Delaware Pastor plans July 4 beach service after town denies permit request

On radio this morning, Glenn shared the story of Pastor Robert Dekker of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, Delaware, who was denied the permits to host a Sunday morning service on Rehoboth Beach because of ‘separation of church of state.’

After writing to the Rehoboth Beach city manager to request the permits to host eight weeks of early morning Sunday morning services this summer on Rehoboth Beach, Pastor Dekker reportedly received this written response:

I’m sorry to inform you that I can’t grant your request to have church services on the public beach in Rehoboth. I cannot mix church and state. I trust you understand. Wishing you the very best.

But Pastor Dekker is refusing to back down. He has decided to go ahead with a beach service on July Fourth that he has aptly named ‘Line in the Sand.’ He has been circulating the flyer below, encouraging those in the area to join him Thursday morning in “defiance of tyranny.”

After reading the story on air, Glenn wanted to speak to Pastor Dekker and he joined for an interview to talk about why he has chosen to go ahead with his service despite the town’s refusal to grant permits.

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“Pastor, thank you for standing up and having a spine. Thank you for doing what very few pastors in our country are actually doing,” Glenn said. “So tell me, why would you do this?”

“Well, interesting thing, we live in a beautiful area down here by the beaches of Delaware, and a lot of this was spared because with so many people coming, we want to have church for them. And when you double the population, it’s hard, hard to get around traffic‑wise. We want to have an early service on Sunday morning and so it seemed to be pretty logical to have it down along the beach there,” Pastor Dekker explained. “And so we went to the formal patterns of sending in a request to be able to have a service by the sand, and basically the response was that we don’t mix church with state. So we ended up backing away from that, which was sad to me because, you know, there are services by the sand down at Bethany Beach and even further – in other beach communities that are not too far away. Some of my pastor friends are doing those. So I was saddened by that. But that’s kind of the reality.”

“When the idea of doing something on July 4th, a freedom rally, to be able to gather together and honor the whole thing about the, you know, the freedoms we have here in America, that were not free, they were at the price of somebody,” he continued. “When I was out to participate and join in and being able to preach, I thought that would be great because my goal as a pastor is to communicate the Gospel by word and by deed to ourselves and to our neighbors that the wonders of God’s grace in Christ might be made known.”

Pastor Dekker emphasized that he is not comfortable with the language of tyranny and the language of defiance, but in this case he felt as though his congregation was denied the right to assemble for no obvious reason.

“I mean, the fact that we weren’t given permission to do so and it seems that there’s no real reason why we wouldn’t, there’s no law on the books that says we couldn’t, but nevertheless, that’s the way that it is in today’s world,” he said. “And so this idea of being defiant is not – it’s not the message of the Gospel. The message that is being preached, even drawing a line in the sand, is coming from the text where Jesus actually got down in the sand and drew in the line, drew some of the lines. We don’t even know what he wrote, but it was pretty potent because it had a great effect on those that were around him.”

“Most people just cave when they hear it’s a separation of church and state issue,” Pat said. “It’s so refreshing to see someone take a stand for this.”

It is interesting that the town chose to deny Pastor Dekker’s request under the guise of separation of church and state, but, in reality, the town’s decision has denied the church’s freedom of religion and freedom of assembly found in the First Amendment.

“Did you remind [the city manager] that this has nothing to do with the First Amendment,” Pat asked. “I mean, that the First Amendment reads that Congress shall not make a law respecting the establishment of a religion and this is nothing like that?”

“If you’re walking in the shoes of those that are in the trenches, you know, they’re holding the position, I think people want peace. I think they don’t want to have any controversy,” Pastor Dekker said. “I kind of feel that the reason why we were denied or the reason why that the request, the letter to have a service by the sand was rejected was so that there wouldn’t be any hostility, so that there wouldn’t be any ugliness… I mean, I applaud the guy for wanting to have a beautiful situation. I just believe as a pastor that one of the best things we can do for southern Delaware as well as for the U.S., even for the world is that when you preach the Good News that there is forgiveness, that there is hope, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to God’s mercy he saves us. “

“Let me tell you something, Pastor. Let me tell you something. You communicating the truth is valuable in today’s world. A rare commodity unfortunately,” Glenn said. “I thank you so much, and best of luck to you and stand strong. Thank you so much, Pastor.”

  • snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Good, very good that he is making a stand for what is right.

    If he is arrested or fined, can an link or address be provided to where we can donate to his legal defense fund?

    • Anonymous

       Don’t know.

    • Anonymous

      I will just post it.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if Glenn and team did any background research for this story. You know a few questions like: 1) did you have a pre-permit application meeting with the township? 2) did you bring a member of your congregation who happens to know something about municipal law and Rehoboth beach permits? 3) anybody think of appealing the decision? 4) anybody talk to the solicitor? 5) exactly which part of the municpal Code authorizes/requires a permit? This is how people achieve their intended results in the real world. If this pastor followed these and other steps, then he has a leg to stand on. Otherwise his ridiculously confrontational sermon anouncement makes it more about him, instead of HIM. Until the full backstory is out, my suspicions tell me the good pastor already made up his mind that this would be great publicity for his church–you know, confrontation over Church and State–great way to get five minutes of fame.

    You know Glenn, the beach towns of Rehoboth, Bethany and Dewey allow their bandstands to be used by Christian groups for music and theatrical productions. They are usually quite good as well. The Towns/City do not spend any money on the advertising for these shows ( nor should they) and the groups pay for  security. It is amazing-no one complains about it either.

    • Anonymous

      and it sounds like one bureaucrat in an office somewhere unilaterally made a decision to deny his request, thereby bypassing that procedural maze that you seem to love so much. I can make the argument that this unknown bureaucrat should of informed him that he had to go through the maze, as silly as it is to have to do it in the first place.

      Time for a little civil disobedience?

      • Anonymous

        no one loves the procedural maze–you just have to be prepared to navigate it. To go in naiively is foolish. if on the other hand your intention is to create a story, make a statement, or make a scene, then follow the path that blows up in news coverage. But at least be honest about your intentions.

        I would suggest to you that his reactionary pamphlet announcing his July 4 sermon is at a minimum, an opportunity to increase his exposure. He has decided to politicize his Christian message–clearly his right and his choice. But, it raises questions about his initial motives.

        Moreover, in my opinion, it is just another manifestation of the victim culture that Glenn and his ilk preach against as an outcome of the progressive society. I did not get my permit; so I am gonna stick it in their face; get some media attention with my sermon pamphlet ( really–you dont feel comfortable with the words you chose to put on your pamphlet–then why did  you choose those words? Didn’t Jesus calls us all to give true testimony?) and maybe get escorted off the beach by the police.

        With a little more research, maybe we will all learn the true story here.

    • Bill Rice

      1.  Is the pre-permit application meeting part of the process?  Or are we just stroking someone’s ego here?
      2.  If I don’t happen to have any one in my congregation that knows something about municipal law and Rehoboth Beach permits, does that mean I can’t apply?  Is this foreknowledge part of the process?  Or are we just stroking someone’s ego here?
      3.  It’s the 1st of July.  I am sure he was told he can appeal.  But of course, in the process of stoking someone’s ego here, the appeal hearing will take place WELL AFTER the scheduled start of the event.
      4.  What is a solicitor?  What If I don’t know what a solicitor is?  Is this foreknowledge part of the process?  Or are we just stroking someone’s ego here?
      5.  If I don’t know anything about the municipal code, does this lack of foreknowledge prohibit me from having the service or any assembly?
      I live in a small town like Rehoboth Beach.  I know the drill all to well.  You get some clown act up at Town Hall who thinks he’s/she’s the final word, and if they don’t like or agree with what you’re doing, it’s the small town two-step for you until you get tired of fighting.  Pastor Dekker is right….this is tyranny at it’s best, and we the people are coming around to stand for our discontent.  Pastor Dekker  is in my prayers.  Thank you for standing tall.

