Religious Freedom

First Liberty and the Center for Religious Expression represented Paul Johnson who was stopped in August from reading the Bible during a Solar Eclipse Festival in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Although the free event was open to the public, Johnson was told he needed a permit. When he subsequently applied for a permit for another occasion, the city indicated many people would be present for that festival and his expression could interfere with them. Johnson was advised he could apply, but the request would most likely be denied. Finally, after the attorneys contended in November that Johnson’s constitutional rights were violated, the city backed down, writing, "You may accept this letter as your requested written assurance that the City of Sweetwater, Tennessee, will allow Mr. Johnson to peacefully share his religious beliefs in Sweetwater without requiring him to apply for or obtain any permit pursuant to Ordinance 16-110 of the Municipal Code of the City of Sweetwater, Tennessee."

SCRIPTURE: John 15:18-21; Hebrews 3:14.

PRAY: Thank God for courageous Christian attorneys.

ACTION: Write a postcard to your state legislators: “Dear Sen./Rep. (Name), urge you to protect the 1st Amendment religious freedom of expression of American citizens to share Biblical values in public.”