Gail Blair, a blind Christian woman, was recently banned from a local park.
The reason? She dared to hand out pocket versions of the Gospel of John.
But those local officials are now regretting their action now that her lawyers are involved.
Gail Blair isn’t a nuisance to her Rhode Island community.
She’s not unkind or threatening.
Yet she was recently banned from a local park for this one reason – she publicly shared her faith in Jesus.
Blair is blind from a genetic condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, but she’s made it her mission to help others see the truth.
So, she regularly went to her local park to share the good news of the Gospel and hand out copies of the Gospel of John to anyone who was interested.
Blair has confessed that she was once spiritually blind, like those she meets in the park, but now she walks in the light of Christ.
“As my vision faded, I came to see more clearly that we are born again through Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” she said.
“The one thing that sustained me through the devastation of my progressive vision loss was the fact that I had, since 1984, an established, deep, personal relationship with my Lord, Jesus Christ.”
“Despite my blindness, my deep and abiding faith gave [me] purpose in life,” Blair continued. “I have always done my best to care for others.”
Blair was a nurse before her blindness forced her to prematurely retire. Now, she seeks to be a spiritual nurse of sorts.
“Now I care for others in what I feel is an even more important sense, by bringing the good news of the Gospel to others so they can have eternal life.”
Blair has found that going to the park is a great way to meet new people and introduce them to Jesus.
But she has never coerced people into accepting Jesus, acting only when they profess interest.
“From time to time I attempt to start a conversation with passersby, and if they are willing, I offer them a copy of the Gospel of John and explain my beliefs,” Blair said.
“I do not follow people and harangue them,” she stated. “I do not argue with those who wish to end any conversation I might initiate.”
“I have had many positive interactions with men and women that I’ve met in this way.”
Most of those who’ve met Blair and talked with her in the park would say the same thing: that they enjoyed talking with her and never felt put off by her Christian presence.
But once the park managers found out what she was doing, they threatened to arrest her and unjustly banned her from the park, complaining that Blair’s witness was “combative” and unlawful.
The park’s management even banned Blair from entering a local library as well, even though she had never discussed Jesus within the building!
Now, Blair is filing suit with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, asserting that the park committed “unlawful discrimination…on the basis of my disability and my religious beliefs.”
“I respectfully request that the Commission intercede and require the [park] to make amends…and to permit me to return to the park and library to make full use of its accommodations and services.”
Blair doesn’t want to make trouble, but she knows it’s important to assert her right to have “peaceful, civil, and non-confrontational conversations about Jesus.”
Can you imagine a world in which any of us could be arrested for mentioning Jesus in public?
First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal organization that fights to preserve religious freedom in America, will defend Blair in the lawsuit.
Jeremy Dys, one of Blair’s lawyers, boldly said that the Rhode Island park was in the wrong.
“Banning a blind woman from entering a public park simply because she offers people she meets religious material is outrageous and discriminatory,” Dys stated.
“No government entity should ban anyone—let alone a gentle, blind woman—for simply carrying on conversations about her faith and giving them a copy of the Gospel of John in a public park.”
Please pray for Blair as she fights for her religious freedoms against Rhode Island’s discrimination!
Her case could have grave repercussions for religious liberty all across the country.