Michael Salman, has been fighting a 60 day jail sentence since his September 2010 conviction for violating city building codes on his property in Phoenix, AZ but last week a federal judge denied his motion to block the sentence and tossed his civil lawsuit.
According to news reports, Mr. Salman has been fighting the city in order to be allowed to have 40 or so people at his home for bible study gatherings since 2007. His home has even been raided by police — twice. City inspectors are claiming that a structure on the property where the gatherings take place isn’t safe…
…And we’ll just never mind the fact that police raids are also not generally very ‘safe’ either, right?
To raid a bible study group for any reason is an unnecessary show of intimidating force – and to what ends? Why does the city assume they have the right to step in and supersede individual choice? Are we really so pathetic and helpless that ‘The City” must decide for us where we are safe to gather together…for whatever damn reason we see fit?
From neighborhood lemonade stands to garage sales all the way to Private Assembly on Private Property, the long arm of the law just keeps stretching farther and farther down our throats…
Phoenix News Times, “A federal judge has slapped down Pastor Michael Salman’s request for a restraining order against the city of Phoenix in Salman’s fight over his backyard church services.
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.
As we reported last week, officials raided Salman’s home in March for a second time and cited him with seven code violations — as a 60-day jail sentence he received for previous code violations remains on appeal. As a last-ditch effort, Salman filed a federal complaint last week against the city of Phoenix and various officials, as well as a request for a temporary restraining order.”
More coverage on this story Phoenix News Times
And another excerpt, this one from The End of theAmerican Dream – “Michael Salman was found guilty of 67 “code violations”, and now he is going to be ripped away from his family and put in prison for two months. In addition, the assistant city prosecutor is asking the court to “revoke his probation and convert it into a 2 1/2 year jail sentence since he continues to hold worship gatherings on his property despite court orders.” This kind of case has the potential to have a huge “chilling effect” on home gatherings of all kinds all over the United States.
You may be thinking that you are glad that this man is being put in prison because you aren’t a Christian and you don’t have any sympathy for Christians.
Well, what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to discuss the U.S. Constitution?
Or what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to play cards or watch football?
The U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, and when the constitutional rights of one person are under attack, it is an attack on all of us.
In America today, we actually do not own our homes and our properties. Instead, we are only allowed to use them in very, very narrowly-defined ways, and if we “rebel” against those rules the control freaks that run things will smack us hard…” Continue on End Of American Dream
And I wonder, when will enough finally be enough for us? When will we snap to and remember that we are only bound by chains of our own making? We scream for more protection from imaginary boogeymen…and fail to realize the price tag that hangs around our neck with each new ‘safety’ we demand. How much longer until the chains drag us all down into a dungeon we cannot escape?