On October tenth of 2004, eleven Christians were arrested for street witnessing on a public sidewalk during a “gay pride” event. Charges were dropped against six of them, but four adults and one juvenile faced serious charges under Philadelphia’s hate crime laws. These five people were charged with criminal conspiracy, “ethnic intimidation”, reckless endangerment, and inciting a riot. Each person, if convicted, faced 47 years in prison and a $90,000 fine. The state of Pennsylvania recently added “ethnic intimidation” to its hate crime law on December 5, 2002. Under this section preaching for the Bible is now considered hate speech and is illegal in a public forum. Philadelphia prosecutor Charles Ehrlich attacked the protesters as “hateful” and claimed that preaching from the Bible about homosexuality is considered “fighting words” that can be banned from the public square as an incitement to a riot.
In title 18 of the first amendment, it is clearly proven that these Christians did break the law. I do agree with what they were preaching. It is unfortunate that Christians are now being arrested for sharing the gospel in public. The bible clearly states that as Christians, we are supposed to share the good news. In the book of Mathew, chapter nine, verse thirty-five says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” As Christians, we are supposed to be like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, and these five Christians were doing what they were called to do. However, by doing this, they were breaking the law and in doing so, they needed to be held accountable. OFFENSE DEFINED.–A PERSON COMMITS THE OFFENSE OF ETHNIC INTIMIDATION IF, WITH MALICIOUS INTENTION TOWARD THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION OR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER OR GENDER IDENTITY OF ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, HE COMMITS AN OFFENSE UNDER ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE.
Persecution of Christianity has been going on for thousands of years. Pro-abortionists can speak about what they believe, homosexuals can have marches to show what they believe in, but Christians have to be good and go home or back to church. This is an injustice, but now we can start doing something about it.