Man Arrested for Reading Bible

Editors note:  While I’m not a very religious person, I am a huge advocate of free speech rights.  It is clear this was a gross violation of human rights on the part of California Stasi Enforcers who deem themselves the “regulators” of speech in the once great State.

Moonbattery reports:

Since this didn’t happen in Saudi Arabia or Iran, it could only have been in moonbattery-ravaged California — a man was actually hauled off in handcuffs for reading a Bible aloud:

When Mark Mackey, a member of the local Calvary Chapel, showed up to the DMV office in Hemet, CA on February 2, he had a goal: read the Bible and introduce those waiting in line to the “gospel of Jesus Christ.” And for about 15 minutes he was successful. That is until a California Highway Patrolman took the Bible from his hands, arrested him, and told him he was guilty of preaching to a “captive audience.”

With crimes this serious, it’s important to incarcerate accomplices too:

According to reports, Mackey wasn’t the only one arrested. Pastor Brett Coronado and Edmond Flores, Jr., who were accompanying him, were also taken into custody.

They were charged with “impeding an open business,” despite being at least 50 feet away from the entrance. Observes Jennifer Monk of Advocates for Faith and Freedom, which is representing the alleged criminals in a lawsuit,

“The purpose of the arrests appears to have been to censor them.”

Too bad they weren’t members of a union. That would have exempted them from Penal Code Section 602.1(b), under which they were charged. I’m guessing being Muslim instead of Christian would have exempted them too.

Not to worry; Lt. Michael Soubirous of the California Highway Patrol reassures the public that “We don’t inhibit people’s right to free speech — we regulate it.”

Although the DA isn’t pushing criminal charges, Advocates for Faith and Freedom are going through with the lawsuit anyway, “to preserve the liberty to read the Bible aloud on public property without fear of criminal prosecution,” according to General Counsel Robert Tyler.

Someone’s got to draw a line somewhere.

  • Msoubirous

    The same CHP office granted a (free – no cost) permit to another Christian church 11 months earlier to “preach, pass out Bibles and church flyers. This was for a three day period, with the restriction to not interfere with the DMV business AND not to harass or intimidate the customers in line, Faith Chapel of San Jacinto went to the VERY SAME DMV office to do this. No complaints by the patrons either! The “church” in question appears to be hooked up with constitutionalists who want to break the laws to prove a point and are using “church” or religion to do this. Open access public property is a different animal than public facilities. You think Glenn Beck was required to obtain a permit to “use” the Lincoln Memorial – you bet he did. You didn’t see him make issue with that. Try to climb the White House gate to “Preach” to the President on the WH lawn, or better yet, insist you be allowed on a military base to preach. Not so “public” public “grounds.” The same rules that apply to the WH, military bases, state capitols, and yes, the lowly DMV properties are different that open commons. Read your Constitution. Some of your rights are conditional based upon time and place – so to speak. Lets ask ourselves why Calvary Chapel Hemet “videotapes” all its activities……..lawsuit? Maybe its more about the man than the message of the Bible? Thank you for reading this.

    • I’ve read it.

      Here’s what it says:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      along with:

      Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed

      Handing out flyers and dissemination of anti-government propaganda on public property (of which the people in question are partial owners of) does not interfere with the government’s operations. Therefore it is unconstitutional to forbid them from conducting that protest.

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