      • Anonymous

        Didn’t you know? From your first waking moment in the morning you are supposed to have foreknowledge and be totally in tune with what your betters in government want and desire from you.  

        Never thought of it until a few years ago when a fellow teacher and I were having a conversation about our newly elected president.  Something inspired me to ask him if the first thing he thought of in the morning was: What Would Barack Do?  He said yes, and he was serious.  The conversation went down hill from there.

      • Anonymous

        Ah yes, question Beck and get labeled an egotist.No ego here  bud. The questions I pose are simple ones that I have encountered,like so many other average Americans, as Scout leaders, Church Youth Group leaders and Little League coaches. How to you get a permit to use the park; the gazebo, or whatever is public property.. If the pastor went throught the hoops, as I stated, then he has a beef. But there are no details other than he asked to use the beach for eight weeks to hold his Church Services. My point is there is a bigger story behind this–there usually is. There are no dates or times in the story; perhaps that would be helpful. If you have a plan to use what is otherwise public protected property (police and beach patrol) (as my comments suggests, it is unclear whether the City ordinance or code even requires a permit) and you decide to ask for approval, it is helpful to have a strategy that goes beyond making a spectacle. This could be the decision of one misguided person or it could be the official policy of Rehoboth Beach–perhaps that would be a useful little detail for Glenn’s new journalism team to have ferreted out before broadcast. .

        • Bill Rice

          For the record, I wasn’t labeling you as an egotist.  The ego I refer to is the one belonging to the singular individual who derailed the request.  How can I be sure is was a single individual?  Rehoboth Beach has a population of 1327, 1/20 the size of the town I live in, and in my town there is one individual who can derail things, dependent on the department.  The building inspector: one guy.  The parking coordinator:  one guy.  The town manager:  one guy.  And all it takes is their dislike of you and/or your plans and it’s over.  No redress.  No going over their head.  That is what I meant by ego.  I can tell by your response that you don’t like, Mr Beck, so why are you here?  

          • Anonymous

            I drop by every once in a while and comment when I see Mr. Beck filing an incomplete story or make an outrageous statement.. And on a few occasions, I have even agreed with him. As he encourages debate, I have never understood the reaction of “what are you doing here” (other than wasting your free time?)

             Sorry I misinterpreted the ego comment.

            I agree with you that one person can derail the train–that is why I am interested in the back story, or complete story. I also know that with a little advance planning, and extra work, there is a way to overcome local “rulers”.

            A few facts that I know ( having visited the area regularly for over 30 years); the pastor’s church is in Lewes, just north of Rehoboth–lots of good beach space there; Rehoboth population swells by at least 50,000 on any given summer weekend.  Rehoboth culture not your average beach town; a combination of rock and roll/country bar band, family restaurants and a substantial gay vacation destination location all wrapped into one place. My guess is the pastor was going for impacting the crowd factor by holding services off the boardwalk.He can also hold his services on the beach in Bethany Beach, just south of Rehoboth, a town founded as a Christian retreat. I know, I held my wife’s memorial on the beach there.

          • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    No church services on public land. This land is owned by the people, not just Christian nut jobs. Get a church.

    • Sam Fisher

      Yes it is public land moron that means we Christians can say whatever we want. Even tho you Obama worshipers don’t want that but it is called the first Amendment get used to it nut job.

      • Hoodoo H

        It is a Right given to us by Our FATHER in Heaven.

        • Anonymous

          And enshrined in The Constitution of the United States in the 1st Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
          So it seems to me that the local government is wrong on at least 2 counts according to the 1st Amendment. First, they cannot prohibit free speech, even and especially religious speech. Second, they cannot prohibit the right of the people to peaceably assemble, especially on public land since it is owned by the We The People, NOT government! So bravo Pastor, go get em. The Constitution supports you all the way. 

    • Anonymous

      We are part of the people. 
      Why are you so frightened of us, we mean no harm to you, live how you like and take whatever benefits and consequences that come with it.

