On February 16, 2010 agents of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, a 15 million member worldwide church, accompanied by a Constable, descended upon the Creation Seventh Day Adventist church building in Guys, Tennessee. They destroyed the signs of the church, effectively shutting down it's ability to hold services, and confiscated the group's religious materials, books, tracts, and other advertisements.
Why is this being done? What crime has the church committed, to warrant the presence of law enforcement officials to close the premesis, confiscate their religious materials, and destroy their signs? Have they engaged in fraud? Are they amassing weapons? Have they proven a danger to society in some other criminal fashion?
No. It is being done because of the name of their church.
The First Amendment has been shredded to pieces in the teeth of "corporate religion" under the guise of Trademark law. Religious identity is a matter of religion, and thus outside the scope of Government regulation. According to the Constitution, no law may be made regarding the establishment of a religion. Yet through obtaining a trademark on the name of a faith, one church has gained a Government-backed monopoly, including the ability to bring civil and Federal penalties on those that dare disagree.
This is what is happening in the small town of Guys. By obtaining a trademark on the name of a religion, "Seventh-day Adventist," a worldwide denomination has sought to crush out those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists but hold differing views on what it means to follow that religion. Creation Seventh Day Adventists are one such group. Church conflicts are nothing new - but when the Government steps in to decide one group or another to be the "right church" of the two, we have cause for alarm.
It is not the place of the Government to define a true or a false Christian of any kind, be it Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Catholic, or Seventh-day Adventist. Even further is it from the place of the Government to send out Federal officials to destroy religious materials and remove signs from the meeting places of those deemed heretics. The Pastor of the group, Walter McGill, shortly expects a warrant authorized for his arrest should he return to the United States from his current ministry field of Africa - all because of the name of their religion.
Assistant Pastor Lucan Chartier repainted the signs as an act of protest and vindication of the Church's faith in early March. As a result, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has pressed the Courts to find him in contempt and place him in jail for his refusal to comply, and they continue to seek new information on potential members and associates of the religion.
What happened to separation of church and state?
What happened to the free exercise of religion?
As rights are being eroded away bit by bit, we intend to protest this by exercising another First Amendment right - that to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of greivances.
All who are supportive of the cause of religious liberty for all men, regardless of their differences of belief, are encouraged to protest this violation. Sign the petition link to the left, and pass along this information to all interested parties. Please visit the "Frequently Asked Questions" section to the left for more information, and use the "Sign Up!" link to be notified of any future events and protests as they are organized.
"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." - James Madison