On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

What are the limits of our freedom of speech and worship?

Watch this video and ask yourself whether this street preacher was a trouble-maker or merely exercising his right to freedom of speech.

You’ll watch him being arrested for reading aloud from Romans 1 outside of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Hemet, California.

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Attorney Jennifer Monk, associate general counsel with a group called Advocates for Faith and Freedom, filed the suit April 25 in U.S. District Court, alleging free speech violations and unlawful arrest. She’s representing the man who was arrested — Mark Mackey, a member of Calvary Chapel in Hemet.


The other two plaintiffs, assistant Pastor Brett Coronado and Ed Flores Jr., were later arrested after asking what laws were broken to merit Mackey’s arrest.

According to the 13-page complaint, the trio began sharing the gospel at 8:10 a.m. nearly an hour before the DMV opened. The audience was people waiting in line for the office to open.

All three were taken to the CHP offices where they were handcuffed to a table for about 90 minutes. They were cited for “impeding an open business,” although the facility was not open and the men were never closer than 50 feet of any entrance. A spokesman for the Hemet office told a local newspaper that the church members had been warned in the past that they needed a permit to preach on state property.


“This is an abuse of power on the part of the CHP,” Monk said. “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.”

At the time of the lawsuit’s filing, the district attorney’s office had yet to pursue any charges against the men.

“It’s unbelievable that something like this could happen in America today,” says Coronado.

“Whether this was an intentional violation of our clients’ constitutional liberty or whether this was an act of ignorance on the part of the CHP, this lawsuit is important in order to preserve the liberty to read the Bible aloud on public property without fear of criminal prosecution,” said Jennifer Monk.

So, the question is: If the U.S. Supreme Court says that the obnoxious Westboro Baptist Church has the right to defile the funerals of America’s fallen soldiers, how can a little church in southern California be denied their right to read aloud from Romans 1 to Department of Motor Vehicles customers waiting for bureaucrats to open their office?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sue Bentley

    This is so scary. Where can I write? I am sure that our founding fathers are turning in their graves.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sheldon R. Lawrence

    There were no laws broken here. As a believer in Christ Jesus it is our responsibility to go out and preach the Gospel. Is it not our tax dollars that pay for the DMV? This is just satan at work in people; no God fearing person would have complained!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sheila garcia

    This is a sad time for America. More than the time of 9/11. More than loss of lives, we mourn for also for loss of souls. There is evident degeneration of faith and suppression of freedom. If the government permits this much of oppression then America has regressed and turned back to the time of the Roman Empire when the early Christians can only share Jesus gospel in secret chambers of the catacombs and in fear for their life. Is this where America is heading….?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment michael wilson

    This is sad but it sure show us where we are and how close we are because Jesus is coming back soon and no one and nobody can stop time move on we will see more and more of this but we all need to make a stand for Jesus just like Jesus make a stand for us on the Cross.Thank you brother for making my stand.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sarahm

    Wow. What was he doing wrong? I will be praying for the injustice and that the people were robbed of a wonderful message.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John Walters

    I would love to see what that guard would do if a Muslim came on his site and started reading from the Quran aloud? Why don’t you flim someone reading from the Quran(which is also a First Amendment right). I bet he will not do anything till people in line start getting out of hand,then the police will be called to DEFEND the readers RIGHT to read from the Quran. GOD SAVE AMERICA!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Wayne A Palmrose

    As no law was even noticed, written and standing on a public sidewalk…what is the problem? This is America and I have right to stand where ever I wish and pray, read and if I cause no harm in being there I shall be able to do so–period.
    No laws were broken here — only being censored by CHP.
    As being on State of California grouns………..I am the State of California I pay the taxes, pay the fees for this business to be there and I say you can stand there, be there whatever you are doing that is your right.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jrcole

    everyine has rights to their religion or non religion other than we the Americans is coming 4 us to fight bk against the ACLU who wants to silence christians,we are at a time we have to fight for our rights.God is putting us to a test to stand up and be counted and fight for him instead of always turning the other cheek.CHRISTIANS OF AMERICA we must start to fight for our rights and future rights of our children

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rosalie

    this is a out-right violation of our rights of freedom of speech this peacher was not doing a thing wrong except for reading a quote from the Bible Wow should the courts burn him at the stake? this is what our America is coming to we the peole have no rights though it saids we do in ur Constitution and i feel so sorry for the people who are offended by the reading for the day IS coming that the Lord will come again and then lets see if the CHP will be able to arrest HIM+

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment susan bice

    I agree , that the ACLU is a factor in ending religion. Our taxes support these jokers and I am sick and tired of them. The need to be run out of town if they apear. They I beleive workers of the devil himself. We better start at home teaching out children, because the junk they teach in school is wrong!

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