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Martyrs? Those Bible-Reading DMV Guys

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Here’s an update from a post about a month ago.

Advocates for Faith & Freedom recently filed a lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol when three men from Hemet, California, were arrested for reading the Bible out loud in front of the DMV. The facts are indisputable because the entire arrest was recorded. The video of the arrest can be found here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FruQO8qaw9c). All that is missing from this video is approximately 25 minutes of Bible reading from various Bible passages. There was no disturbance and no preaching – just pure Bible reading. However, this case has created quite a controversy thanks, in part, to media coverage from a broad range of media, from local newspapers to Glenn Beck on the Fox News Channel.

The Controversy Begins

Many non-Christians are offended by the teachings of the Bible, so hearing the Bible read in public is especially disturbing to them. II Corinthians 2:14-16 speaks of this reality where it says that the Gospel is like the aroma of death to the unbeliever, but life to the believer. Additionally, many Christians are disturbed by the fact that we filed this case because they strongly disagree with the method of evangelism used by these men – reading the Bible aloud to persons who were waiting in line for the DMV to open.

On the other hand, most people who support our lawsuit are equally disturbed by the officer’s complete disregard of the First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment right to be free from arrest unless the arresting officer has reasonable belief that a crime was committed.

A False Arrest

Why were the men arrested? It was not for trespassing or loitering since they were allowed to be there. Rather, the CHP officer claimed that it was illegal to “preach” to a “captive audience.” Of course, there is no such law in the California Penal Code. Instead, the men were later cited for allegedly violating Penal Code Section 602.1(b), which prohibits individuals from intentionally obstructing or intimidating persons who are attempting to carry on business with a public agency. However, not only does the video evidence clearly dispute the claim of obstruction or intimidation as the men were more than 50 feet from the DMV entrance, Penal Code Section 602.1(b) expressly states that it does not apply to any “person on the premises who is engaging in activities protected by the California Constitution or the United States Constitution.”

Reading the Bible out loud on public property is an activity that is typically protected by both the United States and California Constitutions.

Even though it appears clear to most people that this was an unlawful arrest with no valid probable cause, many Christians and non-Christians alike are offended by what they saw on the video – a man reading the Bible in a loud voice, approximately 20 to 30 feet from individuals waiting in line for the DMV to open for business. Some people don’t believe that reading from the Bible out loud in public deserves protection under the First Amendment because they think it might be offensive to the ears of unsuspecting recipients.

Regardless of how offensive one’s speech might be, however, no person can lawfully be arrested in this situation unless the officer has probable cause that a crime was committed. It is not illegal to “preach” in public and the video of the arrest makes it appear that this is exactly why the three men were arrested. It was not until after the arrest that the CHP first alleged a violation of this section of the Penal Code – and, as explained above, that Penal Code section does not even apply to this situation.

We, as a free society, must never tolerate such an abuse of power.

Constitutionally Protected Speech: Who Decides?

We have heard from some Christians who say they are embarrassed by persons who engage in “street evangelism,” especially when they observe annoying or offensive witnessing methods. We have heard from a few Christians who are offended by the evangelistic approach used by these three men in particular and, therefore, do not support the legal action we have taken to challenge these unlawful arrests.

We understand that not everyone agrees with vigorous street evangelism, but not everyone agrees with passive non-confrontational evangelism either. Some people may have been offended by Billy Graham’s evangelistic approach. Does that mean that Billy Graham should not have had the right to free speech because some persons disagreed with his message or approach? Should Martin Luther King’s speeches have been censored because some of the “white establishment” was offended by his remarks – remarks that some would say were offensive and radical?

The First Amendment was not intended to protect speech that everyone agrees with. In fact, agreeable speech needs no protection. Rather, freedom of speech applies to offensive speech, annoying speech, and even evangelistic speech. This is the point of this case. You don’t have to agree with the method of evangelism to support the fact that our Constitution, and the right of free speech found in the First Amendment, does not allow the police or other governmental officials to decide whether speech is acceptable or constitutionally protected. If offensive speech is not protected, it may be determined in the future that your church’s door hangers advertising Easter service or the gospel tracks you hand out in front of the homeless shelter are offensive and, therefore, illegal!

