he pastor of a Wichita, Kan., church who has spoken on public streets against homosexuality, the influence of abortion interests in his state and other biblical issues says he has been convicted on charges related to his decision to hand out Bibles at a Muslim mosque – in a courtroom staffed and filled with Christians.
The counts against Pastor Mark Holick of Spirit One Christian Center, known as the church "without walls," technically were two counts of loitering and one count of disrupting a business.
He was convicted by a six-member jury in Wichita District Court and today was sentenced to a $300 fine, a year of probation and ordered not to be within 1,000 feet of the Islamic center where last fall he handed out pamphlets containing portions of the Bible.
What is startling, he told the judge and courtroom during a 15-minute statement in court, is that the conviction came about through Christians.
He told the court and judge:
Wichita, you are confused, I am not your enemy, Islam is."But it is okay, for on judgment day when I am asked if there is enough evidence to convict me as a Christian I will off[er] this arrest, this prosecution, this conviction and this sentence," he said.
'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'
Islamists believe that it is okay to lie if it is to help in the cause of Allah.
My own government called a foreign Islamist to testify for them against me, a born American, Christian peacefully handing out free Bibles.
How sad, how incredibly sad.
The arresting officer said he is Christian.
The court/judge says it/he is Christian.
The prosecutor says he is Christian.
The city attorney says he is Christian.
Four of the six jurors say they are Christian.
And I have been convicted for handing out free Bibles.
Judgment must and will begin in the house of the Lord.
The judge noted that all charges against Holick later were dismissed, and the civil rights complaint was filed for the wrongful arrest.
"The defendants do not contest that they violated plaintiff's constitutional rights," the judge wrote.
A video of the arrest was posted on YouTube:
"Christians shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs," said Joel Oster, a senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented Holick, at the time of the settlement. "We are pleased city of Wichita officials will now ensure that Pastor Holick is free to exercise his First Amendment rights in public without fear of arrest."