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Jor-el

The Land of the Free? Not so Much!

340 posts in this topic

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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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..

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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

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

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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?

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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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?

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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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Not legally. No.

:unsure:

It is only in legality where it is an issue.

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?

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?

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.

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).

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.

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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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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.

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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

64930552.jpg

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

This a clear cut case of religious descrimination.

Edited by Jor-el

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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

64930552.jpg

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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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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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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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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