UPDATE - CONVICTIONS FOR PREACHING NEAR LIBERTY BELL OVERTURNED, PHILADELPHIA JUDGE: PREACHING IS 'DISORDERLY CONDUCT' & MORE!
Convictions For Preaching Near Liberty Bell Overturned
unanimously struck down the government's criminal claims against Marcavage, and upheld his constitutionally protected right to preach and speak at Independence National Historical Park.
As stated in our recent news release, a three-judge panel with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has overturned the convictions of Michael Marcavage of RA for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the public sidewalk to those waiting in line to see the Liberty Bell. Judges Michael Fisher, Thomas Hardiman and Robert Cowen
In the 52-page decision released by the Third Circuit last Wednesday, written by Judge D. Michael Fisher, the court held that "Marcavage's permit violation must be vacated because the verbal permit he was issued was invalid, and that his interference conviction must be vacated because it was obtained in violation of his First Amendment right to free speech." The court also strikingly concluded that the actions of supervising U.S. Park Ranger Alan Saperstein and the other rangers involved were indeed content-based, declaring, "In our view, in light of ... the lack of any indication that the rangers restricted the speech of even a single other individual on the Sixth Street sidewak, there is only one permissible view of the weight of the evidence: the rangers' actions were motivated by the content of Marcavage's speech."
Judge Thomas M. Hardiman
RA is praising the Lord for this important victory, and is now asking that you write to Judges Fisher, Hardiman and Cowen and express your gratitude for the court's vindication of Michael Marcavage and their establishment of a legal precedent to protect freedom of speech at the Liberty Bell. Send your letter to:
Judge D. Michael Fisher
U.S. Post Office & Courthouse
700 Grant Street, Suite 5360
U.S. Post Office & Courthouse
700 Grant Street, Suite 2270 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Judge Robert E. Cowen
Clarkson S. Fisher Judicial Complex
402 East State Street, Room 207
Trenton, NJ 08608
"But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." - Amos 5:24
Lord-willing, RA will return to Independence National Historical Park this coming July 4th to minister the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Philadelphia Judge: Preaching Is Disorderly Conduct
An appellate judge in Philadelphia has upheld a "disorderly conduct" charge against Michael Marcavage of Repent America (RA) for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, also known as "The Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia."
Marcavage, a former Catholic, had been preaching from 1 Timothy 2:5 on the night of April 3rd when he was harassed by Sergeant Paul DeCarlo, along with Lieutenants Robert Nudd and Joseph O'Brien, of the Philadelphia Police Department, who insisted that he was in violation of the city's noise ordinance for preaching with a sound device. Subsequently, Marcavage was arrested, and while being transported, police blasted vile music to mock Marcavage's faith to which he lifted up his voice with hymns of praise to God. Marcavage was then placed in an underground jail cell with a man who allegedly had just been involved in a stabbing as police destroyed his video evidence. Thankfully, it was later able to be professionally recovered.
At Marcavage's initial trial on April 15th in Philadelphia Community Court, the only officer who appeared in court founded his citation against Marcavage upon a noise ordinance that had been repealed several years prior, and the presiding judge, Joseph C. Waters - a former police captain and a vocal supporter of abortion and homosexuality - refused to view Marcavage's video evidence. Judge Waters then declared Marcavage "guilty" of the non-existent statute, and also convicted him of disorderly conduct for "intentionally" making "unreasonable noise" by preaching the Word of God. He was fined $100, plus $162 in court costs and sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
At Marcavage's appeal hearing on May 26th in Common Pleas Court, "Monsignor" Michael T. McCulken of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul testified to calling the private phone number of a high-ranking police official, who in turn sent the officers to confront Marcavage. At the end of the trial, Common Pleas Court Judge Frank Palumbo cleared Marcavage of the noise violation, which was the basis for his arrest, but upheld that the sound of his preaching amounted to "disorderly conduct." He fined Marcavage $300, plus $162 in court costs. Interestingly enough, Marcavage was not found guilty of any of the original "crimes" stated by the officers, nor those listed on his citation.
Marcavage has appealed his conviction to Pennsylvania's Superior Court, which will cost over $500 in various expenses. You can help! Please prayerfully consider supporting Michael in this important appeal effort by clicking here. Your donation - in any amount - would be much appreciated as we fight to freely proclaim the Word of God.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." - Ephesians 6:12
Reaching the States With the Word of God
This Spring, RA preached the Word of God throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and New York.
In April, RA witnessed to thousands of sports fans at the Crown Royal Heath Calhoun 400 NASCAR race in Richmond, Virginia. Outreaches were also conducted throughout the state at the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, at Longwood University in Farmville and on the public streets in historic Colonial Heights.
In May, RA ministered in Battery Park, Union Square Park and Washington Square Park in New York City, and also preached on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Additionally, RA ministered in Philadelphia outside of a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, on South Street, and at Equality Forum's annual homosexual event called "SundayOUT". Over the Memorial Day weekend, RA returned to Virginia to help conduct outreaches on the Boardwalk in Virginia Beach and at Buckroe Beach in Hampton.
Thus far in the month of June, RA has returned to New York City to minister in Battery Park, Union Square Park and Washington Square Park, the annual homosexual pride parade and festival known as "PrideFest" in Philadelphia and on the Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Lord-willing, outreach efforts in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey will continue for the remainder of this month.
Click here to view RA's Spring 2010 photo album, and pray that the Word of the Lord would have free course and be glorified, especially as RA continues to deal with a number of legal struggles for the cause of Christ across the country.
"I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day, [for] the night cometh when no man can work." - John 9:4
|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!
No Copyright. Publish freely.