Taking Liberties: Arrested for reading the Bible?
The video begins with Mark Mackey opening his Bible.
“Good morning, everyone,” he says to a group of 15 onlookers waiting outside the Hemet California Division of Motor Vehicles. “I would like to read a little bit of the word of God this morning.”
The video, shot in February of last year, ends with Mackey’s arrest.
“You can preach on your own property,” an officer from the California Highway Patrol tells Mackey as he leads him away in handcuffs. “Folks, this is what the United States is coming to,” Mackey says to the crowd, who were standing outside waiting for the DMV to open. “You can talk about anything you want, but you can’t talk about the Bible.”
Mackey is a reverend with Calvary Chapel Hemet, a conservative Christian church that practices an “evangelical ministry,” requiring public testimonials and Scripture readings.
Church officials believe Mackey was arrested because of “Christian bigotry.”