Anti-Religious Asbury Park City Council Violated Constitution,  Unwittingly Supported Hate and Neglected Black People

By Thomas DeSeno


Asbury Park Democrat Chairman Giuseppe Joe Grillo, Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, Tommy DeSeno and Mayor John Moor. photo via facebook

The Asbury Park City Council, using government letterhead, made a declaration opposing a religious belief.  Government can no more denounce a religious belief than they can endorse one, without violating the 1st Amendment Establishment Clause.  They then went on an illegal bullying campaign against a Pastor.  So caught up in a mob-induced false narrative of gossip, they ignored that the Pastor was bringing financial relief to the Westside black community, something all City Councils failed to do for 50 years.

Pastor JD Shuttlesworth scheduled a weeklong “Festival of Life” here, as he does in poor communities across America, handing out cash cards, groceries, even a car.  He celebrates Jesus while doing so. He wanted to serve Asbury Park’s poor black community as he did in Camden.  The applicant for the permit to use Bradley Park was local Pastor Lyddale Akins, who was jointly sponsoring the event.

Unfortunately Asbury Park has an “outrage team.”  It is comprised mostly of middle-class white people who commit cultural appropriation, pretending to be marginalized.  They constantly protest whatever is in the news that week, outrageous or not.  They are inorganic. Different protests, same gang “virtue signaling” every time.

One of them started gossip that Shuttlesworth preaches hate against gays.  This triggered the outrage team.  They started false and heinous rumors, portraying this man as the second coming of Jim Jones. The City bought it.

They said Shuttlesworth is a Bible Belt Evangelical (a dog whistle to the virulently anti-Christian).  He’s actually a Pentecostal from Pennsylvania. While his religion believes  gay sex is a sin, stating that dogma isn’t “hate;” just as other pastors stating sodomy committed by straight people is sinful, is also not “hate.”

Be clear: Nothing compels me to agree with or defend Shuttlesworth here.  I’m not. That isn’t the point.  It’s Ok for every person, business, church and political officeholder to protest the Pastor’s religion. Have at it, if that’s your way.  But you know who is not free to protest his religion?  The Government itself.  If Government condemns some dogma you end up with a state religion of dogma not condemned, violating the Establishment Clause. That’s the point.

Pastor JD Shuttleworth preaching in Asbury Park


Let’s tell this story chronologically.  It spans about 96 hours. Its antagonists are the City Council, 3 local Pastors and the outrage team.   Let’s see how the rumors of one person from the outrage team quickly seduced the City Council to become a Star Chamber of religious intolerance and turned 3 local Pastors who joined them into Christian apostates and bullies.

The Wednesday before the Sunday the festival began, a City Councilperson who had been told an outrage team member claimed Shuttlesworth was homophobic, made a phone call to the City Manager. That Council member inquired what could be done about Shuttlesworth, and the manager responded that they should get a Special Events Permit for a protest.   That night the outrage team held a panic meeting to plan that protest, in league with a representative of the City.  The following morning (Thursday) the City Council issued their government position attacking the Pastor’s “rhetoric” on homosexual sex.  Let’s pause the chronology to look at that.

The “rhetoric” is one YouTube video, with Shuttlesworth sermonizing in church, citing his religion’s dogma that gay sex (not simply being gay) is a sin.  I have made dozens of requests of the City, the outrage team and their supporters  to show any other videos, and they can’t (most couldn’t cite that video, stating only they heard gossip the Pastor was bad). So the City Council issued a government position, condemning a church sermon about a religious belief, which is illegal for them to do.

Back to the chronology.  The next morning (Friday), the outrage team issued a statement that their protest would likely be in Atlantic Park, adjacent to Bradley Park.   To rent a park in Asbury, one must apply, get scheduled for a council meeting, be reviewed by the Special Events Committee, have a public comment session and win the council vote.  It takes about 45 days or longer.

Not so when the City itself is secretly planning the event for you.  Friday afternoon the outrage team walked into City Hall with an application and walked out with a one day permit.  The City Council wasn’t there.  The City Manager was at a meeting in Trenton.  But the City Manager gave word to a clerk to hand them a permit (normally he legally he can, but since this was his idea, it probably wasn’t legal due to a conflict of interest). Let’s stop the chronology again to look at that very moment.

