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The Land of the Free? Not so Much!


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#16    aquatus1

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

You do acknowledge the difference between holding a party on occasion, and regularly holding large gatherings of 30-50 people twice a week, though, correct?


#17    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:24 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 19 February 2012 - 12:10 PM, said:

You do acknowledge the difference between holding a party on occasion, and regularly holding large gatherings of 30-50 people twice a week, though, correct?
Not legally. No. The principle is the same. Govts may regulate consequences of private activities such as parties in private homes but not the holding of them, or other activities,  as such; whether it is once a year or once a week.

When I sold amway many people had regular amway sales meetings in private homes with 30 plus people. It was never an issue and never considered an issue and certainly it was not under any form of legal jurisdiction. This summer my neighbours had regular outdoor barbecues for that many peole severla times a week for several months.  Same deal. But Australia is blessed in this regard, so far, for a variety of practical reasons..

I can legally  do basically anything i like in my house,  unless i cause a real difficulty for my neighbours like playing music late at night or parking in their driveways.

That is apart from activities already illegal, like maufacturing drugs, or prostitution, of course. Frequenc and nature of the activities is not a legal issue As i said I could run most non industrialbusinesses from my home and many people do. That is partly a consequence of austrlaian zoning which allows, and even encourages, a mix of residential and commercial interest in suburbs. If I live near a retail shop no one can realistically complain if I run a small business from my home. Churches dont need permits to hold  daily worship or other meetings and neither does any private residence. But both are accountable for problems with noise or parking etc.

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#18    aquatus1

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:56 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 February 2012 - 12:24 PM, said:

Not legally. No.

:unsure:

It is only in legality where it is an issue.

Quote

The principle is the same. Govts may regulate consequences of private activities such as parties in private homes but not the holding of them, or other activities,  as such; whether it is once a year or once a week.

So, how does this not apply?  These people are not getting fined for holding the activities.  They are getting fined for the consequences.  

Put another way, why should they be considered an exception from any other legal entity that is doing the same thing they are doing?

Quote

When I sold amway many people had regular amway sales meetings in private homes with 30 plus people. It was never an issue and never considered an issue and certainly it was not under any form of legal jurisdiction. This summer my neighbours had regular outdoor barbecues for that many peole severla times a week for several months.  Same deal. But Australia is blessed in this regard, so far, for a variety of practical reasons..

Yeah, laws vary from county to county, state to state, and country to country.  Which is why the comment about legality was a little strange.  Being that this issue is based in Orange County, California, and in Orange County, California the legal definition of a church is a location specifically designated for religious purposes with three or more regular members and regularly scheduled meetings, Do you believe it would be fair to the other churches to give this one some special exemption?  And what would the exemption even be based on?  

Quote

I can legally  do basically anything i like in my house,  unless i cause a real difficulty for my neighbours like playing music late at night or parking in their driveways.

That's pretty much true for every place in the U.S. as well.  Heck, you can even run your business out of your home in most places, as long as you get a permit for it.  

I take it you don't need a home business permit to run a home business in Australia?  In Texas, I had to get a mobile business permit (I went to other people's houses to sell), which ran me about $40 a year, I think.  In Florida, the mobile permit and the home business permit...one was $50 a year and the other was free, but I forget which was which.  The problem was that I was not technically allowed to run out of my apartment due to local residential zone regulations (I was in West Palm Beach, Fl.  Geriatric capital of the U.S.  The old codgers are really crotchety about noise).  Still, I did about one party a month, and there were no complaints.

Quote

That is apart from activities already illegal, like maufacturing drugs, or prostitution, of course.


Yeah, although, to be fair, I think the police would appreciate people trying to get permits for that as well (wouldn't put it past some of the blockheads out there in the criminal world).

Quote

Frequenc and nature of the activities is not a legal issue As i said I could run most non industrialbusinesses from my home and many people do. That is partly a consequence of austrlaian zoning which allows, and even encourages, a mix of residential and commercial interest in suburbs. If I live near a retail shop no one can realistically complain if I run a small business from my home. Churches dont need permits to hold  daily worship or other meetings and neither does any private residence. But both are accountable for problems with noise or parking etc.

