Members of a local gay rights organization promoted their message that
all men should love one another by smashing a door, damaging a sign
and mounting a picket line at the Chick Publications distributor's
business in Scotland. Their objection was over the biblical view
of sodomy presented in the Chick tract,
The Edinburgh bookshop, McCall Barbour, serves as a central distribution
point for other bookstores throughout the United Kingdom.
Printed flyers handed out by the picketers described the Bible
tract as a "hate-filled, anti-gay comic reminiscent of the Nazis
and other racist, anti semitic and homophobic bigots."
The bookshop owner, Theodore Danson-Smith, says that
he used every opportunity during the confrontation to point
out that the message was from the Bible and all God wanted
them to do was repent of their sin and get saved. However,
their manner became so threatening that bookshop customers
were afraid to come in. Danson-Smith requested the police
to remove them because it was hurting his business, but they refused.
Local newspapers carried stories severely criticizing
the message in the tracts claiming that they promoted hate and fear.
One article expressed outrage over a quote in the
tract, Doom Town that showed a homosexual activist threatening
"blood terrorism" (purposely infecting the nation's blood
supply with the AIDS virus if government funding for research
was withheld). The writer neglected to point out that this
was a direct quote from an AIDS rally speaker captured on video.
Sodomite organizations pressured local police to investigate
McCall Barbour for incitement to hate crimes and slander.
When detectives arrived they admitted that there was no
law on the books under which they could arrest Danson-Smith
or stop the distribution of the tracts.
This was not the first police visit to the book distributor.
Earlier, they had arrived with a complaint from "an Asian organization"
about the tract, Allah Had No Son. They claimed that it was "an incitement to racial hatred."
After reviewing the tract, the police agreed that it was a religious message, not racial. Danson-Smith pointed out that Muslims come in a wide variety of races.
Besides pressure from the homosexuals and Muslims, the news articles carried extensive quotes from Roman Catholic and Church of Scotland officials against the Chick tracts including Why is Mary Crying. One Roman priest was quoted: "For a place like this to call itself a Christian bookshop seems incomprehensible."
Through it all, Danson-Smith kept his cool. To their credit the newspapers repeatedly quoted his compassionate responses:
"I am not spreading hate," he insisted. "I am working to tell people how to get saved. We hope homosexuals, Catholics and Muslims see they need Christ as their personal Saviour."
For now the waters have calmed and Danson-Smith, a veteran of seven decades of spiritual warfare, plows quietly ahead, sharing the Good News of freedom in Christ to everyone who cares to listen.