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Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

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Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Old 07-10-12, 10:51 AM
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Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

I've tried to look at this story objectively, but it's hard not to see it has a clear attack on Christian freedom of religion.

"A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after he refused to stop hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home – in violation of the city’s building code laws.

However, the Phoenix city prosecutor’s office said the violations have nothing to do with religious freedom — and everything to do with public safety.

“It came down to zoning and proper permitting,” said Vicki Hill, the chief assistant city prosecutor. “Any time you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does — we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there is a fire — and that’s really all this comes down to.”

According to court documents provided to Fox News Radio, Michael Salman was found guilty in the City of Phoenix Court of 67 code violations. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail along with three years probation and a $12,180 fine. He could be jailed as early as next week unless the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grants an emergency injunction.

“They’re cracking down on religious activities and religious use,” Salman told Fox News Radio. “They’re attacking what I as a Christian do in the privacy of my home.”

“If I had people coming to my home on a regular basis for poker night or Monday Night Football, it would be permitted,” he said. “But when someone says to us we are not allowed to gather because of religious purposes – that is when you have discrimination.”


The Salman Family
However, the Arizona courts consistently ruled against Salman – ultimately declaring that he was engaged in church activities and that the city did not violate his constitutional rights to religious freedom.

The long-running feud between Salman and the City of Phoenix culminated in the summer of 2009 when nearly a dozen police along with city inspectors raided their home. Armed with a search warrant, police confined the Salman family to the living room as they combed the property looking for violations.

Salman is the owner of Mighty Mike’s Burgers — and he is also an ordained pastor. He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people.

Hill said the city became aware of the meetings after neighbors apparently complained about traffic congestion.

In 2007 they received a letter from the city informing them that the Bible studies were not permitted in their living room because it was in violation of the construction code."
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...ble-study.html


The government seems to be pinning their case on defining this pastor's home as a church. It raises the question, when is a private residence considered a church? Home Bible studies are a staple of the Christian church. I find it outrageous that the government has the right to tell you that you can't host a Bible study in your own home?!?!? He was hosting 15-20 people, not a freaking congregation.

Salman makes a good point that if the gathering was non-religious like a poker night, there would be no problem. If the concern for fire safety is valid, why are people allowed to have parties at their home? You can bet the government wouldn't dare pull this kind of stunt on a Muslim gathering.

Seriously, what is happening to religious freedom in this country?
Old 07-10-12, 10:52 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

This is some bargain!
Old 07-10-12, 10:53 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Sorry I was logged into the wrong forum. Mods, can you move this post please?
Old 07-10-12, 11:07 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Unless they are uniformly applying the law and prosecuting people for regular non-religious activity at their homes, then this is bullshit.
Old 07-10-12, 11:11 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
Unless they are uniformly applying the law and prosecuting people for regular non-religious activity at their homes, then this is bullshit.
You think?

Old 07-10-12, 11:13 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

You seemed to leave out quite a bit of that article, here are some other bits:

Originally Posted by Fox News Radio
The city ignored the Salmans until 2009 – when they built a 2,000 square foot building in their backyard. Salman said he applied for and was granted the proper building permits. He also said the building has passed a city inspection.

“At that point we took our Bible study from our living room – and we moved it into that building,” he said. “We started worshipping in that building every weekend.”

However, Hill said Salman has “mischaracterized the facts” of the permit. She said he was given a permit to convert a garage into a game room.

“Any other occupancy or use – business, commercial, assembly, church, etc, is expressly prohibited pursuant to the city of Phoenix building code and ordinances,” she told Fox News Radio.

[...]

The largest source of contention has been whether or not Salman is running a church. He insists it is not.

But his building certainly resembles a church. It has chairs for as many as 40 people. There is a pulpit. There’s a sign out front – along with a cross.

“Just because visitors come to my home three times a week and we discuss the Bible – if that’s their definition of a church then so be it,” he said.

[...]

And the courts agreed — noting in a Jan. 4, 2010 ruling: “The state is not saying the Salmans can’t run a church or have worship services at the location. But the state is saying that if they do so, they must do it properly and in accord with fire and zoning codes.”
So he claimed he was converting a garage to a game room, then put in 40 chairs, a pulpit, a sign and cross out front, and holds services 3 times a week. And this came about because neighbors complained to the city about traffic congestion in the neighborhood.
Old 07-10-12, 11:14 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

I didn't realize that Phoenix was so crime free that the cops and D.A.'s had time to work cases like this. I'm sure there's "more to the story" as to why they're singling this guy out, religious or otherwise.

