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Dear Editor,

I would like to offer my views concerning the anti-abortion rally that took place in Columbus, MS on Hwy 45N in front of Wal-Mart on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. I’ll preface my comments by stating that I am a Christian, not perfect, but forgiven. I also consider myself to be politically conservative. I am gainfully employed and have a college degree in chemistry. I am also a veteran Army officer. I have taken an oath to support and defend the constitution of our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
While legal protests are allowed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, impeding traffic on a public roadway is illegal and unsafe. Further, disobeying a direct and legal order from a police officer is also illegal by statute of law. The officers in question in this matter were being most courteous by not immediately arresting said protestors for their illegal and unsafe activities. One should assume that those motorists who were delayed were law abiding citizens who were duly licensed drivers, having paid the proper fees to legally operate said vehicles, and having paid their thirty-nine cents per gallon of state and federal taxes. Thus, these motorists were lawfully entitled to use said roadway. Were their rights given due consideration by the protestors? What about the potential employment consequences for those gainfully employed citizens who might have happened to be on their lunch break who were delayed from returning to work by these protestors’ actions? Did an innocent person receive a reprimand or, God forbid, lose their job in these dire economic times because of an illegal, ill-thought and ill-planned protest? What if an ambulance or first-responder was impeded from performing their duties and a life was lost because of this illegal activity?
I am all in favor of exercising one’s rights afforded by our Constitution. I believe in allowing a person the freedom to worship as they see fit. I also believe in spreading the gospel by whatever legal means available. As I say this, I am reminded of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 5: “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward.” I also pose this question: was the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread favorably to those angry motorists who feared losing their jobs because they weren’t able to return to their place of employment in a timely manner?
I want to publicly commend Captain Fred Shelton of the Columbus Police Department. He showed wisdom, leadership, courage and compassion in upholding the law. He was subjected to ridiculous verbal abuse and slurs directed at his Christianity. These protestors who claimed to be acting in the name of Christ certainly couldn’t be discerned as Christians by their words and actions at this point under any stretch of the imagination. I wonder if their Bible has a printing error that left out the important parts about “judge not, lest ye be judged” and turning the other cheek. Captain Shelton, as a fellow Christian, I forgive you for any wrong that you may have done, and I want to apologize on behalf of other Christians for the abuse that you suffered. As an aside, the Columbus Police Department has its share of problems, but its officers aren’t by any educated and responsible definition “jackbooted thugs,” nor is it a “tyrannical police force.”
Lastly, as educated Christian men and women, I want us to consider the face that we, as Christians, present to the world. Let us be mindful of the lesson in third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes that there is a time and a place for everything. We can organize peaceful and lawful protests under our rights of assembly and freedom of speech if we so choose. More importantly, we can protest with our informed choices at the voting booth on Election Day and with our spending habits. The U.S. Constitution was carefully drafted by our forefathers and paid for in blood by our veterans. It is our ally if we use it correctly, but it is a hangman’s noose if we cannot follow the laws of our land.
Jeff MorrisonColumbus, MS

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5 comments

  1. Johnny Phillip Morris

    The Town Square Test
    If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a “fear society” has finally won their freedom. Natan Sharansky

    Sharanky is not a Christian, either. His apartheid Israel only protects the free speech of Jews. But the definition stands and the issue is about protection of free speech. The CPD Chaplain’s claim that he was acting in the defense of the Constitution to protect the public safety is laughable. Columbus is NO Friendly City!

    Do Chaplains have to pass the Army’s PT test?

  2. Brenda

    I agree with Jeff and I am a christian. I don’t favor abortion.But those posters they were holding up were R rated.Looked like something you would see in a horror movie. A lot of people had small children in their cars that had to see the likes of them. I have a friend who’s daughter cried when she saw them.They were walking up to peoples cardoors reaching for them,so they could pass out flyers, Not very smart!!! They may have reached for the wrong door and pulled back a knub!!! It was…a traffic hazzard, people couldn’t go when the light changed if their car door was still open.Truth be known..those people were probably for abortion,trying to make Anti-abortionists look bad.

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