Street Preacher Claims Religious Persecution at "First Friday," City of Phoenix Forced to Provide Facts Again

Categories: Religulous
christian persecution.jpg
kitmantv.blogspot.com
An example of something that is not happening in the City of Phoenix.
Yet again, someone is complaining that those demons at the City of Phoenix are trampling on their religious rights.

And yet again, the city has to explain what actually happened.

This religious persecution story originates from the Rutherford Institute -- which has been helping perpetuate Pastor Michael Salman's story -- explaining that it has "come to the defense of a Phoenix resident who was told she could not hand out free bottles of cold water to passersby on a public sidewalk during a 'First Friday' festival as a means of exercising her Christian beliefs."

In a letter to the Phoenix City Attorney, Rutherford Institute president John Whitehead says a woman named Dana Crow-Smith and her Christian friends gathered at one of the First Friday events to "publicly express her Christian faith and engage willing passers-by in conversations about their religious beliefs."

Crow-Smith brought along a cooler full of water bottles, heeding the Good Book's advice found in Matthew 10:42: "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."

Then a Phoenix "Neighborhood Preservation Inspector" showed up.

That inspector told Crow-Smith that she needed a permit to give away water, according to Whitehead's description of events, which he describes as a "completely unjustified interference with an act of charity by a private citizen."

Whitehead contends the city violated Crow-Smith's rights on several accounts, including a couple constitutional violations. In the letter, he demands an apology from the city, as well as a garuntee that Crow-Smith is allowed to hand out her water, and make all the law-enforcement officials in the city undergo special training on the matter.

"It is beyond comprehension that local government officials would interfere with citizens performing such a basic act of charity as giving water to the thirsty in your City," he says. "The Rutherford Institute will take any and all means to ensure that the citizens of Phoenix are liberated from the ever-tightening jaws of what appears to be a growing police state in Phoenix."

That's the half of the story that's been provided by the typical suspects, like Fox News and World Net Daily -- both of which also took blind faith in the story of Pastor Salman.

The City of Phoenix provided New Times with a "fact sheet" of what happened, which doesn't include hating Christians.

The inspector came into contact with Crow-Smith because she was distributing religious materials and the water from private property on the corner of 1st Street and Roosevelt, which was not her private property.

"At no time did the city attempt to limit in any way Ms. Crow-Smith's communication of religious beliefs," the document says. "Staff explained that water or food could not be given away unless they had a mobile vending license, which other vendors at the event have obtained."

The Rutherford Institute also noted that Crow-Smith received the explanation of needing a vending license, but claimed it didn't apply to her.

From city code (Chapter 10, Article 10-160):

Mobile vending unit means any motorized or non-motorized vehicle, trailer, kiosk, pushcart, stand, display, blanket, ground covering or other device designed to be portable and not permanently attached to the ground from which any goods, wares, or merchandise other than food are peddled, vended, sold, served, displayed, offered for sale or given away. This includes any display consisting solely of the goods, wares or merchandise being peddled, sold, served, displayed or offered for sale.

Agree with the code or not, having a cooler -- which happens to be a "device designed to be portable" -- full of water that is being "given away" would seem to apply to everyone, not just those motivated by the Bible.

The city's document continues to explain that Crow-Smith wasn't even cited -- she was informed of the code, and the city said she agreed to stop handing out water.

Later that night, city staff found Crow-Smith on private property again, and giving out water, again.

"The city encourages Ms. Crow-Smith to fully and safely exercise her constitutional rights within the confines of the public sidewalk - a public forum," the document says. "Distributing free water within the public sidewalk is allowed under the city's sidewalk vending ordinance."

The Rutherford Institute demanded a response to its letter by the end of business today.

City spokeswoman Toni Maccarone tells New Times that the city's law department will be following up with them today.


My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
marcy
marcy

So when people walk the streets of Phoenix in the summer giving water to homeless people they are breaking the law?

 

If so, the law is an arse.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz topcommenter

sounds to me like the city is saying exactly this. Get off the sidewalk and outta the way of the people. Just a suggestion, GO away, because I would tell you idiot christians to your face that I am an atheist and if you attempt to interfere with my religious freedom, it would be a violation of my own civil rights. SO how about you practice your faith not on a public sidewalk but in your private home where it doesn't pester anyone.

tom10545az
tom10545az

i dont know if this happened to anyone else, but up here in waaayyy northwest peoria, i came home one day in the past 2 weeks, and there, sitting in front of front door was a 12 plastic bottle of water with the label..Joan Evans..The Clear Choice and of course a "flyer" with it....but that is ok isnt it? i dont know about you, but i dont know who actually left this, so in the trash it goes,  bottles by White Water...phoenix,az..

ptcgaz
ptcgaz topcommenter

 @tom10545az I'd dump them on my cacti... I wouldn't drink it. who knows what shit they put in the water.

