Pastor Chuck O’Neal Who Sued 5 Former Church Members for $500,000 for Defamation Claims His First Amendment Rights are Violated When Police Officer Asks Him to Move to Side of Road to Preach

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Pastor Chuck O’Neal claims Portland-area police officer is threatening his First Amendment Rights. This is the same pastor who sued 4 former church members  $500,000 for speaking out publicly against him.

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Pastor Chuck O'Neal, First Amendment, Free Speech, Defamation lawsuit, suing pastor

Notice how O’Neal (red cap) thrusts his Bible in the lady’s personal space, calling her “dear lady.” The man on the right in the jeans was a deacon when we were there. You can safely assume that anyone wearing shorts covering their knees (or carrying signs, passing out tracts), is a member of Beaverton Grace Bible Church. Exposing your knees is immodest, don’t you know?

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This is rich. Pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church, the very same pastor who sued me and four former church members for defamation, trying to remove our right to free speech, recently posted a video on YouTube claiming that a police officer was trying to infringe upon his First Amendment rights. Yea, right.

The YouTube description:

On the 4th of July the First Amendment was revoked at an Independence Day Parade in Hillsboro, Oregon. The street was full of people drawing with chalk, jogging, walking, and talking. The parade wasn’t even in sight. The Hillsboro Police Officer drove by several blocks of people in the street without a word, went directly to the man preaching the Gospel, and told him to get out of the street or be arrested. Beaverton Grace Bible Church has been blessed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ along parade routes in Portland and Hillsboro for many years. The police have always been wonderful. They have at times informed the public: “They are well within their constitutional rights.” It is our hope that this Independence Day Parade incident is an anomaly. Following the example of the Apostle Paul from Acts 22, we will be interacting with the Hillsboro Police Department and District Attorney in order to avoid future infringement upon Gospel ministry and the First Amendment. (Source)

Ok, from the above paragraph, this makes me laugh – “The Hillsboro Police Officer . . . went directly to the man preaching the Gospel.”  What’s with the obtuse language, “the man preaching?” It’s like he’s giving the impression someone else is telling the story. The man preaching is Chuck O’Neal, the same Bible-believing pastor who typed up an 18-page manifesto of why he had a right to sue (against Scripture) me and four others when we were exercising our speech which is protected by the First Amendment. How ridiculous can this man be? (Chuck, this is an opinion, not a fact, don’t waste my time and yours with another frivolous lawsuit. Think of how many people on the streets of Portland will be missing your gospelly message if you sue me.)

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The real action begins at about the 4:35 mark on the video. The beginning of the video includes Chuck’s typed narrative where he builds his case. Hmm, maybe it would be a good idea to skip to the 4:35 mark first, and then go back and read Chuck’s narrative and see if his words match up with what you see and hear in the video.

The police officer said nothing about having O’Neal be quiet, yet that is the spin he is trying to convince his audience. She asked him politely many times to move over to the side of the road, but he claims his freedom of speech is being threatened. Quote from the police officer, “I don’t mind you preaching, I just need you out of the road.”

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Spin, spin, and more spin!

Chuck O'Neal, First Amendment, Defamation lawsuit, street preacher, suing pastor

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Pastor Chuck O’Neal claims he is being singled out for proclaiming the gospel and asks why she (the police officer) isn’t asking the others to move.  If you look in the video, you can see people in the road. They are walking across the street, or walking with chairs in their hands. I’ve been to these parades in the Portland area. Of course people walk in the streets to find a good place to watch the parade, but they don’t stay in the middle of the road as he and his church cohorts who are passing out tracts are doing.

The police officer said that O’Neal needs to get a special permit.  He doesn’t like that answer and again turns it around to say she is infringing on his rights to free speech. She is not infringing on his right to free speech at all and clearly says that.

So, when First Amendment rights benefit him in sharing his brand of the gospel, bring it on, baby, but if it’s free speech that makes him look bad, let’s file a $500,000 lawsuit against 5 former members, add the name of the church to the lawsuit so the church can pick up the tab (likely in the tithes and offerings).  Way to represent the true Gospel, Chuck O’Neal. You are not getting persecuted. Your free speech was not hindered, you were just told to move and continue preaching on the side of the road because of an oncoming parade, for crying out loud.

photo credit: Roundabout Fun via photopin (license)

49 comments on “Pastor Chuck O’Neal Who Sued 5 Former Church Members for $500,000 for Defamation Claims His First Amendment Rights are Violated When Police Officer Asks Him to Move to Side of Road to Preach

  1. Persecution! He’s a martyr for the cross! Everything he does is right! Anyone who attempts to correct him is infringing on HIS personal rights. Rights and freedoms which were given to him by a secular government, btw.