The application was in the name of the owner of a concert sound company.  Why?  He has the biggest speakers in town to drown out the Pastor.  But the permit wasn’t issued to him.  It was issued to a non-existent entity called “Rally of Love.”  Since no such thing exists, the taxpayers are on the hook for liabilities.  For insurance, the President of the Chamber of Commerce has a business and tried to use hers, with a declaration page insuring the park and the City.  The problem is, if she didn’t tell her insurance company she was neither the applicant nor the permit holder, they will deny all claims, again leaving the taxpayer footing the bill for lawsuits.

The $1,500 fee to rent the park has not been paid.  Also, the outrage team used the park not 1 day like their “permit” said; the City let them use it 5 days.  They owe the taxpayers $7,500.00, and they aren’t paying it. I suggest the Homeowners Association take them and the City Council to court for it.

Back to the chronology.  By Saturday, Pastor Lyddale Akin was brow-beaten by the outrage team into pulling out as co-sponsor of Shuttlesworth’s Festival of Life. Who could blame him.  The outrage team are bullies.  Privately, businesses are expressing a fear of saying no to the outrage team’s constant demands for money or donations. With social media, they can start an online propaganda campaign, create posters and protest you near instantaneously.  Scarier, the City Council joins every protest, thus legitimizing them, while media reports on them dutifully.   The outrage team can conduct a digital Kristallnacht against your business or church at any time using this neo-fascist method. #Love though –  it says so on all their signs.

On Sunday, who was on the stage with giant speakers drowning out a Pastor preaching Gospel and handing out gifts to primarily poor blacks?  A City Council majority. It was their gig, from the idea of it, to planning, to greasing the permit, to the protest. It’s wrong, and I supported Mayor Moor and Deputy Mayor Quinn in their every election. I still admire and support them, noting that in this instance, they didn’t guard themselves from the impetuousness and groupthink of the outrage team.

The outrage team also claimed the City encouraged people to make noise complaints and bring Shuttlesworth to court, calling it “a new form of protest,” thus using our Municipal Judge as a weapon against a religion.  Government gone wild. Good grief.

Gays rightfully spent years fighting the government power to value some people less than others.  Now that some gays are in Asbury Park’s government,  they used government power to devalue Shuttlesworth.  I’ve always supported gays being themselves.  Some gays in Asbury don’t want Shuttlesworth to be himself. They want him to be exactly like them. #Diversity, I guess. Don’t accuse me of being too broad.  I know we’ve had gays on Asbury Park’s City Council in the past who didn’t act like this.

We have to talk about 3 Pastors: Pastor Friedel of Shore Christian Church, the Rev. Dr. Vanzant of Second Baptist Church and Reverend Harris of the AME Zion Church.  They stood onstage to protest Shuttlesworth for espousing that gay sex is a sin.  Hypocrisy alert:  All three of their churches have Christian dogma that holds gay sex is a sin.  They protested what they believe to be the Word of the Lord. Look Pastors –  I get your fear of the outrage team.  I also know that Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crowed, but at least he cried bitterly when he did.  And the Romans had swords.

Other Protestant churches in Asbury Park also say gay sex is a sin, as well as two Catholic Churches and the Mosque on Ridge Avenue.  I don’t see the City Council, the outrage team or these 3 Pastors protesting Mt. Carmel or Holy Spirit Church.  Of course they’d never picket the Mosque –  that would counter too many Democrat talking points in an election year.

Let me tell you something else Pastors Friedel, Vanzant and Harris – you’re bullies. Imagine justifying to your Youth Ministries what your consorts did to Shuttlesworth and the bullying you supported by standing with them:  They spread lies that Shuttlesworth is a pedophile, a drug addict, shows infidelity to his wife,  has sex with strangers in bathrooms and is gay (something wrong with being gay?).  They  claim to be mailing annoyances to his Church. They had children as young as 6 tearing down Shuttlesworth’s posters so poor people couldn’t find out free groceries were available. They harassed businesses who had the posters.  They went online and made fun of Shuttlesworth’s children and his family’s clothes. #Love? You teach this?  You let yourselves become this. Where’s your decency?

