Christian Mobbed, Assaulted, and Arrested in Toronto
UPDATE: September 30th, 2019
Hundreds of peaceful Christians gathered in the rain on Church St. in downtown Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 28th to rally in support of Pastor David Lynn and the civil rights of all Christians.
Thousands of pro-LGBT counter-protesters showed up also, many of whom hurled insults, vulgarity, and threats at Pastor David’s peaceful demonstrators. Scores of police were on-hand to keep the counter-protesters at bay. The intersection of Church and Front Sts. was shut down for hours as a result.
Many politicians came out to stand against the assembled Christians on Saturday. Toronto City Councillors Bill Morneau, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Joe Cressy, and even Mayor John Tory took the side of the pro-LGBT counter-protesters, pitting themselves against Torontonian Christians. Liberal, NDP, and Green party representatives also chose to take sides, standing against Christian civil rights. On the other hand, a group of People’s Party (PPC) supporters stood up for Pastor David.
A number of pastors and ministry leaders spoke up in support of Pastor David, addressing his supporters in the rain.
Thankfully, no one was hurt or injuried, and no arrests were made. However, police did prevent Pastor David's supporters from marching up Church St. as planned.
UPDATE: August 7th, 2019
Around 100 supporters, including several clergy, came out for Pastor David's second court appearance this morning. The crowd was very upset, with one lady shouting outside the doors of the courtroom, "Why are you prosecuting the victim?"
The court set a date of October 2nd for the next stage of the hearing.
After exiting the courthouse, Pastor David addressed and prayed with his supporters on the public sidewalk on College Street. There he disclosed that the Crown is seeking to add an additional charge of "mischief" on top of the existing charge of "disturbing the peace".
This is very concerning for the entire Christian community of Canada, as it may result in new discriminatory restrictions on our freedom of speech if Pastor David is found guilty.
You can watch a brief clip from Pastor David's address outside the courthouse here: https://youtu.be/ljFzhQDRcuM
UPDATE: July 10th, 2019
At David Lynn's first court appearance to-day, over 100 supporters turned out, including more than a dozen pastors dressed in their clerical garb. They filled the courthouse and even held an impromptu prayer session right before Pastor Lynn entered the courtroom.
After his appearance, Pastor Lynn made this statement to the press outside the courthouse: “This court appearance is, to me, a travesty – it’s a shame – because Canadians are protected under the Charter... As a minister, I am protected under section 176 of the Criminal Code. The United Nations says that we’re also protected: We have human rights... My rights were taken away simply because I am a Christian and I preach that God loves you.”
Pastor Lynn's next court appearance is scheduled for August 7th.
On June 4th, David Lynn was arrested by police while preaching at the corner of Church and Wellesley Sts. in Toronto (in a neighbourhood where many homosexuals live). Mr. Lynn's church is undertaking an outreach programme to the city, visiting neighbourhood after neighbourhood, sharing the message of God’s love all across Toronto.
At this particular intersection, Mr. Lynn met with an especially hostile audience as he picked up his microphone and started preaching on the public sidewalk. In fact, very quickly, he found himself being swarmed by a vocal and boisterous group of dozens of pro-LGBT people. They seemed to come out of nowhere, waving rainbow banners, holding up pro-gay signs, and shouting derogatory words. They even pushed him around.
Police arrived in short order to investigate the growing mob scene. However, instead of dispersing the crowd, they arrested Mr. Lynn and charged him with “disturbing the peace”. When Mr. Lynn repeatedly stated that certain people in the crowd had physically assaulted him, the police turned a deaf ear and refused to take his statement.
The police victimized the victim!
Police and media are trying to portray Mr. Lynn as the guilty party in this incident. They are making it sound like it was his own fault he was attacked and mobbed – that he caused all those pro-LGBT people to create a scene. They are saying he was “provocative.”
It's like blaming a woman for being raped because she was wearing “provocative” clothing. Does that seem right?
So, what did Mr. Lynn say that was so “evil”?
For one, he said nothing about homosexuality. In fact, he said nothing at all about any specific sins, nor did he centre out any particular sinners.
This is what he said: “We’re here to tell you that we hate nobody... I want to know whether you would tolerate me as a Christian... Everyone’s accepted, and that’s what we preach as Christians... Jesus died for the sinner… Sin is when we violate the laws of God.”
This is hardly “provocative”, and certainly not derogatory.
But even if Mr. Lynn “provoked” some people, he was doing nothing illegal or criminal! He was peacefully preaching to passersby on a public sidewalk. He was perfectly within his legal right to speak his mind and share His faith in a public space in a supposedly free society.
When police confronted him, Mr. Lynn responded, “This is a public sidewalk. I pay my taxes.”
Was Mr. Lynn to blame for the mob? Isn't the mob to blame for the mob?
If people didn’t like what he had to say, they could have politely told him so, ignored him, or just moved on. That’s what we do, here, in Canada. We don’t start mobbing people – and we certainly don’t resort to violence!
Was Mr. Lynn’s message disagreeable or offensive? No doubt to some. But saying something offensive is not illegal.
The “Gay Pride” festivities in Toronto are very provocative and offensive, and yet they continue to take place. In fact, it is well documented that there are displays of full nudity and simulated sex acts during the “Pride Parade”, but the police do nothing about this.
Why the double standard? Why is one group (the LGBT community) above the law, while the other group (Christians) is unjustly prosecuted by the law?
Maybe some people don’t agree with Mr. Lynn’s preaching style. That’s fine. Maybe some people even hate his Christian message. That's their right. But that doesn’t mean they get to shut him up and have him locked in jail!
Under section 2 of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, every Canadian (supposedly) enjoys the fundamental freedoms of expression, belief, religion, peaceful assembly, and association.
It looks like, in this incident, that it was Mr. Lynn’s fundamental freedoms that were violated, not the LGBT community’s.
That is why we are asking you to sign this petition to our political leaders in Ontario. We are calling on MPPs to bring this incident to the attention of the Legislature and investigate the abuse of power by the police.
Victims of crime should not be blamed! Victims should not be re-victimized. Every Ontario citizen should enjoy the same rights as every other citizen in every public space in the province. It’s that simple.
David Lynn will appear in court to face the charges against him on July 10th, 2019.
FOR FURTHER READING
-David Lynn’s LiveStream Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvOjPLhElnU&feature=youtu.be
-David Lynn’s Press Release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKEifgPFr80