Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Philadelphia Christians Jailed for Protesting

OK, I think my head just might explode on this one. A group of 11 Christians were staging a protest at the Philadelphia "OutFest", a gay pride event, by "preaching God's Word" and displaying banners with Biblical messages. After being confronted by a group called The Pink Angels, all 11 Christians were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways!! Read it here and be sure and watch the live video of the arrest, which is linked in the article.

Responding to the riot charge, the group's statement said: "Despite the fact that our behavior was above reproach and we were attacked by a mob of whistle-blowing, obscenity-screaming God haters, the Christians, and only the Christians, were charged."

A statement from the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, whose attorneys are representing the Christians, said, "The Philadelphia 11 face a maximum penalty of 47 years each in jail for exercising their constitutional rights."

Charles Ehrlich, the city prosecutor in the case, has called the Christian protestors "hateful" and referred to preaching the Bible as using "fighting words."

Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge William Austin Meehan has banned the protestors from doing any type of evangelism within 100 yards of any "gay and lesbian event."

Read more about this outrageous situation here, here, here, and see the video here.

Hat tip to my friend Kathryn and her sister Paula for this story.

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