A street preacher from the United Kingdom has been fined for quoting from the Bible while preaching.
According to Christian Today, Michael Overd was fined for using “threatening” language while preaching on the streets of Taunton in June of 2014.
Overd, a former paratrooper-turned-street preacher, quoted from the book of Leviticus in the Bible when speaking with someone who was homosexual. The particular verse from the Bible talks about homosexuality being an “abomination,” and it was that word specifically that helped the judge make his decision.
The Bristol Crown Court judge fined the 50-year-old Overd $300 along with “compensation and costs totaling $1,800,” according to WND Faith.
The judge told Overd that if he was going to quote the Bible, he should have chosen a different verse and “clearly indicated that he could have used chapter 18 of the book.”
While Overd was found guilty of “homophobic” harassment, he was acquitted of a second charge of “racially aggravated harassment.”
Overd, who has been a street preacher for over five years, had quite a lot to say about the judge’s decision.
While Overd was accused of sharing more of the Bible verse that not only refers to homosexuality as an “abomination” but also speaks of a “death penalty,” Overd says that he would not use those words.
Overd stated, “I am being punished for words that never passed my lips.”
Overd went on to say, “I did not quote the full text of Leviticus 20 or make reference to the death penalty, but the judge is telling me that I should use other parts of the Bible. This is not free speech but censorship. The judge is redacting the Bible.”
“I am amazed that the judge sees it as his role to dictate which parts of the Bible can and can’t be preached,” added Overd.
Despite the hefty fines, Overd has stated that he will not stop what he sees as his job — taking the message he sees from the Bible to the street.
Andrea Williams, Overd’s attorney, defended her client, saying, “Mike is clear that he is motivated by love, not hate. Indeed, this is in line with the message of the Bible.”
The judge clearly disagreed, saying that Overd’s message was not coming from using the Bible as a message of love but rather was “rude,” “bullying,” and lacking any “scholarly approach.”
[Photo Courtesy of WND Faith]