Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Preachers Cannot Preach to a Captive Audience

The criminal trial of two California preachers began on Monday. The state of California found it necessary to prosecute these men for preaching early in the morning at the Department of Motor Vehicles parking lot.

In California, as in many other places, people go to the DMV as early as possible to apply for or renew their driver’s license. Recognizing this as a great opportunity to share their faith, the preachers showed up and started reading from the Bible.

A California patrol officer by the name of Darrin Meyer grabbed one of the preacher’s Bible and placed the preacher in handcuffs. The officer said that they could not “preach to a captive audience.” I could never imagine that in the United States the government could arrest preachers for preaching.  Then again, I did have my suspicions.  Obviously, they can in California.

The preachers were arrested for impeding an open business.  By the way, at the time of the arrest, the DMV was closed. The law that is being applied to the preachers states: “Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business, or those persons there to transact business with the public agency . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”

An attorney for the State of California claims that reading the Bible and preaching creates “an intimidating situation for people who simply want to get their driver’s licenses renewed… He does not have the right to intimidate others and force them to listen, and impede their ability to do normal daily business activities, such as go to the DMV.”

Nice job California. I thought we would have to wait 10-15 years before this kind of persecution would occur in the United States. Make no mistake about it. Persecution is here. Prayers for Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey as they face the potential for jail time in California.



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