In California, a pastor was arrested for reading the bible aloud outside a DMV.
The justification for the arrest was that while his free speech in reading the bible is protected, he was impeding business at the DMV and forcing people at the DMV to listen to his speech. Which seems like a bit of a stretch.
He was standing 50 feet away from the entrance to the DMV, and certainly wasn’t blocking anyone from entering, but he was on public property so it wasn’t like he was trespassing either. What’s more, the DMV was closed at the time of his arrest.
It seems the authorities in this case are asserting a right that the public at large not be offended by speech. Which is a silly standard. You don’t have a right not to be offended. If that were the standard by which we measured allowable free speech, whether it takes place on a public sidewalk or on a blog, we’d have no speech at all.
I’d like to see if the authorities would apply this standard to the Occupy Wall Street protesters. How is it that a pastor, reading a bible outside a DMV is a public disturbance worthy of arrest while the occupiers got away with months worth of violence and vandalism in the name of political speech?