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The Land of the Free? Not so Much!


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#1    Jor-el

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:02 PM

Home Bible Studies illegal in America


This is an amazing news story although it is a few months old. So how is it possible that in the land of the free, this can happen. If this is the future of America, what's to say it can't happen everywhere else...

It was once the land of the free, now, not so much...

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#2    rashore

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

WTF? I may have to look around a bit more about this.

I could understand if they were throwing out public flyers that it may be considered gatherings of legal ramifications.. Or if they were portrayed as having all night noise fests in the backyard with 30 people every weekend. Or otherwise causing problems, like if the headline was because folks showing up for the weekly meeting caused serious parking problems in the area.

But geez, I know of lots of people that gather regularly. Gamers every weekend- yep, I mean those that play games and sit down to watch them. All fair weather long out here we get the weekenders that gather and party. Book discussion, wine and beer sampling, potlucks, crafting circles..


#3    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:25 PM

View PostJor-el, on 18 February 2012 - 09:02 PM, said:

Home Bible Studies illegal in America


This is an amazing news story although it is a few months old. So how is it possible that in the land of the free, this can happen. If this is the future of America, what's to say it can't happen everywhere else...

It was once the land of the free, now, not so much...

So why don't they just register???  I think there is alot more to this story then being told.

How many people gather?

Edited by HavocWing, 18 February 2012 - 09:26 PM.

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#4    Jor-el

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:39 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 18 February 2012 - 09:25 PM, said:

So why don't they just register???  I think there is alot more to this story then being told.

How many people gather?

And why should they register if this isn't the site of an actual church? As it says it is a local home group. Also, it isn't a small house, from what I've seen, they have more than enough space to hold a gathering of around 30 people. Heck I can get more than that into my apartment.

The point is that the law states that this is neccesary for gatherings of more than 3 people.

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#5    _Only

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:46 PM

The news story makes it out to seem that they are being hit so the city can make money, but like said above, there just has to be more than meets the eye going on here. I've been jaded that I am suspicious of any news story I see on TV. There has been so much tomfoolery.

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#6    White Crane Feather

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Nop.... Dosnt surprise me a bit. States, cities, and municipal areas have gOn crazy with their fines and fees for this and that. Freedom to worship, gather, and taxation without representation are all going out the window with every loophole that can be generated.

We have given our governments to much power now it's a revenue generating Machine at the expense of us and our freedoms.

Being in business I have seen this type of thing over and over again. It's terrible.

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:54 PM

Nah...Christians aren't being singled out or treated unfairly.  How could anyone think that? :wacko:

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#8    Mr Walker

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:09 PM

I can't acess the link, but of course there is the classic American solution LITIGATION :devil:
It would suprise me that any govt, municipality or state, in america could regulate the form of activity in a person's home, although yes they can rightly legislate the effects of such activies; like noise, or parking  issues.

Does one also require a permit for a child's sleepover, a movie night, or an amway party? Pool parties, birthday and christmas gatherings, barbeques, stargazing?
If not, the legislation is overtly discriminatory. If so, I can't see it lasting long, or being obeyed.

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#9    libstaK

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:28 PM

My guess is neighbours who feel inconvenienced by the cars blocking the street on the bible study night - 30 people if, as in my meditation group 2/3 travel there alone, is up to 20 cars blocking the street.

Some people will not be tolerant of this in front of their homes if it is a regular occurrence and complain persistently to authorities-this could have the authorities looking for the means to curb the traffic issues and bingo you have this sad state of affairs.
  



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#10    sam12six

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:31 PM

I've got mixed feelings about the story:

On one hand, the city's allegation that anyone holding a regular gathering of more than 3 people for any reason is against the law is ludicrous (even if it's true).

On the other, watching the video, these people have a pulpit, awning, and rows of seats - that's pretty much a church so I can see the city wanting to regulate it as such. Churches and businesses have special regulations when operating in a residential area. It's understandable that the city want those to be met if the gathering fits the definition of either.


#11    aquatus1

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:50 AM

I find it interesting that every article on this I find sourced to a religious website focuses on people being prosecuted for studying the bible, where every article I find sourced to a general news source focuses more on how the regular meetings of up to 50 people in what was once a residential neighborhood.