In the future, it may be your own method of evangelism that is banned from public dissemination in alleged violation of the First Amendment.

We concluded that even though our clients’ approach to evangelism is offensive to some, their speech must still be constitutionally protected. Some of the cases we regularly cite to in legal briefs to defend religious liberty are based on highly offensive facts. For example, one case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court said that the words “F… the Draft”, written on a t-shirt that was worn in a courthouse, is protected speech.

Recently, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the right of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to stage protests in front of military funerals in order to protest the military’s acceptance of homosexual behavior. Some of the signs that were held read, “Fag Troops,” “You’re Going to Hell,” and “God Hates You.”

Speech Is Powerful

Chief Justice Roberts wrote that “in public debate [we] must tolerate insulting, and even outrageous, speech in order to provide adequate ‘breathing space’ to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.” Roberts addressed the captive audience argument by writing, “the Constitution does not permit the government to decide which types of otherwise protected speech are sufficiently offensive to require protection for the unwilling listener or viewer. Rather, … the burden normally falls upon the viewer to avoid further bombardment of [his] sensibilities simply by averting [his] eyes.”

Chief Justice Roberts summarized his rationale as follows: “Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and-as it did here-inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course-to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

We Must Support Free Speech

Intellectual honesty is required of Christians, as it is of all American citizens. True free speech is by nature controversial, and can be difficult to defend when any individual does not agree with the speech for any reason. If we decide that only our own personal view of Christ-like speech or our method of evangelism deserves constitutional protection, then, eventually your own religious expression may be publicly banned.

The Truth of the Gospel does not return void and American culture desperately and increasingly needs that Truth to be shared. It is more important than ever to defend the free speech rights of individuals who seek to share that Truth, regardless of the controversy surrounding the method, in order to ensure that everyone’s right of free speech is protected, for all methods and in all forums, for the sake of future generations and the culture of today.

In His Service,

Robert H. Tyler
Tyler is founder and general counsel of Advocates for Faith and Freedom in Murrieta. For more info, go to www.faith-freedom.com

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24 Comments

  1. the Gospel is like the aroma of death to the unbeliever

    Hmmm…

    Women’s rights? “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

    And not just women. “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)
    “Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5)
    “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.” (Colassians 3:22)
    “Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back .” (Titus 2:9)

    So if you’re both a slave and a woman, you’re subject to exposure to all kinds of abuse. Like being offered up by your master for gang-rape.
    “So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

    The ending of Psalm 137 (a psalm which was made into a disco hit by Boney M) is often omitted from readings in church:
    “Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:9)

    And, you know, more than infanticide, let’s not forget full-out genocide:
    “This is what the Lord Almighty says… ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” (1 Samuel 15:3)

    I’m sorry, I’m straying into the Old Testament, aren’t I? Oh, well. Jesus said you shouldn’t ignore it. (Matthew 5:17-19, Luke 16:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 20-21

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:34-38)

    Yeah, maybe not the “aroma of death,” but there certainly is some kind of a smell.

  2. Wow, thanks Pastor Steve. I think. :-O

    Nameless, instead of picking and choosing verses, try reading the entire chapter and even the entire book. Did you know that 21 of the 27 New Testament books were originally written as letters? When you receive a letter from a friend, do you tend to only read the third paragraph on the second page? If you did that, could you possible have the slightest clue what your friend was saying in the letter as a whole?

    The first 8 verses of Ephesians will straighten out most of your misdirected quotes. Did you know that in that same chapter, husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church? I dare you to try that one; could you give your life loving your wife and do any of the ridiculous stuff you claim the Bible teaches? If you are a sane man, you must realize the absurdity of your interpretations.

    As for priests with concubines? Don’t you think there’s already something wrong with this man’s mindset? Do you really think that the historical narrative about what that man did should be normative for God’s people, or that God was okay with it?

    The real issue with God commanding Israel to destroy another nation is…….? Do you think that they were somehow innocent like you? Have you ever noticed Genesis 15:16? God gave every group mentioned in Genesis 15:19 (including the Amorites) 430+ years to clean up their act; how long has He given you? *YOUR* life story has many parallels to these stories from the Old Testament.