Pastors, you helped drown out a sermon in the public square instead of promoting listening and dialogue. Giant speakers were used against him. The outrage team tried to have bagpipes,  bands,  noisemakers  and drum circles to stop his sermon from his west. From his east, The Beach Bar’s DJ turned up his volume to drown out the sermon. They also surrounded him, driving cars around Bradley Park with radios on full. You pastors drowned out a sermon.  #Christian?

You didn’t just surround Shuttlesworth, you came at him from above. The outrage team reported that the Asbury Hotel, whose owners iStar are partners in contracts with the City, threw colored confetti onto Shuttlesworth’s crowd from their roof. The bullies laughed online when the primarily poor black crowd first began to cower from not knowing what it was. I know what it was – litter-trespass-assault-impoliteness-annoyance. It’s all iStar. It’s all the City. And it’s you 3 intemperate Pastors, too. #Welcoming?

Here is what Christianity expects from you, Pastors.  You should issue an apology to Shuttlesworth for what you and your co-adventurers did to him and his family while visiting Asbury Park.  You can keep your distance from his ministry; you owe an apology to his humanity.  But I expect less from you. Christianity expects you to never partner with the outrage team again.  But I expect less from you.

Christian Fuscarino of Garden State Equality. file photo

Another bad actor here was Garden State Equality, the LGBT activist group whose head, Christian Fuscarino, is on the outrage team.    Last year Fuscarino was on stage with some of these same Pastors, and nearly summoned the courage to bring up their Churches’ stance on gays.  He should have, but he chickened.  Last week he teamed with them again, knowing they believe the same as Shuttlesworth.  But the mob targeted only Shuttlesworth, therefore so did he.  Garden State Equality has an anti-bullying campaign.  Maybe you should attend one of the meetings, Fuscarino.

Fuscarino had an ugly display of Christo-phobia while Shuttlesworth was here, but also showed a callous disregard for the black community.  It was selfish.  Mr. Fuscarino, let me tell you and the 3 Pastors what is meant by “Black Lives Matters:”  You have 10 fingers.  If one is cut and bleeding, at that moment, that finger matters. Not that the rest don’t, but that finger needs particular redress. Shuttlesworth saw that poor blacks in Asbury’s Westside both matter and need redress.  But Garden State Equality couldn’t stand the sight of some marginalized group getting attention on a day they were not. Selfishly, it must always be about them. So they tore at a Pastor bearing gifts – poor blacks receiving those gifts be damned. The City Council helped. I know none of you intended racism, but reckless actions have unintended consequences, like de facto racism.  #InstitutionalRacism?

Fuscarino is useless to gays anyway.  After Omar Mateen pledged his support to the Islamic State and killed 49 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Garden State Equality immediately issued a statement of solidarity –  with Islam. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) recently reported there are 8 countries in the world that put gays to death and 5 more who legally can, and all 13 use Islamic law to do it. They reported zero non-Islamic country killing gays.

ILGA doesn’t bring that up because they are  Islamophobic.  ILGA doesn’t bring it up to say all Muslims are bad.  Simply put Mr. Fuscarino, no LGBT advocate should show “solidarity” with Islam with that being the state of their world, while also viciously attacking a Christian who says gay sex is a sin. Your loyalty lies not with gays, but with the Democrat talking point that believes votes can be gained by calling everyone else Islamophobic. So you pledged solidarity to Omar Mateen’s inspiration and threw gays not under the bus, but off the roof (the preferred method for killing gays in 13 countries).

Probably the hardest part to understand was criticism of a Pastor giving away money, when criticism is usually reserved for Pastors asking for money.  When the owner of Johnnie Mac’s bar walked around Asbury last Christmas handing out tens of thousands of dollars in gift cards, all these same people praised him.  Shuttlesworth was simply doing the same in June. Is this hatred because he is a preacher? Asbury Park was named after a circuit preacher, much like Shuttlesworth is one.  What has happened to this City?

I telephoned Pastor Shuttlesworth.  I found a man who was magnanimous toward his haters.  Even the government.  He spoke only of his thrill to be able to preach to the people in Asbury Park and lift them.  I tried to bait him into complaints about his detractors and he would only express his love for them.  He praised our police.  He rarely brings up homosexual sex in his sermons. It is unfortunate that became the hyperbolic scream of his Asbury Park protestors. He told me he is used to it.  In today’s world, wherever he preaches, an anti-Christian bias appears in protest.  He still loves them.

