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Arizona Pastor Arrested, Jailed for Holding Bible Study in Home; His Wife Says It ‘Defies Logic’

Southern Man 2012/07/11 14:40:26
What is this country coming to
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Pastor

Bible
study leader Michael Salman is sitting in jail today after his home was
raided earlier this week by more than a dozen Phoenix, Ariz. police
officers and city officials. His offense? The city says people aren’t
allowed to hold private bible studies on their own property.

Salman
was sentenced to 60 days in jail, three years probation and received a
$12,180 fine for “the crime.” His wife Suzanne spoke with
Fox and Friends this morning to express her shock and disbelief at the
entire situation. According to Suzanne, the city told her that her
husband was essentially arrested because the bible study was at a
private house .. and that essentially, it’s a church. Since they weren’t
zoned for church, they were told they were breaking the rules.
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“It
defies logic, honestly. I don’t understand … that something so small
got so large like this,” Suzanne said. “People do it all over the United
States all the time.”

John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute
believes the family is being discriminated against because of their
faith. “The key is the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom to
religion … the right to assemble and talk to each other wherever you
want to be – in public or in your home,” he said. “The thing that I
think is so shocking is that you might expect this in Iran or [some
place] around the world … but happening in the United States, this is so
shocking it’s beyond belief.”

Phoenix City Prosecutor Vicki Hill
said in a statement: “It came down to zoning and proper permitting.
Anytime you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does,
we ave concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in
case there is a fire, and that’s really allt his comes down to.”

What
do you make of this case? As Suzanne says in the below interview, is
this different than a regularly meeting Tupperware group or the like?
And if so, how and why?

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Top Opinion

  • JL 2012/07/11 14:51:33
    This is it in a nutshell
    JL
    +5
    IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, YOU WILL BE REDICULED...THE PROGRESSIVES CAN NOT HANDLE THE EXISTENCE OF A POWER HIGHER THAN THEIR OWN...

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  • Slyswine 2012/07/17 23:32:20
    This is it in a nutshell
    Slyswine
    http://www.examiner.com/artic...

    On the face of it, we need to take at least one deep breath and ask ourselves if maybe this was not some kind of gestapo style raid designed to squash the exercise of free speech. If anything, we would expect quite a lot going awry before the city would risk the kind of histrionics we've come to expect when Christians stub their toes trampling the constitution. It turns out, there's a long list:

    Mr. Salman had regular gatherings of up to 80 people. He held services twice a week and collected a tithe at the services.

    He held himself out as a being a church through the media (Harvest Christian Church) and claimed a church status for tax exemption purposes on his property.

    All houses of worship in the City of Phoenix must conform to the same codes

    Due to the regular, reoccurring high vehicular traffic in this quiet residential neighborhood, neighbors repeatedly complained about the public assembly occurring on his property. Because of the multiple, reoccurring complaints, the City investigated the activity and discovered numerous building code violations primarily related to fire safety standards. Once apprised of these violations, the City could be held liable for not enforcing safety code requirements in the event anyone was injured on the p...





    http://www.examiner.com/artic...

    On the face of it, we need to take at least one deep breath and ask ourselves if maybe this was not some kind of gestapo style raid designed to squash the exercise of free speech. If anything, we would expect quite a lot going awry before the city would risk the kind of histrionics we've come to expect when Christians stub their toes trampling the constitution. It turns out, there's a long list:

    Mr. Salman had regular gatherings of up to 80 people. He held services twice a week and collected a tithe at the services.

    He held himself out as a being a church through the media (Harvest Christian Church) and claimed a church status for tax exemption purposes on his property.

    All houses of worship in the City of Phoenix must conform to the same codes

    Due to the regular, reoccurring high vehicular traffic in this quiet residential neighborhood, neighbors repeatedly complained about the public assembly occurring on his property. Because of the multiple, reoccurring complaints, the City investigated the activity and discovered numerous building code violations primarily related to fire safety standards. Once apprised of these violations, the City could be held liable for not enforcing safety code requirements in the event anyone was injured on the premises.

    Prior to commencement of prosecution, Mr. Salman was asked, repeatedly, to comply with the safety codes of the City. He chose to ignore these requests for voluntary compliance prior to the commencement of any proceedings. (My emphasis -- WH)

    http://phoenix.gov/news/07121...