    The overall message of Scripture is submission to authority. Whether you’re a slave, a wife, a husband, an employee, or any one of God’s beings created in His image, you are expected to submit to authority. You seem to have trouble with this point. I bet you don’t refuse to submit to your boss, police officers, or the local magistrate. If you do, you can rest assured the outcome won’t be pleasant. Why do you have so many issues submitting to the God who created you?

  3. Nameless- There is one other OT verse you forgot…

    “Saul took a sword and fell on it.” – 1Sa 31:4

    Please don’t try to quote the bible… you’re only hurting yourself.

  4. Nameless good job in cherry picking the Bible, this is what so many have done before that have lead to terrible things like the Crusades and cults for example. Like Pastor Steve said you most certainly have poor hermeneutics. But I have a hunch that it is more than that,

    “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god [satan] of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”—2 Cor. 4:3-4

    “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—1 Cor. 2:14

    Please Nameless don’t go down this road repent of your sins (breaking the Ten Commandments) and put your trust in Jesus Christ to save you! God bless!

  5. (Ooh, look, I’m getting gang-witnessed!)

    Now, see, here’s where the problem comes in. The Bible is, after all, the Holy Writ, “breathed out by God,” the unchanging Word of the Lord, right?

    Meanwhile, we have multiple references, New and Old Testament, telling you how to treat your slaves, when to let them free, when they have to stay, and how to sell your daughter (and don’t forget – according to Leviticus 25:44, it’s cool to buy them from Canada and Mexico). Evidentally, God supports slavery.

    Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

    So, as long as the slave doesn’t die immediately, it isn’t murder, right?

    It’s all well and good for you to say “Well, the books were written for the society during Biblical times, and had to address the problems of Biblical people.” Which is just fine, but if God is all-knowing, wouldn’t it have been easier just to say “Slavery is evil – thou shalt not own slaves”? (Admittedly, in Aramaic or Hebrew, but you get the point.)

    As He did not say that, we can only assume that He approved of the practice.

    Then we have Judges 19:25-28, where a slave girl was allowed to be gang-raped all through the night (parallel story in Gen 19:5-8, only it didn’t end quite so badly for Lot’s daughters) – we’ll skip the whole “butcher the slave and turn her into a grisly greeting card indicating one of the 12 tribes of Israel).

    Why are the rapists in question considered evil? Because they tried to go against the laws protecting visitors, not because they abused a slave! Heck, slaves are just another commodity!

    Lot offered his daughters for that treatment, and was still considered a holy man! In my book, the offer was just as vile as the rape itself. But I guess my view of morality is a little clearer than yours.

    I know the first 8 verses of Ephesians – it doesn’t explain why women are considered lesser creatures and slaves are allowed to be beaten until comatose.

    And yes, that’s “lesser creatures” – husbands only have to love their wives, but wives have to submit to their husbands. (Oh, and not talk in church. Don’t forget that.) And do I need to start quoting the rules regarding rape? (Example: Deuteronomy 22:28-29) Are you saying that an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God couldn’t enforce a little gender equality?

    You can’t complain about “cherry-picking” when all the context necessary to understand it is located in the verse being quoted!

    “The real issue with God commanding Israel to destroy another nation is…….? Do you think that they were somehow innocent like you?”

    Well, from a political standpoint, the adults probably weren’t. But the animals? The infants?

    Are you going to tell me that God supports the “right to life” and opposes abortion? With a straight face? Really? Apparently, abortion is just spiffy if it’s performed during wartime, on somebody you don’t like, or on someone who disagrees with your religion.

    Remember the end of Psalm 137 that I mentioned earlier? It’s not alone.

    At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women. (2 Kings 15:16)

    The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
    because they have rebelled against their God.
    They will fall by the sword;
    their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open.

    (Hosea 13:16)

    So God supports war crimes, too?

    If you want to try and claim that parts of the Bible are only meant for the savage Bronze Age tribesmen, but we have to follow the rest of it, well, there’s really only one answer.

