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December 28, 2005
Progress being made against thought crimes legislation
Repent America (RA) is making significant progress in combating existing thought crimes legislation in Pennsylvania, and against the proposed federal thought crimes law.
On December 22, a three judge panel in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania unanimously ruled against the Pennsylvania legislature in a lawsuit by Repent America that challenges the unconstitutional manner the Commonwealth's "hate crimes" law was passed. The Court rejected all of the Commonwealth parties' preliminary objections and has propelled the case toward trial.
Earlier this month, U.S. Senator George Allen changed his mind about supporting "hate crimes" legislation as he reflected on what happened last year to eleven Christians with RA when they were arrested and jailed while ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a homosexual street festival. And before this, Pennsylvania State Representative Tom Yewcic (Democrat - Cambria County) extended his support by introducing H.B. 204 to repeal the addition to the Commonwealth's "hate" law. This bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee with seventeen state representatives in support.
The Lord has blessed us with many opportunities to raise national awareness about the dangers of "hate crimes" legislation, and with His help, we will continue to do so. Now, we ask you to diligently pray as we utilize due process to challenge the illegal actions of the Pennsylvania legislature, and those actions that affect our ability to freely preach against sin and about the freedom that comes through Jesus Christ.
December 15, 2005
Federal jury finds in favor of pastor
A federal jury unanimously decided today that two Harrisburg police officers illegally arrested Pastor Jim Grove of Heritage Baptist Church at a 2003 homosexual event in the city. He, along with three others, including RA's Michael Marcavage, were arrested and jailed for several hours on July 26, 2003 while ministering at the annual pride celebration.
The annual event features various activities throughout the day, which in the past included the sale of pornographic materials, public nudity, open lewdness, men dressed like women, and the use of obscene language over the public address system. Police refused to deal with the illegal behavior of the pride event attendees, but instead removed the Christians and falsely charged them with crimes.
Pastor Grove was acquitted of the criminal charges lodged against him the same year, and subsequently filed the civil rights lawsuit to hold police accountable for their illegal actions and to prevent such behavior in the future.
The jury unanimously found that Corporal Thomas C. Carter and Patrol Officer Stephanie Barrelet, a known lesbian, intentionally violated Pastor Grove's First Amendment rights.
Michael Marcavage testifed at Grove's trial, as well as during a related injunction hearing held before Judge William W. Caldwell. Caldwell will be ruling on the injunction that would prevent police from barring Christians from evangelizing outside one of the event's main entrances in the next couple of months.
For more information on this case, please contact:
Len Brown, Esquire (or) Dennis E. Boyle, Esquire at (717) 299-7101
December 09, 2005
Homosexual held for trial on charge of assaulting officer
A magisterial district judge yesterday held a Philadelphia man for trial on charges that he assaulted a police officer and resisted arrest during a disturbance outside a Christian family's home near Phoenixville, Pa.
Police said Jason W. Robbins, 26, whose friends were in front of the home of a family that works with Repent America, punched an East Pikeland Township police officer in the stomach during an argument.
During the preliminary hearing, neighbors who witnessed the scuffle testified that Robbins attacked the officer and that others in the group made death threats against the family.
The family was holding a church meeting at home while the homosexual activists gathered outside and began to scream profanities while holding a large sign with an obscene message that threatened violence, prompting neighbors to call police.
Robbins was released from Chester County Prison yesterday after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail. Chester County Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Cox-Shaw said authorities were still investigating the incident.
December 06, 2005
Hearing postponed in Marcavage case
A hearing that was to take place on Wednesday, December 7 before a District Court in West Chester, Pa. concerning a trespassing charge against Michael Marcavage has been continued to January 4, 2006 at 2:30 p.m.
Marcavage was standing near the campus of West Chester University (West Chester, Pennsylvania) displaying a sign with the reality of abortion when officers cited him for "Defiant Trespass" for refusing to surrender his Constitutionally protected rights to "free speech" and "free exercise of religion". The incident occurred during Repent America's annual pro-life evangelism tour.
For more information about this case, please click here.
December 05, 2005
Homosexual activists target Christian families at home
This past Sunday homosexual activists targeted the homes of two families who work with Repent America. In one home, the Christians were holding a church meeting as the homosexuals gathered outside to scream profanities and to hold a large sign with an obscene message that threatened violence. Neighbors called police and several of the protestors were arrested after one of them became physical with an officer. He was charged with several crimes and remains in custody.
December 04, 2005
University officials to argue against the First Amendment
It has become increasingly difficult to exercise our constitutionally protected rights to "free exercise of religion" and "free speech" on public college campuses without having to endure constant police interference and harassment. The confusing, unreasonable, and unconstitutional "time, place, and manner" restrictions are often asserted by college administrators and police to flat-out prevent people from engaging in First Amendment activity. This, in our situation, has prevented our ability to freely spread the Gospel message on the campus of West Chester University (West Chester, Pennsylvania), which is a school that proudly has an abortionist on its payroll.
Our annual pro-life evangelistic tour exposes the reality of abortion on college campuses in the Greater Philadelphia area, while proclaiming the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. The past couple of years, West Chester University officials ordered our team off the campus. Their reason for doing so is that I refused to sign and agree to a permit, which amongst other things, requires two hours notice prior to arrival. The permit's restrictions are clearly antithetical to freedom and facially unconstitutional, especially the two hour advanced notice requirement, which completely prevents spontaneous First Amendment activity.
This year's encounter with university officials on October 13, 2005 ended with a college administrator conspiring with the Chief of Police to charge me with "Defiant Trespass" for refusing to leave a public sidewalk outside the campus.
A trial will take place this Wednesday, December 7, 2005 before a District Court in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Please pray for a righteous outcome.
December 03, 2005
The real war is against the Gospel of Christ
I can certainly understand why Christians are up in arms over the secularization of what has become known as the Christmas holiday, but the tradition is not rooted in Biblical Christianity, nor are many of its customs Scripture-based. The real war is against the Gospel of Christ, not Christmas and its trees.
The roots of Christmas are planted in Roman Catholicism and have grown over time into what we have today, which is a season not only celebrated by Catholics, but also Christians, and many other kinds of religious people. The season is structured in such a way to affirm Santa while reminding us of Christ, a season where fables and truth are made to co-exist.
The word Christmas comes from the two words "Christ" and "mass". The word "mass" is derived from Roman Catholicism's belief in "transubstantiation", which asserts that during communion the bread and wine of the "Eucharist" actually become the flesh and blood of Christ, and then is consumed. This is not Scriptural, but a fable.
The recent decisions by major businesses, such as Lowes, Home Depot, Target, and others, prohibiting the the use of the word Christmas in their instore displays and marketing campagins is just another example of how aggressively the war against Christ and His Gospel is being waged. The holiday is not their target, but the mere reference to the name of Christ and the tradition that has a resemblance of Christianity.
This time of year provides a wonderful opportunity for evangelism because it reminds people around the world of the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us lead them away from the holiday's fables and to what Christ did on the cross as we oppose those who attempt to silence His message.
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)
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