Thursday, July 06, 2006

Free Speech in Action

It’s not uncommon (although perhaps unconstitutional) to have governmental meetings opened with prayers offered up by local members of the clergy.

But this unholy union of church and state collided in an unusual way in the city of Ontario, Calif., after a presentation by John Sabbath, a local pastor who left the City Council so shaken it's now exploring ways to limit free speech at future meetings.

1) So, just what is it that the Rev. Sabbath did?

A. Prayed that God remove all blacks, Latinos and gays from their midst
B. Recounted a story of ministering to a prostitute in which he describe sexual acts in graphic detail
C. Used the “F-word” 18 times in a 22 minute presentation
D. But a hex on the City Manager, his wife, and their children

D. He put a hex on the City Manager Gregory Devereaux, his wife, and their children — albeit the Devereaux’s had no children to hex.

The reason for the hex? The city had denied a grant request by Rev. Sabbath for some $200,000 to help run his Liv in Christ Christian Center trailer park-based ministry.

“I have the authority of God to tell people what’s on them, and there’s a curse on him…I do have the power to set them free, but he (Devereaux) has to talk to me.”


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