Posted by: As I See It by Arnie | July 6, 2007

Zachary, La. Be careful who you vote for.

Be careful who you vote for.  It can happen more and more if we do not know about the basic beliefs of our politicians at the Federal level and then even in small towns like Zachary, La.

Zachary, a small town of about 12,000 in the metropolitan area of Baton Rouge has an ordinance on the books which is selectively being enforced, at times, when it offends an officer. The code has been on the books of the town since 1987, but one part of the code, as it is written, never should have been written into code, but it was, and it was recently used to silence a Christian man witnessing of his faith about 75 feet away and outside a local bar.

John Netherland was standing that far away and was sharing his faith. The officer told him to move on and cited the city ordinance banning annoying words. The officer told him he could not preach there. Officials like to use the term ‘preaching’ because it sort of creates a picture for every one of us of an occasion in our lives when a mother, a father, a wife husband or friend started to get huffy and puffy with us about some stupid behavior we knew was wrong but we continued to do or not do anyway. Nobody likes to be ‘preached’ to. Especially drunks. Especially atheists, gays and feminists, and politicians too. Especially this officer in Zachary.

The ordinance Sec. 58-93.2. Disturbing the peace.

(2) Addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person who is
lawfully in any street, or other public place; or call him by any offensive or derisive
name, or make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to
deride, offend, or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business,
occupation, or duty;

And this is a town in these United States, in the state of Louisiana. Would someone please send this city council and the officer in Zachary, a copy of our constitution and the First amendment. There is something in there that has something to do with freedom of speech and maybe these people ought to read about it again, or, for the first time.

Anyway, John went home and called ADF (Alliance Defense Fund) and a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of John.

Read the ordinance.
Read about it at ADF.

The moral of the story is that offensive and annoying behavior has become a big issue all across these states over the past decade or so.   Offensiveness is rampant.  People are getting offended at the least provocation and filing lawsuits,  the purpose being to insulate us from being offended, ad nausea.   At least that is what they say.  The real purpose behind all of those nicely worded statements is to silence certain speech that well intentioned, but ill informed, and social demagogues do not like.

One of our most important elections is on the horizon and as citizens, it is our duty and responsibility to know who we are voting for.  What they stand for may be more important than what they are against.  Their basic beliefs.  and are they capable of seeing how a proposed legislation can undermine the constitution and our freedoms.  In the past, have they shown that they took a stand against a proposal that violated one of those freedoms?   Are they willing to stand therefore, and resist the temptation to acquiesce for personal political gain?   Local politicians can be the most damaging to us personally.

I got a little preachy there.  Sorry about that, but it’s time to get active.

As I See It Now.


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