A messianic Jew is suing the University of New Orleans for stopping her from distributing a tract about Jesus. Michelle Beadle, an evangelist with CJF (formerly Christian Jew Foundation) Ministries, says school officials told her the pamphlet could offend people on campus.

In October 2002 Beadle asked university officials for permission to distribute a tract titled "You Can Say Anything … Almost!" They balked at the sentence, "Jews should believe in Jesus."

The American Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on July 28. The ACLJ claims the action violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The suit asks the court to declare the policy unconstitutional and prohibit the university from enforcing it.

Stuart Roth, ACLJ senior counsel, said the law is overly broad and represents a case of prior restraint. He said universities may regulate the time, place, and manner of public speech, but not its content.

A CJF representative declined to comment.

Susan Perlman of Jews for Jesus chided the school. "The university is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, where students can explore many points of view, including unpopular ones," Perlman told CT. "It is tragic that religious literature which makes the case for Jesus as the Messiah and Savior is an idea the school administration finds unacceptable."

Related Elsewhere

Other news articles on the lawsuit have appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Associated Press.:

The American Center for Law and Justice has a press release about the lawsuit.

Beadle's testimony appears on several web sites, including those of Billboards for Christ, The Swinging Bridge of Messiah College, and CJF Ministries.

CJF Ministries has Beadle's speaking itinerary, but nothing immediately apparent about the lawsuit.

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