A battle now rages in our own United States District Court for the Western District of New York to defend the precious right to free speech that is once again being attacked. It is in the context of religious expression, also protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Take Notice: The case of Owen v. City of Buffalo is nothing less than a test of strength of the guarantee to the people that we may speak freely and responsibly without fear of arrest.
Mr. Owen is a God fearing Christian who feels so strongly about the immortality of the soul that he feels compelled to spread the Gospel. There’s nothing dangerous about that. Owen took his faith, his message and a stack of flyers to the Italian Festival last summer to peacefully distribute them to whoever cared to take one. He was with one like minded friend in a public venue, walking with the flow of pedestrian traffic, peacefully offering his views as expressed on the flyer. (more…)