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Christians Face 47 Years in Prison Because Philly Judge Calls Bible Verses
Raiders News Update ^ | 12/16/04 | Kathryn Hooks

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


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: afa; bible; christianpersecution; christians; court; donutwatch; hatecrime; homosexualagenda; michaelmarcavage; outfest; persecution; philadelphia; publicsquare; religion; religiousfreedom; repentamerica; wrongforum
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When (not if) Christianity is outlawed, will they have enough evidence to convict you?
1 posted on 12/16/2004 8:15:23 AM PST by OB1kNOb
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To: OB1kNOb

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.

Regards,

2banana


2 posted on 12/16/2004 8:16:50 AM PST by 2banana (They want to die for Islam and we want to kill them)
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To: OB1kNOb

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...


3 posted on 12/16/2004 8:17:56 AM PST by orionblamblam
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To: OB1kNOb

This is a friggin outrage.


4 posted on 12/16/2004 8:18:44 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (Go Ahead. Mace just makes me even more excited.)
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To: OB1kNOb
The Christians were arrested on October 10 for praying, singing, and reading scripture during an annual “gay pride” event known as “Outfest” in Philadelphia.

I sense that there is more to the story. What are the exact charges?

5 posted on 12/16/2004 8:20:00 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: orionblamblam

Yeah, somethink stinks about this story. I would like some clarification. Any links?


6 posted on 12/16/2004 8:20:05 AM PST by msjhall
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To: 2banana

I think this is Philadelphia, MISSISSIPPI, not Pennsylvania.


7 posted on 12/16/2004 8:20:37 AM PST by chaosagent (It's all right to be crazy. Just don't let it drive you nuts.)
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To: orionblamblam

Here's a link to another article about this, apparently with a video one of the protesters took. Haven't checked it out.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1301785/posts


8 posted on 12/16/2004 8:20:59 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: OB1kNOb

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.


9 posted on 12/16/2004 8:21:52 AM PST by Juan Medén
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

"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.


10 posted on 12/16/2004 8:22:30 AM PST by OB1kNOb
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To: OB1kNOb

I was born in Tupelo. So was Elvis.


11 posted on 12/16/2004 8:23:32 AM PST by melbell (groovy)
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To: orionblamblam
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?

I'm reserving judgment. I find it hard to believe that all these people were doing was peacefully reading Bible verses.

12 posted on 12/16/2004 8:23:43 AM PST by Modernman (Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. --Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative
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.

Do not ask me what "ethnic intimidation" is.

13 posted on 12/16/2004 8:23:45 AM PST by KJacob (I will not worry about 2008 until late 2007.)
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To: Coleus; ChewedGum; JohnHuang2

ping!


14 posted on 12/16/2004 8:24:00 AM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: OB1kNOb
.....three felony (criminal conspiracy, ethnic intimidation, and riot) and five misdemeanor charges.

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?

15 posted on 12/16/2004 8:24:55 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: OB1kNOb

Are there any public transcripts out on this yet?


16 posted on 12/16/2004 8:25:03 AM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: OB1kNOb

Something is out of joint here. Sounds like some third world country with madeup laws. Got to be more to it.


17 posted on 12/16/2004 8:25:13 AM PST by crazyhorse691 (We won. We don't need to be forgiving. Let the heads roll!!!!!!!!!)
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To: EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; I_Love_My_Husband; ...

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?


18 posted on 12/16/2004 8:25:44 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: KJacob
Do not ask me what "ethnic intimidation" is.

Since when is homosexuality an ethnic class? Or were they specifically targeting black homosexuals? lol

19 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:05 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: KJacob; Bluegrass Conservative

I believe that sodomites count as an ethnicity under PA "ethnic intimidation" statutes.


20 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:27 AM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Juan Medén
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."

If the historical society is a public body and it allows other (non-religious) groups to use the space for their meetings, it cannot exclude you from the space because you are "religious."

If this is the case, go back to the historical society and point this legal fact out to them. By excluding you from public property due to the religious nature of your group, they are violating your civil rights.

