A local transit advertising agency refused to renew a pastor's contract because he advertised the name of Jesus.
"I asked the city person, 'Why are you not allowing me to advertise the name of Jesus?'" Charis Christian Center's Lawson Perdue says. "She said, 'Because if you use name of Jesus in ads, then we must allow hate messaging.'
"I said, 'Ma'am, the name of Jesus is in no way representing hate messaging,'" Perdue recalls.
Now, the Colorado Springs pastor says he is prepared to fight the discrimination all the way to the Supreme Court with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom.
The pastor's case for religious freedom is so strong even a prominent atheist sides with the pastor.
"I don't like that at all. I think that's wrong. To me, this is a violation of their First Amendment rights. We would caution the city of Colorado Springs to prepare for a lawsuit. I don't think this is one they're going to win," Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Mikey Weinstein told the Colorado Springs Independent.
"This is plainly censorship, plainly not freedom of speech or freedom of religion," Perdue says. "(My case) is so basic, it's so basic. What the city is quoting ... well, they are showing favoritism. I paid for ads, I bought space, and the name of Jesus not a hate message. I don't know what's wrong with them."
The city drama began last Tuesday. Perdue says Mountain Metro Transit, which runs the bus bench advertising Perdue purchased, received one complaint in the three years he has proclaimed the name of Jesus.
They refused to renew his contract. Perdue went to the mayor and Colorado Springs City Council.
In a statement, Mountain Metro Transit said its advertising policy is being reviewed in relation to the First Amendment, according to The Gazette. Spokeswoman Vicki McCann said Mountain Metro is working with the city attorney's office to determine if the advertising policy will be changed.
"I told a city council member when I talked to them, 'Listen I can produce 50,000 signatures in Colorado Springs (in favor of the bus bench ads with the name of Jesus),'" Perdue says. "I said, 'We are not going to stand for that. It's just not right.'"
Perdue says there are four levels of an attack concerning the ads.
The issue is not that they are not allowing us to advertise, but they are not allowing us to advertise the name of Jesus!
This is an attack:
1) On the First Amendment rights of all citizens of the United States of America.
2) On the freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of the U.S.
3) On all who call on the name of Jesus, including, but not limited to, Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, and Charismatics.
4) On our personal and corporate faith as Christians (believers in Jesus).
Right now, Perdue says an ADF attorney has taken his case, but he has not filed an official lawsuit. The pastor refuses to back down, though, and will continue to preach the name of Jesus.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details