Visalia mall sued for threatening arrest

Local elder tried to share faith

VisaliaMallThe following comes from a January 24 release issued by the Pacific Justice Institute.

Attorneys with the Pacific Justice Institute have filed suit against the Visalia Mall for violations of free speech and public accommodations laws.

The Complaint filed late last week in Tulare County Superior Court alleges that Mall management and security officers threatened to arrest John Vadnais, an elder at a local church, for sharing his faith with other mall visitors.

Until last January, Vadnais went to the Mall often to shop and eat. He also struck up conversations with other shoppers and discussed his Christian faith. Mall staff harassed and eventually summoned local police to intimidate Vadnais. Vadnais sought clarity from Mall management over several months in 2012 and was eventually told that talking to strangers at the Mall was off-limits if the subject was religion.

PJI won a groundbreaking ruling in 2010 against the Galleria Mall near Sacramento for its arrest of a youth pastor, Matthew Snatchko, who was sharing his faith with willing listeners. It’s not clear why the Visalia Mall seems to believe that decision, authored by the current Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, does not apply to them.

“We’re seeing a disturbing trend,” noted PJI Senior Counsel Michael Peffer, the lead attorney in the new suit. “In spite of more than 30 years of strong precedent, some malls still refuse to accept their legal obligations not to censor visitors’ speech based on its content.”

To read entire release, click here.

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  1. How stupid. I guess they never heard of Rev. Matthew Snatchko vs. Westfield Malls (Roseville Galleria).

  2. Abeca Christian says:

    It’s interesting how they allow Green Peace to disturb us but a humble simple person sharing their faith is no issue with me! I don’t really read about how they kicked out the PETA person or the Green Peace person but you usually hear about them trying to silence a person of faith!

    How about those PETA folks, they are really aggressive and rude! But a simple Christian sharing their faith doesn’t bother me….all you do is say sorry I’m Catholic and they’ll be respectful but the Green Peace folks, well they weren’t very friendly when I suggested they should stick up for the unborn, they blamed man for the problems we are facing and they would rather defend a whale than a human baby. Well that is what one person from their org. pretty much gave that impression.

  3. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Evangelize everyone who sees you by wearing a crucifix prominently, placing a cross visibly within your car and home, and remember your good behavior – people will be watching you. If enough of us did this, I think we could reclaim America for Christianity. Let’s be proud of our great faith and share it with a smile, as it is due to the great legacy of courageous Christians before us that we are all Christian today. I am grateful to all those fervent souls who shared the good news with one another, and to my forebearers, who shared it with their children, one by one.

  4. OneoftheSheep says:

    Have mercy on the souls of those who would squelch the Word of the Lord!

    “You are the light of the world. A city built upon a mountain cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

    And, if Jesus lived in our time, would He and His apostles be banned from preaching the good news?

  5. St. Christopher says:

    This is wonderful, and it is the absolutely correct way to proceed. One needs to fight the pagan culture on its own terms — attack at the legal and media levels; make violators of the constitution, particularly where the offense is so glaringly wrong, stand up in open court, or on public TV, cable, radio, on the internet, and say something so offensive and wildly crazy that even lefty wing-nuts will retreat. Of course, the problem is that the society has become coarser, and many religious leaders — particularly CA Catholic bishops — are embarrassed to proclaim their Faith. Soon, even the most obviously illegality will seem right and proper. Look to judicial history in Germany as a very close model as to what can in the USA. Imagine 50 years ago — would a policeman actually confront someone speaking about their Christian faith to others? Perhaps, but not likely. Public opinion used to favor the unborn, too. Still, a wonder, wonder series of events. Mr. Vadnais can now join the good Rev. Hoye as potential new bishops in the Church. Does anyone wonder what Bishop Blaire and other liberal bishops think about this sort of thing? Yes, debating whether to have a death penalty, or nuclear weapons, or how high to tax the rich is much more important than actually going out and practicing the Faith. And the parties and “working events” for our dear bishops are ever so much more comfortable than standing on a street corner, meeting people in a mall, or publicly giving testimony to Christ — always at the threat of arrest and worse. Perhaps it is more important to have Bishops Soto — before the living Christ — recognize the enablers of killing babies than in stepping up and shouting out that this madness must end now. Certainly the Romans, actually pretty tolerant of those that would merely add a pinch of incense before their State Gods, did not like to hear what Peter and Paul and all those other Christian rabble-rowsers had to say. Catholics need to be led by real Christian men, men more like Rev. Hoye and Mr. Vadnais than by bishops Soto, Blaire and many many others that badly lead their sheep.

  6. Not quite sure exactly WHAT St. Christopher is driving at here; he’s usually more coherent in his points to be made. But it’s certainly true that the culture within the United States is more fractious than ever before. And it is probably going to get worse before it gets better. There’s a 5,000 lb. elephant in the national living room now, typified by the recent ’12 national elections, which were more than likely STOLEN by the lame stream media in collusion with the demonratic party headed by the manchurian candidate Obummer, but just try and PROVE it. That to me is just ONE of the elements of the 5 ton elephant I just alluded to. But how do we get our friends and neighbors to ADMIT this pickle the nation is in? That’s the conundrum. More another time. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

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