America, Fuck Yeah

Despite positive things like public health care, some aspects of living in Europe make me glad to live in the States.

A Christian street preacher was arrested and locked in a cell for telling a passer-by that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God.

Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) 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.

Yeesh. Cultural bigots piss me off as much as anyone else, but screw that.

I know that my own rights are protected when reprehensible people can freely vent whatever pops into their otherwise empty head. By the way, as an aside to Joe Lieberman, the same goes for Constitutional protections regarding search, seizure, habeas corpus and torture, you brain-damaged embarrassment.


I also recommend Justice Breyer’s consenting concurring opinion.

41 replies
  1. 1
    Remember November says:

    doesn’t warrant arrest, but perhaps copious amounts of insults and questions regarding said preacher’s own luggage handling capabilities.

  2. 2
    J sub D says:

    By the way, as an aside to Joe Lieberman, the same goes for Constitutional protections against search, seizure, habeas corpus and torture, you brain-damaged embarrassment.

    Joe’s rationale – But if it stops one terrorist attack it will be worth it.

    That whole freedom thingee is overrated anyway.

  3. 3
    Michael says:

    If you want to be a Christian street preacher in the mold of Brother Jed Smock or his main squeeze, Sister Cindy, you shouldn’t complain when people respond to your idiocy by curb stomping you into the hospital every time you do it.

    Be a martyr for Jesus…..

  4. 4
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Is that picture from The Onion? Hahahaha!

  5. 5
    qkslvrwolf says:

    Have you ever been harangued by a street preacher? There’s a bunch of really crazy fuckers out there who I swear to god will attack me when I talk back to them.

  6. 6
    Bret says:

    Honestly, I’d rather a couple homophobic preachers get thrown in the klink for the afternoon than police being able to bust my door down and shoot my dogs in the middle of the night because I have a couple of spliffs.

    Europe is still better, I’m afraid.

  7. 7
    Tuffy says:

    What do you call one Christian imprisoned for his beliefs?

    A good start.

  8. 8
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    It’s also worth noting just how full of win that Onion article is.

    The plaintiff clearly brought this suit without reading the fucking Bill of Rights. I’m not referring to a subtle grounding in in the subtleties of Constitutional law, but, rather, the 15 fucking seconds it takes to read Amendment I, because after 230 goddamn years of the U.S. Constitution, the general citizenry ought to know their own First Fucking Amendment.

    Opinion of Justice Breyer

    Added Ginsburg, “In short, freedom of speech means the freedom of fucking speech, you ignorant cocksuckers.”

  9. 9
    Calouste says:

    Ah, the Torygraph. The paper that I once saw with an article on on page headlined “Frogs allowed to vote on Pound” (about how some French residents in the UK might in some unlikely scenario be able to vote on a referendum on Britain joining the Euro), and on the opposite page an article complaining about how people in Britain were so rude towards each other these days. Why don’t you just start quoting the Moonie Times?

  10. 10
    someguy says:

    How you bitchez like me now?

    The 1st Amendment

  11. 11
    Corpsicle says:

    @Bret: Exactly

  12. 12
    danimal says:

    I’m liking fake news like the Onion and the Daily Show much more than the real news these days. In a lot of ways, the fake news is more truthful.

  13. 13
    Dreggas says:


    even worse I saw some 12 yr old kid doing the street preacher gig in Hollywood. He was flanked by two big dudes who I assume were relatives. All he did was spout the same shit over and over but I swear he looked like he was going to kill the first person that disagreed with him.

  14. 14
    New Yorker says:

    Yeah, I’d much prefer we do the stuff like the people of West Virginia did to mock Fred Phelps than throw Fred Phelps in jail. On this point at least, the US is better than Europe.

    Also, look at the Onion article again for Clarence Thomas’ opinion. Was “suck a dogs asshole” an intentional shout-out to Wesley Willis?

  15. 15
    Erik Vanderhoff says:


    Uh, just fine? The ruling releases them on bond because pretrial services doesn’t feel they are at risk of committing acts or fleeing while under their supervision and that the government failed to meet a burden to prove otherwise; it doesn’t declare guilt or innocence based on the First Amendment. Are you dumb or something? Read the first section. It’s written in rather plain English.

  16. 16
    Fern says:

    @New Yorker: Really? Then why does the US have one of the highest incarceration rates in the known universe?

  17. 17
    Legalize says:

    Tim, that would be “concurring” opinion.

  18. 18
    Geeno says:

    @Legalize: I liked “consenting”

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    Didn’t Colbert just do a bit last week about a guy who drove around town giving cops the bird?

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    Do you have to be a certain age to have a “consenting” opinion?

  21. 21

    @Zifnab: Yep. And he does, in fact, have a right to be an asshole.

    Personally, my response to crazy people, er street preachers, is to either play along with them and see what crazy things i can say that they’ll agree with, then go “lol jk!!” or just get right up in their faces. Either action usually results in a HELP HELP I’M BEING REPRESSED reaction.

  22. 22
    Glidwrith says:

    “I know that my own rights are protected when reprehensible people can freely vent whatever pops into their otherwise empty head.”

    Unfortunately those empty-headed people believe you have no right to argue with them (see Bachmann’s recent net neutrality=suppression of free speech, Bible Spice’s interpretation of free speech (ie press can’t question her) or Karl Rove calling Code Pink totalitarians for disputing his BS when they tried to arrest him at his book signing).