    Imo, he only hears what he wants to hear. How about respecting the civil authorities that are over you? Pretty sure that is in his bible somewhere. This whole thing is ridiculous and just shows his pride and ego. His pride was hurt. His rights were infringed. I’m so sorry for you, NOT. Pride goes before a fall, and one of these days, he will fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, hard to listen to and watch. Well, he reflected what his attitude was towards this policewoman (and consequently anyone else that dares to confront him as you well know). First, he ignored her for about 30 seconds as she tried to get his attention and he was clearly ignoring her as if she doesn’t deserve his attention. Then he dismisses her question without really answering her. Bully and dismissive behavior. How can he think that reflects the love of Jesus??????

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, coming from a man who believes husbands need to get control of their wives, it’s not likely he is going to treat women well. The sweet talk “dear lady” makes me sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with O’neal on this one. There were other people in the street and she singled him out. The parade had not started, he was doing nothing illegal. It’s not illegal to walk in the street, but only to obstruct traffic. The folks in the vests were annoyed by Oneal so they called the cops, guaranteed. People have this idea that if they are annoyed or offended a law is broken, NOT TRUE. I would have refused to move until the parade started. She would have drove off. A few years ago a guy did this in Manassas, Va, the only difference is he was carrying a cross and covered in this fake blood. He was also at the end of the parade after the last float that was carrying Santa. A bunch of Boy Scouts jumped in at the end of the line and he and a bunch of weirdos with large posters of aborted babies were at the very end. The police ordered the anti- abortion folks and the nut with the cross to stop and get out of the road. He was the only one that refused and was arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

    He was found NOT guilty and received a $25,000 settlement. He is at the end of the parade every year now. Weird guy, for sure. Not something I would do, for sure.
    Constitutionally protected just the same as normal speach would have been.

    That being said, I think leadership needs to lead on this. People don’t want aborted babies in their face, in front of their restaurants and in their toddlers faces at a parade. Perhaps we could exercise our 1st amendment and still be courteous, respectful and kind ? The nut with the cross socked in blood, well it’s just weird and we have to explain weirdos to kids all the time anyway. Compared to Bruce Jenner the cross nut is my kind of nut.

    This is in NO way meant as a wholesale endorsement of Mr. Oneal. I think he is an ego driven wackadoo and attention whore. Much like Doug Phillips of the now defunct Vision Forum. Let’s just hope Oneal doesn’t wack out like Doug.

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  5. Scott, the people I saw in the street looked to be going someplace, not intentionally remaining in the middle of the road like O’Neal and his group.

    I grew up attending the parade in Portland and police do clear the roads a good 10 minutes before the parade. Think about how long it took to get O’Neal to go to the side of the road. He was not willing to move. She also correctly said that those people who are allowed to remain in the road during this event need a permit which he did not obtain.

    This is the entitlement mentality we are seeing from him. Why doesn’t he just get a permit like everyone else who remains in the middle of the road?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think it would come down to “neutral” , was everyone being treated the same ? I watched the video twice and don’t believe that was the case. Street preachers get this kind of thing all the time. There are these two guys out of North Carolina that travel the country going to Fairs, parades and gay day events. They have these huge signs and ” street preach” . I haven’t seen them in 5 years but the last time I spoke with them in Raleigh they had been arrest over 30 times. They have never been convicted and regularly collect settlements for false arrest. That is what funds their evangelism ( if you care to call it that ). The police regularly walk all over the constitution thinking they can deal with these issues anyway they want. They can’t.

    Lawful time / place restrictions are very narrow in scope and this is often ignored by law enforcement. In a public place you can’t be restricted for the most part. Your speech can’t ever be restricted. The freedoms we enjoy also convey to agenda driven guys like Oneal. I can’t pretend to know his heart but I get the feeling it has little to do with real evangelism and more with building his “personal brand” like his bud Tough Tony.

    Once I joined 15 people in picketing a huge mega church over an unbiblical excommunication ( a couple exposed financial insider deals by pastor). We picketed them every Sunday for two months. The first time they totally freaked even though we were on public sidewalks , and police officers working security for the church called in units that were on duty. Literally 8 cars showed up with their lights all on and a few sirens blaring ( obvious intimidation stunt). Then they ordered us to leave, we refused. They ordered us to ” keep moving” , we refused . They threatened arrest and I said please do, I need the money. When we started filming they no longer wanted to talk and drove off. That’s basicly how it goes with the typical thug cop of today. It’s a bluffing game.