In other words, it is not against the law for anyone to hold a regular gathering of more than 3 people for religious reasons.  That is simply the legal definition of a church.  They are not being fined for doing that.

What they are being fined for is for holding regular Thursday gatherings of up 30 people, and regular Sunday gatherings of up to 50 people.  In a house that had an addition built on it to include a large gathering area with a raised stage, pulpit, and rows of seats.  In a residential area.

I can see why the city would reasonably conclude that this a church, and should therefore be subject to the same rules that all churches are subject to.

I cannot see how one can reasonably claim that home bible studies are illegal in California, or that this group was unfairly singled out.


#12    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:26 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 19 February 2012 - 12:50 AM, said:

What they are being fined for is for holding regular Thursday gatherings of up 30 people, and regular Sunday gatherings of up to 50 people.

50 is about the size of the local church in my neighborhood.

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#13    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:45 AM

View PostHavocWing, on 19 February 2012 - 01:26 AM, said:

50 is about the size of the local church in my neighborhood.
50 is also about average for any afternoon/evening staff show or barbecue involving the teachers at my school. Would i need a permit to hold one? (and should I?)

Our neighbours have outside barbecues with at least 30 people, several times a week over summer.  What about them? At one time in our life we held regular afternoon teas/garden parties, to celebrate family anniversaries and birthdays. We had over 100 friends and relatives attend most of those, often 150. No one ever complained.

Today  in our "shed /garage,"  we are fully equipped to have 30 people around at any time with seating/tables coffee machine and crockery etc.  Yet we need no permit to do this . Should we, in your opinion?

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

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#14    aquatus1

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:32 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 February 2012 - 01:45 AM, said:

50 is also about average for any afternoon/evening staff show or barbecue involving the teachers at my school. Would i need a permit to hold one? (and should I?)

if it was a regular event (let alone twice weekly), yes, you would.

EDIT:  Actually, your school is probably already zoned for it.  If you regularly did it in a residential area, you would likely need a permit.

Quote

Our neighbours have outside barbecues with at least 30 people, several times a week over summer.  What about them? At one time in our life we held regular afternoon teas/garden parties, to celebrate family anniversaries and birthdays. We had over 100 friends and relatives attend most of those, often 150. No one ever complained.

Again, regular event, not occasional event.

Quote

Today  in our "shed /garage,"  we are fully equipped to have 30 people around at any time with seating/tables coffee machine and crockery etc.  Yet we need no permit to do this . Should we, in your opinion?

If you are regularly hosting teas, parties, anniversaries, to the point that it can be considered a weekly event, I think it could be reasonably argued that you are actually catering.

Edited by aquatus1, 19 February 2012 - 10:08 AM.


#15    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 19 February 2012 - 03:32 AM, said:

if it was a regular event (let alone twice weekly), yes, you would.

EDIT:  Actually, your school is probably already zoned for it.  If you regularly did it in a residential area, you would likely need a permit.



Again, regular event, not occasional event.



If you are regularly hosting teas, parties, anniversaries, to the point that it can be considered a weekly event, I think it could be reasonably argued that you are actually catering.
Interesting And I thought WE lived in a nanny state, Of course there is no regulaton over such things in australia, apart from normal considerations like noise limits and parking.  I am amazed people in the land of the brave and the home of the free put up with with this sor tof intrusioninto their rights and privacy. Australians wouldn't, atleast  at this time.

All of the events  I mentioned hapened in our back yard There is no cost to anyone involved and we have never had a complaint. Likewise we dont complain about reasonable noise andfestivities from any of our neighbours. But the bigger and more densely packed a society becomes and the more people are aliented from their neighbours, the more legal intrusion they may expect.

Ps we also run bible studies and prayer meetings in our lounge, but compared with our secular activities they are small (under a dozen people) and irregular. Again, there is no restriction on such meetings and no australian govt has jurisdiction over such activities in a person's home, or has ever been silly enough to show the slightest interest in having such jurisdiction. This may reflect an established rule of english jurisprudence that a man's home is his castle.

Zoning laws may prevent heavy industrial work in a persons home, but small businesses; from mechanical  and commercial, through retail, to hairdressing etc. are often run from private residences, without the need for a permit.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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