(OPINION) Seattle police arrested a street preacher on charges of being a risk to public safety for reading his Bible aloud at a public park near an LGBT pride event. According to the Christian Post, Matthew Meinecke, who identifies himself as The Seattle Preacher on Twitter, was surrounded by Seattle police officers as he was reading his Bible and was subsequently arrested and fingerprinted at a police station before being released.
“SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park. Because it’s such a horrible crime now!” Meinecke wrote on Twitter, posting a video showing his arrest.
“So at this point, we can no longer stand by. The risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here can be mitigated if you leave. It’s your last chance,” a police officer can be heard saying.
The preacher told the officers, “I don’t want to leave because I’m not in danger.” “I was at the Seattle Center, reading the Bible, not aggressively preaching, not stirring people up, not anything. People throwing things. People vandalizing our property. I think about 10 police officers showed up,” the pastor told journalist Jonathan Choe with the Discovery Institute.
“Your job is not to silence me and move me. Why are they so offended by words? I just believe in using the word of God.” The preacher also posted a video showing a protester seizing his Bibles and ripping pages while shouting, “Get the f— out of here! Get your holy water off my ovaries, b—-! Get the f— out!” Another person shouted at him, saying, “Forget about your imaginary fairy in the f—ing sky.”
Meinecke said he saw “a bunch of naked people walking around over here, not even 200 feet away. … Naked grown men around little children.” Last weekend, Meinecke was also arrested during a Roe v. Wade protest, Choe added on Twitter. “Far-left extremists ripped up his Bible and assaulted him. But they got away.”
In a video Meinecke shared online, he added: “We’ve got a city full of crime. We’ve got needles all over the place. Lawless homeless camps everywhere. We’ve got assaults. We’ve got broken glass. We’ve got Antifa running the place. But they’ve got time to send in 10 police officers to arrest a street preacher reading his Bible in a park.”