Jay Rogers
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Picketing Where Prohibited?

Statement Concerning My Recent Arrest

On Saturday, May 18th, 2013, I was arrested on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, a four lane highway in a residential area, and charged with “Picketing Where Prohibited.”

This is what happened.

The City of Winter Park passed an ordinance in August of 2012 that appears to ban residential picketing in the City of Winter Park. At the commission meeting, the Mayor Kenneth Bradley voted against the ordinance because he stated it was unconstitutional. Several attorneys attempted to enlighten the city commission regarding the errors in the ordinance. However, the city commission passed the new ordinance with one member, Tom McMacken, stating he did not care if it was unconstitutional.

The ordinance was adopted in response to a residential “Awareness Campaign” last August by a group of Christian evangelists who wanted to distribute literature and march through a neighborhood where the president and CEO of an abortion clinic lives. When the ordinance was challenged in court as written, the Winter Park city attorney explained that “picketing” is very narrowly defined in the ordinance. He said that “picketing” may still allow marching and speech within the buffer zones created by the ordinance. However, the attorneys challenging the ordinance _prima facie_ (“at face value”) argued it is still confusing as written.

There is a group of pro-life evangelists from the Orlando area that has been trying to seek clarification of what is allowed and is not allowed under the ordinance. On Saturday, May 18th, 2013, a group of 25 in the area of Aloma Avenue were conducting a similar pro-life campaign to the one held in August 2012. Some were testing various aspects of the ordinance. The enforcement has been confusing because the city’s officials made contradictory statements about the ordinance. The Winter Park city attorney has stated in court that picketers could move through the buffer zone. But city police officers have stated picketers could not even enter the buffer zone.

As part of my vocation as a teacher and missionary, I work as a videographer and have produced several DVD presentations and other media on a variety of topics, including the “sanctity of life” issue. I was present not as a “picketer” on Aloma Avenue, but as a videographer trying to bring greater awareness to this issue.

I was standing with a group of three people who were arrested.

I held a video camera, Professor Pat McEwen read a blue leather bound Bible, Cheryl Bischoff had a sign that said “Celebrate Life” with a picture of some cute babies. Whether picketers could move through the buffer zone or not, I was not in violation of the ordinance under any interpretation because I was recording video and was not picketing. Because an attorney had already challenged the ordinance prima facie in a lawsuit that was dismissed in March, the picketers were seeking clarification on what the anti-picketing ordinance actually does. The reason I had a video camera was to record the various contradictory statements by the police.

The ordinance was confusing even to the SWAT Team who were called out to arrest us. (Winter Park utilizes a multi-city SWAT team that is on call on weekends for various reasons.) On May 18th, we were doing the same thing as on the previous occasions when the police refused to threaten to arrest anyone. This time, the police over-reacted to a peaceful gathering. The SWAT officers could not find a copy of the ordinance in their system, which was delayed due to a data processing lag. They apologized for that repeatedly. One of them confided to us that he agreed with what we were doing in principle. The arrest report also contains “evidence” that does not apply to the terms of the ordinance, such as a complaint by neighbors who were not the target of any of the picketers. They also could not come up with a name for the law we violated, so they settled on “Picketing Where Prohibited.”

To add insult to injury, when the charges were entered into public record on the Orange County Clerk of Courts, each of us was mistakenly charged with “Prostitution.” This is simply beyond words. Although the mistake was cleared up in time, this false information could be viewed on the Internet at the Clerk of Courts website. The “guilt by association” has been damaging to each of us.

In short, I was merely videotaping an event to record the statements of the police to see if they could clarify what appears to be an unconstitutional ordinance. I was not picketing under the definitions stated in the ordinance. The City of Winter Park and Orange County behaved in a confused and incompetent manner. In my view, each of us were arrested wrongfully because all three of us were obeying the ordinance. I believe it was necessary to video record the challenge. It was my right to do so under the First Amendment.

Your comments are welcome!

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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?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

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?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

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).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

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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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each; 10 or more for $4 each; and 100 or more for $2.50 each.

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