Yeah, that is really all over the place here in the U.S.  There is a well-known town a little over an hour north of where I used to live in Texas that is pretty much entirely nothing but homes with storefronts.  Very quaint and nice to visit, your house deed pretty much comes with the store permit.  In Sugar Land, though, you are not allowed to have a home business where customers attend at all, simply because the community voted the laws into place to protect it from being over-run with 50 cars every weekend someone throws a market party.

You commented earlier about this being a Nanny state, but I think it is important to emphasize that these are county and state laws that were, largely, voted on by the local businessmen and residents of that area, just as they are everywhere else in the U.S.  People decide what they want for the place they live in and protect it by using the legal system.  One may claim that these people should be allowed to do what they want in their home, but one should also be willing to listen to the business person who has gone out of his way to comply with the law and zoning requirements.  He would, after all, have a valid complaint if the law did not enforce something that he and all the other businesspeople have to deal with.


#19    Jor-el

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 19 February 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:

So, how does this not apply?  These people are not getting fined for holding the activities.  They are getting fined for the consequences.  

I have to wonder, what consequences would those be, did you read any consequences in the issue anywhere?

Does it mention that there were problems with parking or noise or any other legitimate complaints?

The issue is that these people need a permit to gather to study the bible...

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#20    sam12six

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

View PostJor-el, on 19 February 2012 - 02:26 PM, said:

The issue is that these people need a permit to gather to study the bible...

No, the issue is that these people have literally built and are operating a church in a residential neighborhood and the city is telling them to comply with the regulations that would apply to any church (as defined by the law) in a residential area must.

You don't build a stage and pulpit to study together, you build those to preach to a congregation.


#21    Jor-el

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:24 PM

View Postsam12six, on 19 February 2012 - 03:27 PM, said:

No, the issue is that these people have literally built and are operating a church in a residential neighborhood and the city is telling them to comply with the regulations that would apply to any church (as defined by the law) in a residential area must.

You don't build a stage and pulpit to study together, you build those to preach to a congregation.

Oh come on, I took pics of the video, there is no stage, there is a pultpit, which holds a bible and notes. This is in a backyeard area, this is NOT a church. This same area can be used the next day in a barbecue.

At most you can see around 20 to 30 people in the image.

Did you see the size of that house?. Just the backyeard area is larger than my entire house!!!

The Fromms say the non-denominational meetings are well-suited to their home, located on a sizable acreage similar to surrounding homes, and they say they have been careful to maintain low noise levels both inside the house and on the patio. They say visitors who attended the meetings never had trouble finding a place to park on the property, which is large enough to accommodate a corral, barn, and pool.

Section 9-3.301 of the San Juan Capistrano code prohibits “religious, fraternal, or nonprofit organizations” in residential neighbourhoods without a Conditional Use Permit. This prohibition applies to “churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, religious retreats, and other places of religious worship and other fraternal and community service organizations.” San Juan Capistrano has a reactive code enforcement policy, meaning that officers only respond to complaints.

The Fromms object that the meetings neither serve an organized church nor aim to become one, but are simply a gathering of believers of all stripes.


California homeowner fined for hosting Bible study in his house

Posted Image


Now what is interesting is that this is becoming fashion...


This a clear cut case of religious descrimination.

Edited by Jor-el, 19 February 2012 - 09:26 PM.

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#22    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:35 PM

View PostJor-el, on 19 February 2012 - 09:24 PM, said:

Oh come on, I took pics of the video, there is no stage, there is a pultpit, which holds a bible and notes. This is in a backyeard area, this is NOT a church. This same area can be used the next day in a barbecue.

At most you can see around 20 to 30 people in the image.

Did you see the size of that house?. Just the backyeard area is larger than my entire house!!!

The Fromms say the non-denominational meetings are well-suited to their home, located on a sizable acreage similar to surrounding homes, and they say they have been careful to maintain low noise levels both inside the house and on the patio. They say visitors who attended the meetings never had trouble finding a place to park on the property, which is large enough to accommodate a corral, barn, and pool.

Section 9-3.301 of the San Juan Capistrano code prohibits “religious, fraternal, or nonprofit organizations” in residential neighbourhoods without a Conditional Use Permit. This prohibition applies to “churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, religious retreats, and other places of religious worship and other fraternal and community service organizations.” San Juan Capistrano has a reactive code enforcement policy, meaning that officers only respond to complaints.

The Fromms object that the meetings neither serve an organized church nor aim to become one, but are simply a gathering of believers of all stripes.