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  7. I’m going to respectfully disagree with you, Scott. This is a public event that requires permits to be in the streets. This is a safety issue, too. I didn’t count how many were with Chuck, but he can easily have a dozen people with him which also adds complexities because they are not going to move off the street until he does and imagine an oncoming parade with horses, marching bands, floats needing to potentially stop because of a conflict like this.

    We do have restrictions for speech. You can’t shout “fire” in a movie theater.

    As the police officer said, those who want to remain in the streets before the parade are required to get permits. He failed to do so and I believe she had every right to ask him to move to the side of the road.

    Edited to add: BTW, Scott, I can see what you’re saying about street preachers getting picked on and I wouldn’t doubt that at all. I think what changes this situation is the parade and crowd control.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a hypocrite CON is. If he’s really concerned about the word of God being preached how about 1 Peter 2:13-17

    “13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”

    It’s apparent that the parade staff and police are simply doing their jobs to ensure a safe environment for everyone to enjoy the parade. CON has displayed gross disrespect to the civil authorities and to the word of God.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. No wonder the world thinks so little of us King Jesus followers! We’re to be His ambassadors, treating people better than non-believers would. Not a good witness … if that’s how he does evangelism, he should just stay home. Looks like he’s doing more harm than good. The Lord took Moses to the woodshed for misrepresenting Him (see Numbers 20:8-12). God is love, not arrogant petulance. Why doesn’t this “pastor” see this?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is apparent that this civil sevant was just doing her job. That street had been reserved for a certain purpose that day; a parade! CON is standing in the parade route, in a stationary fashion. It is absolutely common sense for her to ask him to move out of the parade route, with the parade ready to commence. She never told him to quit preaching, she told him to move his preaching out of the parade route. Free speech was not hindered. The only thing hindered was his desire to be in the road. Is this a grown man? How on earth does this represent Christ? One good thing; the more folks see this whiney example, the more his credibility will plummet.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I hear ya Julie Anne but the problem is there wasn’t much of a crowd to control. The first thing I would present to the court in a case like this is that the officer approached ONeal and no one else. The focus on him alone would be enough to impeach the idea that it was uniform crowd control. The video doesn’t show her telling other people walking in the street to go on the side walk. The event hadn’t started so the permit issue is null. It would be an interesting case to take to trial but I think the officer over reached on this one. If Oneal was in the street in front of the parade that would be another issue.

    By the way, the whole yell fire in a theater thing. People have been saying that for years but you would be hard pressed to actually find a state with a law on the books that a person could be charged with that as specific violation. Disorderly conduct or criminal mischief maybe. Problem is the claim of ” I smelled smoke” would be a rather affirmative defense, LOL Kind of like when a cop claims he smells pot so he can search you and your car. They pulled that on me when I was in my earily 30’s. I got out and locked the keys in the truck. I then said, ” well if you have probably cause go for it. Break the window while I film you”. He immediately left, drove off in a hissy without a word.

    The police in this country have become overly authoritarian and routinely ignore freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, thus I no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. The retired LAPD psychologist is coming out with a book. The police union is all upset because she claims that over 50% of law enforcement are classified as sociopaths when evaluated by a mental health professional.

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  12. Some person in a golf cart is threatening his constitutional rights, I am shocked. He uses the Ray Comfort mode of sharing the “Gospel” ™. Honest to goodness I dont think they really get just how silly they sound and look. I was wondering why none of these “true believers” ™ said nada during the suffering of the witch children of Africa, which still comes up, or abuse of any kind for children from what i have observed.

    Like

  13. What a clown. Apparently CON had an issue with JA exercising her first amendment rights to opine publicly about her first hand experience with his tax-exempt organization. This guy consistently shows contempt for women. I suspect this interchange would have been far different had the woman been a man. “I paid my dues! 6 years in the marine corps!” So why does that elevate his citizenship above hers or anyone else’s? And for the record, he should clarify his tour of duty if it confers to him greater access to civil rights; he intentionally implies he willingly put himself in harm’s way. He’s just so far elevated above the rest of us. He appears to thrive on camera time (Um, exactly why was a videographer there? To document his “persecution”? To quote another blogger, you can’t act like an a**h*** and then shout persecution when you’re called out on it.) Hopefully someone has directed this video to MacArthur’s church. A whole lotta biblical church discipline should be directed his way.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It certainly looks like the officer engaged him because of what he was saying, rather than seeking to keep the street clear or ensuring the parade proceeded without delay or interference.

