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-Roseville, CA: Now Talking about your Faith in a Mall Can Get You Arrested?

by Dr. D ~ January 31st, 2010

image The Galleria Mall in Roseville, California maintains a policy against wearing religious T-shirts and talking about God. Several years ago a youth pastor was forcibly arrested by the mall security guards for privately talking to another person about his faith.

The case is working its way through the courts and is now before California Court of Appeals in Sacramento after a Placer County Superior Court judge supported the mall’s regulations in 2008.

The case started when youth pastor Matthew Snatchko was confronted by a mall security guard while talking privately about his faith to another. A second guard also joined in and placed the Pastor under a citizen’s arrest for "trespassing." The pastor had agreed to leave but was roughly handcuffed and taken to the police station instead.

Shortly the ‘charges’ against Snatchko were dropped. However the case has been pursued in the interest of free speech and religious freedom by the Pacific Justice Institute.

Here’s a couple of comments from PJI attorneys. PJI Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds, who is working the appellate case:

“It’s surprising that mall owners think they can arrest patrons for engaging in casual conversations. While a ‘don’t talk to strangers’ rule may be good for kids, enforcing it against adults is absurd, and we think it violates California’s free speech guarantees.”

Also from PJI President Brad Dacus:

“Singling out religious speech for punishment violates our most basic principles of free expression. If anyone can be arrested for wearing a Christian t-shirt or mentioning God in a shopping mall, we have lost not only our freedom, but our sanity as a society.”

Response: I wonder if the mall security allows Muslim ladies to wear hijabs? Probably. Also I wonder what the mall security would do if a bunch of Muslims decided to say their prayers in the mall—would they be arrested? I wonder.

Main street in America was traditionally a place to carry on conversation about God but also about political issues. The malls have substantially replaced main street and we have really lost a piece of ‘Americana’ if soapboxes and free speech conversations are no longer allowed.

More serious, the very foundation of our freedoms in this country are under assault if religious and political conversation is allowed to be controlled and curtailed.            *Top

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9 Responses to -Roseville, CA: Now Talking about your Faith in a Mall Can Get You Arrested?

  1. TC

    I guess I won’t be spending my money there any longer. The money says “in God we trust” on it; perhaps they will arrest me for spending it there so I won’t. I will also inform my family and friends that the Roseville mall is stompping on our rights to free speech. Wow! what has america come to if this is happening? Perhaps the mall is owned by terorist?

  2. ej

    This article seems to be very different from the other one I read. It looks like it has left out allot and added things to make it sound like the mall is 100% wrong and the guards attacked him. This guy was informed several times in the past that he could not do what he was doing and even giving a list of the rules and policies. He was also told if he wanted to do what he was doing he had to apply for a permit from the mall but he did not. And only after a store employee called security on him and he refused to leave he was arrested. People seem to forget malls are privet property with rules that the public has to follow to be allowed to shop there. Its no differnt if some ones walked up to your house and started talking to you about religion… its called solicitation that malls do not allow regardless if the people that are approced agree to listing or not. What has america come to when people who seem unable to follow the rules and dont care about tother peoples rights not to have people solicitating on there property and then when are told NO they go cry my rights and sue…

  3. Henry

    Americans can’t have the power, and the wisdom of God since they kicked Him out sixty years ago, by establishing and illegal separation of Church and State, by trampling on the Ten Commandments, and by replacing the Bible with the theory of evolution in public education. Now Americans can only have the same simple mindlessness of the Amoeba, which consists of a mass of protoplasm resembling its contemporary offsprings, the American people

    The whole world knows that America is a country made up mostly of money loving idiots, beginning with the idiots at the bottom, and going up, up, and up, to the very top. There are idiots everywhere, from the idiots teaching in schools, colleges, and universities, to the idiots of the mainstream news media, to the self-gagged idiots deceiving the dumbbells from the pulpits of America, to the political idiot in DC. Only a country made up of idiots would elect crooks and liars as their leaders, and enlist the enemy in the armed forces, and tolerate the enemy preaching hate against America in colleges, and universities all across America. And only a country made up of idiots would prohibit a child to read her Bible in school in her own time. America went from the home of the free and the brave, to the home of the dumbed-down idiots lacking the common sense that God gave geese.