      But….I think I know where you are coming from.  

      You can pass all the laws that you want, make all the policies you want that deny Christians our rights.  But here, deep down, is what frightens you. As it should, or maybe it should comfort you, who knows, thats up to you. 

      Here it is, you can make our prayers illegal, you can punish us for them, but you can’t stop us. You have no way of knowing if I am praying, and maybe praying for you, standing right in your midst, right next to you.

      If you are hostile to Christianity, yes, it may well frighten you.  Be frightened if you want, some of you make a profession of it.  But we won’t stop, and you can’t stop us from praying right in your midst.  And you know it.

      • Anonymous

        So well said, bubba2020.  Thanks!

        • Anonymous

          thank you

    • Anonymous

      You Should be on your hands and Knees for Godly Men made this Country For the sole purpose of Spreading Gospel OF Jesus Christ and Christians are part of it so Your infriging on Our Right to praise God anywhere we want God be the Glory! The land is for the People not a select group or groups except when it comes to Christians then the Haters come out of the wood work.

    • Anonymous

      The people who would attend this service are taxpayers too! Why should they be denied to assemble together to use the beach for their peaceful gathering? No one is insisting that EVERYONE in the area must attend or even pause to listen to what is going on should they happen to stroll by the location of this assembly.

      Groups meet all the time on public beaches and in public parks in designated (for the day) areas. Why should this group be denied access? They are NOT trying to impose their beliefs on you and if you don’t want to hear their glorious worship and “good news” of their faith…don’t join this assembling! That is your right!

    • Janet Sherlock

      What is public land, if not to be used by the public?  The public is made up of many people with a variety of religious beliefs. Public land should be there to accommodate many uses for all people. I can see the reason for a permit but denial of a permit should never be based on religion. Public land is not just for atheists.  As for the “Christian nut jobs” remark:John 15: 18-26 and 16:1-4. says it all.

    • Anonymous

      I’m praying our Lord will reveal himself to you critten.  He knows you, and he loves you, but he will not force you to love him, or to try to know him.  I do suggest you try.  

    • Anonymous

      Accidentally hit hte “like” button.  Sorry folks.  But the land is, as you say, public land.  That gives Christian citizens as much right as athiest citizens or Muslim citizens to use the space.  And Christians have as much right to speak freely as any other segment of society.  THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!!!  I suggest you read the First Amendment for enlightenment.

    • greywolfrs

      B S, if one can get a permit to hold a gathering, for any reason, then this is acceptable also. Just change back to the strtlk account, you aren’t fooling anyone, sticky chin.

  • Sam Fisher

    John 15: 18-26 and 16:1-4. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words spoke to you: no servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates the father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their law: they hated me without reason.
    When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the father, the spirit of truth who goes out from the father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
    All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.

    • Anonymous

      For sure.  That is right on.

  • landofaahs

    I always thought it was dumb to have to get a permit to exercise your free speech rights.  That seems quite contrary.

  • Anonymous

    if i would be in the area, i soooo would be there for sure
    in addition i would encurage the Pastor to sue the City Manager for denying you 1st Amendment right ,free speech and peaceful assembly

  • Anonymous

    Pastor I will be praying for you And All Godly Men of God Pray for this Pastor Amen Brother we must stop this Separation of Church and Sate once and for All.

  • Anonymous

    Every Christian within a twenty mile radious should attend this service. No church group should ever be asked to take out a permit to use a public beach.

    • Jaamoose

      No church group should ever be granted a permit to use a public beach…

      • Anonymous

        Guessing you weren’t invited.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps you need to visit an European socialist country for a few months.  Then see if you feel the same way about not supporting The Constitution and the rights it guarantees ALL of us! Or . . . perhaps you will want to move there permanently . . . we will surely MISS you!!!

    • Anonymous

      I hope the cops haul em off

      • Anonymous

        That may be the best thing that could happen. It won’t go over well for the politicians of the area. Good, I hope the cops try and arrest 20,000 people!

      • Anonymous

        Part of the First Amendment sir……..Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF;
        Whether private or public.
        How apropos your name is!

    • jeff javins

      150 radious  amen

    • Summer R. Newman

      what Susan replied I am dazzled that people can earn $6295 in
      one month on the computer. did you read this webpage w­w­w.C­a­n9­9.c­o­m

    • Anonymous

      If he can do this, I am sure you will be ok with devil worshipers using the same beach, right?

      • Anonymous

        I am certain they will welcome you.

  • Cynthia Welch Rizzo

    Our church in Hollywood Florida has beach services quite often … here is a youtube video of Sheridan Hills Baptist, Hollywood, Florida. 

  • Cynthia Welch Rizzo

    My church, Sheridan Hills Baptsit, in Hollywood, Florida has beach service quite often …

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I am sorry Pastor Decker is not more outraged.  Not looking for violence, but Christians need to firmly stand our ground.  If we do not, we will eventually either disappear or face martyrdom.  This is happening daily in Africa, China, North Korea and other countries.  Do not think religious persecution cannot happen in the USA.

    • Anonymous

      Agree.  We see it becoming a real problem for the socialists, so guess what?  they do away with the Christians.  They don’t have to worry we’ll be leaving soon enough, and they can have this sick society and the country they have made.

  • Anonymous

    By issuing this ruling, the city is engaging in what it claims to not want to happen. For the state to be seperate from the church, it cannot have a say in where the church chooses to assemble (provided that the church is not tresspassing on private property). The city was correct in referencing the first admendment, but applied it incorrectly. The first admendment was written to guard against such rulings

  • Anonymous

    Deny the Church but let the fags promote their deviant behavior all they want. Yep. Makes total sense.

    • Jaamoose

      That is so christian of you….

      • Anonymous

        Funny how there is never any talk of the Rev. Jesse Jackson (illegitimate child), the Rev. Al Sharpton (hate speech), Rev. Jeremiah Wright (hate speech), etc,etc,etc. lack of Christian ethics, and they are ALL Reverends!  Why do you suppose that is? 

        • Jaamoose

          From what I’ve seen there is plenty of talk about all of them, in fact, you might say some are obsessed…

          • Anonymous

            You’re having delusions, no doubt.  There are doctors for that.  Good luck.

      • Anonymous

        I have a feeling you know very little, if anything, about “being christian!”  In addition, when you and your ilk have accomplished the total destruction of this country, just remember there is no place in the world left to go that has enjoyed the freedoms promised to citizens of this country.  Guess you won’t know that you will miss it until you don’t have it anymore!

  • Ian Cochran

    I am not a religious person but that is ridiculous.

  • greywolfrs

    Hmmm, citing seperation is a B S way to not grant the permit. Seperation has nothing to do with any “church group” getting a permit to hold a function. As it is public land, everyone has a right to use it. No permit should be denied, unless someone else got there first.

  • Jaamoose

    The Christo-nuts just don’t get it. Preach all you want in church, day, night, etc…don’t do it in the public square. Simple enough. 

  • Mike Barnes

    Uhh, you idiots in Delaware, it would be a violation of the First Amendment ESTABLISHMENT clause to mandate a sermon there by a government official. You are violating the Constitution by FORBIDDING him to speak there.  Go ahead, arrest him! Fascists!   

  • MSGCincinatus

    I’m so sick of the direction this country is headed. How in the He[[ does a sermon, given on the beach to a congregation of like minded people have anything to do with separation of church and state? What ever happened to freedom of religion (not freedom FROM religion)? I really despise this administration and its supporters, the Dhimmikrats. Pelosi wants to recognize and celebrate Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights for the 4th of July Celebrations. What a sick witch!

  • Anonymous

    Im going to make the 2.5-3hr journey with my gf this Thursday. Ive got other plans and Ive never been to Rehoboth Beach, but its crucial that we support this pastor. He is really putting himself out there. If you think its right that American citizens should have to seek the allowance of the government (allowance that they will not grant) to preach the gospel peacibly on public land, to exercise our first Amendment rights, then dont go. If you understand that its time to “draw a line” then join me. Let us worship the Lord and be faithful witnesses to others.