California homeowner fined for hosting Bible study in his house

Posted Image


Now what is interesting is that this is becoming fashion...


This a clear cut case of religious descrimination.

Are you saying you guys are above the law?

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#23    _Only

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

View PostJor-el, on 19 February 2012 - 09:24 PM, said:

This a clear cut case of religious descrimination.

No, this is a clear cut case of shooting opinions on a news story, without having all of the facts available.

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#24    ambelamba

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:57 AM

I live in a suburb and I KNOW that it can be really annoying if someone in the neighbor holds a weekly bible study meeting with thirty cars parked outside the street. Since Jor-El lives outside the US he doesn't seem to know the street situations in the US. We don't have any convenient public transportation leading deep into suburbs, period. It's not like people can take a bus and walk to the study meeting place from the bus stop. It doesn't work that way in America. If you want to criticize then do the homework first.

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#25    Gummug

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:22 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 18 February 2012 - 09:55 PM, said:

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
This is a little apropos but several weeks ago I saw a short news clip about the government was going to fine people $1000 dollars for throwing frisbees at the beach. This was also somewhere in California I don't remember the exact area. Dangerous things, those frisbees, could put an eye out.
:cry:

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:58 AM

View PostGummug, on 20 February 2012 - 03:22 AM, said:

This is a little apropos but several weeks ago I saw a short news clip about the government was going to fine people $1000 dollars for throwing frisbees at the beach. This was also somewhere in California I don't remember the exact area. Dangerous things, those frisbees, could put an eye out.
:cry:
It's so terrible. I responded to MW with a huge list of rediculouse fees, taxes, and regulations then I messed up and erased it all. But land of the free this is no longer,  and we killed all the braves. We are slowly bein  constricted in to a police state that taxes and herasses it citizens so that the only thing we are capable of doing is consuming.

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#27    No-thingBornPassion

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:49 AM

View PostlibstaK, on 18 February 2012 - 11:28 PM, said:

My guess is neighbours who feel inconvenienced by the cars blocking the street on the bible study night

...bingo you have this sad state of affairs.
Bingo. San Clemente is a beach town. Parking is most likely the main issue here, not the "regular" Christian gathering. Getting a permit is not hard to do. Plus, every city in OC has their own rules and regulations, like the Corona del Mar man who was fighting to keep his chickens...

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#28    ambelamba

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:54 AM

View Postbraveone2u, on 20 February 2012 - 05:49 AM, said:

Bingo. San Clemente is a beach town. Parking is most likely the main issue here, not the "regular" Christian gathering. Getting a permit is not hard to do. Plus, every city in OC has their own rules and regulations, like the Corona del Mar man who was fighting to keep his chickens...

Right! Parking in beach towns is real tough!

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#29    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 19 February 2012 - 12:56 PM, said:

:unsure:

It is only in legality where it is an issue.



So, how does this not apply?  These people are not getting fined for holding the activities.  They are getting fined for the consequences.  

Put another way, why should they be considered an exception from any other legal entity that is doing the same thing they are doing?



Yeah, laws vary from county to county, state to state, and country to country.  Which is why the comment about legality was a little strange.  Being that this issue is based in Orange County, California, and in Orange County, California the legal definition of a church is a location specifically designated for religious purposes with three or more regular members and regularly scheduled meetings, Do you believe it would be fair to the other churches to give this one some special exemption?  And what would the exemption even be based on?  



That's pretty much true for every place in the U.S. as well.  Heck, you can even run your business out of your home in most places, as long as you get a permit for it.  

I take it you don't need a home business permit to run a home business in Australia?  In Texas, I had to get a mobile business permit (I went to other people's houses to sell), which ran me about $40 a year, I think.  In Florida, the mobile permit and the home business permit...one was $50 a year and the other was free, but I forget which was which.  The problem was that I was not technically allowed to run out of my apartment due to local residential zone regulations (I was in West Palm Beach, Fl.  Geriatric capital of the U.S.  The old codgers are really crotchety about noise).  Still, I did about one party a month, and there were no complaints.



Yeah, although, to be fair, I think the police would appreciate people trying to get permits for that as well (wouldn't put it past some of the blockheads out there in the criminal world).



