Monday, January 22, 2018

State Demands Preachers Get Permit To Speak Publicly

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Two street preachers are targeted, confronted and eventually arrested by transit officers who insist that they stop talking about their Christian beliefs without getting the agency’s permission first, and the courts say that’s all right.

But the Rutherford Institute thinks otherwise, and that’s why it’s seeking a rehearing before the entire 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in a First Amendment case involving preachers Don Karns and Robert Parker.

World News Daily first brought this story to the public, because it is not only the Rutherford Institute that is concerned about this miscarriage of religious freedom but tens of millions of Americans whose ancestors founded and migrated to America for religious freedom.

Rutherford is seeking a rehearing in the case after Karns and Parker were charged with trespass and obstruction of justice for publicly preaching at a Princeton, New Jersey train station. Something they had been doing since 2012.

They were eventually cleared of the charges. They then sued the NJ Transit Corp. and the officers over the demand that they obtain a "permit to talk, non-commercially, with others at the station."

The appeals court has said the officers are immune from claims over their demand the preachers get a permit to talk.

John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute and regular guest on my television program in the past, would not have involved his organization in this matter had he not felt strongly about it.

He says, "This case sheds light on a disconcerting bureaucratic mindset that wants us to believe that the government has the power to both bestow rights on the citizenry and withdraw those rights when it becomes necessary, whether it's the right to proselytize on a train platform, the right to address one's representatives at a city council meeting, or the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures."

Whitehead says, "Yet those who founded this country believed that our rights are unalienable, meaning that no man or government can take them away from us. Thus, the problem in this case is not the absence of any specific law allowing free speech on a train platform. Rather, the problem is government officials who have forgotten that they work for us and their primary purpose is to safeguard our rights."

And that is why I'm bringing this to your attention today.

There is a bureaucratic monster living within our government complex that refuses to not only protect the rights of the citizens but to carry out the policies and directives of the officials we the people have elected to lead our nation, including the office of the presidency of our country.

Some have called it the "Deep State," others, the "Shadow Government"---call it what you want---but be sure, it exists.

This is a local expression of the arrogance and determination of this unelected, career-based bureaucracy that has become, in great part, a function of control for the secular progressive Left---and they don't care who the conservatives and Christians elect, they intend to advance their own secular progressive agenda.

The court said the two officers---Kathleen Shanahan and Sandra McKeon Crowe, were justified in arresting, charging and grilling them over their activities.

On what basis were they "justified?"

And the court is now maintaining that the officers are immune from claims they violated the preachers' constitutional rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

There were no laws prohibiting what they were doing, no signs posted: "No Preaching," etc.

The basis of the arrest of these two men was a bias against them for what they believe by the arresting officers.

They believe God has called them to preach the gospel at the New Jersey train station and were following through with their conscientious religious response.

This is the crux of the battle for the soul of America.

Reformer Martin Luther famously said, "If we fight the battle at any point except where the battle is really being fought, we might as well not fight."

This is an urgent truth for conservatives and evangelical Christians today.

We are, in 2018, experiencing the greatest division in our country since the Civil War.

Theologian and author Os Guinness recently said, the battle "is between '1776', and the heirs and allies of the American Revolution, where faith and freedom went hand in hand; and '1789' and the heirs and allies of the thinking of the French Revolution, where faith and freedom where mortal enemies."

He said our current crises is a tale of those two revolutions---both wanted "freedom" but their views of freedom are diametrically opposed.

They have different roots--the Bible verses the Enlightenment.

They both have different views of human nature--realism versus utopianism.

They both have different views of change---incremental versus radical.

They both have different views of freedom--the power to do what you ought, versus the permission to do whatever you like.

They both have different views of government---protective versus Progressive.

They both have different views of accountability--under God versus without God.

They have different views of righting wrongs--biblical repentance and reconciliation versus reparation and revenge.

During the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia---our Founders could not come to a consensus on what the Constitution should say. Finally, Ben Franklin, not a particularly religious man, called for a time of prayer. Our Constitution was then drafted to the approval of those in the room.

As Franklin stepped out of the meeting following the completion of our Constitution, a woman slipped up to him and asked, "Mr. Franklin, what kind of country have you given us?"

Franklin responded, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

The question before our country today is:

Should the constitutional Republic that Ben Franklin and his fellow Founding Fathers gave us be "Restored" or "Replaced?"

That is the point of the battle, and it must be fought. It's worth it.