That conversation made me reflect upon the state of Asbury Park.  Since when do we believe that people are only one thing?  It is wrong to label people “all good” and “all bad.”  It is wrong to find one thing we disagree with about someone, then label them “all bad.”  Certainly someone who holds one trait we dislike can have a thousand others we do.  Certainly a person with whom we disagree with in one area is also capable of many good deeds.  Isn’t that the point of diversity, even multiculturalism?  What happens to love if one disagreement triggers hate?

To the 3 Pastors, I ask you to recall the story of Cyrus from the Bible – which reveals to us that  God will even call upon a heathen to do good works. You could have supported Shuttlesworth in his quest to help the poor while disagreeing with him in other areas.

So what can be done?  Someone could file a complaint with the State Department of Community Affairs against the City Council.  This isn’t the first time this has happened in Asbury.  Last September the outrage team held a rally that protested a political party, where only officials from the Democrat Party were allowed to speak.  It turned into a rally against white people, America and the President. Yet two of the sponsors were the Asbury Park School District and The Asbury Park Housing Authority, and they had officials on stage.  Government entities can’t do that! Government entities can’t join political rallies!  Asbury’s constant mixing of Government and activism is out of control.

Maybe if the Publisher of the only daily newspaper around here wasn’t so busy accepting community service awards from the very same people that he should be investigating/reporting about, he might file a complaint with the DCA.

But forget that complaint.  I hate seeing people jammed up. I say to the City Council there is a better way.  Start by issuing a withdrawal of your government statement.  Apologize to Shuttlesworth for how he was treated as a visitor.  You can stay away from his ministry, but like the Pastors, you owe an apology to his humanity.  Unlike the Pastors, I have higher expectations of you and believe that you will.   The other thing that you MUST do is avoid letting activists use the Government as a tool.  It’s illegal.  Stop it.  Tell the outrage team the City Council is going to take a break from the constant protests in town. Leave activism to the activists.

All that’s left is for me to ask Pastor Shuttlesworth to pray for me, because I know what  happens when someone holds a minority view in this City these days.  Instead of inspiring dialogue and healing, I’ll receive hate, public humiliation and excoriation. The gentleness and love Blue Bishops once held for each other is gone, replaced by gentrifying newcomers whose spirit is based not upon compassion, but ill-will and glory-seeking.

I hope instead the outrage team will reflect upon my motto:  Politics is a tiny part of who we are – never let it stop you from enjoying the rest of a person.

Tommy De Seno is an attorney, a journalist and a contributor to the website Ricochet.com



Posted: July 9th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Christianity, Monmouth County News, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

19 Comments on “Anti-Religious Asbury Park City Council Violated Constitution,  Unwittingly Supported Hate and Neglected Black People”

  1. Dirty Hippie said at 10:29 pm on July 9th, 2018:

    Yawn. Tommy DeSeno’s writing gets more tedious with each passing year. I couldn’t make it through the first paragraph of this shit.

    Tommy, stick to doing useful things like endorsing Vin Gopal’s candidacy for the NJ Senate. Leave the writing to others.


  2. Joanna Soares said at 10:52 pm on July 9th, 2018:

    Many people cannot understand intelligent writing. I believe this is a beautiful example of true journalism. This author is undeniably reporting without partiality. Exquisite piece and truthfully said. Refreshing to the wearied soul from manipulative propaganda and Untrue journalism.

  3. Nikki said at 12:57 am on July 10th, 2018:

    This was refreshing to read . Not often do you find people asking the right questions . I’m interested to see how the council chooses the respond. If we allow infringements of our rights, no matter how small to happen, where will we end up ?

    Thank you for your honesty and boldness to stand even if it’s not favorable .