    The hypocrisy, and dualism of those so-called 501c3 self-gagged wolves in sheep clothing proponents of separation of church and state, having one foot in the church, and the other foot in the world, pretending to serve God, but in reality they are serving mammon, are the very same ones that allowed the wicked for the last sixty-two years to take over America by legalizing one abomination after another, such as Separation of Church and State, Forced Busing, Affirmative Action, Abortion on Demand, Euthanasia, Sodomy, and Same Sex Marriage.

    And the nominal wimpy Christians are too preoccupied massaging their bruised little egos, while worshiping the trinity of self, composed of, “ME, MYSELF, and I” and in search for a Jesus that is more in touch with their inner feelings, and for a Jesus that is more harmonious with their own perversions. They don’t see Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; they see Jesus as Wimp of Wimps and Dumb of Dumbest. These so-called wimpy Christians talk the talk but they do not walk the walk. They know all the songs, and the Christian lingo, but they wobble and fall down when they are supposed to stand up against the wicked, therefore they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, naked, and separated from Christ.

  4. ryan

    lol well last guy sounded angry! But in all honesty, i can see how solicitation is annoying, i would be upset if i had a no solicitaion sign on my door and people knocked on it everyday. BUT the t-shirt deal is a little over the top. Like stated before if someone came in with a turban do they have to take that off? Do they make the jewelry stores stop carrying the diamond crosses? It simply isnt fair to single someone out for what they believe, we do have seperation of church and state, but we also have freedom to believe in what ever we want yes? Freedom of religion? What about the guy who believes in evolution and has a shirt with the gorilla turning into a hairy guy, then turning into a normal guy, then a guy with a suit or something, those are his beliefs, will he have to remove that to replace it with big abercrombi symbol or something redicilous? Or something a single color and sterile? If I walked into that mall with a affliction shirt with a cross on it, and i have a cross necklace on and a pair of jeans that have Jesus face on them, SO WHAT? Is the dali lamma allowed to shop there? lol As long as no one is solicitating, then no problem if you ask me. Anything on top of that is BIGOTRY, plain and simple! dictionary.com says bigotry means: “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.” If i cant wear a T-shirt with my beliefs on it, when i am not even bothering anyone, or even making eye contact, lets say i walk looking at my shoes the whole time, if i got stopped… you bet your bottom dollar i wouldnt stop till that mall was shut down for even thinking they could bring back such thoughts of segrigation, and intolerance of other peoples and races and religions. The thought that i can’t wear a certain shirt is sickening to me, and i wouldnt spend an other dollor there again! As far as the guy who is sueing them goes, i dont know all the facts it would seem, since the mall has there own side, and he may have been one of those annoying solicitors who push things on you and make you feel all uncomfortable… BUT if he was just talking to some guy having a personal conversation, that the other guy welcomed… then thats pure bigotry on the malls behalf, and i wouldnt have ANYTHING to do with bigots. I hope and pray all goes fair and just here in this case, both if this guy is a wierdo, or if the mall is returning segrigation to this country, which would be a abomination to what america has achieved since its birth. God bless 🙂 – My 2 cents.

  5. Dr. D

    Thanks ryan, I appreciate your 2 cents!

  6. E

    “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    I thank G-d for Pacific Justice Institute helping Pastor M.S. in this case and the concise thoughts of Henry (February 11th, 2010 at 6:46 am) for being one of the restraining elements left in America (2 Thessalonians 2).

    These events will continue. Read the LORD’s instructions in Matthew 10 now to prepare yourself.
    -unnamed servant



  8. -Appeals Court Rules Against Mall That Arrested Youth Pastor | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] Amen Brad. We posted about this case in January <Here’s a link>.  I am really happy to see this case resolved with free religious expression […]

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    […] -Roseville, CA: Now Talking about your Faith in a Mall Can Get You Arrested? […]

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