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The Day Free Speech Died in Winter Park, Florida

By Michele Herzog

Sing a little louder! This past Monday night, at the final voting of the unjust ordinance, my thoughts skipped to the churches that sang a little louder while the Nazi trains drove by with screams of help from the Jewish people being transported to the concentration camps.

As I sat in the Winter Park Commissioner’s meeting this past Monday night, I felt history was being made. I envisioned history books writing about this very night, the day free speech, the right to protest, picket and exercise one’s First Amendment rights were exterminated in favor of peace, harmony and tranquility in one’s home and neighborhood. I heard how Winter Park strives to protect it’s citizens and provide a peaceful atmosphere all under the guise of stripping away a person’s right to stand up and defend civil rights issues.

I thought about how lovely this all sounds to want peace, harmony and tranquility and at the same time thought about the blood that was shed for our freedom. When there are wicked laws in the land, there can be no peace, when there is an injustice against the rights of another human being there can be no tranquility. And those of us that know a wicked law is taking place and violating the rights of human beings, we cannot be silent.

The irony of it all is the fact that Winter Park just named their park after Martin Luther King Jr., a man that fought for civil rights for his fellow man. What I witnessed was the uttermost mockery of what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for. I thought back on the marches, the boycotts of buses, everything to bring an end to the injustice of the treatment of black Americans. I thought, what would this city do if those very same protests and acts of civil disobedience were going on today in Winter Park? Would they have slapped a 50-foot buffer zone and forbidden any type of peaceful protest against the civil outcry of injustice?

I have sworn to uphold the Constitution, but … if it was constitutional or unconstitutional, I would still do it …

– Tom McMacken, Winter Park City Commissioner, explains why he voted for a no-free-speech ordinance

The City Commissioners of Winter Park have shown the public their real side. They moved quickly to protect Jenna Tosh, the new CEO of Planned Parenthood Orlando. She is their rising star to bring legitimacy to this business that survives on the bloody massacre of the innocent.

This is what this whole controversy is over. Peaceful pro-lifer’s went in front of Jenna Tosh’s home and prayed, sang and exposed (Ephesians 5:11) what she does for a living. Within two weeks the City Commissioners had drafted up an Emergency Ordinance outlawing picketing and protesting in their community within a 50-foot buffer zone. The ordinance is broad and far reaching, leaving it open for possible legal challenges.

One wonders if the resident would have been a banker being picketed by Occupy Wall Streeters if the Commissioners would have jumped to his aid. I don’t think so. This ordinance is nothing less then one of the most politically correct ordinances I’ve seen in a long time.

On top of that, one of the City Commissioners, Sarah Sprinkel attends the same church as Jenna Tosh, the First Congregational Church of Winter Park. To say there is collusion here would be an understatement.

The final vote on the no-free-speech ordinance by the Winter Park City Commission with comments. (Embedding is disabled, but click to watch on YouTube.)

This past Monday night, at the final voting of the unjust ordinance, one could see the color blue scattered throughout the city hall, this was the color of solidarity for Jenna Tosh. Her church came in support of her and this ordinance disguised as peace, harmony and tranquility.

While I looked at the blue around the room and listened to her pastor, Reverend Karen Barker-Duncan, stand up and defend her parishioner Jenna Tosh what she does, my thoughts skipped to the churches that sang a little louder while the Nazi trains drove by with screams of help from the Jewish people being transported to the concentration camps.

Now is a different time, but much the same thing is happening here in this room were folks in blue sing a little louder while babies are led to the slaughter mercilously at the place Tosh manages, and they as “church-goers” are defending her. All the while, the true love of Christ would be to encourage Tosh to leave this business which violates and destroys human beings in the womb, not to support her in this bloodshed.

As it came down to the final vote, Mayor Kenneth Bradley defended the First Amendment and made it very clear he would not be voting on this ordinance. He was the lone vote. For that he must be commended.

The other four commissioners joined together and all gave a thumbs up for peace, harmony and tranquility in their city, usurping free speech and the First Amendment.

Most troubling of all was Commissioner Tom McMacken’s talk on why he would be voting for the ordinance.

I have sworn to uphold the Constitution, but I’ve also looked everyone of my neighbors in the eyes and said, “I am going to do what is in the best interest of Winter Park.” And to be quite honest with that, if it was constitutional or unconstitutional, I would still do it, because these are my neighbors and they deserve protection from any kind of intrusion in your home. So I am supporting this wholeheartedly.

Commissioner McMacken made it very clear that he was willing to overlook the Constitution in this situation.

Yes, this was a night I won’t soon forget, the day free speech died in Winter Park. God help us!

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

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Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

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Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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