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Two Christians Prosecuted for Reading the Bible in Public
Faith issues ^ | 3/29/2012 | Christian Newswire

Posted on 03/29/2012 4:20:27 PM PDT by sreastman

Two Christians Prosecuted for Reading the Bible in Public

Faith Issues/Christian Newswire

Yesterday, a trial court in Riverside County, California, heard arguments why the prosecution's case should be dismissed in the case of People v. Brett Coronado. Advocates for Faith & Freedom are defending Pastor Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey on misdemeanor charges after they were arrested in front of a California DMV while Mr. Mackey was reading the Bible out loud. The incident took place on February 2, 2011, in front of a group waiting for the DMV to open for business.

This case has generated national news, such as the story that ran on Fox News Channel today. Additionally, a YouTube video of the incident and arrest can be viewed by typing in "Hemet Pastor Arrested for Reading Bible". Both men have been spit on and threatened at other locations in the past when engaging in similar activities. As a result, it is their practice to video their evangelism to protect them from false accusations -- just as appears to be occurring in this case.

Initially, when Mr. Mackey was arrested, the CHP officer stated that it was illegal to "preach to a captive audience." After the defendants were placed in jail and upon learning that no such penal code prohibits preaching to a "captive audience," the officer issued a citation for "impeding an open business" with threats or intimidation under Penal Code Section 602.1(b). However, the district attorney again changed the charges claiming trespass after the government realized the business was not actually open and, presumably, saw the video showing no threats or intimidation.

Unfortunately, the trial judge declined to dismiss the case. Advocates vows to appeal the decision because the trespass law the CHP is currently relying on is unconstitutional. In fact, other federal courts that have reviewed the same statutory language used in the California Penal Code have been declared unconstitutional.

"This is an abuse of power on the part of the CHP," said Robert Tyler, Associate General Counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom. "The arresting officer could find no appropriate penal/ code to use when arresting these men. The purpose of the arrests appears to have been to censor them."

Advocates for Faith & Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of these three men for violation of their right to free speech and for unlawful arrest, but that case has been stayed pending the resolution of the state court prosecution.

© 2012 Christian Communication Network


TOPICS: Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: arrested; bible; censor; dmv

1 posted on 03/29/2012 4:20:31 PM PDT by sreastman
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To: sreastman
If the business was closed then the Bible readers weren’t interfering with the business nor trespassing, etc.

So what's the harm?

2 posted on 03/29/2012 4:37:15 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: sreastman
Pastor Brett Coronado and Mark Mackey on misdemeanor charges after they were arrested in front of a California DMV while Mr. Mackey was reading the Bible out loud.

Gotta say that this guy is no better than the lefties who want to turn parks all over the US into latrines. A DMV has a specific purpose and it's not to be a venue for whoever wants to deliver his message to an essentially captive audience no matter how noble the message. (Would anyone want to listen to some Islamic diatribe while waiting on such a line?)

ML/NJ

3 posted on 03/29/2012 4:38:09 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

Want to? But that isn’t at issue here. Suppose the pastor and his partner put their proselytizing in the form of a Q & A (pro-lifers do this when they put themselves in abort mill waiting rooms so that others can hear), and appeared to be engaged in a conversation within earshot of those in line. Or what if the pastor is pretending to talk on his cell phone, but carrying the same message to the bystanders? I suppose if he were yelling, he could be charged with disturbing the peace, or violating a noise ordinance. Are they loitering? Surely they are not using the public sidewalk to camp on, as the OWS folks, to which you seem to compare them. What law would prevent them from what they do?


4 posted on 03/29/2012 4:51:45 PM PDT by jobim (.)
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To: ml/nj
You've got to be kidding me.

On a conservative forum, you are going to state that these men, exercising their 1st Amendment Constitutional rights in a public place for a short period of time, while causing absolutely no obstruction to a business, and no damage to their surroundings, are just like the Occupiers, who camped out for weeks in public parks, urinated and defecated in public, and generally trashed their surroundings?

5 posted on 03/29/2012 5:05:09 PM PDT by vrwc1
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To: sreastman

Street corner preachers have been around for a long time, for several decades Pittsburgh had one delivering his message across from Kaufmann’s clock.

Its protected activity, freedom “from” religion isn’t protected.


