Warner Robins pastor arrested

Last week, Erick mentioned the nutty pastor in Warner Robins protesting the mascot of a local high school.

The pastor got himself arrested today:

Warner Robins police say they arrested Pastor Donald Crosby Monday morning as he and a group of supporters protested Warner Robins High School’s “Demon” nickname and mascot.

Warner Robins police spokeswoman Tabitha Pugh says 36-year-old Crosby was arrested after police told him he didn’t have a picketing permit, as required by the city.

Crosby and the group set up the protest outside the school on the opening day of classes because of their opposition to the school’s Demon team nickname.
[…]
She says officers asked Crosby and the group to leave, but he refused and was arrested. Others in the group dropped the protest.

Pugh says Crosby is charged with picketing without a license and disorderly conduct for not leaving when asked. Crosby was released from the Houston County jail on bond.

I think his cause is ridiculous, but it’s absurd that anyone would be arrested for exercising their right to free speech.

33 comments

  1. Provocateur says:

    Picketing Permit???

    Here’s an idea someone on a city council should do: Review the city code to figure out where the stupid laws are and get them repealed.

    (forehead slap!) But, wait! That would take someone doing something other than just plop down on a city council and proactively do something.

    Nevermind.

    • Jeff says:

      Provocateur:

      That is actually something I intend to do once I am on Council down here. Right now, *no one* has EVER done a comprehensive review of Leesburg City Code to my knowledge. In my mind, that is something that needs to be done at LEAST every 4 years – and after the first one, it isn’t that hard to do once every fall. As long as lexisnexis stays current (right now it shows current through 2009 regular session only), this could theoretically be done by a sitting Council member who refers any questions to the City Attorney.

      I know I’ve already found, even as a “civilian”, at least one instance where our local laws (both Leesburg and Lee County on this one) conflict with State law, and I’ve been working since March to correct this.

      • Ambernappe says:

        “Civilian”? Jeff, you and every councilman are citizens and voters. It is appropriate that any interested citizen review every action taken in your name, and from time to time question, and even take action to promote change. There are bureaucrats who attempt to thwart public knowledge by not allowing prompt access to the records, but if that happens, write a letter to the editor of the major newspaper in the nearest large city, or contact other news media. As a last resort, submit a report to the appropriate ethics commission. You are helping to provide accountability by the officials to the voters.

  2. Private property vs. public property. Most of the constitutional protections that people take for granted only apply when you’re on your own land, or where you have consent of the land’s owner. With public land, even though it’s owned by “The People” (whatever that means), the government acts as trustee and controls that consent.

    Not saying this is great… just explaining why it is.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Steve,

      As I recall, maybe something I read from the sixties, permits came into being when the Civil Rights movement came into vogue and there were safety concerns in keeping the KKK and African-Americans separated from each other in order to cut down on riots. Then for some areas, permits generated monies and once that apple is bitten into, it is hard to put down. What say you?

      • Well, there is the legal justification for something, and then there is the REAL reason on practical terms. The two aren’t mutually-exclusive.

        Still, I doubt that demonstration permits are a huge cash cow for any city or county. When you take into account that such events require the government to allocate police resources, I would bet that it’s a significant net loss. Nah, I suspect that in most cases, the “real” reason is simply that public officials find it a pain in the butt when citizens get uppity and criticize them.

        Oh, that… and also the fact that this particular demonstrator seems to be a complete nutbag. I don’t want all this freedom talk to give the impression that I agree with his particular nonsense views.

  3. NoTeabagging says:

    There is a big difference between free speech and inciting hatred and well, stupidity in public. I don’t think either are good example in front of schoolchildren. Schools have always exercised control over freedom of speech for very obvious crowd control issues.

  4. NoTeabagging says:

    I grew up with a nearby school that were the ‘Blue Devils’, it never threatened my religion. I guess we just had common sense back then.

    Perhaps they should just re-brand: “Warner Robbins Goths”

  5. MSBassSinger says:

    Leaving off the judgment of whether his belief is right or not, what we do know is that he claims to be Christian (with which I do not take exception). Thus, he, especially as a pastor, should know that Scripture requires Christians to obey the government unless such obedience requires an act of sin. Getting a permit does not require an act of sin.

      • MSBassSinger says:

        Read it a long time ago. The minister in this case should have obeyed the law and gotten a permit.

        ML King, Jr. earned respect when he took his punishment for obeying God’s law when it was in contradiction to man’s law. That is the only time a Christian has a legitimate reason to break the law – when obedience to man’s law constitutes breaking God’s law.

  6. Lady Thinker says:

    First Amendment free speech is a misnomer. One cannot create a public hazard by yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater, or play one’s stereo system full blast at 3 AM in an apartment or condo setting, or even while stopped at a traffic signal if the “music” can be heard 5o feet away, or calling minorities disgusting names.

    I think the argument for the pastor could be an issue of the separation of church and state, who knows. John Konop made a good point when he recommended a book to read in order to have some insight on the subject.

  7. NoTeabagging says:

    The school had this mascot since ’42 in honor of a fighter squadron. How many ‘satanism’ complaints have there been against the influence of demon mascots at this school? Have we digressed into such complete stupidity in this country?

  8. chefdavid says:

    Meanwhile back in Gotham. Flames from his pitchfork tipped throwing demons. Bible Caring Preachers. Crowds picketing on Sidewalks. Should the commissioner use the bat phone to try and dispell this dasterdly deeds? Stay tuned. Same bat chanel same bat time

  9. slyram says:

    If this pastor wants the teachers to target his son, this is the move. In college, we didnโ€™t have opposite sex visitation in the dorms because a certain administrator want to protect the virtue of female students, but his daughter was very popular off campus.

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