Monday, June 16, 2008

America is not a "free speech zone"

Quarantining dissent

A preacher from Repent America was preaching the gospel in Philadelphia outside the entrance to the Liberty Bell Independence Park. He was standing aside, not obstructing pedestrian or vehicular traffic, preaching the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Park Rangers told him to stop, but that they would offer him a "verbal permit" to speak at a "free speech zone" down the block and around the corner in back. Somewhere. The preacher respectfully declined the "verbal permit" on grounds that the First Amendment gives him the right to speak. He also respectfully declined to move. Or to stop preaching.

Soon after a covey of Park Rangers surrounded the preacher and his fellow men who were standing there holding a sign and not speaking, and brought the preacher to the ground and arrested him. He preached the whole time, holding the bible aloft as long as he had a free hand. He was brought before a judge and the judge found him guilty of speaking outside a free speech zone and of interfering with park operations. Here is the Youtube video of the event. Here is the news story of the event.

Just as in George Orwell's book "1984" any behavior not approved by the State is punished quickly and harshly to set a public example. I would posit though, that denying someone the right to speak on a sidewalk surpasses even Orwell's 1984.

The bible promises that in the End Times Christians will be persecuted.
Mark 9: [Of the End Times] But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

Wikipedia: The Liberty Bell, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a bell that has served as one of the most prominent symbols of the American Revolutionary War. It is a familiar symbol of independence within the United States and has been described as an icon of liberty and justice. The inscription on the bell states: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV X"

The source of the above inscription is Leviticus 25:10, which reads "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family."

How ironic that the man being wrestled to the ground is holding aloft the very source of the incription on a bell named Liberty that proclaims freedom.

No comments: