Apparently because a couple of street preachers got arrested for disturbing the peace, a California pastor has proposed a ballot measure to make it illegal to do so. And a whole lot more.
Pastor Allen Esses of YesJesusIsLord.org has proposed an amendment to Section 4 of Article I of the California Constitution, which guarantees “free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference.” It has been cleared for circulation by the Attorney General. Under Pastor Esses’ amendment, a clause that exempts “acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State” would be struck from the constitution, essentially allowing any view to be protected so long as it’s expressed in the name of God. This would include sermons and projects aimed to disenfranchise or libel specific demographics.
Here’s the full text of the proposed amendment:
We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to perpetuate His blessings do submit that it is not a crime, hate crime or unlawful for a person to use any part of the Bible’s content as authority: and do submit that a person using any part of the Bible’s content as authority may freely speak, pray, write, discuss, publish, preach, teach, hear, share his or her faith to proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, engage in street witnessing, distribute written material or otherwise communicate any views on salvation, heaven, or abortion, adultery, alcoholism, anti-Semitism, astrology, bestiality, bigamy, bisexuality, blasphemy, civil unions, coarse jesting, cohabitation, coveting, cross-dressing., cults, drugs, drunkenness, extortion, euthanasia, evil, evolution, fornication, gay marriage, gender identity, hell, heresy, homosexuality, idolaters, idolatry, incest, lying, marriage, murder, necromancy, other religions, pornography, psychics, rape, reviling, sex, sexual immorality, sexual orientation, sodomy, sorcery, stealing, transgender, trans-sexuality, witchcraft, yoga, or sin at any public or private gatherings, school, church, or other place of worship, Bible Study group or sidewalk or in any communicative medium, the internet, satellite, television, film, theater, radio, videos, recording, newspapers, magazines, music, and periodicals or by means of a computer, electronic devise, telephone, cell phone or fax machine.
The initiative appears on the website for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, but is not on the list of cleared initiatives posted by the California Secretary of State. If it has indeed been approved for circulation, as the first linked source states, they have until December 3rd to raise the 807,000 signatures needed to place it on the 2014 ballot.