This is an edited version of a report in the ‘Belfast Newsletter’, Saturday 23rd October, 2021.
Belfast City Council is set to give powers to the PSNI to fine street preachers £500 if they use amplification systems without a council permit in the wider city centre.
All parties (this included the DUP – BB Editor) on the council’s Strategic Policy and Resource Committee agreed yesterday morning to approve draft bye laws that would require preachers, protestors, buskers and anyone else using amplification systems in the wider city centre to apply for a permit or be fined £500 by the PSNI or council officers.
Anyone setting up stalls with flyers without a permit will face the same fines.
The measures come after complaints about street preachers criticising homosexuality and pro-life and animal rights campaigners displaying graphic posters.
DUP Alderman Brian Kingston said: “This is based on the view that the city centre – the primary retail core and wider city centre – is an important space and there is a need for some regulation, particularly if people are causing a nuisance.”
Green councillor Mal O’Hara, a member of the LGBT community, said his party has wanted to regulate graphic imagery in the city for years. “And anybody who has been in the city centre in the past year has, I am sure, experienced extremist street preachers,” he said. “They try to dominate the public sphere to the detriment of others and consistently target minorities – in this case sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.”
But PUP councillor Dr John Kyle asked how requiring people to register for permits would change anything. “Will there be a limit on the volume?” he asked. “Are there restrictions on what can be said? And that is a serious problem if there is.” He also queried how judgements would be made on permits and who would “censor” photos on animal rights leaflets. “There is already legislation in place to deal with all these concerns – it just needs to be applied by the police”. He added that the Human Rights Act does not permit restrictions on freedom of expression in order to protect commercial interests.”
The comment by Councillor Dr John Kyle is welcomed. “The Human Rights Act does not permit restrictions on freedom of expression in order to protect commercial interests.”
It is to be noted that the motive for this restriction on open-airs is that commercial interests consider some of the preaching ‘a nuisance’. This is what the DUP dope, Alderman Brian Kingston, suggests.
Mr Kingston is one of the new breed of DUPers who freely fraternises with sodomites. Please read what we wrote in 2016 regarding his actions as Belfast Lord Mayor in supporting the Belfast ‘Pride’ march that year.
In that article I said: ‘In a statement regarding the City Hall gathering of sodomites, Mr Kingston sought to distance himself from the affair. In a statement, issued on the Lord’s Day, he said: “For clarity, I did not ‘launch the festival’ but did give a welcome address at a pre-event drinks reception at City Hall.” “I welcomed the attendees to City Hall and wished them an enjoyable evening.” The PSNI had posted a picture of the Lord Mayor with the following message: “Members of PSNI Gay Police Association & Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston at the launch of @belfastpride Festival”.
Wriggle he may but there is no question but that he was happy to be pictured with sodomites and to encourage their wicked public display by providing his endorsement of them at a wee ‘drinkies party’!
Now we have him siding with ‘Green councillor Mal O’Hara, a member of the LGBT community’ and sharing in his opposition to gospel open-air preaching in which O’Hara and his kind are denounced from the Holy Scriptures for their wicked perversion.
Furthermore, it is to be noted that Mr Kingston is more concerned with the interests of the merchants than he is in open-air preaching or freedom of speech. He says that his support for this restricting of open-airs is: “based on the view that the city centre – the primary retail core and wider city centre – is an important space and there is a need for some regulation, particularly if people are causing a nuisance.”
The merchants, commerce and money-making must be considered before GOD’S TRUTH and the freedom to preach it!
Back on July 2013, I preached a sermon on the growing dominance of the thinking and greed of the merchants on world politics and how that dominance will reach its fulness under Antichrist and be destroyed by Christ at His return. The sermon was entitled: “Merchants brought to mourning”. We have but to read Revelation to see a full account of the destruction of the power of the ‘merchants’. There it is stated: “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn,” 18:11.
The views of Mr Kingston is an indication of how this ‘commercialism greed virus’ has begun to infiltrate even the ranks of professing Christians who foolish run with the crowd. It will certainly grow and with it an intolerance of any who threaten or stand in the way of advancing commercialism.
The street, aye, and the pulpits will be purged of the preaching of the truth of God in its fulness.
Let us remember the charge given to God’s servants in the Word of God regarding these days.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry,” 2 Timothy 4:2-5.
Martyrs Memorial FPC has launched a petition against this action by Belfast City Council.
Rev. Ivan Foster
Monday 26th October, 2021.