6 posted on 03/29/2012 5:09:17 PM PDT by I_Like_Spam
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To: sreastman

Everybody knows you can’t bring a Bible, let alone read it aloud, in Saudi Arabia. What were these fools thinking?

What?, California? Here in the US? Arrested for reading the book the presidential oath of office is sworn by?

Really? Doesn’t the first amendment say something about freedom speech and religion?


7 posted on 03/29/2012 5:15:38 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion)
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To: vrwc1
On a conservative forum, you are going to state that these men, exercising their 1st Amendment Constitutional rights in a public place for a short period of time

Your problem is that you have no idea what the basis was for the first amendment of what it was supposed to mean.

You'd best understand that Congress not being able to prohibit freedom of speech isn't a license to say whatever you want wherever you want, or to take your clothes off wherever you feel like it.

ML/N

8 posted on 03/29/2012 5:18:05 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: sreastman

If he had been a bum begging for money his speech would be politically protected.


9 posted on 03/29/2012 5:19:02 PM PDT by aomagrat (Gun owners who vote for democrats are too stupid to own guns.)
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To: jobim
pro-lifers do this when they put themselves in abort mill waiting rooms so that others can hear

Look, I don't shirk from the position that abortion is murder. But those in-your-face tactics are those of the murderers. Wherever these abortion mills are, I assume they are on private property, and I don't believe anyone has a right to violate the legal wishes of the owner of that property. I know that we're sort of faced with all sorts of contradictory consequences of the supposed laws that all these folks make. But even if there had been no Roe v. Wade, abortion clinics would only have been illegal in the States that outlawed them (just like murder used to be).

ML/NJ

10 posted on 03/29/2012 5:30:33 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: jobim
public sidewalk Public spaces like sidewalks have a public purpose, just like Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayor's residence) does. Some of us respect those public purposes and some of us don't.

ML/NJ

11 posted on 03/29/2012 5:34:20 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

This is not a question of decorum, but of the law. I cited the example of the abort mill as an example of a method to have others hear what you want them to hear. Of course the mill is private, and when the staff gets onto the scheme, the prolifers are run out. The sidewalk is used by many groups to get a message out, and this is lawful when they violate no local ordinances, such as harrassment, blocking, nudity, etc. I, on behalf of this pastor, am addressing what is within the confines of the law. Has the pastor broken the law? So far, there is nothing to support that. Do you agree that the police can remove him without having any statute?


12 posted on 03/29/2012 6:03:17 PM PDT by jobim (.)
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To: ml/nj

The public purpose of the public location is irrelevant for purposes of the 1st Amendment. You are creating a false standard...I suggest you read up on the proper exercise of the 1st Amendment because you clearly do not know what you are talking about.


13 posted on 03/29/2012 6:13:05 PM PDT by The Unknown Republican
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To: ml/nj
I agree with you. I think the idea of allowing me or anyone else a “public forum” for; a soap box as it where for political or religious rights to free speech doesn’t necessarily guarantee a captive audience for the same. If I’m side walk preaching on whatever topic, secular or religious, on a public sidewalk or park; people generally have the right to keep walking by, move away or from me or stop and listen to if they so choose.

But if I’m on line waiting for the DMV to open in order to renew my license or tags, then I’m a captive audience unless I want to give up my right to exercise my rights to conduct my business in order to get away from you if I find your speech somehow offensive or just plain annoying. I can on the other hand just ignore you or spiritedly engage you in telling you that you are “full of it” as is also my right. But if I exercise my free speech rights to tell you that you are a “nut job” and tell you that you should STFU, am I in that case inhibiting your free speech or just exercising my own?

Think about it; if you are waiting on line for the DMV to open and a militant atheist decides to show up and read aloud from the latest Richard Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitcher’s book telling you that your religion is stupid and FOS; should you be forced to stand by and listen to it if you really find that offensive if it means that your only choice in not hearing it is to stop conducing your lawful business?

What if someone starts preaching from the Koran or the Book of Mormon or the Communist Manifesto while you are waiting on line at the DMV? How many would honestly defend their right to free speech under those circumstances?

What if I go to the movies to see The Hunger Games and someone stands up in the middle of the movie and starts reading aloud from the Bible, telling the audience they are going to Hell if they like this movie?

Where does the Bible preacher’s rights start and the paying movie goers’ rights end?

