Well, another day, another tyrannical arrest by the thought police. Another street preacher has been arrested in England for saying (gasp) that homosexual behavior is a sin. The police allege that he said it loudly enough to be overheard. Well, that settles that. Take him away, boys.
This raises a couple of interesting questions in my mind. I've often wondered about when civil disobedience is justifiable. It seems to me that civil disobedience isn't automatically justified by the existence of an unjust or ridiculous or even tyrannical law. If my state passed a law against eating broccoli on Tuesdays, it would be disturbing to see something that Big Brotherish going on, but the matter would be trivial enough that civil disobedience would (probably) not be justified. Civil disobedience obviously is justified when the law requires you to do something wrong yourself.
But in between, there are cases like this, where I am inclined to say that civil disobedience is justified, because the matter is very grave. That is to say, it is important that Christians be able to speak out against sin in order to be a light in the world. While God doesn't directly order this or that Christian to speak out at some particular time against a particular sin, the general proscription of preaching against some given sin is a very serious matter indeed and must be challenged.
I therefore support widespread civil disobedience in the case of this British law. The only question is how it should be done. Question to those more knowledgeable: Does the law proscribe only speech on public streets, or does it also include pastors' sermons? (I understand that it proscribes "abusive or insulting" language that causes "harassment, alarm, or distress.") If the latter, then I think pastors and priests in Britain should mount a widespread campaign to preach on a particular Sunday in defiance of this law. If the former, Christians in Britain should mount a campaign of saying (loudly enough to be heard by passersby) on the streets that homosexuality is a sin. It would be interesting to see just how far the British police would go, just how many people they would arrest, in a crackdown on a really large campaign of this sort.
My own strategy advice would be that the civil disobedience campaign not involve large numbers of people bunching together, or the police will treat them as rioters, cage them, and even rough them up, as they have been doing to EDL protesters lately. In my opinion (with which others may differ) the best strategy would be a coordinated campaign on a particular day involving large numbers of people spread out in small groups in various British cities and towns passing out leaflets with the proscribed statements, wearing them on T-shirts, and saying them loudly enough to be overheard.
This tyranny against Christian moral teaching must be challenged, and Christian leaders should do what leaders are supposed to do: Lead.