A brave street preacher is taking a stand for Christian values after being threatened with imprisonment and slapped with a five-year restraining order for exercising his freedom of speech. Rich Penkoski, who runs the online organization Warriors for Christ, voiced his concerns on social media about an LGBTQ+-friendly church in Oklahoma, which stirred controversy that resulted in a restraining order. The order was put in place after he shared a public photo from a Bartlesville church, featuring the same-sex wedding of an executive board president, Morgan Lawrence-Hayes, and Sheena Hayes. He used scripture, specifically Romans 1:32 to speak out against the ceremony, but the couple felt threatened by what they considered hateful posts.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) April 24, 2023
The preacher’s thought-provoking comments and posts about a Pride event at Disciples Christian Church, where children were featured, were also targeted by the plaintiffs, leading to the issuance of the restraining order. The retreat, imposed by Washington County District Court Judge Linda Thomas, not only limits Penkoski’s freedom of speech but could also lead to imprisonment for any conduct that could cause his accusers to feel unsafe. His lawyers have termed the judgment “overly broad,” and protested its constitutionality, arguing that religious individuals have the First Amendment right to express their thoughts concerning moral issues without causing offense.
Street preacher fights restraining order after citing Bible to condemn lesbian wedding https://t.co/EmgPW2qFfN
— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) April 22, 2023
John W. Whitehead, the constitutional attorney and president of The Rutherford Institute, agrees that the ruling is a foreshadowing of the government’s intentions to curtail first amendment liberties by criminalizing non-violent activities construed as politically incorrect. Meanwhile, the preacher continues to call out for conservative and Christian salvos to unite and stand up for the truth. He cannot bear to witness the strangling of free speech and religious expression in society anymore. The government must not allow rants of enemies of God and free speech to dictate the conditions of people’s expression.