14 posted on 03/29/2012 6:21:04 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: I_Like_Spam

***Street corner preachers have been around for a long time,***

I remember one preaching on the street corner in Roswell NM back in 1966. He even had people stop and listen to him.


16 posted on 03/29/2012 6:54:06 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Tzar
The audience isn’t captive. They are freely choosing to wait in front of the DMV. If we are into limiting the 1st Ammendment, why not say the DMV patrons don’t have a right to assemble? Then, the police can charge them all.

I beg to differ. When I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania I had to go in person at the local PennDot center order to obtain a valid PA driver’s license. This was not a choice I “freely” made. And this wasn’t something I could do online or by mail as I had to bring in person a certified birth certificate and several other forms of ID including my marriage and divorce papers to prove my legal name and proof of my PA residency such as a utility bill or bank statement. It took several hours of standing in this line and then another line and yet another line to get this all done, about 5 hours in total. My nephew drove me to the local PennDot center shortly before they opened early on a Saturday morning as it was the only time he or I had and dropped me off so I could stand in line. And I stood in line waiting for the PennDot center to open so I could get in and out as quickly as possible and still allow my nephew to get to work on time later that morning. If PennDot had evening hours or more convenient hours I would have done so.

17 posted on 03/29/2012 7:00:15 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: ml/nj
Okay...looks like you want to change the subject from your Occupier comment. I guess you realized how lame that was.

I'm fully aware of what the First Amendment is supposed to mean. Looks like you're the one that is lacking in some understanding of it.

It prevents the government from (among other things) prohibiting the free exercise of religion, which is what these men were doing - exercising their religious rights, in public, which people do all the time. Ever hear of street preachers?

Your strawman argument about "taking of your clothes whenever you feel like it" is ludicrous.

19 posted on 03/29/2012 11:13:42 PM PDT by vrwc1
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To: sreastman

I don’t see how the “trespass” charge could possibly stick. I mean, if you’re going to charge the preachers with trespass, then why weren’t the other people waiting in line for the DMV to open also charged? If they’re not going to charge those people, then it’s selective prosecution against the preachers, and a judge is never going to stand for that.


20 posted on 03/29/2012 11:18:55 PM PDT by vrwc1
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To: ml/nj

Gotta say that this guy is no better than the lefties who want to turn parks all over the US into latrines. A DMV has a specific purpose and it’s not to be a venue for whoever wants to deliver his message to an essentially captive audience no matter how noble the message. (Would anyone want to listen to some Islamic diatribe while waiting on such a line?)


How could he be reading to a captive audience if it was closed?


21 posted on 03/30/2012 12:18:57 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: ml/nj

You’d best understand that Congress not being able to prohibit freedom of speech isn’t a license to say whatever you want wherever you want, or to take your clothes off wherever you feel like it.


So, you think the cops should arrest any one for anything because they may not like it? Hi Hitler.


22 posted on 03/30/2012 12:25:03 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: Tzar

The audience isn’t captive. They are freely choosing to wait in front of the DMV. If we are into limiting the 1st Ammendment, why not say the DMV patrons don’t have a right to assemble? Then, the police can charge them all


Yep, should be the same.


23 posted on 03/30/2012 12:32:48 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

***Street corner preachers have been around for a long time,***

I remember one preaching on the street corner in Roswell NM back in 1966. He even had people stop and listen to him.


I was in LA that same year and listened to one on a street corner right down town. actually there were two and their wives, and they were great.


24 posted on 03/30/2012 12:37:49 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: vrwc1

I don’t see how the “trespass” charge could possibly stick. I mean, if you’re going to charge the preachers with trespass, then why weren’t the other people waiting in line for the DMV to open also charged? If they’re not going to charge those people, then it’s selective prosecution against the preachers, and a judge is never going to stand for that.


Many of the Judges will find in favor of the gestopo.


25 posted on 03/30/2012 12:45:18 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: ravenwolf
So, you think the cops should arrest any one for anything because they may not like it? Hi Hitler.

Yeah. That's exactly what I think.

ML/NJ

26 posted on 03/30/2012 4:00:44 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: sreastman

Classic case of cops over=reacting. I don’t like what you are doing. MUST be against the law! What law. Well SOME law, because I don’t like it. Watch California legislature passi a law establishing Bible free zones around public buildings! The same thing happens in schools all the time. Some dumb educator sees a kid doing something he/she doesn’t like and thinks it MUST be against some rule or even the law. Well, everyone knows that schools are already Bible free zones.