    And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:17)

  6. Glenn wrote:

    The overall message of Scripture is submission to authority. Whether you’re a slave, a wife, a husband, an employee, or any one of God’s beings created in His image, you are expected to submit to authority.

    Okay.

    You seem to have trouble with this point. I bet you don’t refuse to submit to your boss, police officers, or the local magistrate.

    Glenn, to me there’s a big difference between submitting to an authority that you recognize as an authority, and one that you don’t. An Imam is an authority figure, but I doubt that you submit to them.

    Of course I submit to figures that I feel are justified in their authority. Some people have tried to act as authority figures to me (such as my the guy my mom married when I was 20), but I didn’t see their authority as justified.

    Now God has a completely other problem. With God I don’t even get to get into the whole justified/non-justified authority question, because to do so I have to first believe that He exists.

    Muslims want you, Glenn, to submit to Allah, yet you don’t. Do you see the point?

    Why do you have so many issues submitting to the God who created you?

    Glenn, a Muslim would ask you the exact same question. Glenn, please understand that we have no reason to believe in this being you discuss, just like you have no reason to believe in the various Hindu gods.

    Glenn, why do you have so many issues understanding that we don’t currently have any reasons to believe that anything you say about your beliefs matches reality at all?

  7. Now you see why I no longer waste time with “Cynic”.

    By the way, any comments on the post itself, or is this just another “change the subject and attack” fest?

  8. @Nohm,

    Glenn, why do you have so many issues understanding that we don’t currently have any reasons to believe that anything you say about your beliefs matches reality at all?

    Simple. You and I were designed by the same God who said that every human has knowledge of Him. He has given you an inner knowledge and need of Him.

    Since the preaching of the cross is foolishness to you, we keep on “gang witnessing” as Nameless put it, in the hope that somehow and in some way, God will get your attention. I pray that it will happen and until then, I am simply the King’s herald.

  9. That’s right, Stormy. I can’t be processed by a normal brain. Bring me my Tiger Blood!

    (That’s a cultural reference, Stormy. Sorry. Forgot for a second that you were above all that.)

    Care to tell me where I changed the subject? Admittedly it’s a little random at first read, but I was trying to text it in during a break. And I don’t text well, and the phone wasn’t one I’m used to. So I think I can be forgiven for not being as clear as I normally am. (Heh…)

    I was emphasizing a few points that the Hermeneutics Horde was trying to avoid. Let me see if I can help you out with it. (Don’t worry, I’ll type slow so you can keep up.)

    God tells us how to treat slaves. How to sell them. What we can and can’t do with them. Tells them to behave and accept their fate. God never says that we shouldn’t own slaves.

    What, therefore, should we assume is God’s opinion about slaves?

    The Old Testament God seems to support a lot of behaviors that we, now, understand to be something other than the acts of good, moral people. (Are you willing to accept that, or should I show more examples?) And Jesus tells us that the Old Testament is still relevant and we would profit by its lessons.

    What does that tell us?

    And which, of all the behaviors that God felt were important for His people, should we no longer continue with? And why?

    Should we not kill a child for talking back to his parents? (Leviticus 20:9, paralleled in Matthew 15:4, Mark 7:10, Exodus 21:17 and Proverbs 20:20) If not, why not?

  10. The typical atheist tactic is to change the subject and attack. If they do not want to attack the author, they attack another poster. If that is not convenient, they rail against God and the Bible.

    I have had to deal with remarks quite similar to, “Prove to me God exists right here, right now in this Weblog’s comments section”. Or, “God is evil”, as we have just seen. It is extremely difficult to take such things seriously, because they not only read as antagonistic (off-topic, remember) but antagonistic, quote mined from other atheist sites. Sorry, I was yawning there.

    Here is one resource with which to begin: http://creation.com/evil-bible-fallacies

    Now, as for the actual topic… It was a clear case of discrimination and the violation of free speech. If they were reading the Koran, I really think they would not have been arrested. Or if they had been reading “Rules for Radicals”, that would be fine, too. The Bible? Obscene!