    However odious he might be, one must remember that unless his speech is protected, the speech of others is not protected.

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  15. “She did not address anyone else in the road.”

    That’s because nobody else on the road was engaged in a public performance. Others were crossing the road to find places to view the parade from the sidewalk. That’s normal and expected before a parade. CON clearly intends to perform in the middle of the road.

    Portland has very clear guidelines. on the use of city resources for events like this.

    “7.22.010 Purpose.
    The purpose of this Chapter is to regulate walks, marches, parades, athletic events or other processions in streets or on sidewalks held by sponsors that require use of City resources. . .

    7.22.020 Authorization.
    (Amended by Ordinance No. 186746, effective August 6, 2014.)

    A. The Street and Sidewalk Use Coordinator of the Portland Bureau of Transportation is authorized to issue street and sidewalk use permits. . .

    7.22.030 Permit Required.
    A permit issued by the Street and Sidewalk Use Coordinator is required for use of streets or sidewalks for the purposes of, and as provided in, this Chapter and the Street and Sidewalk Use Administrative Regulations. . .

    7.22.060 Diversion of Traffic.
    Whenever any street or sidewalk use is in progress, the Bureau of Police shall have the authority to clear the streets or other public places and prohibit motor vehicles, buses, light rail, bicycles, and pedestrians from crossing, parking, stopping, and standing on the streets. . .

    7.22.070 Interference Prohibited.
    It is unlawful for any person to interfere with street or sidewalk use permitted under this Chapter. . . ”

    http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/?c=28810

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My bad, This is in Hillsboro Oregon, not Portland. But you get the idea of what’s required to organize events like this on city streets.

    Like

  17. This is the only info I could find quickly for obtaining a “Special Event Permit” in Hillsboro.

    https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=5408

    So here’s the bigger problem with what CON did, IMO. The parade organizers made the effort to obtain the proper city permits to use the city streets. They probably paid a fee for these permits. They also had to submit a certificate of liability insurance. They also had to have a security plan since the police were there to maintain safety. They may have had to provide sanitation for the public. There are a lot of requirements listed in that document that need to be covered in order to use city streets for this event. Somebody or somebodies invested a lot of time, money, and energy in hosting this event.

    Then, along comes CON, mooching off of someone else’s hard work; demanding to stand in the middle of the street that someone else obtained permission for and paid to use; and arguing with the security that someone else hired to maintain a safe environment. Then he has the audacity to whine that his free speech is being violated when the officer tells him to preach from the sidewalk. What a freeloading moron!

    CON can apply (and pay for) his own permit to use the city streets for preaching. He can provide his own insurance, security plan. and sanitation for attendees. In other words, he can host his own event and do what he likes. That’s why the officer told him he needed to get a permit. But, nooooooo. CON is too entitled for that. He’s special! He should be allowed to take advantage of somebody else’s hard work, or he’s going to throw a tantrum like a big baby.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. “She did not address anyone else in the road.”

    We know this based on a video that CON put out? Was he with her when she was blocks away? Perhaps if she had a camera attached to her vehicle, we might see another side.

    If you look at CON’s blog against me, he intentionally attributes quotes of my readers to me. He takes screenshots of people who engage with me on Twitter. If these people are gay, he makes the radical assumption that I am pushing the LGBT agenda.

    With someone who is known to twist conversations/articles/tweets around to fit his agenda, it’s pretty foolish to assume that what he claims is true and factual. Let’s use some critical thinking here.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Folks, I am not defending him. Also, I think dashcams and lapelcams generally help establish facts during LEO encounters by resolving ambiguities.

    Like

  20. Keith, the more I read about this Fourth of July Parade the more upset I got– not at you, but at the stunt CON pulled.

    The Fourth of July Parade in Hillsboro is a 100-year-old tradition. It “is sponsored by the Hillsboro Rotary Club.” “Boys Scouts and parade volunteers” began “set up at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, preparing for those who will stake out their spots to watch a parade that people hope will continue for another 100 years.”

    http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2013/07/hillsboros_fourth_of_july_para_2.html

    Then along comes CON demanding he be allowed to perform in the middle of the street that another organization has obtained the proper permit to use. He is not only rude and condescending to the volunteers who ask him to get out of the street, but also to the city police woman who was providing security for the event. As usual, CON makes it all about him. This was not his event. He clearly had no right to park himself in the street.

