Thursday, July 24, 2008

Berkeley Petition Against the Christian Message

From the city that prides itself on the Free Speech Movement and celebrates its commitment to diversity each year with the annual How Berkeley Can You Be parade...

The local Berkeley newspaper, The Berkeley Daily Planet, reports that a petition against Christian street preachers has been circulated by some merchants and workers:
While the petition touches on the noise level, citing, “large and loud rallies,” it focuses mostly on what the evangelicals are saying and who the messenger is.

“We, as locals, are insulted, not only by the message coming from these folks that we, as a community, are somehow in need of ‘saving’ by way of their particularly base and dogmatic way of seeing the world,” the petition says, adding that “none of these ‘performers’ or ‘preachers’ or ‘leafleters’ are actually from our community and know very little of our community.”

It would be improper for the city to limit noise permits by where the applicant lives, Daniel says.

The city gets involved only when the complaint is about the noise level, Daniel said.

Complaints go to Manuel Ramirez, environmental health manager.

“We respond to all complaints,” Ramirez told the Planet. “We go out and monitor levels and have found no violations.”


Berkeley does seem to have a councilmember who cares about Free Speech:
Councilmember Kriss Worthington, whose district includes the Telegraph Avenue area, said rewriting the ordinance will be challenging given the need to respect the free speech of diverse groups such as Code Pink and SOS Ministries. He said perhaps the new rules can incorporate having the applicant move their proselytizing to different streets in the area.


Hmmm, but did he forget about the free speech for the Marines?



The petition concludes on a bitter note: “Any lip service the city government pays to helping build an improved business/residential destination around Telegraph Ave. is rendered laughable as they continue to allow the ‘skid row’ preachers to make a mess of our street.”

"Skid row" ????
I didn't think we were allowed to say "skid row" in Berkeley anymore.

(H/T I am pretty sure I first saw this Daily Show video on Stand Firm, but I couldn't find it today.)

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

“We, as locals, are insulted, not only by the message coming from these folks that we, as a community, are somehow in need of ‘saving’ by way of their particularly base and dogmatic way of seeing the world,”

Yes, it does sound like the preacher has found the right place.

And who is the base and dogmatic messanger? The minister is a Mr. Rosenbaum,
"who describes himself as Jewish and an evangelical Christian."

As a person in need of salvation, I am going to have to book a flight to Berkley to hear some of this base Jewish/evandelical Christian dogmatism (unless they will start a webcast) because I sure won't hear it in my church.