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CNN LIVE SUNDAY

Texas Preacher Targets X-Rated Patrons

Aired February 1, 2004 - 16:38   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FREDERICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Can a license plate lead one to redemption? One Texas preacher seems to think so, he's launched a campaign to clean up the town by literally tracking down patrons of x- rated establishments. KTVT's Mary Stewart has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We felt as though there'd been an impact.

MARY STEWART, KTVT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Critics call him a hypocrite, black mailer and religious lunatic. Rev. Jim Norwood maintains he's just trying to clean up his church community. That's why customers at x-rated club are likely to see him outside and receive a photo of their car license plate mailed to their home with a message.

REV. JIM NORWOOD, OAKCREST FAMILY CHURCH: It says observed you in the neighborhood. Didn't know if you were aware there is a church in the area.

STEWART: The pastor has mailed out 300 postcards in the last month.

NORWOOD: We finish up by saying please stop by next time. We'd love to you have visit.

STEWART (on camera): But when news of the bold program was published on the front page of the "L.A. Times," reactions have been coming in from coast to coast, some of it antagonistic.

NORWOOD: They make lewd gestures to our children and the ladies in the church in our parking lot.

STEWART: Radio talk show hosts from New York to Seattle have put them on the air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if some particularly zealous member of your church decides to take the intimidation to another level?

NORWOOD: That is not going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but I'm saying, that's the perception some people may have.

STEWART: And e-mails heap on the harassment, calling him a busybody, downright creepy and worse.

NORWOOD: I write the license number down so we don't have any discrepancies.

STEWART: Tracing the car license plates via computer is legal, but what about privacy? To Jim Norwood it's not a matter of freedom to go where you please, but freedom to be left alone in peace.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And that was Mary Stewart of KT-TV reporting from Kennedale, Texas.

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