Or should I say "What's Happening in Phoenix AZ?"
A bishop was sentenced to a 10-day suspended sentence, and three years probation for ringing his church bells. Isn't that a suppression of free speech?
Seems to me the Arizonans are coming to their senses. It is more about noise ordinance than "free speech." He was also ordered to reduce the noise level to below 60 decibels.
Without knowing the story, I'd guess it isn't if he was ringing them to the point of being considered a nuisance to others. The right to free speech doesn't include 100% freedom to say/do anything. There's that old example of how one cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theatre.
I would think, if he was ordered not to ring them and violated a court order, that would explain why he was jailed. I'm assuming a court must have had some reason if he was ordered not to ring the bells.
Does that mean you intend to engage in more personal attacks?
If the guy was damaging ear drums (and maybe driving people crazy enough that they wanted to kill themselves), then he was a "danger" to society. We have a country club in our town that rings "church bell" music (Patriotic when appropriate, Christmas when appropriate). I love it. Local churches, on the other hand - no bells unless there's a wedding. Go figure.
I'm sure it was due to a noise thing. I don't think asking for church bells to be below 60 decibels is some sort of harrassment or an attack on freedom of speech. They didn't just say..."hey, lets arrest a bishop because he rang church bells"...
The bells tolled from 8AM to 8PM, on the hour. Neighbors registered 67 dB in volume. The neighborhood was also notified in writing before the tolling began, and no responses were given.
Here is a quick scale of dB level comparisons
Near total silence - 0 dB
A whisper - 15 dB
Normal conversation - 60 dB
A lawnmower - 90 dB
A car horn - 110 dB
A rock concert or a jet engine - 120 dB
A gunshot or firecracker - 140 dB
So, what you are saying is - this man should be allowed to ring his bells whenever he feels like it regardless of how many people he annoys? It is his right to piss people off every hour on the hour if that is what he wants to do.
And he should not be limited to 60 db - he should be allowed to ring them at the level they were being rung at - which was apparently loud enough to get him arrested.
Slow down, Mark. I have said nothing. I haven't even offered an opinion on this yet. I posed a question to elicit responses, and I filled in some detail for Lisa HW.
If posing a question has disturbed you in some way, I will keep it below 60 dB.
OK - so what is your opinion if the question you posed was not a way of expressing your opinion?
On the legal side of the fence, if the bishop broke no laws or city ordinances, I don't think the people who filed the complaint have a leg to stand on.
On the personal side of the fence, I think the punishment is a little extreme. I know of drunk drivers who have been given less punishment for second offenses and, as far as I know, the sound of church bells has never killed anyone.
I would also be curious to know the views of the judge who handed down the sentence. I wonder if he kept the credo of "separation of church and state" in mind when he sentenced the bishop.
From what little I have found - it seems he was breaking the city's noise ordinances. A suspended sentence does not seem very harsh. I would guess that they had no choice. Especially as he seems determined to fight against the ruling and fight for his "right" to ring church bells 12 times a day every day. Noise is unlikely to kill anyone, unless they are pushed beyong breaking point. i have come close with a couple of neighbours.
Did those drivers you mention kill anyone? Or even slightly annoyed?
What does that matter? They broke the law.
I think I understand your point, though. It's not whether the bishop broke the law or not, it's that he's a bishop.
No, you misunderstood my point
It has nothing to do with him being a bishop, and has everything to do with him annoying other people - making a direct harm to them. At the same time, drivers you mentioned, providing they did not hit anybody, did not do any harm at all.
And don't get me started on idiotic laws
Well, now I understand. I can carry a lit stick of dynamite around so long as I don't whistle loud enough to disturb somebody, and when it goes off it doesn't make a sound or hurt anyone else.
Well, its a suspended sentence. Better than most 'offenders' get in Arizona.
You have to understand, we LOVE our law enforcement and victim's rights here in Arizona. This is the land of Sheriff Arpaio. This has more to do with it than any imagined separation of church and state issue. I'm sure Ron Montgomery might be able to tell you more... As far as I'm concerned, there is this little sane area of AZ called Flagstaff. The rest is Wild West, Republican, blue hair crazies, .
We also killed a 105 lb lady in our Sky Harbor air port last year by shackling her in a holding cell so that she strangled herself.
(I've heard Tucson is nice, but hot.)
I wonder if they will sentence the ice cream man next, when he comes driving through the neighborhoods with his chimes stirring up all the children to a frantic. I'm sure the ice cream man is next...lol
Especially if he comes every hour on the hour from 8 to 8.
My current bug bear is un-silenced scooters.
I live in Chicago and I can say I get pretty nervous when things are too quiet. There is always so much activity going on here. Even the suburbs are congested. The only peace and quiet I get is when I go camping or out on the lake to go fishing....
