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Man Facing Jail For Hosting Home Bible Study

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No, he's not a Witness :)

This has been going on for some time!

Man Facing Jail For Hosting Home Bible Study

By Todd Starnes

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.”

Read the whole article here:


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The city of Phoenix can direct such an ordinance if there is not one slum property in its realm.

Google Earth shows the city has some questionable buildings and some are appartment complexes.

Deadly Apartment Fire

I note the article does not say how many people attended the meetings. It would be good to know how they differentiat between Bible study groups or regular boys Football night with BBQ.

Sounds petty and targeted to me. :shrugs: . . but the fine is not.

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I can understand this from a building code perspective. If I wrote him up as neighbors complained (for example - more than 50 people and doors are required to open out) and he disregarded, made no effort to adjust number of people or meet outside or Max of 4 cars allowed and he had 20 with no regard for neighbors. Then I came again - warning notice. Still no change or even an attempt after 4 tries I would lock him up too.

How do you differentiate? One time a month is one thing, but a scheduled regular church service at a house with over 50 people is going to require some code upgrades. You can't just turn any home you want into a church. There are zoning and code items you have to upgrade to.

We get people who try to become day-care s all the time. More than 4 kids who aren't in your family requires permits.

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The comments in the current article by the government official(s) stating that the charges are not motivated by religion but public safety made me think of the Faithful Slaves comments. I've also heard talks alluding to this as well, that the scarlet colored beast uses "security" or "societal good" as the reason to finally turn on false religion. Hmm, something to think about and take notice of...

*** w05 9/15 p. 19 par. 13 Walk by Faith, Not by Sight! ***

Something similar is about to take place in our day. Elements within the United Nations will be involved in the execution of divine judgment. Just as the Roman armies of the first century were designed to maintain the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), the United Nations of today is intended to be a peacekeeping instrument. Although the Roman armies tried to ensure relative safety throughout the then known world, they became the desolater of Jerusalem. Likewise today, Bible prophecy indicates that militarized powers within the United Nations will see religion as a disturbing element and will act to destroy modern-day Jerusalem—Christendom—as well as the rest of Babylon the Great. (Revelation 17:12-17) Yes, the entire world empire of false religion stands on the brink of destruction.

There was another case in CA regarding a Bible club at one of the state colleges. In that case, charges of discrimination were filed against the club because they do not allow homosexuals to join. The court ruled on the side of the plaintiffs, stating that they were not dealing with the religious aspects, but were focusing on discrimination.

Supreme Court rules against UC student group that excluded gays

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I tell you what - if any of you had someone open a church in the house next door to them and vagrants hung out all around it and lots of cars were parked in front of your home - you'd be calling code enforcement also. I know I would. DITTO for when the try and open day-cares with 10 cars and kids running around all over the place.

This is what I love about Jehovah's people - we are law abiding. If this were to happen at one of our homes - it would only take 1 citation not 67 to get us to make adjustments to our homes so that we conform to the laws of the land (Rom 13).

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Google him - interesting info - http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2008-01-17/news/michael-salman-wants-to-build-a-church-in-his-backyard-his-neighbors-aren-t-buying-it/

The real problem is that Salman is intent on building a church in his own backyard — and not just any church, but a 4,200-square-foot building that will sit only a few feet from his neighbor's property line.

Last year, when the Salmans realized that they couldn't meet the city's commercial requirements for a church building, they went ahead with constructing the game room. They tell me they were planning all along to use it for religious activity. But they weren't exactly straightforward about their intentions.

Interestingly, both city officials and Michael Salman referred me to the same set of e-mails to buttress their positions. In the e-mails, sent in April just before the city signed off on final construction, city officials pointedly explained that the building can't be used for church assembly.

"A church assembly use is not allowable under City Code unless the site is developed as a commercial project," a staffer wrote.


City spokesman David J. Ramirez says the issue isn't the nature of the assemblies. It's safety. There are no sprinklers in the outbuilding and no emergency exits, yet the room features 145 chairs. "It's a hazard to pack 145 people into a space like that," Ramirez says.

Salman's been battling city officials and neighbors for the last few years in his quest to continue the services, which -- he says -- he holds each week for the benefit of about 50 friends. Fire and zoning inspectors maintain that a structure he built in his backyard with the help of some of those friends is a safety hazard.

Interesting he says 50 (over 50 is the "magic" number where fire sprinklers and emergency exits kick in - in the US), but he has seating for 145 :eek:

Yeah - Jehovah's people obey the laws. This guy doesn't.

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