Pastor can hand out Bibles to bikers at Wis. city’s Harley-Davidson Festival


English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution Česky: Originál Listiny práv, prvních deseti dodatků k Ústavě Spojených států amerických Deutsch: Die Bill of Rights genannten ersten zehn Zusatzartikel zur US-amerikanischen Verfassung, die den Bürgern bestimmte Grundrechte garantieren Español: La Carta de Derechos de los Estados Unidos, el término por el que se conocen las diez primeras enmiendas de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Attorney sound bites:  Jon Scruggs  |  Kevin Theriot

GREENFIELD, Wis. — The city of Greenfield agreed Friday to allow a pastor to continue distributing Bibles on public streets at a Harley-Davidson Festival after receiving a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom. Police had threatened the pastor with arrest for peacefully handing out the Bibles to willing passers-by at the festival.

“No
one should be threatened with arrest simply because they choose to
exercise their First Amendment freedoms in a public place,” said Legal
Counsel Jon Scruggs. “We commend the city for promptly agreeing to
respect the constitutionally protected right of this pastor and all
Americans to peacefully distribute faith-based literature.”

On
Aug. 28, David Murray went to West Layton Avenue to express his
religious faith and distribute Bibles during the Harley-Davidson
Festival, which is free and open to the public. Security officers
and Greenfield police officers ordered Murray to stop expressing his
beliefs and to move to the adjacent sidewalk behind the festival
vendors, an area no one accesses.
Murray’s friend
Dan Lawrence then tried to convince a police captain to allow him and
Murray to distribute Bibles in the festival area. But the captain
reiterated that neither man is allowed to distribute Bibles on the
street inside the festival.
As the Alliance Defending Freedom letter explained, “Lawrence desires to convey his religious beliefs through activities
protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
According to the Supreme Court, oral and written dissemination of
religious viewpoints are entitled to the utmost constitutional
protection.”
The letter also explained that
“expression in a traditional public forum deserves the highest level of
protection, and any infringement of speech activity there must overcome
great scrutiny.”

Greenfield’s police chief wrote in an e-mail to
Alliance Defending Freedom on Friday that “personnel have been advised
to allow your client’s activity within the public streets, sidewalks and
right of way.”

“The government should not harass
and threaten citizens for exercising their constitutionally protected
freedoms in public,” added Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The city of
Greenfield has rightly understood this, and we will continue
to monitor the situation to ensure that this pastor’s freedom to share
his faith is respected. The First Amendment specifically protects every
American’s freedom of speech and religious expression.”
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About Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield

Bi-vocational minister who is Founder and Editor of FaithInspires.Org As seen in Google News, SelfGrowth.Com, ChristianHeadlines.com etc.

Posted on September 5, 2013, in Church & State and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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