JesusMoney
JesusMoney

Dozens of homeless people died every summer in the Phoenix area due to exposure to extreme heat conditions; many are abused, brutalized, and even murdered by thugs and cops, but like a good Christian, Crow-Smith caters the First Friday uppity party goers?

 

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt 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....when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...."  Matthew 6:5-6

ptcgaz
ptcgaz topcommenter

 @JesusMoney shut up. The people that are homeless are there because most of them have severe mental illness, much like you and the "good christian" who is harassing people .

thorgood77
thorgood77

Let''s see, the perfume my wife wears and carries in her purse is clear violation of this City code, if she gives me a stick of gum  she's also in trouble, and if a clown gives away balloons to children, they are equally guilty.   Considering the ubber control of our City governmental perhaps the roving City Inspector should pay a visit to City Hall to cite his overzealous comrades as well. 

 

With a low temperature in the 90's, was any harm caused by the dispensing of water?   What if a physician saw a dehydrated elderly person about to loose consciousness gave them water, he would be cited also.  No exceptions doctor, this poor fellow must die.

 

Ever try to get a City Building Permit?  You have to conform to City Codes, the Muni Codes, and the Universal Building Codes of all Countries on Planet Earth (no kidding).  Just think if they discover life on another planet, the City will have more regulations, even more confusing, to lord over us.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz topcommenter

 @thorgood77 really? so you are ranting about having to follow the rules like everyone else with absurd examples that probably aren't in violation of the code. Meanwhile a group of idiots in BCC complains about the fact hat they have to get an overhead AC unit checked out via a permit and inspection. Guess we should let any crack head who thinks they know what they are doing put up an AC on a house with children.. yeah... Sure you whiny asshat republicans need to stfu.

propper_family
propper_family like.author.displayName 1 Like

From reading the excerpt of city code that is posted above I would say it does not apply to her at all.   Consider where it states:

 

other than food are peddled, vended, sold, served, displayed, offered for sale or given away.Water is food is it not?

 

ptcgaz
ptcgaz topcommenter

 @propper_family also you contradicted yourself. Reread very carefully. You said it doesn't apply to her at all, but if you give away food, isn't water food? Therefore it does apply to her. 

 

Ross
Ross

 @propper_family

 And religious propaganda is certainly not "goods," it's just crap, so you certainly have a point. 

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

So, there is a "mobile vending ordinance" that applies to her conduct on private property with one set of standards and criteria and a different "sidewalk ordinance" that applies a different set of standards and criteria to her conduct on the sidewalk - even though these two areas may be inches a part.  On the sidewalk - this is the standard.  On the private property right next to the sidewalk, this is the completely different standard.  You figure out which one applies.  And if you comply with one, we're going to find a way to ding you for not complying with the other.

 

The Rutherford Institute is a bunch of hacks for trying to make this into a religious persecution case, which it isn't.  City government are a bunch of hacks for overregulating and overburdenning its citizens, which they do.

SistaSuzy
SistaSuzy

 @LegitQuestions It is really stupid that some of these laws exist.  It seems like all of the state, city and federal governments are gigging us for more money.

But Christians are supposed to abide the laws.  Getting a permit isn't that difficult.

Some donations would fix that and then she can hand out water at will !! ... while adding to the cities funds. 

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

 @SistaSuzy

 A $350 application fee plus a $30 license fee.  Take two steps forward and distribute the water from the sidewalk and there is no charge.  I understand the distinction for someone selling tamales or pies or hotdogs, but I'm still trying to harmonize it for giving away bottled water.

JuliePeterson
JuliePeterson

 @LegitQuestions You can't do anything on private property without the owner's permission. That's not that complicated.

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

You would be correct except that the article doesn't state anything about code enforcement citing her for trespess.  Certainly the property owner could have called police and asked to have her removed from the property as a trespasser.  For all we know she did in fact have the permission of the property owner to engage in that activity on the property.

 

The article discusses the difference in standards that apply to the exact same activity depending on whether she was acting on private property or acting on the sidewalk.

woefatcat
woefatcat

Her mistake was not claiming it was Holy Water.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...