Repent America - Calling A Nation In Rebellion Toward God To Repentance
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For Immediate Release

Heather Clark, Repent America, 1-800-3-REPENT, Ext. 7
Freedom to preach and speak in public without government permission are at stake in upcoming appeal
PHILADELPHIA - On Tuesday, April 13th, a three judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for The Third Circuit will hear oral arguments in the federal criminal case of United States of America v. Michael Anthony Marcavage. The appeals court will convene at 9:30 a.m. in the Seitz Courtroom on the 19th floor of the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse, located at 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia. The protections afforded under the United States Constitution to freely speak on public property are at stake in this upcoming appeal, especially for the cause of Christ.   
The Scripture-inscribed Liberty Bell reads: "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof..." - Leviticus 25:10
Liberty Bell
In October 2007, Michael Marcavage of Repent America (RA) was arrested by supervising U.S. Park Ranger Alan Saperstein for continuing to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a public sidewalk to those waiting in line to see the Liberty Bell. Marcavage had refused a "verbal permit," which required him to move to an unconstitutional "free speech zone" away from the people he was speaking to. As a result, Marcavage was charged under the Code of Federal Regulations with violating the terms of the so-called "verbal permit," even though he expressly rejected it, citing constitutional protections. Nearly six months later, Marcavage was issued a citation by certified mail with an additional federal criminal charge of "interfering with agency functions" for his preaching that day.
Click here to watch a video of the encounter and Marcavage's
 subsequent arrest by the U.S. Park Service. -
During Marcavage's trial in June of 2008, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Goldberg argued that Marcavage could not refuse the "verbal permit," and that his peaceful preaching presented a "clear and present danger." Goldberg asked the judge to send a message not only to Marcavage, but to anyone who would dare stand on public property and share their beliefs without government permission. 
At the end of the two-day trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arnold C. Rapoport found Marcavage "guilty" of both "crimes". He was fined $445, including costs, and placed on probation for one year, which restricts his travel to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Marcavage is also barred from entering the public park or being on the public sidewalks surrounding the park for any reason without first notifying park authorities, and has been ordered not to return to engage in free speech activities without first obtaining a permit, and only then in the "free speech zone". The ruling was appealed and upheld over a year later on July 16, 2009 by U.S. District Court Judge Legrome Davis. Marcavage remains on federal probation until the end of May.
Recently, Independence National Historical Park Law Enforcement Specialist Donald Reed reaffirmed that free speech activities are completely banned on any of the public sidewalks surrounding the park that align the city streets without first obtaining government permission, and only then within the designated "free speech zone".  Sadly, similar encroachments on constitutional liberties are becoming increasingly common in our nation, especially the usage of "free speech zones".
"In Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom, at the site of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, freedom is under attack by the very government that was established here to protect it," Marcavage stated.  "The Blessings of Liberty that God bestowed upon our nation continue to be lost while the Gospel of Jesus Christ is silenced," he continued. "If the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the ruling and finds that the federal government can ban Americans from speaking to others on matters that are important to them in the public forum or without advanced government permission, then this could very well be the final nail in the coffin of our freedoms," he continued.  "The judgment of God is upon us," Marcavage concluded.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us that the Word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for all men have not faith." - 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 
About Repent America

Repent America (RA) is an evangelistic organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which zealously labors to further the Kingdom of God through Biblical evangelism. RA is a small operation with a BIG mission as it reaches out to tens of thousands of people each month with the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whether it be the public proclamation of the Gospel message (Romans 10:14-15), opening thy mouth for the voiceless (Proverbs 31:8-9), preaching to the poor and comforting the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18), warning the wicked of their way (Ezekiel 33:8-9), or working to preserve our liberties to do so, Repent America continues to "fight the good fight of faith." (1 Timothy 6:12) Please join in the fight with us by clicking here to make a donation to keep us on the streets as we continue to impact America with the truth of God's Word!

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