Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gospel Stamped 'Return to Sender' at U.S.P.S.

U.S. Postal Service backs down on threat to arrest Christian evangelist outside building, but Gospel tracks banned by court order on private property near U.S.P.S. mini-center

-- From "Postal worker threatens Christian with arrest" By Chelsea Schilling © 2010 WorldNetDaily 3/3/10

A Christian man is now allowed to hand out religious tracts to passersby outside a Michigan post office after a postal worker initially threatened him with arrest if he did not immediately leave the area.

Michael Shanton peacefully distributed the religious leaflets to interested people from a sidewalk in front of the Farmington Hills, Mich., post office for about eight weeks in 2009, the Alliance Defense Fund reported.

On Sept. 24, 2009, a postal worker ordered Shanton to leave or he would be arrested. The worker said literature distribution is not allowed on federal property, according to ADF. Shanton immediately left the area for fear of arrest.

In a letter to the U.S. Postal Service, ADF attorneys argued that distribution of religious literature is protected by the First Amendment and that the sidewalk is a traditional public forum.

The Postal Service sent a March 1 response letter stating that Shanton will not be prohibited from distributing Christian literature outside the post office.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Manchester Court Case" by Lidia Ryan, NBC Connecticut 3/4/10

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the case of a Manchester church-operated post office that was banned from displaying religious items

In 2003, Full Gospel Interdenominational Church in Manchester [Connecticut] was sued for displaying religious items in a small post office it operates. Bertram Cooper, a Jewish resident, sued the church because he said he was so uncomfortable with the Christian displays, that he stopped using the post office called “Sincerely Yours” even though its location was most convenient for him.

The issue was one concerning separation of church and state – whether a government operation should be associated with religion. In August 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Cooper deciding that the post office had to remove all religious items from its counter even though it also displayed a sign saying that the U.S. Postal Service does not endorse the religious viewpoint expressed.

The ban applied only to “Sincerely Yours,” and did not extend to all contract postal units, or CPU), which are add-on post offices at small businesses or establishments.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.