    There is no ‘seperation of church and state’. That phrase does not appear in the US Constitution look back through history and look at how prior generations conducted themselves regarding public displays and expressions of faith, couple that with the true language of the law, then you will have a clear understanding of its intent if you were ever really interested in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    In the book of Acts, chapter 5, Peter was faced with a similar problem. The legal/political elite told him to shut up and not preach/teach in the name of Jesus but Peter responded by doing exactly what God told him to – preaching boldly right in the temple, the center of town. Even after being imprisoned. His response to them was “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
    God bless you Pastor and may He annoint your service on the 4th!

  • Take 2

    Officer Bear e ey!, may your hens never lay
    May the rats eat your mail
    May your testicles fail
    Officer Bear e ey!, may you have a bad day
    Bear e ey! May your wife run away
    With a Tea Party Dude eh! ranger.

    Cruisin’ down Sunset Boulevard

    Takin’ it easy, wasn’t thinkin’ too hard

    All of a sudden in the mirror, behind me

    Red lights flashin’, Lord, it liked to blind me.

    It was Badge 140, LAPD

    Motorcycle cop, he was capturing me

    With his boots, black an’ shiny an’ his headlight a storm

    Would’ve been happy if he’d let me alone.

    Well, I had me some IRS forms I thought paid…?

    Sure made him happy, that Officer Bear e ey!

    Put the cuffs on me an’ he took me to jail

    Where is my lawyer? Won’tcha get me my bail?Officer Bear e ey!, may you have a bad day
    Bear e eh!  May your wife run away
    With a Tea Party ey ranger.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm having listened to the Pastors Interview, I have to say, Im encouraged that he is taking a stand, but Im little taken a back at how soft he is. Nobody is talking about starting a civil war pastor, we are talking about standing firmly on principle and refusing to be persecuted and silenced. Its very strange that he is taking this stance and yet seems so incredibly soft and unegagued at the same time. I suppose thats the Pesbyterian influence? (No offense to Pesbyterians). Jesus was said to have spoken with great authority. He even flipped the tables at the temple whip in hand. Id like to see a little more confidence and tenacity coupled with the gentle loving appeal or else Im afraid that no one will be willing to listen. Your the decendant of immigrants under the Nazi occupation, and im the decendant of pilgrims who established the spirit of the nation. Regardless of our differences; God bless you brother, my prayers be with you.

  • Anonymous

    Pat missed the most important part, “nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It is against The Constitution to deny this church from having a service on the beach. We The People can talk about our religious beliefs any damned place we desire. That includes schools, beaches, government buildings, the military, etc, etc. I don’t know about you all but I have just about had quite enough of the unconstitutional BS coming from just about all levels of government in American today. Maybe the Pastor is right, it is time to draw a line in the sand!

    • Jaamoose

      Draw all the reactionary lines you want, but the rest of us won’t let fundamentalists run this country!

      • Anonymous

        Whether you like it or not Jaamoose, Christianity IS, or shall I say was, the very foundation of our Republic. As Glen would say, go do your homework. Obviously you didn’t while you were in school. Taking a little American history would serve you well. 

  • Anonymous

    I bet the main reason the permit was denied was because of fear that gays at the gay beach in Rehoboth would be offended.  They need to hear the truth.  So my prayers are with the Pastor.

  • Margaret Mazur

    I wish I could join the pastor, I hope he gets a crowd so big they won’t want such bad publicity!

  • Anonymous

    I think the Wickens would never have been banned,so why not Christians? This is our land too.Good luck..

  • Stephen L Kaiser

    The City manager may be right.  He can’t give the church permission, any more than he can deny them.  As I read the “written response” the city manager says “he can’t grant permission.”  He does not say he denies permission, because he knows he can’t deny permission.

