Colorado has become a hotbed of anti-Christian sentiment in recent years.
There was the state’s assault on the constitutional rights of baker Jack Phillips, who declined to violate his faith and create a cake promoting same-sex relationships, and in that case the state’s “hostility” to Christianity was publicly rebuked by the Supreme Court.
The state also has ordered a Christian web designer to promote homosexuality with her work, an agenda that currently is pending before the courts.
Then there was this week’s announcement by its university hospital system that it would remove a donor and a recipient from a kidney transplant procedure list because as a Christian, the donor has [decided against taking] the COVID-19 vaccination.
Now the city of Denver’s attack on a Christian man who wants to preach on public property to which the public has routine access has been turned back by a federal judge.
The Denver Gazette reported the details of the fight which resulted in a federal judge allowing a man to preach his Christian faith near an entrance to the city-owned Red Rocks amphitheater.
The city had banished any “free speech” at the public facility to faraway corners where people never were.
Joseph Maldonado had challenged that city decision, and in a federal lawsuit, U.S. District Court Senior Judge R. Brooke Jackson said Maldonado would not have freedom to roam the facility while preaching, but also said the city could not ban him from every location it wanted.
Jackson wrote in his opinion granting a preliminary injunction allowing Maldonado to preach in some locations that most people aren’t interested in hearing sermons at the concert venue.
“But that practical reality does not trump the constitutional issue. Denver has not offered any alternative location where the plaintiff could share his message with pedestrians,” the judge said.
Denver had listed five spots at Red Rocks where “free speech” was allowed, all “far removed from the amphitheater and do not allow for engagement with pedestrians,” the report explained.
Specifically, Maldonado wanted permission to be in two stairway-linked parking areas.
The judge noted that one of those locations was not a traditional public forum, but said the other lot “does not have a sign limiting it to event parking, is open to non-ticketed pedestrians during events, and contains no barriers or indicators that people are entering an off-limits space,” the report explained.
“Denver has not shown that plaintiff’s activity would impair Denver’s ability to use the amphitheatre as a revenue-generating arts venue, nor has it shown any safety concerns with plaintiff’s activities in the Upper North Lot,” the judge wrote.
His injunction will apply while the case develops in the court.
It’s the same issue being fought over by multiple public universities where officials banish “free speech” on their campuses to remote and often minuscule locations.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
As our world becomes increasingly hostile to Christians it is even more vital that believers in Jesus not back down or be bullied into silencing their much-needed voice in our secularized culture.
Pastor Ed Hickey recently explained that “our society is becoming more and more hostile all the time” towards Christians.
“Can you sense what’s going on in our culture right now? Do you sense it in the news? It really is something,” Pastor Hickey stated, adding “there is a pressure coming” for the Body of Christ that is only going to get “stronger and more intense.”
In 2 Timothy 3:12, we are told that in the last days before the return of Christ, persecution would come upon all who “live godly in Christ.” In other words, those who live by the Biblical and godly standards outlined in God’s word, which run contrary to the world.
2 Timothy 3:1, 12-3 KJV – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…. all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Welcome in our world or not, Christians are instructed by Jesus to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). We are called to delay the decaying process of our “progressively” wicked society.