I’m amazed when seemingly intelligent people tell me they still think the American Civil Liberties Union is a group that fights for First Amendment freedoms no matter whose ox is being gored.
If that’s the case, why is the ACLU not filing amicus briefs in Philadelphia where four Christians are facing 47 years in jail for expressing their free-speech rights?
That’s right. Four Christians are facing 47 years in prison for peacefully quoting the Bible, an action an unglued local prosecutor determined to be “fighting words” when cited among homosexual activists.
It all started Oct. 10, when a total of 11 members of Repent America attended a homosexual street festival called “Outfest.”
The group, ranging in age from 17 to 72, was surrounded at times by the organizers’ security force, known as the “Pink Angels.”
Videotapes and still photos taken at the event show the Pink Angels blocking the path of the Repent America members, shouting at them, blowing whistles and so forth. The Christians remain peaceful and calm at all times, despite what appears to be extraordinary provocation, intimidation and harassment.
Guess who was arrested?
That’s right. The Christians.
And they’ve been charged with a long list of felonies and hate crimes that would make the Founding Fathers spin in their graves.
Repent America director Michael Marcavage is charged with three felonies – criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation and riot. (If you’re wondering what “ethnic intimidation” means at a homosexual event, you have to understand the city of Philadelphia has extended hate crime laws to protect the sexually aberrant as well as racial minorities.) He was also hit with five misdemeanors for walking on the city sidewalks and quoting Holy Scriptures.
Mark Diener and James Cruse are charged with criminal conspiracy, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways. Dennis Green is charged with criminal conspiracy, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways. The criminal conspiracy charge links all the defendants together so that Marcavage’s “ethnic intimidation” hate-crime charge will apply to all of them.
This is one of the most brazen, frontal attacks on religious freedom and free speech I have seen in my lifetime. If these charges stand, Christians across America will soon be hunted down like dogs as they are in many parts of the world today as the most persecuted religious group on the planet.
It’s ironic that this persecution would take place in Philadelphia, the so-called “City of Brotherly Love.”
Of course, Philadelphia wasn’t always so inhospitable to Christians.
It’s worth remembering the very first legislative act in Pennsylvania, April 25, 1682. It was called the Great Law of Pennsylvania – and great it was.
“Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and the end of government, and, therefore government itself is a venerable ordinance of God … [there shall be established] laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, whereby God may have his due, and Caesar his due, and the people their due, from tyranny and oppression.”
If indeed the Philadelphia 4 are convicted and sentenced to hard time, Christians need to march on the Philadelphia courthouse, encircle it, blow the trumpets and prepare to watch God work a miracle like He did at Jericho.
We should do this not just for the injustice to the four Philadelphia Christians, but because no one in America – not Christians or non-Christians, not black or white, not homosexual or heterosexual – will truly be free. We will be living in a country where people can be imprisoned arbitrarily for breaking no law other than the law of “political correctness.”
If we’re going to save freedom in America, it’s going to take a miracle.
Will you come to Philadelphia?