Yeah, that is really all over the place here in the U.S.  There is a well-known town a little over an hour north of where I used to live in Texas that is pretty much entirely nothing but homes with storefronts.  Very quaint and nice to visit, your house deed pretty much comes with the store permit.  In Sugar Land, though, you are not allowed to have a home business where customers attend at all, simply because the community voted the laws into place to protect it from being over-run with 50 cars every weekend someone throws a market party.

You commented earlier about this being a Nanny state, but I think it is important to emphasize that these are county and state laws that were, largely, voted on by the local businessmen and residents of that area, just as they are everywhere else in the U.S.  People decide what they want for the place they live in and protect it by using the legal system.  One may claim that these people should be allowed to do what they want in their home, but one should also be willing to listen to the business person who has gone out of his way to comply with the law and zoning requirements.  He would, after all, have a valid complaint if the law did not enforce something that he and all the other businesspeople have to deal with.
I would say we are pretty much in agreement, but i have one strong point of disagreement. No of course a house is not a church just because people worship there. That  is the sort of nonesense argument used in russia china and other placeses to prevent the free assembly of worshippers.  I would have thought that, particularlyy in america, the right to free assembly of citizens  especially in a private home was very strongly protected at a federal level.   But america is often a weird and wacky place  Texas has laws preventing the shooting and lassoing of fish, for example.

How do you mean they are fined for the consequences? Are they fined for breaching the peace, causing a nuisance  etc. Or is it actually illegal simply to meet for religious purposes in  private house without a permit? If the latter, then the regulation applies to the use of the house not the consequences of its use. My point is that people in a free society should be able to meet  and assemble anywhere, but especially in private dwelings, with out ever needing to tell the authorities they are doing so.UNLESS they create a real danger to peace, public order, traffic flow, or the safety of others for example. It is not a religious issue. Those rights should apply to all, for any legal purpose.

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Be cheerful.

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#30    aquatus1

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 February 2012 - 09:39 AM, said:

I would say we are pretty much in agreement, but i have one strong point of disagreement. No of course a house is not a church just because people worship there.

Of course not.  I already mentioned it before: Legally, (in that part of California, anyway) a church is defined as a place designated for religious discussion with three or more people in regular attendance.

Quote

That  is the sort of nonesense argument used in russia china and other placeses to prevent the free assembly of worshippers.  I would have thought that, particularlyy in america, the right to free assembly of citizens  especially in a private home was very strongly protected at a federal level.   But america is often a weird and wacky place

It is very strongly protected at the federal level.  So much so that the federal government is expressly forbidden by the very First Amendment to interfere with assembly.  

There are, however, no absolute rights, and there never have been.  At the state level, the county level, and oftentimes, even at the neighborhood level, there are local laws which are created by the locals, appropriately enough, to defend their own rights and interests.

People keep glossing over what seems to me to be a pretty damn important point:  These laws did not just materialize out of thin air.  These laws were not written by people way up on a hill in a comfy mansion with nothing better to do.  Local laws are promoted by locals, and voted on by locals.  This isn't about some vague, disembodied, "government" agency out to screw the little guy; This is about the little guy voting in laws to protect himself, his property, and his business, and expecting the government to back him up.

Quote

Texas has laws preventing the shooting and lassoing of fish, for example.

Well...yeah.  Doesn't Australia have hunting laws?

Quote

How do you mean they are fined for the consequences? Are they fined for breaching the peace, causing a nuisance  etc.

Usually, although in this case it is specifically about the permit that they were previously warned to get.  Basically, they got fined because they did not heed a warning that they need to get a permit to act as a church in location.

Quote

Or is it actually illegal simply to meet for religious purposes in  private house without a permit?

Never has been, probably never will be.  As I mentioned earlier, pretty much all the sites carrying this article with that insinuation tend to be religious in nature.  The news sites with the article make it pretty clear that the fine is a business matter, not a religious matter.

Quote

If the latter, then the regulation applies to the use of the house not the consequences of its use. My point is that people in a free society should be able to meet  and assemble anywhere, but especially in private dwelings, with out ever needing to tell the authorities they are doing so.UNLESS they create a real danger to peace, public order, traffic flow, or the safety of others for example. It is not a religious issue. Those rights should apply to all, for any legal purpose.

That is pretty much what this is.  There are some people, who could be described as having a bias or an agenda, who are promoting the idea that this is a religious issue.  They don't seem to wonder why the local churches are not joining in the protest.  The local churches which, incidentally, follow the local zoning laws and have all their permits.





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