Walter Hoye, a pastor at a Berkeley church was jailed for 30 days after unsuccessfully arguing that an order requiring him to stay 100 yards away from an Oakland abortion clinic violates his right to free speech. Walter Hoye is free now after being in jail only 18 days out of the 30 days he had originally been sentenced to. But the truth is that in that jail where he spent the last 18 days he was freer than his prosecutors and jailers, because he enjoyed the freedom of the children of God, he enjoyed the freedom of truth.
Walter Hoye of Union City was the first person convicted under an Oakland ordinance barring protesters from coming within 8 feet of anyone entering an abortion clinic. In February, Judge Stuart Hing of Alameda County Superior Court sentenced Hoye to three years' probation and 30 days in jail, and ordered him to pay $1,000 plus a $130 restitution fee. Hoye could have disposed of the jail time in a sheriff's work detail or by volunteering. But he balked at the judge's order to stay 100 yards from Family Planning Specialists Medical Group at Second and Webster streets. Hoye argued that the order was more severe than Oakland's ordinance and stifled his First Amendment rights. Judge Hing refused to budge at a hearing Friday at which Hoye's attorneys tried to stay the sentence pending an appeal. The judge asked Hoye to decide whether he wished to serve a month in jail or in an alternative program, and the pastor chose jail. Hoye was arrested May 13, 2008 at the Oakland clinic, carrying a sign that read, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help you!"As women approached the door, he asked them, "May I talk to you about alternatives to the clinic?"
Now Walter is free from jail and we must continue to express our support for him. He is an awesome guy and a true witness of courage in the face of opposition. He has shown truly how silly our judicial system is, as Mark Shea said "sin makes you stupid," and we live in a very stupid society indeed, where the real criminals are allowed to walk free, where the real criminals are protected so that they can continue their criminal activity, this is absolute stupidity. The amazing thing is that the abortion center where Hoye used to go to counsel women has been shut down in Oakland during the time Hoye was in prison due to "financial hardships." To me the closing is a sign of the power of prayer and fasting. We must remember that before Hoye was sentenced last month, he has engaged himself in a 40 day campaign of prayer and fasting, and the results are obvious. In the end is one more abortion clinic that has been closed and no more babies will be killed there. Awesome!