Pennsylvania police arrested a Christian man over the weekend after he began quoting a Bible verse during a pride event in the town of Reading.
The incident occurred on Saturday morning outside the town's city hall, according to the Lancaster Patriot. Revelers had gathered to participate in the city's first "Pride March and Rally."
Video footage shows Damon Atkins standing on the sidewalk across from the event speaking to a police officer, whom the Patriot identified as Police Sergeant Bradley T. McClure. McClure warns Atkins against disrupting the event.
Atkins insists in the video that he is on public property, which McClure admits, before telling Atkins to "let them have their day," in reference to the pride event attendees. Atkins countered that he was respecting them and ultimately began reciting a Bible verse, but only got so far as to say "God is not-" before the officer arrested him. Atkins later said he intended to quote from 1 Corinthians 14:33.
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints," the verse reads.
A Christian man in Pennsylvania has been arrested for reading the Bible.
Damon Atkins was reading a verse from 1 Corinthians 14:33 – during a Pride event in Reading, Pennsylvania but was arrested before he could finish the verse. pic.twitter.com/Pu7kwLe1k7
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 6, 2023
He was charged with "Disorderly Conduct Engage in Fighting."
McClure later filed an affidavit of probable cause that the Patriot obtained, saying he told Atkins "was free to stand on that side of the street and hold his sign [but] "he could not cross the street nor yell comments intended to disrupt the event."
He further contended that Atkins had indicated understanding of those conditions, though Atkins denies agreeing to stay quiet and the video footage does not show him accepting such terms.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.