When homosexuals arranged a so-called "gay Pride" event in Wisner Park, Elmira, NY, to celebrate the perverted sodomite lifestyle, a number of people decided to go to the park to pray silently for the participants. They carried no placards. They distributed no literature. They made no noise. Indeed, they did not utter a word, even as they prayed. They event they attended had been advertised as being open to the public: everyone was invited. So they went to pray. Their presence drew no disorderly response from the participants in the event.
You would think that their action could not get them into trouble, especially with the law. But it did. A police sergeant informed the group that they were prohibited from entering the park. He told them they could not "cross the street, enter the park, or share their religion with anyone in the park." When they ignored the female officer's instructions they were arrested. According to the authorities, the group "intended" to cause a disturbance! Here's how the Assistant Police Chief Mike Robertson defended the arrests: he claimed that the members were accused of a "combination" of allegations, including the "intent" to cause a public inconvenience, a "disturbance" of a meeting of persons and obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The fact that they did not accost one single person or obstruct a single vehicle is conveniently overlooked.
There is a serious constitutional issue here. First Amendment rights are at stake. Courts have consistently upheld the right of dissidents to express their disapprobation of an event in a public place so long as they do so in a peaceable manner. What the government has done in this case is to place homosexual events above the constitution. If the courts uphold the police action and condemn the people who gathered for prayer, freedom of speech for Christians will have suffered a serious setback.
These considerations led the American Defense Fund to join the action to support the people who were arrested and when the trial began in Elmira. The senior legal counsel for the ADF said, "It seems oxymoronic to say that by walking silently in a public park, with heads bowed, these people somehow disturbed the peace. From the sit-ins of the 1960s to today, courts have repeatedly ruled that the police cannot arrest those who peacefully express their message in public places." But not, apparently, in Elmira, NY.
It's difficult to realize that this sort of thing can happen in America. Having found "rights" for homosexuals in the Constitution that the framers never dreamed of, sodomite supporters and co-operating police departments are now seeking to silence all opposition, especially from Christians. Place this alongside the attempts to apply hate legislation to any faithful exposition of the text of Scripture against sodomy and you will see just how far down the slippery slope this great nation has gone. Sodomites are permitted to flaunt their perversion; they are gaining more and more access to public school children via perverted text books; they get away with riotous disturbances whenever they confront anyone who repudiates their lifestyle-but their "events" flaunting the vilest forms of perversion known to man must be kept clear from any protest, even if it is only a silent prayer.
We stand to lose our First Amendment rights, unless the ADF prevails in the Elmira court case. But America stands to lose so much more. This great nation is in danger of sinking in an ocean of moral decadence. We all need to pray, silently or otherwise, no matter the cost.