Matthew Meinecke, known on social media as The Seattle Preacher, was arrested last weekend for preaching and reading his Bible, once during a Roe v. Wade rally and the next day at a Pride parade.
A video Meinecke posted on Twitter shows protesters taking Meinecke’s Bible and ripping pages out of it, throwing them on the ground while screaming obscenities at him.
“Hate Crime, this needs to be investigated,” Meinecke’s tweet reads. “I demand someone take actions and press charges. My bibles were destroyed in hate for my Christian beliefs.”
One person can be heard telling the street preacher, “Get the [expletive] out of here. You understand me?” Another person screamed, “Get your holy water off my ovaries, [expletive]! Get the [expletive] out!”
Those not involved in harassing Meinecke stood nearby, watching their fellow protesters assault him.
Meinecke shared that after Saturday’s event, where he preached and read the Bible aloud, two of his Bibles were ripped up, he was dragged by protesters, he had his shoe ripped off, and a barrier was thrown on top of him. “This was extremely violent. The people were enraged” because of the Roe v. Wade reversal, Meinecke told his followers.
The next day, Meinecke posted another video showing a separate incident during PRIDEFEST 2022 at the Seattle Center, where another one of his Bibles was taken from him and kicked around like a soccer ball by parade attendees.
According to the Seattle Center’s website, PRIDEFEST 2022 is one of Seattle’s largest festivals.
“Desecration of another person’s religious material is a HATE CRIME. If this was a Quran people would be outraged. People must really hate the WORD of GOD right now,” Meinecke tweeted.
Those kicking the street preacher’s Bible can be heard laughing. Holding his tattered Bible up, he told those who were kicking it, “If this was a Quran, you would not have done that.” Someone replied back, “No, because they wouldn’t be here doing this.” Someone else chimed in, “We actually would have.”
Another person told Meinecke to “forget about your imaginary fairy in the [expletive] sky.”
Someone then can be heard screaming, “Your’e so [expletive] privileged,” and Meinecke’s Bible was abruptly taken from his hand.
The person who snatched the Bible then took it into a porta potty and threw it in the toilet. Meinecke’s video showed his Bible floating on top of human waste and toilet paper, and he told those watching his video, “That right there is a hate crime. That is a hate crime. That is ungodly, and it’s wrong.” The street preacher can be heard crying as he said, “I can’t believe these people…I can’t believe they would do that.”
Later that day, Meinecke uploaded another video showing Seattle Police officers arresting him while he was reading Scripture in what appears to be the parade celebrating LGBTQ+ rights. Police can be heard giving Meinecke a warning to leave or be arrested.
“So at this point, we can no longer stand by. The risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here,” one of the multiple officers told Meinecke.
Meinecke told the officers that he wasn’t in danger. That is when two officers handcuffed him, placing him under arrest. Those attending the parade shouted and clapped with joy.
Senior Fellow and journalist at Discovery Institute Johnathan Choe posted a video of Meinecke outside the Municipal Court of Seattle, sharing that the Seattle City Attorney has not filed charges against Meinecke at this time.
“[I] wasn’t aggressively preaching [or] stirring people up,” Meinecke said. “People [were] throwing things. People vandalized our property. I think about 10 police officers showed up. Your job is not to silence me and move me,” the street preacher said.
Meinecke shared that he believes in using the Word of God to change people’s hearts, so if critics view the preaching as offensive, it reveals their need for Jesus.
It confused Meinecke that people were more offended by him preaching than by the naked grown men who were walking around children at Pride event. Those men were not arrested.
“We’ve got a city full of crime. We’ve got needles all over the place. We’ve got 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,” Meinecke said during a video after his arrest on Sunday night.
“I forgive them. I don’t hold nothing against them,” Meinecke said of those who assaulted him, sharing he intends to continue street preaching. It’s worth the risk, he explained.
Meinecke had the same message for the police who arrested him. “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
“I love the police. I have no problem with the police at all,” the street preacher said as he stood outside the municipal building. “I mean, I’ve preached to the police, but it’s only salvation. It’s only the gospel. I’m not saying that [they’re] a bunch of communists monsters or anything. I believe that police are fallible human beings just like anyone else and worthy of criticism like everybody else.”
Meinecke told those watching the video that people have come to faith in Christ through his preaching, and so he has no intention of stopping. It’s a message of hope, not a message of hate, Meinecke said.
This isn’t the first time he’s has been assaulted for street preaching. Meinecke previously posted image wherein he was choked by residents of Seattle’s Chaz in 2020. Other videos show Meinecke getting beaten for his street preaching.