    Maybe he should have requested to participate in the parade? Maybe they would have let him march down the street while doing his thing with the other marching bands, floats, and Uncle Sam.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. His first amendment rights were never violated. He was simply asked to move. And if you watch the video he is putting himself squarely in the center of the road (and with a microphone) and I didn’t see anyone else planted in the middle of the road. Sure people were milling about to find a spot to watch on the side. When I saw the way he ignored and treated the policewoman, who was just asking him to move, that spoke volumes. He could have just moved to the side of the road and been courteous and respectful. Done, end of story, no drama (if he had only moved).

    Liked by 2 people

  22. CON and Tony Miano are 2 peas in a pod. I wonder if Tony were a copy how he would treat people like himself. Take a look at this and tell me if Tony and CON use the same playbook. And note that the RCMP said they had been warned earlier.

    Tony starts complaining about people telling him to F off and asks the RMCP about that and RMCP responds, “well, did you call in for that?” :::::crickets::::::

    Like

  23. Been there done that: Thanks for not being angry at me. I think the idea that he is essentially co-opting the parade, and limiting the speech of the Rotarians and scouts is another way to look at it.

    Like

  24. He was clearly trying to provoke a conflict with the police officer. Besides, I really don’t think that his type of preaching serves much – if any – genuine evangelistic purpose. Instead I think that most people find his approach off-putting and inauthentic. They just tune it out.

    Hollering scripture verses is just not the same thing as sharing the Gospel of Christ.

    Like

  25. How many times did she have to say it? The policewoman didn’t have a problem with his preaching (free speech), all he had to do was move to the side, end of story. But No, he couldn’t be told what to do. What a great witness… Not!

    Like

  26. Yes, unfortunately. But I have good news to share with you. 🙂 Recently a family moved into our area from CA. This family went to John MacArthur’s church and wanted to find another like it in our area. Because BGB men go to John MacArthur’s Shepherd’s Conference, this family assumed BGB would be a good place to go. But, thank God, they first contacted someone at Grace Community to ask about BGB. The person they spoke with warned them, telling them of the law suit against you. So the family decided not to go there and now attend church with us. Just thought you’d like to know… CON hasn’t conned everybody… Praise the Lord! By their fruits you shall know them. 🙂

    Like

  27. Maggiescotland,

    That is good news and bad news. Good news because this family is protected; bad news because they (leaders at Grace Community) are not manly enough to call out Chuck O’Neal as they do others.

    I have a screenshot of Phil Johnson, on his own Facebook page, saying that godly leaders should be publicly calling out those pastors who harm others. Why he or others from Grace Community refuse to do this with Chuck O’Neal alarms me.

    Thanks for sharing the info!

    Like

  28. Julie Anne

    Just because Phil Johnson says something that ‘sounds’ good…
    “…godly leaders should be publicly calling out
    those pastors who harm others.”

    Doesn’t mean Phil really believes that. 😉

    Phil would have to call out himself, and Johnny Mac, and Fred Butler. 😉
    Remember good ole Fred Butler…
    If I remember corrrectly Fred is part of Grace Community. Oy Vey!!!

    If Fred Butler, Phil Johnson, and CON, are a product of Jonny Mac’s teaching…
    The pastors at Grace Community ain’t-a-doin such a gud job of…
    Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry…
    Equipping the saints to be able to edify The Body of Christ

    “In my experience with – “Pastor/Elders who Abuse,”
    And – “Pastor/Elders who are addicted to “hyper-authoritarianism.”

    They often – “Say” one thing and “Do” another.”

    Mat 23:3 …but do not ye after their works: for they “say,” and “do” not.

    Like

  29. maggiescotland

    Thanks – it’s nice to hear some good news…

    “CON hasn’t conned everybody… Praise the Lord!”

    Like

  30. Yes, Fred Butler is employed by Grace to You (connected with GCC). It’s my understanding he works in the mailroom – for quite some time – maybe 20 years? He’s also a member of GCC and I’ve read he teaches Bible.

    Oh, we can’t forget Tony Miano who is also a member at GCC.

    Like

  31. @JulieAnne:

    I have a screenshot of Phil Johnson, on his own Facebook page, saying that godly leaders should be publicly calling out those pastors who harm others. Why he or others from Grace Community refuse to do this with Chuck O’Neal alarms me.

    I think it’s
    ‘ONE OF US! ONE OF US!
    GOOBLE! GOBBLE! ONE OF US!”
    — Todd Browning, Freaks (1932)

    Like

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