Arrested for Reading the Bible…in America

March 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM 11 comments

Not long ago, a reverend was arrested outside a DMV for reading the Bible…out loud.  The DMV was not open yet and there were some who were waiting to head into the facility once it did.  In the meantime, Mark Mackey opened his Bible and began reading.

Not long afterward, he was arrested for doing so and told that he “can preach on your own property.  You’re not allowed to preach here,” he told Mackey, “because this is a captive audience.” [1] This from an officer of the California Highway Patrol.

Apparently, the arrest occurred because Mackey was accused of “preaching to a public audience who had no choice but to listen.” [2]  That’s a bit of a stretch.  The people could have shouted Mackey down.  They could have left.

But then again we are talking about what’s happening in California and I’ve said it before, but it appears to me that the more liberal the state, the more government intrusion exists.

The particular California Highway Patrol officer had absolutely nothing better to do that roust a guy for reading the BIBLE in a public place?  There were no real criminals to chase down, no speeders out violating driving laws?  The most pressing thing this particular law enforcement official had to do that morning was to actually ARREST someone for reading from the Bible?

Things like this are beginning to occur throughout America.  Pastors who stand on the public access way outside a mosque are being hauled off to jail simply because the Muslims inside the mosque call the police.  Apparently, they believe that the public sidewalk in front of the mosque is actually owned by the Muslims who own the mosque.  The police don’t seem to disagree.

It’s okay to fly the gay flag above military bases in Afghanistan, but it’s important to burn all Bibles and prohibit military people from carrying them.  It might offend the sensibilities of Muslims everywhere.

One has to wonder why reading from the Bible is cause for arrest.

Since it appears that Mackey was NOT on government property (DMV), one would think that he was fine.  But the arresting officer simply said that Mackey should preach on his own property.  In fact, Mackey was on the public sidewalk and was at least 50 feet from the UNOPENED doors of the DMV.  He was not impeding an open business because the business had not opened yet.

I recall years ago reading the book “The Cross and the Switchblade” by David Wilkerson.  He was led to go to NYC and he began preaching on the street corner.  At least one NYPD officer tried to tell Wilkerson that he could not preach on the street corner because he did not have an American flag in view.  A local gangster of that time (in the early 1950s) went an yanked one off of a nearby car and gave it to Wilkerson.  The cop objected saying that the tiny flag was simply a toy.  The people who wanted to hear Wilkerson objected and eventually the cop relented.

Today, things have obviously changed.  It seems a bit ridiculous with everything that is going on in society today for law enforcement officials to be concerned about the fact that someone takes the time to open God’s Word and read from it.  This is becoming an arrestable offense.  That is tragic and what is more tragic is the fact that the arresting officer viewed it as something he had to do.

I’m guessing the arresting officer is either an agnostic or atheist and was nearby and simply did not want to hear anything from the Bible.  I cannot help but note in the video the smugness of the arresting officer.  I would be so embarrassed if I were that officer.  What a big man he is – arresting someone for standing on public property and reading the Bible.  Wow, maybe he’ll get a commendation for his bravery in service…

This is pretty crazy when it is determined that someone cannot stand in a public place and read from the Bible.  So a Muslim Imam, reading from the Qur’an would be treated the exact same way? I’m thinking they would not because if they were, you can bet that Muslims would gather and protest while condemning the arrest and the arresting officer.
There is an absolute double standard in America today.  I realize that many to most of our Founding Fathers were Deists, not necessarily Christian.  However, they created documents upon which this country was born that are based on biblical principles.
Now, hundreds of years later, this same country is treating the Bible as if it is the war book for vigilantes.  So many laws of this United States are based on the Bible, which is reason enough why liberals, socialists, and communists want the U.S. Constitution replaced with International laws.
If you’re a Christian, get ready to see and possibly even experience more of this as time marches onward to our final day of redemption.
[2] Ibid


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  • 1. Theresa  |  March 31, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Modres, I appreciate your response to my comment. I myself am a Christian, tax paying, US citizen and I think that this matter could have been handled better by both parties. I got to say that if I was one of the people in line waiting for the DMV to open and I possibly was preparing to maybe take a driving test, I might not appreciate some folks initiating a disturbance near me, regardless of the reason. I think that we can all agree that most DMV employees and their agents need the least amount of distractions possible! I don’t advocate the removal of the rights of any US citizen, including my own. I don’t think it was necessary to arrest anyone, however I also don’t think it was wise or Christ like to be disrespectful and disobedient towards a police officer. I personally think that those arrested should apologize to the officer for being disrespectful and all the charges against them should be dropped.


    • 2. modres  |  April 1, 2012 at 6:24 AM

      I’m not sure that Mackey was being disrespectful. He complied with the officer but simply made a statement to the crowd that this is what America is becoming – no longer the land of the free…


  • 3. Sherry  |  March 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    I would much rather be greatly offended by a Muslim reading aloud the Koran, or a Communist reading aloud Karl Marx’s Manifesto, than to live in a time where no one has the freedom of speech as far as religion and philosophies are concerned.


