Full Quiver Mission Joins Preachers at Supreme Court
We Defy Long Time "No-Pray Zone"
ON May 29th, 2003 The Murch Family joined a handful of preachers from across America to pray on the Supreme Court steps. Not astounding, you say? Consider this: For several years the Supreme Court steps have been a "No-Pray Zone" where several folks have been arrested.
Although no law was ever passed, the Marshal of the Supreme Court, under a special federal law, has the power to create a law out of thin air, as long as it has to do with the "decorum of the Supreme Court". This Marshal has made life miserable for any Christians who have come to air their grievances.
Two years ago, after obtaining the proper permits, the Marshal made an arbitrary law about the size of signs that could be on the public sidewalk out in front of the Supreme Court. Pro-life preachers and layman had camped out for three days because the case concerning partial-birth abortion was being heard. The signs had been out for two days already. The Marshal invented this new law, and forced the Supreme Court Police (the very men that had granted the permit) to arrest those who refused to take down their signs. The pictures left and right are from that event.
The No-Pray law was a similar thing. Even though large groups of people routinely engage in all kinds of activity right on the plaza of the Supreme Court, it is all tolerated unless someone noticeably begins to pray. We witnessed folks tossing a frisbee and playing catch, eating lunch, etc.
For a little background, a short time ago, two local DC-area preachers have been working with the Marshall of the Supreme Court to get this rule removed. They got a concession from the Marshall that praying was technically legal, as long as it was not a disturbance. The two preachers tested out his word, prayed on the steps, and were left unmolested.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Pastor W. N. Otwell and other Independent Baptist Preachers who stood with us at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple during the Siege, felt led of the LORD to come to Washington, DC, to challenge this ridiculous law. Four men came from Texas, one from New Hampshire, one pastor came from Clinton, Iowa, and Wiley Drake, the instigator of the famous Disney Boycott came out from Buena Park, California.
We started out by praying on the lower steps. When nobody challenged us, we moved up to the upper steps, and finally up to the massive columns. We prayed unmolested for over an hour! We tested the limits of our newly-restored freedom. The limit was reached when one of the preachers, Pastor Dennis Meador of Iowa began praying loudly in a voice that sounded somewhat like preaching.
The head of the Supreme Court Police approached him, followed by a detail of officers. The chief told the pastor that he was not allowed to "draw attention" to himself. Pastor Meador asked if he was saying it was illegal to pray on the Supreme Court steps, the officer said, "no, you just can't draw attention to yourself". Pastor Meador asked to see the statute, which the officer whipped out of his back pocket on a laminated card. He quoted a U.S. Code (not a Supreme Court Rule) that forbids any "harangue or oration" on the property of government buildings. Pastor Meador went back to a normal tone and the police left.
During this time, both Pastors Otwell and Drake had live radio shows going on, and they can be seen on cell phones broadcasting the prayer service as it was taking place.
This event solidified the freedom to pray at the seat of Justice in the United States!
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