I could face charges of harassment. I replied, “I had no intention and saw no need to contact them. So there was no problem.”

Little more was said. The officers promptly departed. It was all rather vague and hasty. Nothing was delivered in writing, neither did I catch the names of the officers.

Going into the kitchen with the news, Marian – with an evident sense of relief – threw her arms around my neck saying “Praise the LORD!” For her sake and others who have been anxious for me since the first police interview of 17 August, I am thankful to God that this trying time is over. That said, I was looking forward to a day in court to bear witness against the sodomite wickedness growing in the UK. In that sense, I am somewhat disappointed! At least I can now continue my pastoral calling without the distraction of recent events.

To all those who have communicated their kind and prayerful support during this testing period, I send my warmest thanks. Please continue to pray for us, not least because if this local battle has ended, the war continues…

Dr Alan C. Clifford
Norwich Reformed Church

38 thoughts on “Letter from Alan Clifford Regarding Prosecution for “Hate Crime”

  1. This is very good news. We can be proud that the Libertarian Alliance did its bit to bring this case to international prominence, and that our efforts may have had some small share in the decision by the authorities to back away.

    We will continue, to the best of our ability, to support Dr Clifford’s right to freedom of expression, and to oppose all threats by the State to freedom of expression – without exceptions.

  2. No matter how unpleasant, vicious, and deranged the views expressed might be? Does this support for freedom of expression “without exceptions” extend to, say, members of Westboro Baptist Church? Or to Nazis outside synagogues calling for the gassing of Jews?

  3. Not sure if you caught this story, but a pastor in Norwich was going to be prosecuted for hate speech, because he said that sodomy is wrong (which considering he is a Pastor seems logical). Never heard of any of those from the religion of peace being prosecuted for suggesting that gays should be publically executed do you? No, of course not.

    I see the two Christians who were prosecuted for not allowing two gay men to stay in the same bed (even though they had the same policy for unmarried hetros) have had to flee because they have had death threats.

    What the f*ck is wrong in the Uk?

  4. “…Or to Nazis outside synagogues calling for the gassing of Jews?”
    Dr Clifford, as far as I know, was not calling for homosexuals to be gassed, or harmed in any way. That would be incitement to violence, which of course is unlawful. There is a difference!
    I am rather disappointed that this didn’t go to court under the full glare of publicity. Of course I can say that as I am not the one standing in the dock. What they have done is just intimidation – threats to prosecute in the hope of silencing Dr Clifford. I hope these have no effect on him.

  5. Hugo has answered the silly question about incitement. However, as an aside, when was the last time an indisputably national socialist organisation assembled outside a synagogue to call for the gassing of Jews?

  6. This raises other issues besides the happy relief that this fella will not be charged and prosecuted. It’s nothing to do with whether Libertarians believe that gays are wrong or right or whatever. We have always said that it is no business of – at leaat – the State, what people do in privacy to, or with, each other.

    We must begin to plan for what an incoming Libertarian Administration in, let us say, Westminster, would need to do. The overriding strategic imperative would be of course to prevent any such recurrence of the tragic, bloody, watseful, expensive and time-consuming struggle against GramscoFabaiNazism. This has cost thousands of trillions in gold and treasure, and hundreds of million, possibly even billions, of lives, those born (and killed) and also those unborn who might have made a difference. This sort of nastiness cannot be allowed to recur.

    I have to collect my dear wife and shopping from ASDA as she does not drive, so I will continue later – but think about the implications of what I am presenting here.

  7. Ironically it is the growth of Islam in Britain which will protect the Church against this kind of thing. Islam, like Christianity, holds that homosexual activity is sinful, and ministers of both religions do preach against it.

    First, the State is afraid of Islam because unlike Christians the Muslims are militant and will not be cowed. And they are becoming increasingly numerous. Can you imagine what would happen if the State attempted – for example – to compel mosques in the UK to conduct “gay weddings”? There would be bloodshed on the streets. That is the ultimate reason why the churches will not be compelled to do it, not because the GramscoFabiaNazis don’t want to.

    Second, there is the inherent contradiction in GramscoFabiaNazism itself. Muslims, like gays, have special protected minority status, so you can’t criticise them let alone compel them. But white heterosexual Christian culture is to be attacked at every opportunity. For an explanation of this I recommend the lectures by Paul Gottfried on the “hierarchy of victims and victimisers”.

    The protected status of Muslims will also protect Christians, because it is not conceivable that the law would be applied unequally to different religions.

  8. Sad to see that after all this, Dr Clifford still uses terms such as “sodomite wickedness” to refer to gay relationships. It seems that some people are incapable of learning from their errors…

      • Indeed so; but even if you do regard homosexuality as sinful, using such language is hardly going to win anyone over, let alone convince them that you’re motivated by love: hard to read it as anything other than hate speech, in fact.