  23. 23
    joe from Lowell says:

    Hey, bucket guy: I’ll give you twenty bucks to set up 20 feet away from that street preacher.

    We Gonna Drop Da Bomb on YOU! Hey! Hey!

  24. 24
    New Yorker says:


    Did you miss “on this point”? At least none of those incarcerated are people like David Irving.

  25. 25
    Ripley says:

    Free Speech moment of the day: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) describing his agreement with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) regarding depriving brown-skinned terrorism suspects of their Miranda rights:

    Me and Peter are so much on board here.

    Yep. Thought so.

  26. 26
    joe from Lowell says:

    You know, some crazy-assed street preacher going to town over some old school DC Gogo beats wouldn’t be half bad.

    We gonna drop da bomb on the Southeast Crew.
    Southeast Crew, wachoo gonna do?

  27. 27
    Kyle says:

    “The court has an interest in protecting meaningful human communication, which is jeopardized when every other word out of someone’s mouth is ‘F this’ or ‘F that,'” Scalia wrote. “In practice, such an expansion of free expression becomes far too unwieldy and large to accommodate.”

    To which Justice Ginsberg immediately replied, “Yeah, that’s what his mom said.”


  28. 28
    Professor says:

    @Fern: Because the USA jail innocent black people. An innocent black dude has just been release from jail for rape conviction he did not commit. After 30 years!

  29. 29
    LD50 says:

    Cultural bigots piss me off as much as anyone else, but screw that.

    Really, a little bit of ‘stick time’ down at the station would have been quite sufficient.

  30. 30
    Origuy says:

    Aren’t the PCSOs the UK version of mall cops? They aren’t “real” police officers, I believe. Boing Boing runs articles every so often about one of them harassing someone harmlessly taking pictures of children or bridges or something. If you take a picture of a kid, even your own, you must be a pedophile. If you take a picture of a building, it’s because you’re planning to blow it up. Busybodies with badges is what they are.

  31. 31

    I must say, that photo is a win.

  32. 32
    Ruckus says:

    The only speech that I’d like to see restricted is anything said on behalf of fucking walmart. Or speech by people telling me not to say fuck or fucking, when that’s the only appropriate word. Fucking oil companies, fucking financial masters of the universe, fucking republicans.
    See how well it works when one puts it in the correct phrasing.

  33. 33
    Mike in NC says:

    I’m liking fake news like the Onion and the Daily Show much more than the real news these days. In a lot of ways, the fake news is more truthful.

    Without the likes of “The Onion”, TDS, and Colbert Report we’d quickly lose our minds over the 24/7 stream of horseshit presented by our fair and balanced “real” news media.

  34. 34
    TruthOfAngels says:

    The Torygraph?

    Fuck that noise. That’s not a newspaper, nor does it practice journalism.

    And one over-officious police officer does not a tendency towards suppression of free expression, however odious, make.

    (I really enjoyed writing that last sentence, because I think it is accurate yet unparsable. Next I will make God create a stone He can’t lift by threatening to give Him a wedgie. Can I give God a wedgie? No, but I’m betting He doesn’t know that.)

  35. 35
    Pinko Lanterne says:

    On the one hand I agree with the general sentiment behind this post.

    On the other hand I have a pet peeve with the phrase “in Europe”.

    Europe is not a country, even if you mean ‘within the European Union’ saying “in Europe” is less precise than saying “in North America” for example.

    Did you know that ‘in North America’ gay marriage is legal and ‘in Europe’ abortion is illegal? Totes true.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    Freedom of speech is one of the few areas where we are, in fact, more liberal than your average European nation.

    The UK still has 12th century libel laws.

  37. 37
    Robert Waldmann says:

    I was skimming and I really honestly read it as

    “I know that my own rights are protected when reprehensible people can freely vent whatever pops into their otherwise empty head. [people like] Joe Lieberman.”

    Yes exactly. Excellent example. I hate what Joe Lieberman says, but I will defend to the death , serious injury, severe pain would you believe maybe a hangnail ? his right to say it.

    Free speech is sacred, but Joe Lieberman is Joe Lieberman.

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    After reading the linked Onion piece, I suddenly realized that I haven’t had cause to use the word fuckwit since Bush & Cheney left office.


  39. 39
    jake the snake says:

    Those are what my father referred to as “3rd Monday Preachers”.

    In our small Kentucky town, up until the 1950s, the 3rd monday of every month was trading day. People would bring livestock, dogs, guns, knives, etc to town to sell and trade.
    There was usually at least one apocalyptic end of days jack-leg preacher spounting his non-sense. Sort of like Glen Beck on a rational day.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    Then again, look what just came up today in the Trib Woman jailed for 2 days for wearing T-shirt.

    LaPenta, 20, was jailed this week by Lake County Associate Judge Helen Rozenberg who held her in contempt for wearing the T-shirt in her courtroom. It was emblazoned with the words: “I have the (slang for female body part) so I make the rules.”
    . . .
    LaPenta said she wore the shirt to the gym for a workout and was asked by a friend to drive her to the courthouse in Waukegan so the friend could settle some minor traffic tickets. It wasn’t long after she sat down that Rozenberg summoned her to the front of the courtroom and asked about the slogan.

    Looks like everywhere might be a bit of a mixed bag.

  41. 41
    sparky says:

    hi Tim!

    gotta disagree here, though. this is, after all, the country that routinely arrests people for joking about bombs or, heaven forbid, assembling to protest at a political event. if that’s free speech in the US i’ll take britain, thanks very much.

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