Dana Crow-Smith and her religious organization may head to court against the city of Phoenix after city officials prevented her from handing out free water to citizens in the 112-degree heat. The group wanted to be free to spread the message of God's love and discuss their beliefs with everyone, but the officials said she was violating city code by not having the necessary permit.
"It was really hot and yeah, we wanted to show God's love, and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone's throat," Crow-Smith told ABC.
Arizona has been experiencing high temperatures, and Crow-Smith, along with her religious institution, wanted to do something to help. Yet a Phoenix official told the group that they must stop distributing the water or face a citation by the city. It is against Phoenix's ordinances to hand out water without the proper permit.
Since the case became public, the Rutherford Institute has agreed to represent Crow-Smith and the organization, saying that it is a clear "violation of her First Amendment right to freely exercise her religion, her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, as well as Arizona's Free Exercise of Religion Act."
"It is a sad day when local government officials prohibit Americans form such charitable acts as giving water to the thirsty in their city," John W. Whitehead, president of the Institute, told ABC.
Even non-Christians are applauding Crow-Smith's generosity, saying she is a "real service" to her community.
"I am not a Christian … but I do think Jesus had a great story, and I have lived my life by the following, 'If you see someone who is hungry, feed them. If you see someone who is cold, give them warmth.' If you see someone who is hot and thirsty, give them water. These people are a real service to their community. May Crow-Smith continue to follow in these footsteps," noted Timothy A. Bennett.
As for Crow-Smith, she sees her act as "a nice thing to do. It's not even about religious beliefs. I think anybody should be able to give away water on the sidewalk to anybody."