Thursday, May 28, 2009

Couple: County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies

When I was a kid into late teens I used to attend, every Monday Night, a Bible study group geared toward that age group. (Towards the end I was part teacher I'd been going there so long.) You'd get an O.T. story, N.T. story, an ongoing story, learn a Bible verse, sing songs, have refreshments. All run by a nice old grandmotherly woman in her basement. It all came out of her own pocket and kids from all over the neighborhood would attend VOLUNTARILY. She held these every Monday night for many many years.

Had anyone tried something like this then I'm not sure they would have survived at the hands of all those disappointed kids. . .

from Her Royal Whyness:

Couple: County Trying To Stop Home Bible Studies

SAN DIEGO -- A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home, 10News reported.

Attorney Dean Broyles of The Western Center For Law & Policy was shocked with what happened to the pastor and his wife.

Broyles said, "The county asked, 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say amen?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say praise the Lord?' 'Yes.'"

The county employee notified the couple that the small bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of county regulations, according to Broyles.

Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

"For churches and religious assemblies there's big parking concerns, there's environmental impact concerns when you have hundreds or thousands of people gathering. But this is a different situation, and we believe that the application of the religious assembly principles to this bible study is certainly misplaced," said Broyles.

News of the case has rapidly spread across Internet blogs and has spurred various reactions.
Broyles said his clients have asked to stay anonymous until they give the county a demand letter that states by enforcing this regulation the county is violating their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion.

Broyles also said this case has broader implications.

"If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly at home for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties? What about people who are meeting to watch baseball games on a regular basis and support the Chargers?" said Broyles.

Broyles and his clients plant to give the county their demand letter this week.

If the county refuses to release the pastor and his wife from obtaining the permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.

Video here


revereridesagain said...

Utterly bizarre. What is the regulation based upon? Is there a problem with parking in the neighborhood? If not, what possible grounds could they have for enforcing this? Sounds to me like San Diego isn't making enough in speeding tickets and parking fees and to some idiot bureaucrat this looked like the next step.

christian soldier said...

Posted it early this morning---
I'm waiting for Christians to stand up - waiting - waiting ..

Anonymous said...

what happened to the right to freely assemble and associate? I would have told him we have the constitutional right to assemble and he should go ahead and fuck off.

also I wouldnt have answered any of his questions on the grounds it wasnt his business.

Pastorius said...

I'm guessing RRA is probably close to on the money here. There is probably some ancillary problem which some dumbfuck with red tape shutting up his anus (so he's constipated and bitter) has used as a pretense here.

May justice be done on this.

Truth is, and I think we all know it, if this were a meeting of Librarians, or Feminists, or something like that, this would not have gone through.

Anonymous said...

Found this last night on a local news site for the area. A fender bender and unhappy neighbor preceded the visit from the county officer. This article has an entirely different flavor than all the others I have read. Much the wall on the part of the county.

BONITA, Calif. -- A local pastor says the county has cited him for hosting weekly Bible studies in his own home.
Pastor, David Jones says a visitor to a neighbor's house called the county after a bible study member hit the visitor’s car while leaving.
Jones said a county code enforcement officer gave him a citation saying he needed a permit to host the weekly bible study meetings.
Jones says about 15 people attend the meetings every week.
Jones and his attorneys say he shouldn't have to get a permit for what he does inside his house. "We think it is clearly permissible. We think this is a violation of our constitutional rights," Jones told 10News.
A county spokeswoman says the county is concerned with parking and its impact on the neighborhood.
The two sides met Wednesday but resolved nothing.
Jones said they're scheduled to meet again on June 9.

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revereridesagain said...

Thought it might be something like that. So now what, they are going to shut down any gathering that causes a temporary parking density problem? A predictable one at that? But because one idiot doesn't know how to drive -- which is what insurance is for -- bureaucrats are talking permits and fines?

The fender-benders should let their insurance deal with it. The rest should probably work out a slightly less congested parking pattern. The local bureaucrats should get their hands out of everybody else's pockets. Fast.

Epaminondas said...

RRA .. any Lubovtich rabbi will hold morning minion prayers (at least 10 adult males) and evening prayers in a CHABAD HOUSE, .i.e. HIS HOME, in a neighborhood. 10-20 more cars, twice a day? SAME THING

These people should seek out the help of the closest Chabad House, and go to town on the govt cretins who imagine they have something to say here, about what a person here does in their own home.