  9. Look at Leviticus 20:13: Homosexuals “shall be put to death”. Clifford is a Calvinist fundamentalist who tells us that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. He is also monumentally ignorant. He describes homosexuals as Sodomites. Anyone can read the relevant passage for themselves, from Genesis 18.1 to Genesis 19:38. It is very clear that the sin of Sodom is not homosexuality, but inhospitality. See also Ezekiel 16:48-49.
    But how far should we go in the defence of freedom of expression? Is quoting passages from the Bible at homosexuals an incitement to violence? I suggest that it is; and I do not see it as different in principle to the American Nazi Party’s antics in the 1960s, when they displayed placards outside Jewish organisations calling for the gassing of Jews.
    I find LA’s defence of Clifford’s vile and malicious views disturbing. It rejects common sense and civility and elevates dogma, rather like religious maniacs in general.

    • Even the fundamentalists have methods of explaining away the “putting to death” bits of the Old Testament and they don’t generally recommend putting anyone to death. Your ignorance of what they actually preach is evident. Please show me where Dr. Clifford incited any violence or recommended that anyone be put to death?

      Clifford’s views on homosexuality are part of a religious sexual ethic that also prohibits sex outside of marriage (fornication) and adultery. He probably believes that if you masturbate tonight you are displeasing God. For all I know he may have written a pamphlet about it. Do you care? Is he inciting anything against you? If you don’t like it ignore him or tell him to f*ck off, but don’t ask the State to send Mr. Plod round to his house because that is an assault on his freedom, and if the State can punish him for his views then it can also punish you for your views and me for my views. That is the basic idea behind freedom of speech.

      • You are making ‘freedom of speech’ into a fetish, and the defence of freedom of speech into a dogma. Clifford worships his perverted idea of god, or, more precisely, he worships a book, and tells homosexuals that ‘The wages of sin is death’, and that homosexuals are sinners and bound for hell. He is a supporter of death to homosexuals, through his god’s agency, and frequently says as much.
        I am not a homosexual, but if I were, and Clifford were to come up to me and hand me a leaflet or tell me to my face that I am a sinner, a sodomite, and bound for hell, I would see that behaviour as an incitement to violence.

        • I really cannot see how if someone tells you that God will punish you then he is inciting violence against you.

          If a street preacher shouted at you that you will go to hell if you don’t marry your girlfriend, would you consider him to be inciting violence against you?

          It seems far more likely to me that you are a totalitarian who wants to outlaw opinions that you don’t like.

  10. Some things are “less good” than others. It’s only moral relativism that has allowed many people to say that everything is as good as everything else.

    Imagine that a human being is like the Y-amplifier of an oscilloscope. Then, imagine that the modern Christian is set on, say, 10volts/div (vertical deflection sensitivity.) He then sees two gays rogering each other….the trace moves up about half a division – about 5 volts – , or down (whatever). there is not much deflection shown on-screen.

    Then, imagine that the “deeply respected Muslim scholar” is set on about 50mV/div (0.05 volts/division.) he is “much more sensitive to the same voltage stimulus”. Watch what his “trace” does. It moves right off-scale…in fact if the screen was high enough it would have gone 50 cm – about 20 inches – offscreen.

    In truth, he is so deeply, madly, truly pissed off that he wants actually, in his rage, to push down a stonewall (sorry…er, guys…is not that where your name came from?) onto the chained and tethered sodomites.

    As an heterosexual male all my life and having never been in any doubt since the age of six/seven when I really really wanted to marry at least three of the little girls in the kindergarten where I was – and I remember their names and what they looked like too (Elizabeth Fuller, Susan Smith, Roseanne Kesson, Estelle (er…umm can’t remember that one…) you will all know who you are if reading this now and if you are not dead – I do have some problems in understanding gayness: but I do accept that there may be people who aren’t like me.

  11. ” it is not conceivable that the law would be applied unequally to different religions.” It’s already happened. In 1974 (?) motorcyclists were required to wear crash helmets. Unless they were Sikhs, who were exempt. Dear old Fred Hill, an elderly retired maths master, didn’t think this was fair, and continued to potter about on his Honda 90 wearing a beret. He was fined numerous times, and jailed numerous times for refusing to pay the fines, ultimately dying in Pentonville prison.
    This was also the first time, to my knowledge, that a law was enacted to protect the individual from himself, rather than from the criminal intentions of others, and for that reason it marks a very important milestone on the way to State control of the individual.
    Paul Rowlandson says; “He is a supporter of death to homosexuals, through his god’s agency”,… Are you suggesting he is inciting God to commit violence?

    • Clifford is a Calvinist. As such he believes in double predestination. God created homosexuals in order to condemn them to hell. They are, in Calvinist theology, predestined to eternal damnation. Again, according to Calvin, there is nothing ‘sinners’ can do about it. Their fate is predetermined. The essentials of Calvinism are summed up by the acronymTULIP. Man is Totally depraved. Some men are Unconditionally elected to salvation. Limited atonement – Christ died purely for the benefit of the elect, the chosen. Irresistible grace – God calls only those who he has chosen. Perseverance – those who are chosen by God are saved no matter what they do.
      It is useful to know something of this debased theology to appreciate fully what a Calvinist gay hater like Clifford means when he condemns homosexuals. There is, in Calvinist theology, nothing, absolutely nothing you can do if you are predestined from birth to eternal damnation, which is most of us. Only God’s elite – a small minority – are ‘saved’. The Calvinist God is an angry and hateful monster. Clifford’s taunting of homosexuals is sick, vile, and cruel.
      And he gets the support of the Director of the LA.

