Texas Preacher Given Citation For “Offending People” For Speaking Off Campus at the University of Texas

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.25.33 PMThere is a new disturbing video that seems to reaffirm the growing intolerance for free speech on (or in this case near) our campuses. In the confrontation between a preacher named Joshua and University of Texas at Austin police, the preacher was told that, even though he was not on campus, he was still guilty of “offending someone” with this speech and would be given a citation.

At the outset, it is important to note that the officer, while shockingly misinformed about the protections afforded free speech, was polite and professional throughout the encounter. However, he repeats that it is against the law to offend people. In this case, the intent from Campus Ministry USA was off campus and speaking against STDs and homosexual sex. During the exchange, the following is said:

Intern: Um, does freedom of speech protect offensive speech?

Officer: Does freedom of speech do what?

Intern: Uh, protect offensive speech?

Officer: It doesn’t matter, freedom of speech. Someone was offended, that’s against the law. I- I don’t wanna argue with you—it’s against the law….

Intern: I’m sorry, can you say that again, it’s against the law to offend somebody?

Officer: Yes.

That is clearly wrong but it captures the growing mentality of speech suppression on and near our campuses. This officer does not appear hostile or eager for a confrontation. However, it is a equally unnerving to see how matter-of-factly he describes the unlawful act of offending people through free speech. It is a position that the university should be the first to denounce, but the crackdown on free speech that we are witnessing across the country is being led by universities.

Here is the video:

31 thoughts on “Texas Preacher Given Citation For “Offending People” For Speaking Off Campus at the University of Texas”

  1. Excuse me, but this campus religion speechifying tactic is a means to an end: fundraising. If you read through any of the postings on BroJed.org, it is clear that this is their goal, not saving lives for Jesus.

    Read this: http://theodysseyonline.com/depauw/thank-you-brother-jed/180722
    ” Brother Jed and the rest of his ‘ministry’ returned to our campus today expecting the same kind of riot behavior that they experienced last week. They expected some of the students to get riled up enough to assault them so they could have grounds for a lawsuit in order to receive the only income that they have…”

    Have any of us heard about Westboro Baptist Church and their tactics? Read: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-the-reviled-westboro-baptist-church-makes-money-2015-6

    Recall when Westboro Baptist Church protested gays at a US Marine’s funeral? That family ended up paying Westboro Baptist Church $16,510.00 for legal costs to assert their freedom of speech. Err.. fundraising.

    That Marine’s father stated, ” ‘..By the court making this decision, they’re not only telling me that they’re taking their side, but I have to pay them money to do this to more soldiers and their families,’ said Albert Snyder, whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.

    Members of the fundamentalist church based in Topeka, Kansas, appeared outside Snyder’s funeral in 2006 in Westminster, Maryland, carrying signs reading ‘You’re going to hell,’ ‘God hates you’ and ‘Thank God for dead soldiers.’ ” ~ cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/30/westboro.baptist.snyder/

    The Southern Poverty Law Center further details WBC’s tactics: “..WBC did win $43,000 in legal fees in 1993. According to Shirley Phelps-Roper, they also won more than $100,000 in 1995 in a lawsuit against Kansas’ Funeral Picketing Act, which they claimed violated their First Amendment rights. Because the Phelps family represents WBC in court, they can put the fees they win towards supporting the church.” splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/westboro-baptist-church

    1. BleuZooM,

      You might not be aware but this website only allows two links per comment. I modified the links so they would work for the post on 2016/02/15 at 2:48 pm so it would work. If you would like the readership to review more than two links, this may be accomplished by the usage of additional comments.

    2. BleuZ00m, I followed your link and found you were quoting from a hater of Jed Smock. Quoting from a ministry hater is hardly evidence that Jed Smock resorts to lawsuits as a fundraiser. All you are doing is spreading malicious gossip. Try to name just one lawsuit from which Jed Smock has profited. I am pretty certain you cannot do it. In contrast, the Westboro Baptists are lawyers, so they are ready to file their lawsuits. Jed Smock and company are not lawyers.

      In any case, even if your accusation was true, that lawsuit judgments funded his ministry, I would see nothing wrong with it. He would be doing a public service for all by keeping LEO’s in check from violating our Constitutional rights to free speech. We need people like him, and I wish he would sue in this case, though it looks like they only hope to receive clemency for the young boyscout who got the citation for speaking.

  2. A bit slow, been up in Nong Khai doing a little fishing and…… . Hey it’s Thailand.

    Completely off subject, but Killeen was a bad town full of bad cops. At one of the demonstrations, VVAW camped down by the lake and the cops and rednecks thought it fun to shoot bottle rockets at us. We were sworn to non-violence, although I was one for breaking it. Lots of humor when my well trained German Shephard brought back a cop’s night stick…lol. I was there for the beginning of filming of “Sir, No Sir” with John Kniffins widow Cathy and the cops still came after us while eating. This was around 2004. No snipers this time around though. John, Bill Paterson and I are in a still pic at the very end of the movie.

    My apologies to all for being off subject.

    Semper Fi

  3. Watch this cop in Texas, he will mostly be the next AG after the last one goes to jail……….

  4. Looks like all offensive linemen in Texas are in danger of being arrested.

    And I’m offended by this cop’s statements. Can I arrest him?

    1. Don de Drain – I am sure that you can file a complaint about his offensive behavior and ask that he be arrested. Keep us posted.

  5. This is so ridiculous that LEO’s do not know the law. It is worse that they oppress people with their own lack of understanding of the law. I wish the preachers would sue the LEO’s for harassment and miscarriage of justice with huge punitive fines. Taking away money is the only thing government officials understand and the only possible path to making them abide by the law.

  6. sgtsabai, While I was not there on that day, I do remember the frame up the Killeen cops did on the organizer of the Oleo Strut. They stopped his car on a pretext and planted some weed in his car. I visited the place a number of times when I was stationed at Laredo AFB and was my introduction to the anti-Vietnam war movement. It was a long drive, but worth it. So I am really upset about this stupid cop trying to stifle free speech, especially on or off campus. I hope that the ACLU will take this to court, and get a restraining order against such harassment in the future. At least the cop did not plant drugs on the guy and take him to jail, as the Killeen cops did. So at least, it has gotten better in that the guy was not beaten up or jailed.

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