Steele County, MN — The Old Paths Baptist Church was out doing some evening preaching last month when they were approached by Steele County cops who were destined to shut them down.
As the group was out on public property, practicing their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, they were approached by Sheriff’s deputy, Lon Thiele. Thiele told the man filming, who is also a preacher, that he would have to move all the way down the road, away from the intersection, in a “designated [free speech] area.”
Rightfully so, the preacher refused the unlawful order to move into a desolate area to protest. Deputy Thiele was not happy about this defiant act, so he puffed his chest and predictably brought out the, “I need to see your ID” line.
But Thiele was not dealing with a push over; this preacher knows his rights.
“Let me see your identification,” persists Thiele.
The preacher then does exactly what he should have done in this situation, and replies, “Am I being detained”?
After receiving a hardcore dose of eloquent rights flexing from the preacher, the deputy short circuits, for the first of two times, and gets stuck in a loop.
“You have a place to demonstrate down there,” says the deputy “You have a place to demonstrate down there. You have a place to demonstrate down there,” he continues, over and over and over again.
As the preacher attempts to get deputy Thiele to confirm that he is indeed violating his first amendment right, the loop changes.
“You have a place to demonstrate down there,” morphs to, “We’re allowing you to demonstrate down there.”
“We’re allowing you to demonstrate down there.”
“We’re allowing you to demonstrate down there,” continues the deputy.
Onlookers are amazed at the officer’s repetitive statement and at times say things like, “Is he a brainwashed drone”?
The preacher then epically responds with, “You’re not ‘allowing’ me to do anything.”
At this point, a man dressed in civilian attire walks up to the deputy and whispers something in his ear to finally stop the deputy’s loop — perhaps it was CTRL-ALT-DELETE.
Whether or not you condone the message of the Old Paths Baptist Church is irrelevant in this matter as the Freedom of Speech is certainly not limited to those with whom you agree.
This preacher’s actions, however, are certainly noteworthy.
He provided the perfect example of how to respectfully, eloquently, and peacefully resist the unlawful orders of those who would violate the rights of Americans.
He refused to be bullied into submission and their group stood their ground and flexed their rights – successfully.
The only thing that made the church group leave, however, was the weather. According to the preacher, they stayed right there on that corner until it poured down so hard that they had to leave.