Sunday, September 28, 2014

Court Bans Church Billboards But Allows Political Billboards

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, PhD, Praying In Jesus Name: Churches cannot advertise the gospel on large billboards, says a court that ignored the First Amendment, and allowed non-religious messages on large billboards.

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco decided a Freedom of Speech case using subjective legislative motive rather than the facts in the case, Liberty Counsel appealed to the Supreme Court in an amicus brief last week.

"Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear Reed. v. Town of Gilbert, a First Amendment challenge from Good News Community Church, which was denied the right to advertise its church like other businesses or political candidates.

"In deciding the case, the Ninth Circuit based its opinion on the fact that the town of Gilbert, outside of Phoenix, did not have an 'illicit motive' or a desire 'to suppress certain ideas' when it placed tighter restrictions on church signs than on business or political signs.

"This case is far-reaching," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "Our Bill of Rights is on the line. In the past, the courts have repeatedly denied legislative motive when validating law. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether the legislators meant to restrict freedom of speech; the fact is they restricted freedom of speech. That fact, not their pure or impure motives, is all that is in question.

Dr. Klingenschmitt commented, "Is anybody surprised the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hostile to freedom of religious speech and press?  Let's pray the Supreme Court takes this case, or it will remain bad legal precedent restricting Church ads in the entire Western U.S."

Tags: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, San Francisco, bans, church billborads, allows, political billboards, Chaplain, Gordon James Klingenschmitt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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