This last June, a Christian pastor named Afshin Yaghtin dared to question the sexualization and objectification of our children on public property, and he paid the price. After his case was thrown out of court, last week Spokane officials announced they’ll appeal their prosecution of him for attempting to nonviolently use his free speech on public property.
In June, Yaghtin attempted to enter the Spokane, Washington, South Hill Public Library to quietly pray for children attending a Drag Queen Story Hour, an event in which a crossdressing person reads young children books about sexuality. When Yaghtin stepped onto the public property of the library parking lot, a slew of police officers confronted him and informed him he would not be allowed on public property — because he was a Christian opposed to men in dresses reading to children and exposing them to a sexual fetish.
This author was present at this event and watched as police arrested Yaghtin, who was not holding a sign or a megaphone, nor attempting to be disruptive. He simply wanted to enter a public building and exercise his constitutionally guaranteed rights. The pastor objected to police obstructing him from entering a public building because of his Christian faith — and they promptly arrested him for obstructing them. Yaghtin did not fight with police, and he did not raise his voice. He simply told the officers he had a constitutionally guaranteed right to enter the public library.
One would think that after Yaghtin was arrested, he would be let go with at most a warning, as he was not threatening, violent, or even an agitator. But the Spokane City Attorney’s Office pressed full charges against this dangerous Christian who dared to exercise his constitutional rights.
Thankfully, when brought before a Spokane Municipal Court, the judge rightly threw out the case for violating Yaghtin’s right to free speech and for a lack of evidence. This was a huge win for free speech and religious liberty — or was it? Unfortunately, this story is not over yet. The City of Spokane Prosecutor’s Office has indicated it plans to appeal the judge’s decision and make an example out of this Christian man.
Currently, Spokane is ranked third most dangerous for property crimes nationally, and 649 rape kits are awaiting attention, an opioid crisis is raging, and a serial killer still hasn’t been caught, yet the city attorney’s office is determined to throw the book at a pastor who had an opinion about a sexist minstrel show being performed for children.
Why is the city so intent on going after a Christian exercising his constitutional rights? How dangerous can Christian ideology be that the city will invest so many resources in prosecuting one man for allegedly obstructing the police rather than into investigating rape or murder? Does the City of Spokane Attorney’s Office have an anti-Christian bias? The lead prosecutor’s social media indicates so. On Facebook, he referred to people associated with the case as “religious loonies.”
Opposing exposing children to drag — a misogynistic and demeaning sexual fetish — automatically makes a person a “religious loony,” according to the city prosecutor who is continuing the appeal. This statement alone paints a picture of a biased prosecutor with a bigoted, anti-Christian, liberal agenda.
The Spokane City Council also has a history of bias against the conservative Christian population, threatening to shut down religious services and prayer vigils outside Planned Parenthood and libraries hosting Drag Queen Story Hour. Council members regularly accuse these Christians of being extremists and sending out the full force of the Spokane Police Department to every outdoor prayer event they have.
Prosecutors with biased political agendas are nothing new in this country. We see this playing out at the federal level in the attacks against conservatives and the president. They relentlessly prosecute citizens for process crimes, but they are really attacking them for their political ideology.
At libraries across the country, drag queens are reading gender-queer books to preschoolers. Planned Parenthood is passing out condoms and lube to tweens. Trans activists are telling teens the wonders of hormone replacement drugs and genital mutilation. Meanwhile, leftist hit jobs have resulted in the arrests and media smears of conservative Christians. While sexual deviants and porn peddlers have free reign and access to our children, conservative Christians are arrested for objecting.
There’s an old saying, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” But what if you didn’t commit a crime? Or even worse, the crime was committed against you and your constitutional rights were violated — yet you’re the party being pursued to do the time? And the only so-called crime you’ve committed is being a Christian and speaking and acting like one?
A corrupt justice system propped up by biased media will be the downfall of our country, for it will lead to the collapse of the rule of law. I hope the irony of this corruption led by district attorney’s offices across the country is not lost on the judiciary. It certainly isn’t lost on the law-abiding citizenry.