    Check the facts before going off in the deep end over this story. He is guilty of legitimate civil laws. Plain and simple.
    (more)
  • Fredrick House 2012/07/14 00:21:49
    This is it in a nutshell
    Fredrick House
    If you want to start a Church , start it in a place that is appropriate for commuters.
    If you are holding services in an area that interferes with the Peace of the Neighborhood you are not contributing to the Peace of God but only drawing attention to yourself.
    There are zoning ordinances for a reason. Pedestrian traffic is another issue.
  • Not what you think 2012/07/13 07:47:34
  • John Foley 2012/07/12 17:54:02
    What is this country coming to
    John Foley
    +1
    The Bible tells us that in the end days, we will be persecuted for our faith. I pray for the family and I also pray for God's mercy on the prosecutor, judge and all involved. They will have to ultimately answer to Him one day and stand before Him and give account of all their actions.
  • joefj2 2012/07/12 02:41:55
    I disagree
    joefj2
    +1
    Inadvertently pressed the disagree vote. But now that it was done, I disagree with Satan and his minions attacks on the Christian populace. The evil one will use any weak mind to accomplish his desires.
  • Radical Ed 2012/07/11 20:42:31
    This is it in a nutshell
    Radical Ed
    +2
    He was in his home with a group, not on the street corner, so there should be no problem.
  • jackolantyrn356 2012/07/11 15:58:22
    What is this country coming to
    jackolantyrn356
    +3
    Anti Christian is what the Christians lived with in Roman times.
  • Kat ♪ ~BTO-t-BCRA-F~ ♪ 2012/07/11 15:15:27
    What is this country coming to
    Kat ♪ ~BTO-t-BCRA-F~ ♪
    +3
    Well I'll bet the ACLU isn't breaking down the door to help him. This is what it's coming to, this is the start. Home churches in communist and socialist countries meet in private and pull cell phone batteries so they can't be traced. Welcome to third world dictatorship 101.
  • Souther... Kat ♪ ~... 2012/07/11 19:22:34
    Southern Man
    +1
    Yes and this is scary what is next that is my question
  • Dwight PWCM 2012/07/11 14:54:57
    I agree
    Dwight PWCM
    +3
    I want to know who called the Police! Then I want to know why the Police responded in the first place!
  • JL 2012/07/11 14:51:33
    This is it in a nutshell
    JL
    +5
    IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN, YOU WILL BE REDICULED...THE PROGRESSIVES CAN NOT HANDLE THE EXISTENCE OF A POWER HIGHER THAN THEIR OWN...
  • Souther... JL 2012/07/11 19:23:27
    Southern Man
    +2
    you got that right and guess what there power will end in Nov.
  • JL Souther... 2012/07/11 19:52:45
    JL
    +3
    WORKING, HOPING, AND PRAYING!
  • Radical Ed JL 2012/07/11 20:40:06
    Radical Ed
    +2
    you caps locked everything, you must be correct!
  • JL Radical Ed 2012/07/11 20:46:14
    JL
    +2
    WHY, YES, YES I WAS!! THANKS FOR NOTICING...
  • Radical Ed JL 2012/07/11 20:47:02
    Radical Ed
    +1
    THATS WONDERFUL. I'M SURE GLAD WE CAN COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING!!ONE111!!
  • JL Radical Ed 2012/07/11 20:48:18
    JL
    +3
    YOU ACT LIKE A CYNICAL BRIT....ANYONE EVER TELL YOU THAT???
  • Radical Ed JL 2012/07/11 20:49:38
    Radical Ed
    +1
    ONLY WHEN I BEGIN TO TALK!. SORRY CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER CAPS.
  • JL Radical Ed 2012/07/11 20:53:47
    JL
    +2
    CAPS HAVE NO VOLUME, WELL, MAYBE A LITTLE CLICKING SOUND...BUT, YOU, ACROSS THE POND SURE AS HECK CAN'T HEAR THEM..
  • Radical Ed JL 2012/07/11 21:00:17
    Radical Ed
    +1
    I LOVE YOU MAN!! MARRY ME!
  • JL Radical Ed 2012/07/11 21:10:15
    JL
    +2
    DON'T THINK THAT'L HAPPEN....NOT LOOKING FOR "SUMTHIN" NEW...
  • Dagon 2012/07/11 14:43:57

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