  • Anonymous

    How far in advance did the squatters in lower Manhattan have to apply for thier permits?

  • Anonymous

    I glory in your spunk.  As far as I am concerned it is still a free country, along with speech.  Why is he being made to do this?  Another way to silence the Christians.  Everyone should attend and sing unto the Lord.  I am behind you.  We Christians need to stand for what we believe in or we stand for nothing.  Amen!!

  • Anonymous

    I pray the community will support Pastor Dekker.   We are blessed to live a relative free country.  

  • Jaamoose

    This guy is asking to use this beach for his own church purposes for eight weeks….the person telling him no is doing exactly the right thing and should be applauded. 

  • Anonymous

    The pastor should arrive at the beach at low tide in a small boat then give his sermon from below the high tide line. The beach below the average high tide line is not owned by state, municipality, or private parties. And it would be a nice parallel to the sermon at the Sea of Galillee.

    A confrontation with the municipality might make a point, but if the Pastor were to arrive from the sea, and stay below the high tide line, it would be a very interesting precedent.

  • Paul Marks

    Opponents of the First Amendment (and religious freedom generally) argued that people were free to worship in their own homes  – as long as they did not parade their nonstandard beliefs in public. The young James Madison was shocked by the way the State in Virginia persecuted religious dissenters who dared to hold their services in public. In short the authorities in Delaware are twisting the First Amendment 180 degrees to pretend it forbids the very thing it was passed to defend – the place of religion in the public square (Jefferson letter to the Baptists which includes the words “separation of church and state” does not deny that – it affirms it). Everyone should support this pastor’s right to hold his July 4th service in public – this is indeed part of the “Black Robed Regiment” who inspired July 4th 1776.

  • Pure Evidence

    To answer your question Glenn on where are the Christian’s? We are doing 24/7 prayer all over this country in House’s of Prayers. For 40 days Washington DC’s House of Prayer did 40 DAYS of Worship & Prayer on the Ellipse of the White House just before election day, with worship leaders from all over America. They are working on another for this yr. 50 straight hrs of Worship & Praise music on Fremont St in Las Vegas. And the house of prayer here in Henderson, NV are now doing Worship & Prayer in Hotel/Casinos on the strip of Las Vegas. We’re standing and working behind the scenes Glenn :)

  • Anonymous

    Who the heck applies for a permit to throw a gathering at a beach? Seems the pastor was just looking for someone to say this whole thing violated church and state by doing that. The beach being a public place where anyone can go no matter what time of day and for whatever reason means he and his congregation could just show up without any problems. Now because of all the publiciy the whole things could get out of hand rather quickly.

  • niny

    No where in the Constitution will you find the phrase ‘ Separation of Church and State’ that phrase
    was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbery Baptist Association fom Danbury Co.who were concerned that the ‘New Country’ would have a State religion.Jefferson,in his letter assured them that ‘a wall of separation’ was a protection to ALL denaminations fro
    m the infringment of goverment into the freedom of worship.
    A very intersting thing has occurred.The fad of Separation of Church and State has been pushed begining in 1966.Let’s take a look at what has happend in education:In 1940 the problems most complained by teaches about the students were:students talking out of turn,chewing gum in class,being noise in class,running in halls.In 1990 their complain became:Drug abuse which includs alcohol,pregnancy,suicide and rape.Here we are in 2013,whore we now?? Oh yes,let’s keep any faithout of the minds of our kids.!!!

  • Anonymous

    There are more of us than there are of them. Why do we cower so. “Greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world”. ” FEAR NOT!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Glenn for hosting our former pastor on your show. We have great respect for Robert Dekker who labored many hour with my husband & I to ” Grow us up in the LORD “, as well as marrying us. This makes us want to get on a plane to attend the service!!
       Every time I hear such nonsense about church & state, I want to ask that person, ” How can you hold a public office & be so clueless about the meaning of something you use to make decisions with?!!! Go read up in the history books about what the separation of church & state really means and what that was intended to protect & call me back!!! .” God Bless you, Robert! Thanks for being a great example to those you teach & serve!!