  • 4. Theresa  |  March 31, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    One other point that I would like to make is that just because this person happened to be reading the Bible, people are suggesting this is somehow an issue between the rights of Christians, vs. the Rights of atheist people or those who are of some other faith, but that is NOT the issue. The TRUE issue is that somebody reading a book, of a religious nature, in public out loud, is NOT breaking any law that I am aware of. Yes, perhaps it might be annoying to those around that are forced to hear what is being read, but I got to say, people out in public, annoy me all the time, but I don’t advocate arresting them unless they are breaking the law. As soon as we place limits on the rights and freedoms of others, we should be prepared to expect the same of our own rights.


    • 5. modres  |  March 31, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      We are quickly losing that right, Theresa. People are being banned from FB for simply expressing conservative ideas.

      I wonder if an atheist would have been arrested for reading from the works of Marx or Lenin or something similar?


  • 6. Theresa  |  March 31, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Don’t we still have the right to freedom of speech here in American, or have we lost that right too? I would like to know what exactly this person was charged with?


  • 7. Sherry  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I really worry about the gene pool and the ability of people to run this country. It’s being overtaken by morons.

    Sad…{sigh} 😦


  • 8. Lawrence Nunn  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Matthew, Chapter6, Verse 5.


    • 9. modres  |  March 29, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      I’m not sure of your point, Lawrence.


  • 10. Mikey  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    First, the DMV is govt property. Second, with freedom comes responsibility. You claim the people in line could have shouted the preacher down… why should they have too? As much as you claim the preacher had the right to read the bible, he wasn’t just reading it, he was preaching it out loud. The people were there for a reason, and it wasn’t to listen to the greatest fairytale ever told. What about the others who didn’t want to hear the sermon? What are their rights? They were a captive audience as they were waiting for the DMV to open. And I guarentee you that had it been a Muslim, the same if not worse would have happened….


    • 11. modres  |  March 29, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      As I stated in my article (and it is clear in the video), he was NOT on DMV property as you accuse. He was on the public access sidewalk.

      Do you GET that? He was NOT on government property. He was on the sidewalk which is PUBLIC ACCESS.

      I’ll say it again, in case you missed it. The pastor was NOT on DMV property. He was standing on the sidewalk, over 50 from the DMV entrance.

      The article said he was READING from the Bible. There is a huge difference between reading and preaching.

      Reading the Bible out loud is NOT preaching. When I go to church on Sunday, I listen to a SERMON. The sermon (or PREACHING) consists of the pastor commenting ON what the Bible says. The sermon does NOT consist of the pastor simply READING the Bible to me. That does not make a sermon. Do you understand the difference, Mikey? Reading is NOT preaching. Look up both words and maybe you will come to understand the difference.

      What Mackey did was READ the Bible aloud – big difference.

      You “guarantee” that had an Imam read from the Qur’an the same or worse would have happened? Talk about a fairy tale. Apparently, you are not aware of just how many “passes” Muslims receive in the U.S. and throughout the world. Obviously, you have not done your homework. I continue to believe that your agenda is to pump up Islam by denigrating Christianity. You always manage to do this when you respond to one of my articles. You wind up somehow defending Islam, while castigating Christianity.

      Your name is probably not “Mikey.” It’s probably Muhammad Abir Abdul-Bari or something similar.

      As far as being a captive audience, attorneys don’t even agree on that, but somehow “Mikey” comes through and clarifies it? Right…

      Again, Mackey was READING the Bible. He was NOT sermonizing. Do you understand the difference Mikey? No, I didn’t think so.

      I agree that with freedom comes responsibility.

      You are free to read my blog and you also have a responsibility; a responsibility to actually glean the FACTS before commenting. You read my blog but you did not actually LEARN the facts from the blog. You came away with your own meaning that has no bearing on what I actually meant.

      I don’t want to hear you sermonize on the things I write about, Mikey. Do you get that? My blog is my blog. It is not up for debate, especially from people like yourself who really have little to no clue.

      As Forrest Gump says, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Every time you write in response to one of my blog articles, you simply prove how little sense you have.

      I’m sorry that you are unable to read for meaning. It is a darn shame, but having taught in the public schools for over ten years and then in college since 1998, I have come to understand why society is where it is at this point. It is because critical thinking skills do not exist among too large a percentage of people these days.

      I really worry about the gene pool and the ability of people to run this country. It’s being overtaken by morons.

      Mikey, get a clue, will you? When you have something intelligent to say, feel free to right back. Until then, exercise your right to remain silent, will you? Thanks! 🙂

      I’m really not trying to be rude, though I’m sure I’ll be accused of it by someone. The truth of the matter is that you simply do not know what you’re talking about.


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