America, Give Your Pastor the Finger With Impunity
Court overturns man's conviction for flipping the bird in church
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2017 6:28 PM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2017 2:33 AM CDT
David Freeman   (Mugshot)

(Newser) – Georgia's highest court has reversed the conviction of a man who was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after he held up his middle finger and shouted at his pastor during a service, the AP reports. The unanimous opinion issued Monday says David Freeman's behavior amounts to speech protected by the First Amendment.

Pastor Jason Berry of 12Stone Church in Flowery Branch asked teachers to stand for recognition during a service in August 2014. The court's opinion says Freeman, a homeschooling father, stood and raised his middle finger in the air and then began yelling after the pastor finished his prayer. A sheriff's deputy arrived and Freeman was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Berry testified at trial that Freeman's actions made him scared for his and his congregation's safety.

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