Freedom Truth and The Gospel

The media reporting the High Court ruling against the Street Preachers ignored the true findings and pursued headlines such as “Preachers Banned”

The following quote from the judgement:

As has already been explained, those matters show unequivocally that the only purpose of the impugned provisions is to prevent obstruction of roads. It follows that the power to grant or withhold consent to engage in the prohibited activities must be administered by reference to that consideration and none other. On the proper construction of the impugned by-law, the concern of those who must decide whether to grant or withhold consent is confined to the practical question of whether the grant of permission will likely create an unacceptable obstruction of the road in question.
The headlines could have read: “Preachers banned unless they have a permit”

A permit is granted in relation to the use of a road and NOT the content of the preaching.

It was further noted:

“Freedom of expression is, of course, intrinsically important: it is valued for its own sake. But it is well recognised that it is also instrumentally important. It serves a number of broad objectives. First, it promotes the self-fulfilment of individuals in society. Secondly, in the famous words of Holmes J (echoing John Stuart Mill), ‘the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market’[217]. Thirdly, freedom of speech is the lifeblood of democracy. The free flow of information and ideas informs political debate. It is a safety valve: people are more ready to accept decisions that go against them if they can in principle seek to influence them. It acts as a brake on the abuse of power by public officials. It facilitates the exposure of errors in the governance and administration of justice of the country”.

It is wise to remember the content and the context of Isaiah 31:3

The Egyptians are mere humans. They aren’t God. Their horses are made of flesh; they can’t live forever. When the LORD shows his power, he will destroy the Egyptians and all who depend on them. Together they will fall.

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