Religion can go on in Florida Parks

29 08 2007

Filed under: Shirley Snyder, Church and State, First Amendment

Remember Shirley Snyder? The Florida woman who was prohibited from passing out religious materials in a public park last month?

Liberty Counsel sued but dropped the suit today after the county agreed to not stop Snyder from sharing her faith in public parks.

Liberty Counsel agreed to drop the federal lawsuit it filed last month, because Orange County has agreed to not stop Snyder from sharing her Christian message in the county parks. As a result of the lawsuit, the county amended its regulations to allow literature distribution in all county parks. The settlement includes the payment of damages for the county’s actions against Snyder.

Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the county on behalf of Snyder on July 20. After a hearing was scheduled in federal court, the County agreed to stop enforcing its unconstitutional policy against Snyder and agreed that she was free to distribute religious materials in the park without prior approval. Snyder has returned to the park to share her faith with others.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Of all places, speech in public parks is highly protected, both by history and by the courts. Our liberty is only as vibrant as our resolve to defend it. Had Shirley Snyder not protested her constitutional violation and had Liberty Counsel not demanded it, her freedom of speech would be a mere shadow that fades with the evening sun.”

Another encroachment on Christianity is beat back. If some had hoped that the death of Jerry Falwell would bring the downturn of religion in America, they miscalculated. If anything, it has ignited and unified Christians all around the country to defend our God-given religious liberties. The world needs to hear about Jesus Christ, and America sends out more missionaries than all other countries combined. But if we are forced to fight battles in our own country, it will only inhibit efforts to spread the good news of the gospel. Small victories such as this one, will spread the word that Christians have rights too and cannot be suppressed.

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