Friday, February 12, 2016

Go To Jail for Bible Speech: Univ. Texas Police

Several officers of the University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) at Austin issued a citation to Joshua Borchert, an intern with Campus Ministry USA, for using offensive words while preaching on a street across from University property.  The police officers told Borchert that he could face jail for using the words “penis” and “anus” in the context of warning passersby of sexually immoral behavior.
“The first amendment of the Constitution protects offensive speech ... if anyone says anything of substance, it’s bound to offend someone.”
-- Brother Jed Smock, Campus Ministry USA
For background, read Must Censor Speech, Say Most College Students

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Colorado College Bans Bible Talk, OKs Swear Words

Wisconsin Professor Threatens Student for her Christianity

Students Taught to Choose:  Gay Agenda vs. Religion at Univ. of California

Christmas Parties Banned at University of Tennessee

However, Judge Rules Illinois College Must Accept 'Anti-Gay' Speech

No free speech in Canada:  University of Regina Jails Christian American for 'Anti-Gay Hate Speech'

-- From "University Of Texas Police Give Preacher Citation For Offending Students" by Peter Hasson, Daily Caller 2/10/16

The university told TheDC that the officer was responding to students who claimed to be “verbally harassed” by the intern-preacher. The video shows the officer explaining that the intern’s use of “anal” and “penis” offended students, before issuing a citation for disorderly conduct. “After a lawyer representing Joshua called the chief of police, the chief called Joshua and apologized. The citation was withdrawn.” Brother Jed told TheDC.

Ari Cohn, a lawyer with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) told TheDC that he found the video “deeply disturbing.” “Speech that simply offends others is protected by the First Amendment, and contrary to the officer’s statements, it is not the job of police to ‘do something’ about it. Issuing a disorderly conduct citation based on the content of speech violates decades of clear Supreme Court precedent,” Cohn said.

“Even worse is that while Brother Jed is not a campus community member, and was not even on campus property, the officer justified his decision with the fact that students on campus across the way were offended. The implications for campus expression are dire,” Cohn went on to say. “If offending someone on campus is now grounds for criminal citations, students wishing to express themselves will much more likely censor themselves, or simply refrain from speaking at all. Such a result is unacceptable, legally and morally, at a state university bound by the First Amendment.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UTPD voids disorderly conduct citation after review" by Wynne Davis, The Daily Texan 2/12/16

After reviewing a citation written to an evangelical preacher for disorderly conduct, the University of Texas Police Department voided the citation because it did not meet the requirements of the law.

“Our review further showed that the officers in training responded to a call for service in good faith and with respect for all parties involved, including the person(s) wishing to file charges as well those being accused,” UTPD Chief David Carter said in a statement.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives all people the right to freedom of speech. Even hurtful and hateful speech is covered under the amendment, and police officers must defend everyone’s constitutional rights, Carter said.

Carter said if an individual was threatening a student with their speech, the police could and would take action against that person.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

. . . previously, last year:

From "Presence of confrontational protesters sparks student response" by Madison Dudley, Nicole Decriscio, The Depauw 9/24/15

“I’m not protesting; I’m preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Kirsten Borchert, 20, from Lafayette, Indiana.

Borchert was at DePauw University “preaching” with The Campus Ministry USA, based out of Terre Haute. The confrontational evangelical Christian group travels from campus to campus “Preaching specifically about sin and hell, and how sin leads to hell,” she said.

“I don’t want you [students] to burn forever and ever and ever in the lake of fire,” said Joshua Borchert, 22, who was fully adorned in his Eagle Scout uniform.

[In response,] Students mobilized quickly.

“I saw that post on Facebook, and I saw that there were protesters here saying homophobic things,” said sophomore Marissa Higgs. “When I heard about it I was like, 'okay, I've got to go.' So I grabbed my five foot rainbow flag off my bed and ran here.”

President Brian Casey was on the scene almost immediately after the situation began to heat up. As the afternoon continued, many at the protest felt a sense of pride and community with their fellow classmates.

“I don’t know why the school can’t kick them out,” junior Hector Rivera said, “It’s a private institution, so at least I’m curious to know more like the policies and politics behind all this.”

“We’re presenting no danger,” said Brother Jed Smock, the man in charge of The Campus Ministry USA.

. . . after The Campus Ministry USA was escorted off of DePauw’s grounds, Casey sent an email to students, faculty and staff announcing an open forum to be held at 4 p.m. in Ubben Quadrangle to address the protests.

Casey, DePauw Student Body President Craig Carter, City of Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and Vice President of Student Life Christopher Wells gave short speeches to the crowd.

“Today we got invaded by people who came here, by people who came here who tried to shake our cores, who tried to shake our values,” Carter said, “I’ve never been more proud to be a Tiger.”

Students called for justice, and proclaimed that they were unsafe on campus and that the university was not doing enough to protect them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ask them why you deserve Hell" by Olivia Barfield, The Hawkeye (University of Louisiana at Monroe) 2/1/16

Kirsten [Borchert] threw her hands in the air, carrying a Bible up with them, as she exclaimed her message to the crowd gathered outside of the Student Union Building.

The students, who stood at a distance not long ago no longer allowed Kirsten her personal space. They surrounded her with questions and comments, yelling back as she shouted to a crowd that no longer cared what she had to say. They were visibly aggravated.

“We’re using [Kirsten] because she’s usually the calmer one,” Joshua [Borchert] said, dressed in his Eagle Scout uniform. “I tend to rile them up more. They wouldn’t want me out there right now.”

Students screamed obscenities as Kirsten preached against getting drunk.

Joshua didn’t mind the crowd screaming at his sister. He said he is used to it.

“We go through different stages and cycles. She does that to get their attention, and once she gets their attention then she can continue to calm them,” Joshua said. He then explained the five-stage technique used by the group to humble the students into a calm crowd that can then receive their message.

Joshua and Kirsten have preached at around 30 universities in about 20 different states, Joshua said.

“Our message is repent, and be free from sin. Because if these people don’t repent, then they’re headed for hell,” Kirsten had explained.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Bibles Removed, Deviant Sex Housing Added at Illinois University

And read Most Terrorists are White Christians, Colleges Say

In addition, read Catholic School Must Hire Homosexuals, Court Rules