A born-again Christian man named David Wells took to a New Jersey mall in order to solicit discussions about faith.
Wells, 57, traveled to Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, New Jersey and began handing out “trillion-dollar bills” to everyone who was passing by, each of which had the question “Will you go to heaven when you die?” printed on it.
Wells explained that handing out the leaflets and proposing the question to mall-goers in order to have a discussion about faith was his only intention at the location.
“That’s how our conversation would begin. If they weren’t interested in talking I didn’t pursue it any more. I was just talking to people. I wasn’t amplified, I wasn’t street preaching on top of a soapbox,” Wells told USA Today.
When mall security repeatedly asked Wells to cease distributing leaflets within the mall, the man repeatedly refused. He also refused to leave the property, despite insistence from mall management.
Using his knowledge as a former police officer, Wells claimed that the 1994 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling New Jersey Coalition Against War in the Middle East v. J.M.B. Realty Corporation gave him the freedom to distribute leaflets within a mall, as that case ruled that Gulf War protestors that wished to hand out anti-war leaflets inside and outside malls were constitutionally protected to have the freedom to do so.
A petition has begun circulating that would allow Wells and others to be able to exersize their freedom of speech within the New Jersey mall.