  11. Simple. You and I were designed by the same God who said that every human has knowledge of Him. He has given you an inner knowledge and need of Him.

    Glenn, this is an assertion. It’s foolishness because it’s a baseless assertion. You have not demonstrated that we were designed by your God, that we were given knowledge by your God or that we need your God. You have not demonstrated that your God exists.

    It doesn’t matter how many people you get to repeat the assertion, it will remain baseless, and foolish, until someone can actually demonstrate that it is true.

    Believing something is true doesn’t magically make it true.

  12. It was a clear case of discrimination and the violation of free speech.

    Not necessarily clear; not necessarily a violation. In truth, I don’t have enough information on this case to make a judgement. I have learned from experience not to trust Christian sites and without more info I can’t tell if the above is an accurate assessment or propaganda.

    What I know is that the person in question was told previously not to preach without obtaining a permit. I know that another group successfully received a permit and there was no incident. I know the person decided not to obtain a permit.

    I know that this person was not merely reading the Bible to himself, but was specifically targeting the group of people standing in line for the DMV because they had business there and could not move away without losing their place. I know this person is being dishonest by insisting he wasn’t preaching, but was merely reading the Bible. (If you’re reading the Bible directly to a group of people in an effort to evangelize – how is that not preaching?)

    I know this person was told that there were other legal places for him to preach.

    I know the word martyr had a question mark after it, but even I find it an insult to those actually martyred.

    It appears he’s trying to test the limits of the law (nothing wrong with that) and it will be interesting to see how this all comes down

    Though I do have a question:

    Is the word of your God so weak that you must target people who can’t easily leave?

  13. Aw, Stormy, isn’t that cute?

    The typical atheist tactic is to change the subject and attack. If they do not want to attack the author, they attack another poster. If that is not convenient, they rail against God and the Bible.

    Actually, I took a comment from the writeup, and expanded on it. So not, technically, “changing the subject.” Nor did I attack the author, nor another poster. Not even you, when you reared your head up.

    You have this fascinating propensity for couching your “defense of Christianity” in this ridiculous web of strawmen and non sequitur . You should work on that.

    But if you really want to get back to the base post here, first, we already went over a lot of this ground already; if you’d bothered to click through that first link, you’d have seen that.

    “The whole thing is, when you go to the DMV, you are not allowed to do any other business,” Soubirous said. He said the men did not have a permit to speak there, which is required on state property for anything other than the intended business.

    “We would have granted them a permit to go out and preach,” Soubirous said. “There is a mechanism to be allowed to protest…We don’t inhibit people’s right to free speech–we regulate it.”

    Simple stuff. And as for your trying to feed the martyr complex, no, standing up and loudly reading anything will get you escorted off the premises. They have to move a lot of people through in a quick and orderly manner, so any disruption is viewed unfavorably, religious or secular.

  14. @Perdita,

    It doesn’t matter how many people you get to repeat the assertion, it will remain baseless, and foolish, until someone can actually demonstrate that it is true.

    Nice try! Too bad Darwinian evolution being taught in schools by countless lemmings refutes your own assertion.

    God doesn’t want me proving His existence. He does just fine throughout nature, and as Jesus put it, many people are entering the Kingdom. It’s your choice; you can be saved or you can be damned, but God has already set the rules and it’s your move.

  15. @ Glenn

    “Nice try! Too bad Darwinian evolution being taught in schools by countless lemmings refutes your own assertion.”

    Glenn might I link you to this doc on why we don’t teach ‘intelligent design’ in classes and why we teach evolution in classrooms. If Steve will permit it though… check it out.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

    Its a pretty good watch, explains some ‘science stuff’ and casts a light on some of the shenanigans of those behind the ID movement. Also as a fun extra, try and count how many commandments the Christians or so called Christians you might call them break as opposed to the scientists who defend evolution with fact… testing repetition… observation…. confirmed reliable prediction… etc… etc…. etc….

    You don’t have to fear science Glenn, its improving your quality of life as we speak. The next time you bite into that GE fruit you get in the super market or the next time you get treated for illness try not to demean the people and their work, who work so hard to help you continue to make the the statements you make.

