Why not picket the New Jersey Devils then?

According to folklore acquired via Wikipedia:

Most accounts of the Jersey Devil legend attribute the creature to a “Mother Leeds”, a supposed witch, although the tale has many variations. According to one version, she invoked the devil by saying “let it be the devil” while giving birth to her 13th child, and when the baby was born it was named Lucas, it either immediately or soon afterward transformed into a devil-like creature and flew off into the surrounding pines.[2][3]

The Jersey Devil remained an obscure regional legend through most of the 18th and 19th centuries until a series of purported sightings in 1909 gained it press coverage and wider notability. Today, the Jersey Devil is considered to be more in the realm of popular culture than folklore.

The site lists the amusing series of “sightings” of this thing over the years. Makes me wonder what might be in the water in New Jersey, but no matter. Onto what I was really going to write about.

A pastor in Georgia took issue with a local school’s devil mascot and decided to picket over it. That was back in August of 2010.

Donald Crosby, pastor of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, for “excessive noise” for using a bullhorn to shout across the street and disrupt students, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police. Crosby, 36, was released on a $150 bond, Pugh said.

Crosby was arrested Monday outside the school and charged with disorderly conduct and picketing without a permit, both misdemeanors, after he refused to comply with officers’ requests to leave, Pugh said. He was released on a $650 bond.

Thursday, Crosby had a permit to picket. However, the city’s separate noise ordinance prohibits the use of the bullhorn while on a public street, sidewalk, city park or other public place, City Attorney Jim Elliott said.

And as one who’s dealt with noisy neighbours in the past, I think that’s a fair law. He had a right to picket with a permit, but he should have been respectful and kept the protest down to a reasonable volume so he didn’t alienate the people he hoped would support him.

What do you think has been the result since then? More politely law-abiding protests of the school’s team? Tail between the legs? Preaching doom and damnation from the pulpit every week on account of a whole town supporting devil worship?

Any, all or none of that, I don’t know.

What I do know – he’s suing the city of Warner Robins, claiming he’s the victim in this because his First Amendment rights were violated.

Crosby said in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Macon, that he was shaken by the experience [of being arrested] and forced to move out of the central Georgia town for fear of continued harassment.

“Maybe I’m completely crazy and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Or maybe all of their allegations are true,” Crosby said in an interview. “But the fact of the matter is I believe I have the right to be heard.”

He does have the right to be heard – but at a reasonable volume. Clearly people were bothered by his louder than necessary derision of the school mascot, and team name in general, and had every right to get authorities involved to quiet him a little.

Crosby said he was unfairly targeted by city officials who disagreed with his message.

“The majority of the community applauded the demon and here I was going against it,” he said. “They wanted me silenced and they were willing to bend the law to make sure it happened.”

His attorney, Gerry Weber, called the city’s restrictions “blatantly unconstitutional,” an argument Elliott vowed to vigorously fight. Crosby, for his part, is treating his brush with the law as a point of pride.

“I felt honored getting locked up. Every hero in the Bible, every apostle, every prophet, every real preacher got locked up for standing up for Christ,” he said. “I’m not ashamed it happened and I’d do it again.”

They were disagreeing with the need to be that bloody loud while preaching the message, guy. If it’s a point of pride, why did he turn tail and leave town then? Now that he has a lawyer on his side he feels a bit bolder, I guess.

What was a protest going to do except make them look juvenile and silly? “That demon mascot is making baby Jesus cry!” If he has a problem with the school team name and its mascot, why not take it up with the school itself or get a petition going or something? Don’t just stand around, waving signs and screaming about it. See what the whole community thinks about the name, if they feel it degrades their faith too much, or whatever they want to believe the problem is. I think it’s a daft thing to get worked up about, myself.

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