21 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:48 AM PST by Modernman (Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. --Benjamin Franklin)
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To: OB1kNOb

We have to start recalling/ impeaching these criminal, traitorous judges!!! Does anyone know if there is a process by which this can be done? ANYONE? Seriously! How can we get rid of these idiots?


22 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:54 AM PST by Syco
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To: Juan Medén

Check http://www.lc.org/

It's Liberty Counsel, a legal organization focused on defending the religious side of these disputes (Jerry Falwell mentioned it this morning on local radio)

They have a place with frequently asked legal questions, and to request legal assistance.


23 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:54 AM PST by Hoodlum91
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To: OB1kNOb

This is unreal.


24 posted on 12/16/2004 8:26:59 AM PST by stevio (Let Freedom Ring!)
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To: Juan Medén
What you said.

The time is not coming. The time has come.

Not taking a stand is taking a stand. For the side of darkness.

25 posted on 12/16/2004 8:27:52 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: wideawake

This is Mississippi not Pennsylvania.


26 posted on 12/16/2004 8:27:52 AM PST by KJacob (I will not worry about 2008 until late 2007.)
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To: OB1kNOb

ethnic intimidation??????????


27 posted on 12/16/2004 8:27:56 AM PST by bigsigh
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To: OB1kNOb
It appears there is a group, which to me seems organized, who seize on these stories and make little snide remarks against Christians.

You know they all somehow come to the same conclusion that these stories are suspect because they are reported by Christians.

I have seen these groups jump on similar stories here on FR before. Almost seems like they notify each other.

28 posted on 12/16/2004 8:28:16 AM PST by yarddog
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To: OB1kNOb

It pretty much is outlawed now. It`s called the infection of liberalism in this country. They were voted out of office November 2nd but for some reason they and our courts still think they are the majority in this country. Only Islam can be promoted according to liberals, much like it is in California where the California legislature mandated that all 8th graders take a 3 week course in Islam and adopt Islamic names. Isn`t that lovely? Your kid comes home one day and tells you his new name is Mohammed. Can you imagine Christianity being mandated ina California public school? The minority liberals would get their liberal press buddies to make pretend they are the majority and make their protests seem like "the country is outraged".


29 posted on 12/16/2004 8:28:26 AM PST by Imaverygooddriver (I`m a very good driver and I approve this message.)
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To: msjhall

World Net Daily was the first place I saw the story. There is a video link as well of the protestors and how they behaved before they were arrested. According to Steven Crampton, one of the attorneys for AFA, the tape was filmed by an independent group out of San Fran, there to film OutFest. The person who filmed the protest offerred it to the AFA after hearing about the charges.

From the WND article:

The charges were: criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethnic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, and obstructing highways.

Here to watch the video:

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41916


30 posted on 12/16/2004 8:28:29 AM PST by Electrowoman
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Oh look. Freepers all of a sudden care about free speech and free assembly now that people they like are on the short end of the stick.

Of course they'll be right back hooting and hollering in joy just as soon as cops give protesters they don't like the "wooden shampoo".

They think (I guess you can call it that) that rights can be taken from others without losing their own in the process. The logical disconnect is amusing, to say the least.

Most people on this site have absolutely no desire for a consistent policy applied to everyone. They singularly care about positive outcomes for favored groups.

Well hypocrites you've made your own bed. Now lay in it.

31 posted on 12/16/2004 8:28:33 AM PST by freeeee ("Owning" property in the US just means you have one less landlord.)
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To: OB1kNOb; newgeezer

If this is a "Godhatesfags" type of group then we may not be getting the whole story.


32 posted on 12/16/2004 8:29:14 AM PST by biblewonk (Neither was the man created for woman but the woman for the man.)
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To: OB1kNOb

I can't believe what I'm reading. What can we do to help these people?


33 posted on 12/16/2004 8:29:33 AM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Modernman
"I'm reserving judgment. I find it hard to believe that all these people were doing was peacefully reading Bible verses."

