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An open forum for general discussions of a spiritual nature where guests and readers entertain the teachings of The Urantia Book.
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Arrested for Street Preaching: Freedom is not FREE

Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:24 pm +0000

I spent 109 days in jail.
ACLU Defends Portales Street Preacher
Thursday, August 4th, 2005
Peter Simonson, Executive Director, ACLU of New Mexico at 505-266-4622 or (cell) 505-620-0775
Portales--Some deft legal work by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico succeeded in freeing street preacher Shawn Miller from the Roosevelt County jail yesterday. Portales police arrested Miller for disorderly conduct on April 17th because allegedly he was yelling at passing cars. Miller maintains that he was merely "preaching the word of God."
ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson said, "Mr. Miller has a guaranteed right to stand on a street corner and proclaim his faith in God to all who pass by. He wasn’t harassing or intimidating anyone. He certainly should not have spent time under lock and key for such a minor incident."
The ACLU became involved after Miller’s wife, Theresa, sent a letter requesting assistance. She and her two children had been with Miller on the day he was arrested. He was preaching in the lot of an abandoned gas station that is commonly used by street vendors. "I was preaching the word of God and not hurting anybody," said Miller.
The ACLU’s defense of Miller produced an unlikely collaboration with the American Family Association, a group that is at times at odds with ACLU positions. Attorneys from both groups consulted with each other and Miller, working together to defend him on First Amendment grounds.
"Both organizations are highly principled in their philosophies and policy positions," said ACLU Staff Attorney George Bach. "Where those principles overlap, we are eager to collaborate."
Miller was released on bond and still faces charges of disorderly conduct, in addition to resisting arrest.
http://www.aclu.org/ReligiousLiberty/Re ... 18887&c=29

And in two newspapers:
http://www.clovis-news-nm.com/engine.pl ... l&id=12323

http://www.pntonline.com/engine.pl?stat ... ml&id=5528

Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:15 pm +0000

Hi Shawn and thanks for joining us,

Although I may sympathize with the subject of your press release here, I would also add that we are all beholden to obey the laws of the land in which we chance or choose to live. If one isn't happy with an existing law, then this same person is free to lobby their respective government to change the law to something that is better, more suitable or just plain makes more sense. Work through appropriate channels to get things done.

In this democratic republic of a free United States where I live, the other guy's rights end where my face and ears begins. I too would object to my neighbor playing loud music at 2 o'clock in the morning or having a street preacher yell in my face or make uncomfortable movements towards my vehicle.

Also consider Shawn that this website is primarily a mainstream Urantia Book based site. One can expect to recieve UB based answers to questions asked here. That is what this site is about. The UB teaches that freedom is indeed free. Freedom, like life, is a gift from God. "Learn and accept the truth and the truth shall make you free". So freedom is an inherent understanding-pleasure and sureity to even be taken for granted (as a given), because our loving Father in heaven would not have His beloved children on earth live in constant irrational fear and anxiety for their lives, safety or continuance.

So I say that freedom is a free gift from God to be accepted for the giving. Therefore to me, freedom is not something that is or even can be legislated by any congress much less flow from the barrel of any gun.

As to obeying laws; be a good citizen. Give to Ceasar the things that are Ceasars and to God the things that are Gods.

Best reguards,

You Misunderstand

Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:36 pm +0000

The facts of my arrest are in dispute. I was with my wife, and two children. I was not yelling at cars or anyone else. It was a quiet Sunday Morning Bible Study being held in an abandoned gas station. I am sorry you do not understand.

Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:33 pm +0000

Hi Shawn,

I am sorry for what happened to you. You will have your day in court where you can defend yourself and your cause. I was mainly commenting on your statement that freedom is not free.


Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:10 am +0000

Hey Shawn! I'm sorry to hear about your situation. But I also understand what Woody just said.

I live in Canada, and we don't have "Freedom of Speech" in the same way that the USA does. Certainly we are allowed to speak freely. But we can easily be held accountable for our words if anyone else is offended by them.

What we do have in every city is a place called the "Speaker's Corner", (Every city in the British Commonwealth has one.) where people can say anything they want without fear of repercussion. I have often thought about going to the Speaker's Corner, with my UB, and reading it there. (While taping myself!) I'm sure that many people would listen!

Any time anyone goes to the Speaker's Corner, people stop to listen. Because they know that the person is saying something that they would be afraid to say anywhere else for fear of recrimination. And they are curious to hear what it is?
I am guessing that what Woody was trying to say was that this forum is in place to discuss the Urantia Book. You have said that you were preaching the "Word of God". I must assume that you mean The Bible? If you had said that you were arrested for reading the Urantia Book, I'm sure that many people in this forum would jump up to support your cause. But that isn't the case? Is it?


Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:30 pm +0000

Yeah Karlus,

Nice to make your acquaintance brother! Cool lookin' picture you posted for your avatar. Is that you? Otherwise looks like maybe Tommy Chong or Jerry Garcia ? I think you've found a great place to hang your hat for a while and chill. Lots of interesting folks around with good ideas and quite a variety of differing experiences.

Your telling us of these Speaker's Corners is the very first I've ever heard of them. I've never been to our beautiful neighbor to the north but would love to visit some day.

Yeah this place is primarily a mainstream UB site but anything else can be discussed within reasonable limits and the Posting Guidelines and Discussion Board Rules are posted in the top of this forum and in most of the other forums as well.

