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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Havoc In The Park
By Ken Ebright


A gentleman walked up to Pastor Glen at Moir Park where as he was witnessing at Gay Pride Fest. Glen held his clipboard up. "Excuse me sir, I am here taking a survey do you have a minute?"

"Sure." The gentleman stopped next to Glen.

The pastor looked at his clipboard. "What do you think about sin?"

The gentleman's eyes were looking all over the place. "Sin… there's no such thing as sin."

"What do you think about Jesus?" The pastor wrote something on his clipboard.
The man smirked. "Jesus was a fairy tale."

"If you were to die tonight and God asked you, "Why" should I let you into heaven? "What" would you say?"

"It just so happens that I'm a undercover police officer." The officer flashed a badge. “The city has an ordinance against proselytizing in parks. You’re under arrest." The officer pulled out his handcuffs and cuffed the pastor.

Glen eyes bulged out of his eye sockets. "Officer, I wasn't proselytizing, I was taking a survey. Even if I was proselytizing we do have freedom of speech and religion. The park is public property."

The officer marched the pastor to his car. "I didn't write the laws."

The Pastor's eyes turned red. "What ever happened to the First Amendment?"

The officer opened the car door and seated Glen in the back car seat. "Ask the Judge."

Six months later Pastor Glen stood before the judge. "You're charged with proselytizing in a public park which is ordinance 10003. I find you guilty as charged and sentence you to 90 days in jail."

"Judge, sir, that‘s not fair! I didn‘t do anything wrong. I can't believe that the city can write an ordinance prohibiting proselytizing. After all, it’s free speech."

"Pastor, you're out of order. You don't mouth off to a judge. Just be thankful I was lenient on you. I should've put you away for five years."


The pastor cleared his throat at the pulpit. "That was a fictional story of Pastor Glen. It is a hypothetical situation of what can happen in our near future. When our elected leaders propose laws that take away our right to speak about Jesus in a park or anywhere in the public arena, we need to stand up and fight. Our forefathers bled and died so we can have freedom of speech and religion. It’s wrong for the city to take away our freedoms, especially in public places.I also realize that the ordinance was created because of Gay Pride. Gay people need Jesus too."

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This article has been read 263 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/02/12
I really liked this. You did a nice job with it. This doesn't happen very often but the twist at the end caught me by surprise and for me that is delightful.

Just some tiny red ink. Try to make your dialog flow and sound more natural. Using contractions like I'm really helps. Make an effort to listen to people talking and then jot down some of the sentences or try to remember them to use in your writing. I could see the gentleman maybe taking a step back from the pastor (which might indicate he was a touch wary of him) and saying something like: "Hey dude, slow down man. Don't ya know there's no such thing as sin?" Though that might be a tad dramatic it helps give some insight into the man's personality. The other thing is watch out for repeating the same word. I bet you'd be surprised how many times you used proselytize (though it's an OUTSTANDING verb) Instead substitute words like espousing or persuading.

I liked how you incorporated the topic in this story. I know many people worry about where the world is heading to and this type of a story is quite fitting with both Election Day and Veteran's Day approaching. You tackled a touchy subject but did it with dignity and grace.
Marie Hearty 11/02/12
I think what you have shown in your story is closer than you think. I just was at a meeting at my church last Sunday where we all learned that the city (Toronto) is proposing a new zoning bi-law that will not allow new places of worship to be built in most areas, and churches that meet in public buildings such as schools, will be evicted. The thing is, mosques will still be allowed to be built because they are labeled under 'multicultural centre.'

I enjoyed your story and it is good that you are getting this message out there.

God bless!
Sandra Wells11/03/12
I have but one word for your piece. AMEN. You did a great job