  4. Typical said at 6:28 am on July 10th, 2018:

    hypocrisy from leftists who simply cannot stand any view or opinion other than their own. Will never change, will only get worse. Sure would be interesting to see actual figures of exactly how much of both their municipal and school budgets come from actual local taxpayers, as opposed to the rest of the state. ( and, am sure plenty of Fed program monies, too.) My guess is, it is a huge differential. That being said, the “ leaders” there sure have one hell of a nerve to behave the way they do. Where is the accountability, checks and balances and transparency, for the multi- millions they annually receive and spend? When you calculate the public and private monies spent on the great” comeback” of a town that literally destroyed itself, versus the unsolved problems of the drugs and gang violence just a few blocks away from the lofts, bars, restaurants and beach, and, my favorite, the (mostly non- functioning) pay stations, sorry, the return on investments is just not there!

  5. Proud Republican said at 7:14 am on July 10th, 2018:

    @ Dirty Hippie

    I’m sure you have a copy of The Cat in the Hat that would be better suited to your taste and reading level. Intelligent, thoughtful writing is not directed at people like you anyway. It’s just a matter of knowing your audience and you obviously don’t measure up

  6. Chrisolythe said at 11:15 am on July 10th, 2018:

    So good to read true journalism! Continue doing what you do!

  7. JM said at 1:39 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    “Unfortunately Asbury Park has an “outrage team.” It is comprised mostly of middle-class white people who commit cultural appropriation, pretending to be marginalized. They constantly protest whatever is in the news that week, outrageous or not. They are inorganic. Different protests, same gang “virtue signaling” every time.”

    Yeah, there’s some “reporting without partiality there.”


  8. Excited for Change in ASBURY NJ said at 2:15 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Tommy De Seno – Excellent article and very well written showing all your research and it showed what the people are up against when anyone tries to do good in NJ. Jonathan Shuttlesworth is amazing how he loves people and helps them with all the free gifts and cars he gives away to all that come to his events. Thank you for exposing the true enemies of the people there. Now lets hope that the good people will step up and make Asbury and NJ become a better place to live. It was a GREAT article and a great event. I am excited to see the changes in the future for Asbury and NJ!

  9. Proud Republican said at 2:23 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Funny, I took that to be straight, unambiguous language. Have to laugh when liberals can’t dispute the facts, just the presentation

  10. jason dermer said at 4:45 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Your story reads like it should be in a newspaper sold by the register at walmart. Left out fact after fact, but don’t worry, Tom, your anti Muslim sentiment did shine thru without issue.

    Want to see my receipts for city services, or the bill for 6 nights of police services? I offered them to you when you called me.

    I offered to send you all of my saved links on Shuttlesworth, you declined them. Start with his twitter feed, spend an hour there like I did.

    “The biggest speakers”
    I brought 2 ground stacked main speakers, 2 subwoofers, and a pair of stage monitors. To the FOLs 24 line array speakers, 8 subwoofers, and full stage setup. Flown (improperly by a scab company) so that they could throw much further. I brought a knife to a gunfight if you want to compare speakers.

    Does every gathering in the park require a special events permit? There was no organized gathering after the first night, but I guess in conservative world the parks only belong to those that YOU agree with, right? Should I file now for the day I will pass thru on my bike in September?

    Sorry that “people said to call someone else.” Just as I told you by phone I speak for myself and my actions, and not for anyone else.

    I don’t ever feel the need to tout my social work or try to take credit for something that any good human would do, but if you want to use someone’s work to place blame, blame me.

    Again, by no means am I trying to grab credit here. The “I” in the statements below are by no means meant to minimize that this was a collaborative effort that would not have SUCCEEDED without everyone that was involved. AK took the initial initiative to do something after finding out from Casey what Shuttlesworth was all about. I saw the possible rift developing. I made the calls and posts, I sent the emails, and I gathered the community. City council was invited to join our meeting but declined. I wrote the press release that others then had a hand in editing. I made the banner, paid for the permits, I filed the paperwork. I brought the stage, the audio, and everything needed. I paid my employees, and I personally cleaned whatever garbage was left in the park at the end of the night.

    Go ahead Tom, blame me. Call me out by name. I’m proud to put it, and my business, at the forefront. My money is where my mouth is. My fight for humanity has 30+ years behind it, regardless of who was/is in office. I care not for the spotlight, but I can certainly take the heat.

  11. Jf said at 6:23 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    OMG Grandpa! I think you need a nap before you give yourself high blood pressure. Particularly loved how you refer to having gays on the city councl that didn’t act like this?!? Really? Whatever, gave me a good chuckle on the subway.