My guess is that they were reading them loudly in an attempt to disrupt the parade. I don't tknow where the law stands on that; on one hand, they have a right to express their opinion; on the other, the gays have a right (I think) to have their parade without it being disrupted. So when rights collide, I'm not sure what the law says.
34 posted on 12/16/2004 8:29:40 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: OB1kNOb
Enforce the Constitution!!
Jesus said "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." -- Mathew 10:34

35 posted on 12/16/2004 8:29:45 AM PST by Mark Felton (We were free because we were Christian. There is no other reason.)
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To: wideawake
I believe that sodomites count as an ethnicity under PA "ethnic intimidation" statutes.

That's ridiculous. The debate on whether sexual orientation should be a protected class or not is a completely different subject. But, no matter what a person's view on that debate is, they should clearly see that sexual orientation and ethnicity are two VERY different concepts.

36 posted on 12/16/2004 8:29:50 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: Steve_Seattle

You need to watch the video.


37 posted on 12/16/2004 8:30:38 AM PST by Electrowoman
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

Put it on the Census. Then we will find out how few there actually are. Their political clout is based on imaginary numbers.


38 posted on 12/16/2004 8:30:52 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: freeeee
Well hypocrites you've made your own bed. Now lay in it.

I remember you. You were the guy who thought it was wrong for police to arrest trespassers on private property.

39 posted on 12/16/2004 8:31:01 AM PST by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

I have read many articles about this incident. Try a FR search (if it's working properly) and see what you come up with.

The "Outfest" was on a public street or street, not closed off, no admission fees, totally public. The protesters either needed no permit, or obtained one. Don't remember.

They moved when the cops asked them to move. Homosexuals didn't like them, created a ruckus - up to and including shoving, yelling, spitting, pushing.

There is a lot of info about this. Try the link and see the video.

BTW, taxpayers funded at least some of the "gay" celebration. You think that's right?


40 posted on 12/16/2004 8:31:09 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: KJacob
This is Mississippi not Pennsylvania.

Which raises even more questions- I find it hard to believe that a judge in Mississippi would allow charges like this to stand unless there was some real substance to them.

41 posted on 12/16/2004 8:32:20 AM PST by Modernman (Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. --Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Rockitz

ping


42 posted on 12/16/2004 8:32:29 AM PST by Rytwyng (we're here, we're Huguenots, get used to us)
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: Electrowoman

The "instruments of crime" were Bible verses and Bibles.


44 posted on 12/16/2004 8:32:50 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: massgopguy
Put it on the Census. Then we will find out how few there actually are. Their political clout is based on imaginary numbers.

I've heard the claim of 10% of Americans. I don't believe that number one bit. I would hazard to guess that 5% of Americans have engaged in homosexual activity, and that possibly 2% are homosexual.

45 posted on 12/16/2004 8:33:04 AM PST by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: 2banana

Such a law is unconstitutional, and will be struck down...Seems the people of Philadelphia have fallen all the way to the bottom of the pit. Sad this would happen in the town that started it all...Time to awaken them!


46 posted on 12/16/2004 8:33:09 AM PST by Edgerunner (The left ain't right. Hand me that launch pickle...)
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To: wideawake
You were the guy who thought it was wrong for police to arrest trespassers on private property.

Source, please.

47 posted on 12/16/2004 8:33:31 AM PST by freeeee ("Owning" property in the US just means you have one less landlord.)
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To: Modernman
I'm an attorney in AZ. I have represented 16 "street preachers" in different towns around Phoenix. All were arrested for "disorderly conduct," "trespassing" and other misdemeanors. All were on public streets; none used amplification or otherwise interfered with other's use of the streets. In many cases, the police said they were making "unreasonable noise," even though louder noises were present. Sometimes, hostile, angry protesters were present, none were arrested. In one case, the police said they had to arrest the preachers because the situation was a "near riot." We showed a video that proved it wasn't so.
All that is to show that (although none were convicted), the police are already emboldened to shut down Christian speech.
48 posted on 12/16/2004 8:34:13 AM PST by lawdvd
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To: Steve_Seattle

Also, this happened in Mississippi. How many MS judges would let charges like this stand against a group of Christians unless there was some real substance to them?


49 posted on 12/16/2004 8:34:19 AM PST by Modernman (Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. --Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Syco

Its not all the judges fault. They were arrested by the police, and somebody is prosecuting the case.


50 posted on 12/16/2004 8:34:22 AM PST by conserv13
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