Helping to Spread the Good News of the Gospel
By Boaz Wadel
Today, the American Center for Law & Justice filed a "friend of the court" brief with the United States Supreme Court in a First Amendment case of great importance:Reed v. Town of Gilbert. As explained below, the decision in this case will have enormous implications for the exercise of fundamental liberties in our country, specifically, the free speech rights of churches to share the Gospel publicly and to speak on equal terms with others.
The facts of the case are simple and straightforward. Like many small churches throughout the country, Good News Community Church in Arizona does not have a permanent building of its own and so must use temporary facilities to hold its worship services. One way -- perhaps the most effective way -- the church informs the public of where and when it holds its worship services is through signs placed throughout the community. Good News's signs, however, not only provide the name and location of the church, they contain religious imagery and point the public to church's website where it can learn more about the church's religious message. The signs, therefore, do more than just point the way to the church's place of worship; in fulfillment of the church's mission and creed, the signs spread the Good News of the Gospel.
As we say in our brief:
Publicly sharing a religious message with others by inviting them to visit, attend, or join a religious body is intrinsic to how many religious groups practice their faith. For a small church like Good News, committed to the "Great Commission" of the Gospel, a critical way of carrying out this religious-based mission is through the posting of signs that -- like political or ideological signs -- communicate the church's message and invitation to a wide audience.
Read full article at ©2014American Center for Law and Justice