Trial currently under way will determine fate of Gospel Tracts banned by Department of Homeland Security

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Feds seized “Million Dollar Bill” religious tracts

DALLAS, TX (ANS) — Agents of the Secret Service in 2006 raided the offices of Darrel Rundus and his Christian ministry, Great News Network, without a warrant, demanding all of their “Million Dollar Bill” religious tracts.

The agents seized the tracts, claiming violations of federal counterfeiting laws. Rundus and GNN filed suit to force the government to return the tracts or compensate him for the loss, and the trial began yesterday in Dallas before federal district court Judge Jorge Solis.

Liberty Counsel attorneys are in trial today on behalf of Darrel Rundus and his ministry regarding a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for violating the First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unlawful search and seizure.

Rundus says that the tracts are extremely effective. He uses them to share his faith with others.

While the front of the bill has markings similar to paper currency, no one would ever get the tracts confused with real money.

The front says: “This bill is not legal tender,” “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Department of Eternal Affairs,” “1,000,000,” and the reverse side has multiple statements such as: “The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven?” The tract then contains the story of salvation written around all four sides of the tract.

According to a news release, Great News Network has distributed over one million of the “Million Dollar” gospel tracts, which are produced by Ray Comfort and his Living Waters ministry, based in Bellflower, CA, as an evangelism tool.

In addition, an estimated 8-10 million tracts sold by Living Waters have been handed out over the last ten years, without any interference by the government.

Comfort told ANS: “This seizure was an embarrassing mistake by the Secret Service. Their argument that they look like real money isn’t justified.

“We have just had a million trillion dollar bills printed, nd the tracts do have a certain look of authenticity to them, but the number ‘one’ with twelve zeros after it give a clue to the bearer that the bill isn’t government issued currency (yet). I don’t think we should render to seizures, and I sincerely hope the 8,000 tracts get returned to Mr. Rundus with an apology and compensation for the trouble this has caused him.”

The media release says the Internet is littered with fake bills that look much more like real currency than these gospel tracts, but the government seems to be concerned only with preventing Rundus from distributing the religious tracts.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The Department of Homeland Security should be tracking dangerous criminals instead of harassing innocent people of faith for handing out religious tracts. If the government can ban ‘Million Dollar Bill’ gospel tracts, then Americans had better start hiding their Monopoly money.”

For more information, Contact: Liberty Counsel Public Relations Department, 800-671-1776. Website: www.lc.org

– Trial currently under way will determine fate of Gospel Tracts banned by Department of Homeland Security, Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service, Sep. 3, 2009 — Republished by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Sep. 4, 2009