February 09, 2007

Freedom of Speech? God Bless America...

One of the many blessings we enjoy in this great land of ours is the hallowed right of freedom of speech. Under that precious constitutional right, we can hear all manner of vulgarity, gutter language and sexual obscenity not to mention the chronic blasphemy and abuse of the holy name of God. Because of men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms, we can walk into any video store and avail ourselves of pornography and we even have the privilege of funding "artists" with our tax dollars who smear themselves with chocolate or display homosexual erotica in a gallery attended by school children. Thank God for our right of free speech--but it does have its limits!

Ask Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson, two vile characters who belong to the Gideons and spend their leisure time handing out Bibles in public areas of this wonderful land of ours.

Mirto and Simpson were arrested and jailed for handing out Bibles on a public sidewalk in Florida. School officials summonsed police even though they were not on school grounds.

"Neither man entered school grounds," the law firm said. "After the school's principal called police, a Monroe County sheriff's officer asked the men to leave immediately or face trespassing charges. As the men prepared to leave, the officer decided to arrest both individuals." World Net Daily reported.

Now, once again, the circumstances of the situation are being disputed. The officer says one thing, the two men another. If the story changes and they were in fact arrested on school property, I will clarify the story in a later commentary.

What we do know is that this kind of harassment and violation of Christian's rights is common place. I have experienced first hand such intimidation and violation of my rights as an American. But because I am an American, I will press for my rights even as the apostle Paul did when deprived of his rights as a citizen of Rome.

"Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, "Release those men." And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Now therefore, come out and go in peace." But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out." Acts 16:35-37

Paul wasn't letting them off the hook. He wanted it known that they had their rights as Roman citizens violated and weren't going to help them cover it up.

Yes we know this is what we can expect; and NO we don't have to roll over and take it. Until this nation of laws of ours makes it illegal to do what we do, we will and must press for the same rights as anyone else.


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