Man arrested for handing out Christian tracts!

I thought you might enjoy seeing this article that was in our county paper today. Two truths are shown here. One that we should do all that we can to respect the law of our country, Romans 13:1-8, even though the laws do seem a little out of place or sometimes heavy handed. Second, that we should be willing to suffer if necessary for getting the gospel out. I don’t think it is necessary to go to jail to get our point across but I do think that we all should be more vocal about our faith in Jesus Christ.

Eason: William Baumann needed permit at event, given warning

By Jennifer Sami, Staff Writer for the Forsyth County News, Wednesday, April 25, 2007, Page 3A

While families were gathering Sunday to taste the variety of food Forsyth County has to offer, Fredrick William Baumann was about to begin a hunger strike in response to his arrest during the annual event.

Baumann said he and a friend, who he declined to name, were standing along the public right of way in front of the event, held at the Cumming Fairgrounds, passing out gospel tracts.

“I saw the two of them handing out literature and I asked them if they had a permit,: said Cumming Police Chief Mike Eason. “We’ve got a pretty well-established ordinance and, since the 1980’s, we require everybody to have a permit.

“The {Ku Klux} Klan and Hosea {Williams} brought all of that about,” he said, in reference to the famed 1987 demonstrations in Forsyth County.

Eason informed the two men they would have to leave, since they hadn’t acquired a permit. The unnamed friend left, but Baumann refused to leave, said Eason.

“I gave him fair warning. I told him he had to have a permit. He said he didn’t and he told me he wasn’t going to leave.”

While in jail, Baumann’s wife Lee and his pastor, David McGee, tried to post bail, but Baumann refused. Bail was set at $200, which, according to Eason, would have cleared the event without further incident.

“I went to try to bail him our and he would not let me. He {was} trying to make a point. We don’t have prayer in school and we don’t have Bible in school–he was trying to say the next thing they’re going to say is we can’t pass out Bible literature in the street,” McGee said.

“I believe in sharing Gospel with other people, but I believe in the rules and ordinances of our local officials and government. City and county ordinances must be followed if we’re going to adhere to that practice,” he said.

McGee’s church, Christian Hope Baptist Church, was in no way affiliated with handing out pamphlets on Sunday, the pastor said. Last year, the church paid for a booth at the Taste of Forsyth event but decided against it this year. Baumann went out on his own to the event, McGee said. Cumming City Judge Charles Smith held a hearing with Baumann Tuesday morning, found him guilty and released him on time served, which was less than two days in the Cumming City Jail.

While in jail, Baumann “fasted and prayed and got really close to God and church,” he said.

Baumann, 67, said he was not aware that he needed a permit Christian literature until confronted by Eason. While he admits to being given the chance to leave without arrest, Baumann said the permit requirement was a violation of his constitutional rights.

“I did what I had to do, they did what they had to do,” he said. “Eason’s a great guy. We are all Christians. The judge this morning was really great too.”

The experience “made me a lot closer to the Lord. It made me realize how precious our freedom really is. In a few years, we won’t have freedom, the way it is going now,” said Baumann. “The happiest time I’ve ever had was in jail. It was a really good experience and I think every Christian ought to do it once in their life.”

Though he plans on working to allow an exception in the city’s ordinance, Baumann said next year, he plans on obtaining a permit prior to passing out literature.

“As I said, it something every Christian should do once in their life,” he said.

3 thoughts on “Man arrested for handing out Christian tracts!”

  1. Well I think that maybe you might consider two or three things. One is that we do have freedom of expression in the USA and if he can’t say what he thinks then every other group including you will not be allowed to give out any material that states your opinion. Stop one and you stop the other and I dare say you enjoyed getting to post your opinion here and I allowed it because I value highly your right to express your opinion even if it isn’t mine.

    Also giving out a piece of literature about God or religion I hope isn’t actually shoving it down someone’s throat any more than a politician or activist group is shoving it down my throat when they give me a piece of literature.

    I understand that you have something against religion but I think you need to rethink the idea that it is good for police to stop the ability of US citizens from openly expressing their opinions.

    Whichever group you are a member of from the left to the right would be severely hampered in getting out their agenda if no none had any right to get their material into the hands of others to at least consider.

    By the way all over the world I have had people give me their literature–some that was very anti American in Europe. I always graciously accepted their literature and didn’t argue with them or seek to stop them from their public expression that was completely opposite to what I think.

    I simply looked at their material and then threw it in the garbage later. I hope we always have that privilege in our great country.

    Thank you for your opinion

  2. Based on the freedom of religion, we have the right to hand out Bible tracts in a fairground. What’s more, the liberal news media refused to show this on the news. I would like to publicize this as we are having religious persecution even in this country. We simply can’t stop people for taking advantage of their constitutional rights.

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