27 posted on 03/30/2012 8:29:18 AM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: ml/nj; mrreaganaut

It is idiocy to think they were a captive audience. They were waiting for the DMV to open. Hemet isn’t that big, the lines aren’t that long (grew up near there) and the people were free to leave and either move out of earshot or wait in their car.

This is a freedom of speech issue and the cop should be fired.


28 posted on 03/30/2012 5:25:55 PM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see")
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To: sreastman

When I start my Occupy movement the DMV will be on my short list.


29 posted on 03/30/2012 6:40:34 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: ml/nj

So, you think the cops should arrest any one for anything because they may not like it? Hi Hitler.

Yeah. That’s exactly what I think.

ML/NJ


I was thinking about giving you the benifit of the doubt, but like i said ( hi hitler )


30 posted on 03/31/2012 6:44:09 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

It must have been spiritually arresting if you remembered the year from nearly 50 year hence!

I remember a lady on a street corner in 1987 in NYC telling folks to get ready cause God had showed her in a dream
that the city’s buildings would all be be burning with fire and would be cast down. Given that an earth quake fault comes right down the Hudson river and natural gas is used quite a lot in the city... a scenario where buildings are toppled over from an “unexpected” trembler and burning from the ruptured gas mains seems quite plausible.

I live in Central Va near the epicenter of the Earthquakes last fall that shook DC 100 miles away that cracked the national monument...who would have thought anything like that would have happened in sleepy...Mineral, Va.?


31 posted on 03/31/2012 7:09:15 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Christ came not to make man into God but to restore fellowship of the Godhead with man.)
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To: ravenwolf
I was thinking about giving you the benifit of the doubt

What a Prince you are!

ML/NJ

32 posted on 03/31/2012 11:44:07 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj

I was thinking about giving you the benifit of the doubt

What a Prince you are!


Why thank you sir. and keep up the good work for law and order.


33 posted on 04/02/2012 8:27:43 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: MD Expat in PA

I beg to differ. When I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania I had to go in person at the local PennDot center order to obtain a valid PA driver’s license. This was not a choice I “freely”


Were you forced to move to Pennsylvania? why don,t you move to a smaller community where you don,t have to wait in line to get a drivers licenses, just joking, but it seems to me a little bible reading should not offend any one.

I am not religious but it really does me good to hear the truth at times when it is beginning to look like there is no one around who believes in the God who gave us this great country.


34 posted on 04/02/2012 8:45:31 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: reaganaut

It is idiocy to think they were a captive audience. They were waiting for the DMV to open. Hemet isn’t that big, the lines aren’t that long (grew up near there) and the people were free to leave and either move out of earshot or wait in their car.

This is a freedom of speech issue and the cop should be fired.


Right, the ones who were waiting for the DMV had no more right to be there than any one else as the side walks are for the public, they are owned by the taxpayers.


35 posted on 04/02/2012 9:03:14 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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To: ravenwolf
Were you forced to move to Pennsylvania? why don,t you move to a smaller community where you don,t have to wait in line to get a drivers licenses, just joking, but it seems to me a little bible reading should not offend any one.

I know you are just joking but actually I live in a much, much smaller community now here in PA than the one in which I lived when I lived in Maryland : ), I moved because of a new job and to be closer to my family.

I am not religious but it really does me good to hear the truth at times when it is beginning to look like there is no one around who believes in the God who gave us this great country.

I truth, if I’m standing in line at the DMV I don’t really need to hear some preacher telling me about Hell and Damnation because if I’m standing in line at the DMV, I probably already know a lot about that, or soon will.

36 posted on 04/02/2012 5:02:59 PM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA

I truth, if I’m standing in line at the DMV I don’t really need to hear some preacher telling me about Hell and Damnation because if I’m standing in line at the DMV, I probably already know a lot about that, or soon will/


Yes,i understand that and agree , i do not need any one preaching to me either but these guys were supposedly just reading the Bible.

Jesus did not care any more about religion than i do and he also had his problems with the bureaucracy, so i am reminded that i have some one on my side. that is probably the wrong way to put it but that is the only way i know.

Good luck.


37 posted on 04/03/2012 4:17:37 AM PDT by ravenwolf (reIf you believe that Nero was the anti-Christ, and among othJust a bit of the long list of proofsre)
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