Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Don't Talk About God

Today, I spoke with the Mall Security, who were still maintaining that I can not talk to people about God at the Northridge Mall. They pointed to the rules printed at the entry way. I was not violating any of the rules there. The closest one that applied and the one they said I was violating was "disruptive behavior". Even trying to see their side of it, I am not disrupting the flow of traffic, not blocking any store entries, not discouraging people from entering stores etc. I really talk to kids who are sitting on benches, and only to those who are interested in talking with me.

We ended it with the security giving me an application for 'free speech' that when filled out will be passed up to mall management for them to approve or disapprove my actions. I took the app and said I'd be back. Looking through it, it really doesn't apply to me at all. All the questions were about which organization I represent, how much compensation I receive, what types of handouts I pass out, what types of signage I use, what type of amplification system etc. Answers are basically, none, nothing, nothing, not applicable.

I'm not an organization, I don't get paid, I don't set up anything. I TALK to people. I have a few people helping out with sending me information, including this news article:

Pacific Justice Institute Successfully Defends Youth Minister Arrested For Mall Evangelism
June 24, 2006 | WorldNetDaily.com

Posted on 06/25/2006 4:28:48 PM PDT

Charges were dropped against a Sacramento-area youth pastor who was arrested while sharing his Christian faith one-on-one with shoppers at a mall.

Matthew Snatchko, who regularly takes a small group of youth from his church to the Galleria Mall in Roseville, Calif., said he was interrupted by a security guard May 8 while in the middle of a conversation.

Pointing out no one has ever complained of his activities at the mall, Snatchko told WND the guard demanded he leave because he was "walking around and talking to people."

The pastor, 23, said he "kind of laughed," insisting he wasn't doing anything wrong, because "everyone else was walking around and talking as well."

A second security guard then joined the encounter and informed Snatchko he was being placed under citizen's arrest for "trespassing." The pastor says he agreed to leave peacefully, but, instead, the guards grabbed him, roughly shoved him against a storefront window and handcuffed him tightly enough to draw blood. Snatchko later was taken to the police station where he was booked on charges of battery and trespassing.

With the youth pastor facing a court date, the senior pastor at his church contacted the Sacramento-based public-interest legal group Pacific Justice Institute.

Affiliate attorneys for the group, Gregory Koonce and Timothy Smith, said the district attorney's office likely realized the arrest was illegal and decided to drop the case "in the interests of justice."

More reading is here at the Supreme Court Case: Pruneyard v Robins. I am going to pursue this and see where we get. If you have anything that can help, please let me know.


bagelsOMEGA said...

i used feedburner also

Owen said...

Great site. My brother-in-law and I are starting street evangelism in the capital of Ohio, Columbus. I hope you don't mind if I provide a link to your site from our incipient site.

Anonymous said...

The California State Constitution allows witnessing in malls and shopping centers. At www.christianlaw.org they sell a book called "Witnessing in America" which tells you about your free speech rights regarding witnessing. The court case "Robins v. Prune Yard" determined that it is legal to witness in malls and shopping centers.