  12. Dirty Hippie said at 9:58 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Proud Republican. I’ll be sure to put THE CAT IN THE HAT on my Amazon wish list. In the meantime, I’m working my way through GREEN EGGS & HAM, which is considerably more entertaining and far more thought-provoking than anything Tommy DeSeno has written in the last decade.

  13. Proud Republican said at 10:19 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Good for you Dirty Hippie. Next week you graduate to Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

  14. SCC Supporter said at 10:57 pm on July 10th, 2018:

    Facts. That’s what this article is supposedly about, right? Fact: Pastor Isaac Friedel was not in attendance at neither the protest, nor the Festival of Life. Fact: The protest was organized by members of the LGBTQIA community and their allies. NOT the churches in question. Fact: Pastor Isaac is the founder of the Jersey Shore Dream Center, a non profit organization dedicated to serving the community of Asbury Park EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sure, they don’t give away cruises or cars, but they do provide groceries and diapers to “primarily poor blacks.” (Great word choices btw 🙄). They also provide low income housing to single mothers and those who struggle with addiction. Fact: The motto at Shore Christian Church is ‘All are Welcome.’ That’s because it’s not our job as Christians to condemn you for your sins, no matter what they are. It is our job to share the love and forgiveness of Christ, and to make sure you know that you are worthy. Fact: I am proud my Pastor has not only the ability to tell right from wrong, but also the courage to stand up for what is right.
    Hate has no place in our church. Not even for you, DeSano. Not even for Shuttlesworth. I will pray for your hardened hearts and your soft minds.

  15. Dirty Hippie said at 6:27 am on July 11th, 2018:

    You should have placed a comma after the word “you” and before the word “dirty,” Proud Republican. You’d know that if you read more. I will be happy to lend you my copy of GREEN EGGS & HAM when I’m finished reading it. I think you’d like it.

    I will not read Tommy in a house. I will not read him with a mouse. I will not read Tommy in a box. I will not read him with a fox. I will not read Tommy here or there. I will not read him anywhere. Read him, read him, read him, you say. I will not, will not, read Tommy today.

  16. Facts? said at 3:17 pm on July 11th, 2018:

    We don’t need no stinkin facts here. God bless you, Proud Republican. Tell it like it is!

  17. jason dermer said at 6:58 pm on July 11th, 2018:

    SCC Supporter,
    Pastor Friedel was a wonderful and contributing part of the rally against Shuttlesworth after it became apparent what he (SW) was all about.
    The churches, the community, and many business owners stood together in unity.
    Here are pics of Pastor Friedel along with the other church and community members that helps organize the event against Shuttlesworth:

    Here is the press release that I wrote, Pastor Friedel helped edit and signed it:

    It has been four short days since the reality of the man behind the “Festival of LIfe” was revealed to our beloved City. In those ninety six hours, a protest was planned and has now metamorphosed into something much better.

    Much more powerful.

    And most importantly, as a beacon of hope, a sign that Asbury Park can stand head and shoulders above the hate preached by one man.

    Why the change in direction? Our churches, our City, our political action groups, and our local businesses quickly realized that we were hoodwinked, and also that any group taking action alone could be misunderstood as standing in opposition to fellow groups of marginalized people. Representatives from all of these groups organized and met at Second Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, and after a few hours of conversation, a plan was devised.

    Local churches have distanced themselves from the underlying message proffered by a visiting conservative evangelist who preaches animosity and intolerance. Sponsors, promoters, and local businesses have redirected their support away from the Festival of Life’s out of town organizers. The decision was made to not only welcome the festival itself with open arms, but to turn what was a protest against it into a much more loving and inclusive alternative.

    The exact location has yet to be determined, but it will likely be Atlantic Square Park, just one block west of Bradley Park, at 5:00PM this Sunday. We won’t have a car or video games to give away. But we will have food to both enjoy there and to bring home if you are in need. We will be gladly accepting donations of food, and new or gently used clothing to further share with our neighbors, anything left over will be distributed locally. If you are there to find or reaffirm hope in religion, we will have local churches, mosques, and synagogues present with information on their congregations. Local houses of worship that are there to support you in your time of need, not some distant arena asking you for money in order to be “saved.” Community groups from Black Lives Matter to Garden State Equality will have information on their organizations. There will be a voter registration table, and since this is Asbury Park, where would we be without some art and music to enjoy?