Edit: just saw WallyOPD's post. Turns out there was more to the story. This is a bit more than a fellow having a bible study in his living room...he basically built a church on his property.
Old 07-10-12, 11:17 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
You seemed to leave out quite a bit of that article, here are some other bits:



So he claimed he was converting a garage to a game room, then put in 40 chairs, a pulpit, a sign and cross out front, and holds services 3 times a week. And this came about because neighbors complained to the city about traffic congestion in the neighborhood.
Until you posted this, I thought it was complete bullshit. Now, I think I'm siding with the city. You can't just build a church in your backyard without going through the proper channels.

It would be like me saying I'm going to build a pool on my property but then end up building a full fledged water park.
Old 07-10-12, 11:18 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
You seemed to leave out quite a bit of that article, here are some other bits:



So he claimed he was converting a garage to a game room, then put in 40 chairs, a pulpit, a sign and cross out front, and holds services 3 times a week. And this came about because neighbors complained to the city about traffic congestion in the neighborhood.
question is...why did he leave out that bit?
Old 07-10-12, 11:20 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

I was thinking this was about having 100 people meet every week in some tomehouse...
He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people.
Seems someone in the Phoenix government has a grudge with him.
Old 07-10-12, 11:20 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by whoopdido View Post
Until you posted this, I thought it was complete bullshit. Now, I think I'm siding with the city. You can't just build a church in your backyard without going through the proper channels.

It would be like me saying I'm going to build a pool on my property but then end up building a full fledged water park.
Yeah, that does change the complexion of this whole thing.
Old 07-10-12, 11:20 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
You seemed to leave out quite a bit of that article
Shocking.
Old 07-10-12, 11:21 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by dvdjunkie32 View Post
I find it outrageous that the government has the right to tell you that you can't host a Bible study in your own home?!?!? He was hosting 15-20 people, not a freaking congregation.
Well the article kinda sorta oopsie left out exactly how many people were coming over TODAY. It says in 1995 he originally had 15 people coming over but it doesn't say how many come over today:

He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people.
So.. How many attend today? I would think that would be a legitimate question and could probable explain a lot as to why this is a problem. But that was left out of the article. I wonder why. Hmmmmmmmmm...........
Old 07-10-12, 11:22 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

I like how we all called BS on "outrage" of this story at the same time
Old 07-10-12, 11:22 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
question is...why did he leave out that bit?
Why did Dvdjunkie leave out that bit?

Could it be because it doesn't help his case?

Without the added info he left out I would have sided with him, but with the added info then I would agree that this guy is running a church and he thinks they're stupid and will believe that he's not.

We're not talking about inviting a few friends over a few times a week to talk about the bible.
Old 07-10-12, 11:25 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Well the article kinda sorta oopsie left out exactly how many people were coming over TODAY. It says in 1995 he originally had 15 people coming over but it doesn't say how many come over today:



So.. How many attend today? I would think that would be a legitimate question and could probable explain a lot as to why this is a problem. But that was left out of the article. I wonder why. Hmmmmmmmmm...........
The video said "Room for the 30 to 40 that gather here weekly"

So if they are to be believed then it's at least double the 15 in the article.
Old 07-10-12, 11:26 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Isn't there one of those commandment thingies about not lying? Sure we're just fixing up the 'ole garage....indeed.

I wonder if OP would be posting about this as an attack on religious freedom if these folks were Muslim?
Old 07-10-12, 11:30 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

neighbors apparently complained about traffic congestion
This is the actual issue. Sorry about your conspiracy theories.
Old 07-10-12, 11:31 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

If this was in his living room, then I would be on his side, but he basically built a church in his backyard (it holds 40 people) so I definitely understand why his neighbors are complaining and the city is going after him.

But that won't stop certain news organizations and internet sites from spinning this as an attack on religion... I bet FOX news picks up this story real fast!
Old 07-10-12, 11:32 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by WallyOPD View Post
You seemed to leave out quite a bit of that article, here are some other bits:
And that.
Old 07-10-12, 11:32 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
I wonder if OP would be posting about this as an attack on religious freedom if these folks were Muslim?
Or if the clown in the story built his Expand-O-Sanctuary as a venue for same-sex marriages to be performed?
Old 07-10-12, 11:33 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

He should have just called it an orgy and been done with it.
Old 07-10-12, 11:34 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

You'd think people here would know by now - never start a thread with an agenda lest it be turned around on you with extreme prejudice!
Old 07-10-12, 11:35 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

Claiming attacks on Christianity in a nation that is what, 80% Christian, is fucking hilarious in and of itself.
Old 07-10-12, 11:36 AM
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Re: Phoenix Man Jailed for Hosting Bible Study!

It's much harder to feel bad for these property owners than the ones from this thread:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/politics-wo...ut-permit.html


But I find it that the government said that 15-person bible studies were impermissible in their original house's living room. It seems to me if the government (and their neighbors in all likelihood) weren't so anal, they never would have built the 2,000 sf building in their backyard.

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