There’s a guy who hangs out in Ybor City on the weekends that stands in the middle of crowded night clubs preaching about Jesus. At least, there used to be. I really haven’t been clubbing in a long time so I couldn’t say whether or not he’s still doing it, but to be honest I kind of hope he is. You see, I kind of admire this guy. I think he’s a little crazy, of course, and I know he’s made some friends of mine uncomfortable on more than one occasion, but really…you have to kind of give it up for a man who willingly puts himself into what is almost certainly going to be an uncomfortable situation because he believes that doing so will help him save someone’s immortal soul.
There’s another reason why I like this guy, though.
He proves that, regardless of what the extremists in our country want you to think, we are still free in our country to believe whatever we want to believe and to express that belief in public without fear of prosecution.
It is not illegal to love Jesus.
It is not illegal to tell everyone around you that you love Jesus.
It is not illegal to say “Merry Christmas.”
It is not illegal for a student to bow his or her head in class and say a prayer.
It is not illegal to sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.”
It is not illegal to stand in front of a night club on public property and tell everyone that walks past you who is wearing black that they are immoral sinners who are damned to hell. It’s tacky, inappropriate, and rude but it is not illegal.
If you believe that there is some massive government conspiracy to silence your freedom of expression or religion I encourage you to go join our friend in Ybor on any given weekend just so you can see that your personal liberties are alive and well. After you have done so I will respectfully request that you shut the hell up, but if you choose not to do so?
That’s entirely your right.