Skip to comments.Christians Face 47 Years in Prison Because Philly Judge Calls Bible Verses
Posted on 12/16/2004 8:15:22 AM PST by OB1kNOb
Appeal to the Supreme Court last hope for Christians
First, symbols of Christianity are removed from the public square; now, Christians are facing 47 years in prison because they preached the gospel in the public square. Stalin would be proud, Brian Fahling, AFA Center for Law and Policy Senior Trial Attorney.
Tupelo, MS - After a federal appeals court denied an emergency appeal to stop prosecution of 11 Christians on Tuesday, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge William Austin Meehan ordered four of the Christians to stand trial on three felony (criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot) and five misdemeanor charges. If convicted, they could face up to 47 years in prison.
The Christians were arrested on October 10 for praying, singing, and reading scripture during an annual gay pride event known as Outfest in Philadelphia.
Since the federal courts did not intervene to halt the state prosecution, the last route for the Christians would be an appeal to the Supreme Court says the Christians attorney Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy.
First, symbols of Christianity are removed from the public square, now, Christians are facing years in prison because they preached the gospel in the public square. Stalin would be proud, Fahling said.
The federal appeals court in Philadelphia denied emergency relief despite video footage Fahling calls undisputed evidence that shows the Christians cooperating with police and continually being harassed by the Pink Angels, a group of homosexuals organized to impede the gospel message. Philadelphia city prosecutor in the case, Charles Ehrlich, attacked the Christians as hateful and referred to preaching the Bible as fighting words, the judge agreed.
Charges were dropped against the remaining seven apparently because they were not seen quoting scripture on the videotape.
The Philadelphia case represents another example of discrimination toward Christians, said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association national headquarters. The past month has poured forth cases of Christian persecution seen in the higher education institution, public school systems, and the judicial court system.
Center for Law and Policy
Contact: Kathryn Hooks 662-844-5036 American Family Association P.O. Drawer 2440 Tupelo, MS 38803 1-662-680-3886
Dear Editor (Philly Inquirer),
A few days ago, a group of citizens (11 to be exact) were arrested on public property for peacefully talking and demonstrating.
And even though these 11 citizens were verbally abused, harassed and spat upon by a hostile crowd, they remained peaceful and fully cooperated with the police.
Yet they were 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.
They are facing up to 47 years in jail each.
Now, in any normal society, the major newspapers of that city would be up in arms over such reckless thrashing of the First Amendment. They would logically come to the conclusion that their entire business (and jobs) are based on the preservation of the First Amendment and any abuse that could be use to silence peaceful citizens could one day be used to silence them.
But that is not how the city of Philadelphia works.
First Amendment "privileges" are now reserved for those who agree with the social policies of the media and of City Hall. Disagreement brings marginality and arrest.
Because the "Philadelphia 11" were evangelical Christians at a homosexual festival.
Not even in the darkest days of "Jim Crow" laws have such power and venom been brought to bear to silence a part of society.
Oh yeah, and the "possession of instruments of crime" - that was a Bible. The "ethnic intimidation" - that is from the newest "victim" category of "sexual orientation" to Pennsylvania's hate crime law where now you can be arrested for talking about the Bible in the wrong company.
And all this happened within walking distance of where the US Constitution was written and signed.
Hmm. What's more likely here... a peaceful group just politely trotting out Bible verses... or were they doing more that is not being reported on?
Massive (and easily overturned) miscarriage of justice, or spin doctoring...
This is a friggin outrage.
I sense that there is more to the story. What are the exact charges?
Yeah, somethink stinks about this story. I would like some clarification. Any links?
I think this is Philadelphia, MISSISSIPPI, not Pennsylvania.
Here's a link to another article about this, apparently with a video one of the protesters took. Haven't checked it out.
Just yesterday we were notified by the local historical society that we must relocate our Bible study/prayer time off of county property because it was "religious." A local church that has done a Christmas pageant every year as part of the local festivities has been told it will not be allowed to participate next year because its program was too evangelistic! We are busy collecting the information and are about to take a stand. The time is not coming. The time has come.
"I sense that there is more to the story. What are the exact charges?"
.....three felony (criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot) and five misdemeanor charges.
I was born in Tupelo. So was Elvis.
I'm reserving judgment. I find it hard to believe that all these people were doing was peacefully reading Bible verses.
Do not ask me what "ethnic intimidation" is.
Whoops! Missed that. Sorry. Typically, "riot" charges involve an unruly crowd that assembles on public property without going through a license application process. Could that be what this is?
Are there any public transcripts out on this yet?
Something is out of joint here. Sounds like some third world country with madeup laws. Got to be more to it.
Homosexual Agenda Overlap with Moral Absolutes Ping.
(Since I lost many of the names on the M.A. list, ping me if anyone wants: On/Off/Back On either list.)
More on the protestors at the "Outfest". Check the link in my comment above to a FR thread that has a link to the video.
So - quotes from the Bible are "fighting words", and the perps who are the really bad ones are the ones who had the temerity to actually vocalize words from the Bible.
Is anyone reminded of anything? Like the Third Reich?
Since when is homosexuality an ethnic class? Or were they specifically targeting black homosexuals? lol
I believe that sodomites count as an ethnicity under PA "ethnic intimidation" statutes.