  • Anonymous

     Maybe you should attend the service to meet Pastor Dekker for yourself. You will find a man with a very humble heart and pure motives!
    he’s not looking for 5 mins. of fame but he does trust GOD to put him in front of the people he is suppose to share his message with! Sounds to me like you live in a constant state of suspicion & mistrust. Maybe you should pray about that. God doesn’t need the city manager’s permission or to navigate the procedural maze to get things done. I’m just saying……

    • Anonymous

      I would be curious to hear one of his sermons–I will not be on the beach over the Fourth. I never professed to know or judge this man’s heart and I most certainly do not live in a state of suspicion and mistrust; just an average guy who gets to deal with local and state buereaucrats occasionally; and accordingly road weary of the experience.

      The subsequently published article in the Cape Gazette sheds a little light on the situation. For one thing, it suggests that an individual who occasionally attends Pastor Dekker’s Church is the organizer of the July 4 event; Pastor Dekker has been invited to speak there and as of press time, had not decided, but was leaning towrds speaking.

       I do however know a set up when i see one. The organizer wants a confrontation; Beck is encouraging people to join the confrontation. The Beck piece suggested that Pastor Dekker was the organizer of the July 4 event; hence I saw the Pastor as opportunist.  Like the additional facts (assuming they are accurate) from the newspaper are helpfu, so are your heartfelt words about your formaer pastor.

      The Beck piece also left out a few important details–consistent for Beck–that the Cape Gazette helped to put the story in context. The permit application was for the bandstand in downtown Rehoboth near the boardwalk. Denial of a pemit for Church Services there seems like a straight forward interpretaiton of long standing Supreme Court precedent. No one on this blog site may agree with that precedent, but once articulated, state local and federal government branches are supposed to adhere to it.  The post hoc request for the use of the beach is a different question; 1) who “owns” the beach? 2) does Rehoboth even issue permits for any beach activities? 3) is there a minimum  number of people that triggers the need for a permit? If the City Manager’s solicitor told the City Manager, no Church Services on the beach due to the law, what is a city manager to do? it is surprising to me that there is no report of any further meeting witht he City offcials to try to work this out. Instead, it went right to protest.

      While God does not need a permit, and indeed, it is still unclear to me whether Pastor Dekker needed one in the first place, those of us who walk the earth in the United States still have to follow the laws of man. Pastor Dekker’s congregant objects to Rehoboth’s interpretation of its laws, so he is protesting; which is his right. if the Rehoboth police determine the crowd size is an issue, and otherwise subject to permit requirements, the organizer might get shut down. Either way, he will have made his point.

  • Anonymous

    ( in response to Jaamoose)

     I’m so sorry for your ignorance!!

  • Lynn Madden

    Granting a permit (which shouldn’t even be required) to hold a church service on the beach  is not “mixing church and state”.  Just like granting other groups permits for things doesn’t mix state with whatever the group stands for. 

    The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Denying the permit seems like “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” to me.   This Constitutional right is often misquoted and/or misapplied.

  • Samuel Frisco

    there is a lot that should be said about this, but the world is being blind by the evil forces of this world right now, it is ok with the world to have there little shows of gay right’s and killing babies, and everything else but talk about God they don’t want to hear the truth, about what is going to happen when Jesus returns, the only thing they want to hear is nothing about the Lord who has saved them from hell,,
     The time will come when they will hear what God has to say , and no one can stop that, and what and what are they going to say hey Jesus you can’t do that on the beach that Your Father made for us lol.I strongly believe that the United States is on the road to Hell !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

  • Anonymous

  • Vickie Pius-Sullivan

    Our religious freedom is being swept away. We must come together in prayer and numbers to overcome the devil. We should start with local government. I would like any ideas on how to get the Pledge of Allegiance back into the schools as well as a moment of  prayer or reflection.  

  • CBFordz

    I don’t thing that city manager understands “separation of church and state”….idiot.

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