Certain subjects are banned in the open (public) forums but may be discussed in Abner's Corner which is the bottom forum that you will see on the Forum Index Page. Like the instructions say, send WLM a PM (private message) or email obtainable from the Memberlist asking for entrance to the Usergroup and he'll sign you up.

This site is private property so the owner's are privilaged to run it the way they choose and I have found them to be very fair and accomodating and I say this with 2 years of experience here. They're also not trying to be everything to everybody......but hey.....looking at the incredible volume of subject matter in the UB.....geesh.....there's plenty to discuss and I figure it would require a lifetime of study to master the teachings in this one book.

Good to meet you,
Woody in Georgia

Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:06 am +0000

Right on Woody! Thanks for the compliments. I try to look like Garcia. (Pls look at my website link to see the full pic. I had to crop it to make it fit on here.)

I figure Jerry's a pretty good person to try to emulate. Did you know that he carried a copy of TUB everywhere he went? I'm told that Bob Weir has the copy of TUB that was found with him when he died?

(((Grateful Dead Rocks!))) And Jerry's part of the music was a reflection of his own education from reading TUB.

Contrary to popular belief of some people, Jerry was not God! (But he did "know" God!!!)

Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:46 pm +0000

I commend your bravery for the willingness to preach in public. Even in the Urantia Book it does state that secularism has lately taken on a more militaristic attitude. I do not doubt that many more street preachers will be arrested in the future as well. They really do not have a clue what they are doing. I have run into a few 'bad eggs' of the police force and they can easily take on a tyrannical attitude if the right buttons are pushed. I hope you guys are doing well... time will heal the feeling of betrayal. God Bless.

Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:20 am +0000

(((Arie))) Very interesting post. I mice elf know from personal experience that there is something very wrong going on within Police Departments. Especially at the smaller (local) level.

You might witness a Police Officer committing a crime and there is nothing you can do about it. The Officer committing the Crime will deny it, and the rest will swear they are telling the truth. I personally witnessed such a thing last Wednesday. (Nov. 16th.)

I don't know how it works in the USA. But I have just learned that (In my own community) a Citizen "CANNOT" file a Criminal Charge against a Police Officer. If you approach the Crown Attorney (Canada's equivalent to the USA's District Attorney) with a complaint about a Police Officer committing a crime, you are directed to a process that involves so much Red Tape that it will wind you up as "LABELED" and your life will be made miserable by other Police Officers.

Police Officers will harrass you for the rest of your life if you complain about one of them. And unless you have Positive Proof of your claim, no action whatsoever will be taken against the Officer you have complained about.

Last Wednesday I witnessed 2 Police Officers enter the home of a friend of mine without any Warrant to do so. And my friend was insisting that they have one. The 2 Officers physically forced their way past me and my friend to enter the house.

As it turns out, the police can enter without a Warrant and there's nothing a person can do about it. All that happens is that anything they find, or information they gather at the time, becomes inadmissible.

I spoke to the Police Chief the next day and his excuse was that some of the younger Officers don't know the law well enough to know weather they can enter or not. And they get "Overzealous"! IMHO if this is the situation, those Officers should not be wearing a badge. (<--- Seriously!)


What scares me most is that I just found out in the last 2 weeks that Police Officers (At least in my area.) are exempt from Drug Testing. IMHO it is a really scary thought that the Police Officer that comes to your door may well be "FRIED" on Cocaine, if not something even more dangerous.

Think about it! These are people entrusted to keep order. "TO SERVE AND PROTECT!" And they are armed with 9mm Pistols that are paid for with taxpayers money. Just imagine a Cop flipping out and shooting a bunch of People because his/her Drug induced state has him/her convinced they are doing the right thing. And the other Cops on the scene will invent their own story to back up their claim.

IMHO the Police are getting to be not much more than a Biker Gang bunch of THUGS that are sanctioned by the GVMT. (Organized crime with Badges!)

Last edited by Karlus on Sat Dec 03, 2005 5:47 pm +0000, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:41 pm +0000

As With Anything To Do With Father, You Will Find Non-Believers.
Fight My Brother For Your Freedom. God Will Protect You...Always Does.
When I Tell People About Jesus I Would Have To Say At Least 90% Don't Want to Know About It, Although I Dont Preach But As Many Here Know I Am A Bit Passionate!!! lol Sometimes The Best Place To Preach Is Inside Your Self Because Thats Where It Is Needed & Then It Can Spread Outwards Without Words. :smile:
If I Sound Jibberish Its Because I Was Up All Night Working.

Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:34 am +0000

Up all night working! <--- Been there! Done that!


Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:02 am +0000

Burgo wrote:
Sometimes The Best Place To Preach Is Inside Your Self Because Thats Where It Is Needed & Then It Can Spread Outwards Without Words.

Bravo, Burgo. Hardly gibberish. You have put the reality of the situation in as nice a nutshell as I've seen in a long time.


Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:08 pm +0000

Last edited by Paradise Pilgrim on Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:40 pm +0000, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:56 pm +0000

The Best Scripture Ever Written Is "Love As I Have Loved You". Although I Find That Hard Sometimes But Hey I Ain't Perfect.

Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:09 pm +0000

Hi Bugo,

I must say I love the way you have represented Van Nguyen next to a pic of Jesus.
It says it all, the prayer is there and simply put.
I agree most heartily that he is now in a better place and will know the love he craved.
When I heard that he sobbed uncontrolably before his execution my heart sobbed too but he had made up his mind that he was on his way to meet Jesus.
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