So there are these jerk Christians attended some Muslim rally in Dearborn Michigan (where else) while holding signs and banners that said lovely things like “Turn or Burn” while holding a severed pig’s head on a stick because Muslims don’t like pork or something, I guess.
So they’re Christians but they’re not all that lovey dovey about it. I’ll give ’em credit for guts but points off for transmogrifying Christ’s message of love and salvation to “Turn or Burn.”
So it’s established that they’re Christians and they’re probably jerks. K? So the po po bounced them from the Muslim rally because some of the attendees there were kinda’ freaking out. (Surprise surprise.) So the jerky Christians sued and miracle of miracles, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an en banc ruling, upheld the right of Christians jerks to be Christian jerks. Even at a Muslim rally.
In Bible Believers v. Wayne County, Michigan, (6th Cir., Oct. 28, 2015), the majority described the Christian group’s messages displayed on banners and T-shirts to a predominately Muslim crowd, many of who were adolescents. Among the slogans were: “Islam Is A Religion of Blood and Murder”; “Only Jesus Christ Can Save You From Sin and Hell”; and “Turn or Burn”. One member of the group also carried a severed pig’s head on a spike, believing that Muslims are “petrified of that animal.” After several encounters with hostile crowds, Bible Believers were escorted out of the Festival by police and ticketed.
Judge Clay’s opinion of the court, joined in full by 7 other judges, concluded:
Ultimately, we find that Defendants violated the Bible Believers’ First Amendment rights because there can be no legitimate dispute based on this record that the [Wayne County Sheriff’s Office] effectuated a heckler’s veto by cutting off the Bible Believers’ protected speech in response to a hostile crowd’s reaction.
Good for the court. It seems about time that judges remembered that this was America and all. It’s good to see.
The right to free speech shouldn’t just be a right to say things in a way that judges agree with.
As someone who has a brother who’s a bit of a jerk this ruling allows me to get some sleep at night, knowing that he won’t be arrested for ticking people off. (I didn’t say which brother so nobody can be mad at me.)