Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Portland, OR Muzzles Christian Evangelist--Evangelist Files Suit

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Mark Mayberry was at Portland's Waterfront Park this summer passing out gospel tracts and talking to people about religion---specifically about Christianity.

He was also holding a pro-life, anti-abortion sign.

A city employee approached him and shut him down. While the city auditor ruled in favor of Mayberry, Mayberry has now filed a suit against the city for about $300,000.

Here's why.

Be informed.

KOIN TV 6 reported this:

Mark Mayberry was at Portland’s Waterfront Park on June 1, passing out gospel tracts and talking to people about religion on that Saturday. He was also holding an anti-abortion sign, when he said a city employee shut him down and violated his First Amendment rights. Mayberry has now filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland, asking for at least $307,000. His lawyer also wants a federal judge to penalize the city for violating a previous court order that protects street preachers. ​
“While Plaintiff expressed views that were undoubtedly controversial to some, his speech and conduct were civil, peaceful, and by no means incendiary,” wrote Mayberry’s lawyer Ray Hacke. ​
Hacke is a Salem attorney who works for the Sacramento, California-based Pacific Justice Institute. According to its website, the legal defense organization specializes in cases of religious freedom, and does it for free.​ 
The lawsuit said an employee with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department ordered Mayberry to leave, but when Mayberry said he had the constitutional right to stay and continue his preaching the employee wrote him a ticket for “failure to obey a park officer” and excluded him from Waterfront Park for 30 days. The citation also accuses Mayberry of harassment for speaking to people in the park. ​

Why sue the city?

When the city auditor was presented with the citation, it was thrown out and Mayberry was cleared to resume free speech activities in Waterfront Park.

Mayberry has been cleared to resume his ministry in the park, but has not done so.

His Pacific Justice Institute affiliated lawyer says,
"Despite being cleared to resume free speech activities at Waterfront Park without fear of penalty, Plaintiff has not returned to the park--largely due to well-founded fears that he will be cited again."

In addition to money for mental and emotional distress, the lawsuit asks the Federal Court to award Mayberry more money by penalizing the city for violating a 2006 court order, barring the city from restricting free speech at public events.

Oregon Live (the Oregonian Newspaper) reported that "the park officer's direction to stop engaging passersby with information regarding his Christian beliefs against abortion was not reasonable. Appellant was not required to comply with this park officer's unconstitutional attempts to silence the Appellant's message."

But that's exactly what the park guy was trying to do. That's what the far-Left always does regarding conservative, biblical Christian advocacy.

Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute, says:
"The city of Portland doesn't get to shut them down just because some people find their views distasteful or offensive. The city auditor made the right call in exonerating Mark Mayberry, but the city should be forewarned: there will be consequences for the city's unlawful actions toward him."

About consequences.

Some are saying that Mayberry got what he wanted---his freedom to speak publicly about his faith, so why would a Christian proceed with a lawsuit for money?

Franklin Graham forcefully spoke to the issue of how the secular Left tries to silence the Christian voice in the public square earlier this year.

I strongly encourage you read his complete article, it will take about 5-6 minutes.

This is an overview of his remarks:

"As the progressive, secular Left movement continues its toxic spread across our nation, there is little doubt that its primary objective is to not only suppress Christians and the Biblical worldview, but to harshly punish and completely silence our moral voice and values."
"That was never more evident than with the treatment of Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, as she was savagely attacked by the media---even the international pundits---for her part-time role as an art teacher at a Christian school in suburban Virginia."

He details how the press maligned Mrs. Pence because the Christian school believes in biblical marriage and are pro-life--anti-abortion, as they say.

Franklin quotes from an article in The Federalist:
"The left wants to penalize Christians for their faith...They are quite clear about their goals for orthodox Christians. They believe we are bigots, and that bigots should not be allowed to run schools, work in government or hold good jobs. If we will not recant and bend the knee to the sexual revolution, they want to close our schools, hospitals and charities, drive us out of our professions, shutter our businesses and get us fired for any job they believe above our station...A culture that considers sexual desire the essence of a person will not tolerate a rival Biblical viewpoint, but stigmatize and punish it."

Franklin notes that on January 22, this year, the anniversary of Roe v Wade, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act---with Orwellian language... that legalizes abortion for all nine months---up to birth.

And the Left applauded.

You may recall that Cuomo then lighted the Empire State Building with pink---in celebration of the killing of unwanted babies.

Mike Pence has said of the celebration of abortion, "It would be unconscionable for us to let this moment pass in silence. We must recommit ourselves to restoring the sanctity of life to the center of American law."

The Vice President has also said, "We are not to remain silent when moral anarchists are attempting to extinguish any influence of Biblical morality in our government, our schools and businesses."

We cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend these evil forces are dormant. They are not, and if we remain silent, then our children and our grandchildren will pay a tremendous price for our inaction.


"The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Daniel 11:32).

Be Informed. Be Bold. Be Strong. Be Faithful. Be Blessed.