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Minister arrested for calling homosexuality a sin

David Epps's picture

According to a report by Todd Starnes, who is the host of FOX News & Commentary, is a regular contributor to FOX & Friends and FoxNews.com., and who writes a weekly column for Human Events and TownHall.com., an American preacher went to jail for calling homosexuality a sin.

Tony Miano, a retired deputy sheriff and former chaplain with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was arrested in London, England and charged with “using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.”

Miano had been preaching on a London street corner during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships with a ministry group called Sports Fan Outreach International. According to the report, Miano was preaching about immoral living – and cited homosexuality as an example of lifestyle choices that are contrary to biblical teaching.

In the report, Miano said that he never used any slurs, slang, or discriminatory language in referring to homosexuals during his sermon. Miano quoted I Thessalonians 4:1-2, which mentions sexual immorality, and the evangelist said, “I talked about women addicted to romance novels, men addicted to pornography, people with lustful thoughts, heterosexual fornication and homosexuality. When I mentioned that the Bible was clear that homosexuality is a sin, a lady walked by and she glared at me and hurled the f-bomb.”

The woman then videotaped the sermon and reported Miano to the police.

Miano told the police officer that he didn’t speak solely about homosexuality as a form of sexual immorality but also about any kind of sex outside marriage between one man and one woman, as well as lustful thoughts. The minister said. “All of these are considered mainstream Christian positions and have been taught and believed by Christians for thousands of years.”

Police took the retired deputy sheriff to a nearby jail where he was fingerprinted. Officers also took a sample of his DNA and Miano was then interrogated and locked up. Miano spent about seven hours in jail before he was released without explanation and without an apology.

In an ironic twist, the officers made arrangements to provide the evangelist with a Bible to read in jail – the same book that led to his arrest.

“The same book I read from in public which resulted in my arrest, was now the same book the police were giving to provide me comfort,” he said. Miano, who is a member of the Evangelical Free Church, has been open-air preaching for eight years. He said this is the first time he’s been arrested.

Now back home in Southern California, Miano said he fears that what happened in Great Britain could soon happen in the United States.

“I believe that’s what our government is going to eventually do here,” he said. “I believe homosexuals or others who are sensitive to their point of view will be visiting churches to listen to what preachers say from the pulpit. And I believe that pastors will be arrested in their pulpits for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality and other sins.”

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the British Christian Legal Centre echoed those concerns. “It’s clear that there is already a clamp down on freedom of speech where people publicly express mainstream Christian views on sexual ethics,” Williams said.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, Ga. (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

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