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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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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

Special discount prices:
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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!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

Special discount price:
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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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