Preacher on Trial for Street Preaching in Salem, Mass

Posted on March 9, 2008. Filed under: Nanny State, Political Correctness, Religion, Reverse Discrimination, Socialism/Communism |

This may not be the way I would try to evangelize others, but he certainly has the right to do it. Think about all the other truly unruly behavior we see in public and no one gets arrested for it. Free speech for Christians is fading fast and if we don’t have the guts to fight to keep it, we will find ourselves in deep trouble.

Preacher on trial for ministering in ‘Witch City’
Disorderly conduct count pending over street message

Posted: March 07, 2008
9:21 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A “Witch City” trial is scheduled Monday for a street preacher who was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct for expressing his belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a public street in Salem, Mass., on Halloween night in 2007.
“Michael [Marcavage] is guilty of nothing more than preaching the Gospel,” said Ben DuPre, an attorney with former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law, who is representing Marcavage.
“The city of Salem does not have the right to arrest Mr. Marcavage simply because his religious message is not welcome there. The police should have been protecting Mr. Marcavage’s right to speak instead of targeting him for the Christian content of his speech. Preaching the Gospel is not disorderly conduct, even on Halloween night,” he said.
Moore’s organization, a religious-liberties legal group, is defending Marcavage at trial because the prosecutors still insist his calm delivery of a biblical warning against sin was considered disorderly conduct, even though other boisterous behavior involving others at the same time was not halted.

Marcavage earlier had been charged with using an amplified megaphone to deliver the message of love and hope, but that charge was dropped after lawyers documented his arrest at 8:30 p.m. and pointed out that Salem laws allow such amplification until 10 p.m.

“Halloween night in Salem is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans,” DuPre told WND. “It’s a big sin-fest. That’s, of course, why Michael went there. He feels called to deliver the message of the Gospel.”
The city boasts on its own website: “Of course, Salem has become known as The Witch City! The Salem Witch Museum , the Witch Dungeon Museum and The Witch History Museum take you back in history to 1692, yet, present-day popularization of the witchcraft hysteria doesn’t reveal anything about the large number of modern Witches living in Salem today.”

It was clear that police “just wanted to shut him down,” DuPre continued. “He [Marcavage] tried to get an explanation from them. He has a right to preach in Salem.”
He said while the sermon may not have been welcomed by some in the crowd, such speech is exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to protect.
The officers arrested him by grabbing his megaphone and throwing him to the ground, the video reveals.
Marcavage, whose Repent America website calls for sinners to turn from their ways and follow God, describes his work as evangelizing and “zealously labor[ing] to further the Kingdom of God.”
He was one of the original Philadelphia 11 team whose members preached the Gospel at a homosexual festival and were arrested, only to be cleared later.
He also is challenging speech restrictions imposed by the National Park Service at the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia, which houses the Liberty Bell, the artifact from American history that rang to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and is inscribed with “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” a biblical quotation from Leviticus 25:10.
“We were speaking on the issue of abortion being tolerated in this nation, generally how abortion is simply a representation of how wicked our nation has become, and the need to repent for sin in our own lives,” he told WND of the Philadelphia situation. He referenced the loss of liberty by the unborn who are aborted, he said.
WND also reported just a week ago on an appeal planned on behalf of a team of four Christians convicted of disorderly conduct for praying at a “gay” festival in Elmira, N.Y.
Joel Oster, of the Alliance Defense Fund, said an appeal will be filed in Chemung County court for Julian and Gloria Raven, Maurice Kienenberger and Walter Quick, all of Elmira, who were ordered to pay $95 apiece in court costs in addition to the $100 fines.
“Choosing to exercise your First Amendment rights in a public place is not a crime,” Oster said just before going into the trial.


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