    Evolution probably won’t be going away anytime soon… and even if we did find an explanation that works better it certainly wouldn’t be ID or anything that’s simply asserted based on ignorance. And its doubtful we’ll find a theory that trumps it because it would have to tie perfectly into genetics, geology, physics, paleontology, and biology better than the theory of evolution already does. Which is not to say its not impossible, after all Relatively replaced Newtonian physics in some ways, though not in all, but it was seen as more of an improvement rather than a replacement to that theory. What I don’t get is how for Newton, he saw the forces of gravity, mass, etc. etc., basically the basis of how objects behave in reality as merely an explanation of how God’s universe works. Why you can’t accept the same for evolution being the process of how God caused species to come about and become distinct is beyond me. And hey, perhaps one day, if God chose to reveal itself in some tangible, testable way to basically assert that, ‘Yes that was me that did that.’ then we could add God to the theory of evolution or perhaps God could provide us with a clarification, but until then we have to go on what’s observable in reality to form the pillars of scientific progress… no metaphysics.

  16. God doesn’t want me proving His existence.

    Delightfully convenient.

    It’s your choice; you can be saved or you can be damned, but God has already set the rules and it’s your move.

    Is this like my choice to believe the Voltaire quotes? Where one side has nothing to show that the quotes are real and the other side can show why they’re bogus, but hey make up your own mind?

    Why should I think there’s ‘saved’ or ‘damned’ or even rules from God? Or does God not want you to give evidence for those things either?

  17. Nameless I do want to thank you for bringing so much Scripture to the debate, though you are taking and presenting all of it out of context God can still use it for His glory and anyone’s even your salvation! Keep it up!!! Isaiah 55:11

    God bless!

  18. I think it would be interesting if one would test to see what would happen if someone went down to the DMV and read out of like say “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald [haven’t read it yet but there would be my chance right!?] (or any other work of literature that is non-controversial, excluding the Bible in this case for testing purposes) and see what the reaction would be from security and the people in line? I have a hunch that the reaction from the Fitzgerald book would be far different than from the book that God wrote!

    God bless!

  19. I think it would be interesting if one would test to see what would happen if someone went down to the DMV and read out of like say “The Great Gatsby”

    Under that same circumstances? All shouty and directing the shouting to the people in line? I can’t imagine a security guard wouldn’t tell the person to go elsewhere. Most cities have regulations regarding street performers – including requiring permits. If the Fitzgerald reader had no permit and refused to leave after being told by security, why wouldn’t they call the cops?

  20. Ah, Thomas, you doubt me.

    Please read clear to the top of this page, and tell me what context anything I wrote should be presented in. Any context at all that presents it in something less than a horrendous, red-tinged light.

    (OK, technically, you should probably read from the top down, but that’s up to you, I suppose.)

    Steve:
    I’m more than happy to be the one who brings up those little parts of the Bible that you guys like to leave out.

  21. Piltdown-Super-Storm-Soldier-Bringer
    “The typical atheist tactic is to change the subject and attack.”

    Well it’s great that the Christians would never resort to such a dastardly tactic…

    Glenn Parker
    “Nice try! Too bad Darwinian evolution being taught in schools by countless lemmings refutes your own assertion.”

    Oh.

  22. From what I see in the video it didn’t look like the person reading the bible was exercising his first amendment right. It looked more like verbal assault. The people at the DMV had no way of averting or leaving the area without losing their spot in the line. There is plenty of public places to go where you can read your bible for people to hear and they can choose to listen or go elsewhere. It is obvious to me that the “bible reader” chose this spot on purpose knowing that 1. the people have little choice but to listen and 2. there will be some sort of confrontation.

    My question is this. Does he not believe in the saying “do onto others as you would have done onto you”?. Would he appreciate say a satan worshipper reading the devils handbook or whatever they read to him while he was in line at the DMV or Post Office?

    The “Bible reader” was in the wrong in this situation. Maybe the arrest was going a bit far but he didn’t listen, stop, or leave. Finally, I would not compare what he is doing with what Martin Luther King was doing. Which by the way had far worse consequences than being taken to the police station.

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