  12. Marklibertarian – No. Such a street preacher would be inciting me to violence against him. Clifford indulges in hate speech against homosexuals and gets plenty of support from the Director of the LA and contributors to this blog. I don’t like that at all.

  13. Paul Rowlandson–What your opinions boil down to is that anyone who doesn’t agree with your opinions is wrong and an arsehole–which is the same line taken as Dr Clifford. Free speech means exactly that–not free unless some twat–either leftist or any other type–doesn’t agree or like what is said (nor do I buy any of the “incitement to violence” crap–people obviously have choice about what they choose to do). You don’t like Clifford–tough shit.

    • I don’t like Pastor Clifford; you got that bit right. Does freedom of speech include the right to go up to people in the street and be gratuitously offensive to them? It seems that most so-called ‘libertarians’ round here think that is perfectly all right.

  14. Yes. It’s called free speech. What you not allowed to do is punch them on the nose, or to incite others to do likewise.
    There was a film called ‘Pleasantville’ in which (I’m a bit shaky on the details) the new mayor made it a decree that everyone should be polite to each other. This turned out to be the first step on the road to totalitarianism.
    I would sooner be offended than censored any day.

  15. There is no right not to be offended–full-fucking stop. And as for being “gratuitously” offended on the street–how often does that happen?. If, for example, you are walking down the street with your “Gay is Great”( or whatever) tee shirt on –then you are sending a “Fuck You ” message to all those who believe that it is most certainly not. And if Dr C or A N Other approaches you and tells you what he thinks of your displayed values–who is the offender?. Free speech is all or nothing–leftist scum are pushing their hate speech shite to do in any opinions contrary to theirs. If you want to be a Libertarian support freedom—don’t be a useful idiot for tyranny.

    • “Free speech is all or nothing” says Mr. Anonymous. So far I have taken the example of someone coming up to you in the street and being gratuitously offensive. But what if someone comes to your door and is gratuitously offensive to you or your wife? Is free speech still an absolute? Is there still no right not to be gratuitously offended?

      • It’s all irrelevant. Dr Clifford wasn’t gone after because he’d accosted someone in the street or knocked on doors. He sent a couple of leaflets through the Internet. Anyone who says he was intimidated by that needs to be a fool or a liar.

        I will also remind anyone who may have forgotten that the complainants get £35,000 of our money to hand out rubber johnnies to men who are probably well able to afford their own. They probably called in the Plod using electricity paid for with our tax money.

  16. “If you go up to someone in the street (or on the train) and are gratuitously offensive to them, are you inciting them to violence?”
    Well, you might be inviting retaliation, but that’s a completely different thing. ‘Incitement to violence’ means inciting a third party to commit a violent act.
    ‘Rubber Johnnies’ Sean? That dates you!

  17. I don’t want to be too dogmatic about ‘incitement to violence’ but I am pretty sure that you are mistaken about a third party being necessary. If I am gratuitously and outrageously offensive to you I thereby procure you to commit a crime.

  18. Not at all. It is my choice whether to walk away, engage in debate with you or punch you on the nose. It is my duty as a citizen to know what is a lawful response and what is not.
    Procurement is what Chris Huhne did to his wife. At least that’s the polite word for it.

  19. Having considered your argument a bit more, by your logic it would be impossible to say anything contentious to anybody, for fear that you may ‘incite’ them to respond in an unlawful manner.
    You are thereby hoist by your own petard, charged with ‘inciting’ me with your perverse logic. Shall we step outside and see who’s right?

    • My argument is that ‘freedom of speech’ is not an absolute and needs to be tempered by circumstances. Gratuitously offensive verbal aggression, as in the case where a stranger knocks on your door and gratuitously insults you or your wife, cannot be defended as ‘freedom of speech’. There is in such circumstances a right not to be offended. There can be debate about how far that right extends, but to deny that it exists at all is dogmatic nonsense. I also argue that the reification of ‘freedom of speech’ is dogmatic, and a substitute for thought.

  20. We can all see where this line of argument is intended to lead: a situation in which my freedom to express an opinion becomes contingent upon the level of offence, outrage or violent action that it produces in you or a third party.

    The State already bans opinions by using a law regarding the effect of hearing or reading them – the “incitement to hatred”. Clearly this is not sufficient because prosecutions under it are not too common, so I have no doubt that they will be looking around for something else to add to their toolkit, probably along the lines that you suggest, in which someone can claim to have been “gratuitously offended” by my opinion and demand that I be taken to court for it.

    It would be a much more honest approach to simply set out the range of opinions that outrage you and that you therefore want to outlaw.

  21. I agree with the comments of Dr Gabb and Hugo Miller in this thread. As I do Mr Ecks and marklibertarian. I am not exactly shy of opposing people I disagree with – but I agree here (so there is no point in pretending that I do not).

    David Davis – crikey you were an early developer. I had no such thoughts at that age.

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