Police launch probe into church sign that suggested non-Christians will burn in hell after ONE person complained



This was sent to me by a friend.

Robert Gladwin, 20, said: 'It is my basic understanding that Christianity is inclusive and loving in nature.

‘The message being displayed outside of the church could not be further from the often uttered phrase ‘love thy neighbour’.’

Mr Rose said he ‘regretted’ how the poster could have been interpreted.

I’m sorry, but I think this is just so funny—in a way. :stuck_out_tongue:

What is happening to England? :shrug:


Quoting from the news article:

A Norfolk police spokesman said: 'Norfolk Constabulary received a report regarding a poster outside a church in Attleborough which was deemed offensive by the complainant.

'National guidance required us to investigate the circumstances and the matter has been recorded as a hate incident.

‘Having spoken to the pastor of the church, it has been agreed the poster will be taken down.’

Here in the US, if a person calls in a complaint to the police, they are required to investigate. That doesn’t seem different from what happened in the UK. What is different is that the sign has been recorded as a hate incident. As an American, this seems odd. I think it places the police officer in the role of the judge or jury. On the other hand, perhaps British law required that a reported hate incident also be recorded as a hate incident.

Is this correct, or is this a matter of misleading coverage by the Daily Mail?


Fair and just, we are not allowed to proselytize via hellfire sermons and intimidation in Europe and to my knowledge this is an EU ruling as well as a UK one. Ignorance of the law is no defense, and this individual was rightly brought to task for hate speech.

By all means people are free to preach, what they aren’t allowed to to is threaten non belivers. This is pretty standard fare, we won’t tolerate anything vaugley reminiscent of Westaboro-style signs here from anyone.


I’m offended by the sign. I’m equally offended by the police investigation.


I’m not sure if this really qualifies as threatening non-believers. It’s not like that Church was saying that they would do something to non-believers, they merely pointed out that hell might be a consequence of their non-belief. Furthermore, if you are a non-believer than you don’t believe that hell exists and so there is nothing to be threatened by.

What really happened is a misunderstanding of hell. The popular understanding of hell is that it serves punish bad people. Consequently, people infer that by saying non-believers risk hell that sign is saying that non-believers are bad people. That’s not exactly correct.

Bad evangelization maybe, but hardly a hate crime.


Interesting…Say, what if I was to post a few pictures of a black man hanging from a tree with the caption “This may be a consequence of your blackness”.

Would that be hate speech, or am I just politely informing them of what the KKK might seek to achive?


That sign isn’t commenting on non-Christians…it’s talking about non-theists.

But I can see how the complainer would say the nature of the sign was non-Christian…meaning, the intent of those who put it up was very non-Christian.



I will never understand why people attempt to make correlation where there is none, especially when attempting to drawn on the emotions of others, which is not a rational process, to make their non-association relevant.:shrug:

This is not a threat, this is not hate speech and this is why I changed my mind about moving and living in the UK. This is the result of political correctness, humanism and the “everything is relative” mentality.

A better example would be to ask if I want my children of the consequences of not looking both ways before crossing the street. A warning of a person’s inaction and the resulting possibility is not a threat, is a warning.


And what exactly is the threat of Hell supposed to achieve in this scenario but to instill fear? Fear is an emotion. I find this a fair comparison but because one is theologically motivated it expects to get a free card to disobey the law of the land.

I agree there is a good deal of political correctness, but in as multicultural a society as the UK there must be strict regulation as to how religions may address non-belivers. This is to prevent infighting, and pretty much every denomination in the UK will argue that the Catholic view is relative., but lets not go into that here,

No…This was a very clear threat to non theists. Belive or Burn and if we choose to correlate it to warnings from the highway code then you must also agree that posting signs of dead black men saying “this may be a consequence of you blackness” is not hate speech.

I wonder if you’d feel the same way if I posted a picture of a dead Catholic from Sudan with the headline “This may be a consequence of your Catholicism”.


This has to be a joke! It’s illegal in the UK for a church to post a sign on their own property about the reality of hell?


Nothing wrong with the sign and if there is they should ban the Pretty Reckless youtube video where there is plenty of book-burning and a chorus of children singing they belong in hell.


Google songs with hell in the title and movies with hell in the title.

Perhaps they should ban the movie, Drag Me to Hell.


I really cannot grasp the Westboro comparison. :eek: Are you serious? :shrug:

And this was not a 'threat," IMO. I’m confident in saying most reasonable people would agree with me.

The sign simply was stating forth (rightly or wrongly) the beliefs/interpretation of Christianity of that particular denomination. It was saying asking people to sort of evaluate their beliefs and said that from the truth of THEIR denomination (and most Christian denominations, to be honest) certain actions might lead to certain consequences.

You may argue that it may not have been in “good taste” or “tactful,” and one would certainly have the right to disagree with the “message” behind it, but I would not call this a threat.

Certainly not worth calling the police over this anyway. :blush::rolleyes:


Without commenting on whether or not this kind of sign is good evangelism . . .

I knew before I ever opened the thread that this story was going to be from the United Nanny Kingdom.




Apparently, yes. :frowning:


Can both sides be right?

The people who put up the sign were right about it being a risk. But at the same time, the guy who complained was right that it’s non-Christian. Non-Christian for pretty much the same reason as the Catholic Church (almost?) never says anyone is definitively in Hell. (The almost is because I think I’ve heard that of Judas before)


No…This was a very clear threat to non theists. Belive or Burn and if we choose to correlate it to warnings from the highway code then you must also agree that posting signs of dead black men saying “this may be a consequence of you blackness” is not hate speech.

This was only a threat to that ONE INDIVIDUAL. I’m confident in saying the overwhelming majority of Brits would simply either ignore the sign or silently sniff/disagree with it and/or agree with it and move on.

Freedom of speech, is all…:shrug:. Even in England.

And I agree with the other poster here----how you can correlate this with race is beyond me.

And has England fallen so far off the cliff morally and ethically that it feels it is icumbent upon the government to protect its citizens from a sign staing a theological position? :rolleyes:

Like I said----what is wrong with England? :blush::shrug:


Ok. But why need the police have become involved?

Could not the offended gentleman have talked first to the Church regarding his concerns?

No common sense and too much ultra-PC-ness. :thumbsup::thumbsup:


“…they will be easily offended …”
Where did I read that before?


What a waste of Police time and tax payers money. Seriously, this guy needs to get a life! The Baptist Church down the road from me, has some posters that are a lot more stronger than this. I find them pretty funny, catchy and make me think. I just hope he doesn’t visit my town and decide that they too offend him. There by wasting more Police time and tax payers money.

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