    So please, go to the Festival of Life. Partake in the material goods that they have to offer while ignoring the underlying message of intolerance by one man. But please join us as well, before or after, and stand with your sisters and brothers to send a united message:

    Mr. Shuttlesworth, your distorted and malicious use of the gospel is unwelcome here. Your bribery, deceit and offering of monetary gifts will not fool us. Your words of fear and hatred will not divide us. We are a community committed to celebrating and honoring our diversity, and we are working diligently to improve every day so that everyone in our City can stand on equal ground. We are families and neighbors. We are artists. Pastors. Students. Teachers. Civic leaders. Volunteers. Laborers. Business owners. We are Gay. Straight. Queer. Black. Brown. White. We are Christians. Muslims. Jews. Atheists. We are documented and undocumented. We are young and old. And we stand united in the name of love.

    We are ASBURY PARK.
    Allison Kolarik (AK Hanrahan)
    Community Activist

    Jennifer Lewinski
    Black Lives Matter Asbury Park

    Christian Fuscarino
    Garden State Equality

    Giuseppe (Joe) Grillo
    Chair, Asbury Park Democratic Committee

    Isaac Friedel
    Lead Pastor, Shore Christian Church

    Jason Dermer
    Asbury Park business owner
    Board Member, The Chapin Foundation

    Jennifer Stine Schulman
    Asbury Park business owner, resident and long-time community advocate
    Board member at several Asbury Park community organizations

    Reverend Nicolle Harris
    Black Lives Matter
    African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

    Russell Lewis
    Asbury Park resident and business owner

    Dr. Semaj Y. Vanzant, Sr.
    Pastor-Teacher, Second Baptist Church

    Jess Alaimo
    Asbury Park Women’s Convention
    Asbury Park Young Democrats

  18. Pam said at 10:11 am on July 16th, 2018:

    Fact SCC Reporter: this outrage team, had Pepsi, Windmill and was Twitter storming Wawa and Panera to remove support of the Dream Center. That’s a fact. I have the posts to prove it. Issac was wrong in standing with this. You are too.

  19. CrazyTalk said at 10:16 am on July 18th, 2018:

    Mr DeSeno. Grateful for this article. I have never been on the side of “love” being thrown at me; feeling so much like hate.

    Jonathon and his brother have actually sponsored the same event at Dream Centers around this country. Why this town bought into the lies over the community pastors that have served here for years astounds me.

    I followed the “Hate Has No Place” here board, and we were called “Lying Slimy -aholes that would sue AP in a f-in heartbeat”. Jason, I saw the videos. Nothing hateful there my friend. Your just reactionary because he doesn’t agree with your interpretation of the Bible. I’m glad Tom brought up islama-phobia. The Jesus picture with the rainbow and the words, “Queer Jesus wouldn’t have gotten rid of the dinosaurs? Anyone dare say that about Mohammed?

    We were also compared to the Westboro Baptist church who hate the military, gays and America. They are a church not recognized by over 90% of churches in this country and are just an extended family bound in generational hate. They would have protested Jonathon because he loves America and voted Trump so bottom line; this whole protest was probably more about Trump than anything else.

    You all did meet every day. Though your faithful really were not faithful when it wasn’t convenient and your crowds had died down. You implied the crew that travels with Shuttlesworth was trying to hit on a young boy at Silver Ball arcade. We all had criminal background checks. Not like the girl who was excited about the protest, “but really can’t get into trouble with the police right now”.

    But to be so selfish, not to care who got caught in the cross hairs of your call to action? The poor in our community and those needing hope? “Know what Frikkin awesome? Pepsi and Windmill withdrawing their support from Shuttlesworth”. “Oh my bad. Kind of got our wires crossed in all of the excitement. Dream Center is siding with us now. Call of the dogs and redirect it to Shuttlesworth.”

    Well you all wasted your time trying to attack his sponsors. Jonathon’s ministry paid it all. Over $30,000 in gifts to strangers. So tell me have you all paid your debt on that permit yet?