By the way Mark..off topic.. I posted that hub listing places that offer free PR. PRlog for one allows links in the body.
yeah, every hour 8am to 8pm is rather too much. I can understand once at mid-day which our neighborhood church used to do. By remembering that, it was kind of soothing.
I live in France, so I get more than enough church bells thank you. It is crazy - it hearkens back to the days when the clergy kept the ability to tell the time a secret and it was to inform you of the time. Now - I can't see the point except for special occasions.
Okay, this guy sounds like a jerk face. I don't think anyone minds the bells in moderation but every hour and too loud would be annoying to anyone.
Sounds like he needs a hobby or something.
puppascott, good point. Now that you mention it, a drunk driver who was speeding and hit a car I was riding in (and killed the driver) was fined $20 and lost her license for one year. I suppose (even if the guy's a "jerk-face" ) it was a little harsh.
It's true. There was a whole court thing, but somehow it was "established" that because the 27-year-old driver (who had just come out of a lounge) didn't "intend" to kill. That's what they used as an excuse for not charging her with manslaughter.
She should have had some pretty "established" relatives or friends then, cause you know as good as me that people often get jail sentence just for driving drunk in this country.
This was over 30 years ago; but, you're right, the disgusted police at the court hearing implied that something "funny" might be going on. I'm not sure there was, though. This was a 27-year-old woman who did a big sympathy act, and I suspect lack of record may have been the thing that made the judge/lawyers a little more "compassionate".
If that bishop is gay or an illegal immigrant, Sheriff Joe will soon have him wearing pink underwear pinkunderwear.com and living in a tent. He might even be sentenced to "loaf" meals.
but, Misha, even if the drivers puppascott mentioned didn't kill anyone, I gave just one example of one driver who did, and who wasn't even put on probation. Doesn't that make puppascott's original point? After the drunk driving issue was raised to make the point, I've changed my mind about whether the minister's treatment was too harsh.
We do live in a very "don't-bother-anyone-else" kind of society these days. People make issues of who wears perfume, who's cat walks across their lawn - whatever.
Although things are tougher on drunk drivers these days, there are still "zillions" who walk away with little or no penalty/punishment. All it takes is when they have a hearing to decide whether to charge someone or not, lawyers and a judge agree the person won't be charged. It never gets to a jury, and the whole case just disappears. ("So, people of the jury, I urge you to find the bell-ringing minister treated too harshly.")
I am still not understanding the whole idea of a drunk driver's lawyer twisting the law to get out of going to jail somehow making it OK for a bishop to annoy people with ringing church bells.
This would appear to be a little bit disingenuous.
The bishop broke the law, annoyed his neighbors, was asked to stop, refused and was given a 10 day suspended sentence and told to keep the noise down. Now he is fighting for his "right" to keep on doing so.
If he wins, does that mean the local fraternity house will be allowed to turn the volume up as it is there "right" to annoy the neighbors?
I suspect we would not even be having this conversation if it had been an ice cream man instead of a bishop.
I, personally, wouldn't mind the fraternity people either. The thing with the drunk driving/twisting-law thing (in support of puppascott's point about drunk driver punishment compared with bishop punishment) was that if someone can kill someone for $20 and loss of a license for a year, maybe the bishop's bell-ringing should be put in better perspective.
Oh, ice cream man? In the last couple of years there has been a big fight going on in Boston because the ice cream truck's music is bothering some neighbors, and people want it banned! People just don't like bells and music, I guess. What a bunch of trolls!
So - because there was a loophole in the law that allowed someone to get away with one crime - we should now ignore all the other crimes and adjust the penalties downwards appropriately?
What is an appropriate penalty exactly?
See, I knew the ice cream man was in trouble...lol
I'm not necessarily on the bishop's side. (I think people should throw tomatoes at him for ringing his church bells all the time.)
Separating my personal opinions, though, from what I think makes sense; I do think treating the guy like a criminal does seem excessive, compared with all the people who get away with all kinds of things that are a lot worse. Whether or not the authorities had any other options is one thing. Whether it does seem excessive (when just looked at separately) is another thing.
Maybe they should have threatened to go in and padlock/boot whatever runs the bells. Then he would have been treated like the uncooperative child he seems to be, rather than a criminal.
Well, I certainly agree that there seems to be way to many stupid laws being enacted. The governments have to justify their existence some how.
But I think the real issue is the fact that this is a member of the clergy fighting for his "right" to ring his church bells in the face of neighbors asking him not to.
If he was in any way concerned with the welfare of his community - he would have stopped and it would not have needed to go to court.
I agree with that. Even though it seems to have been a tradition with his church that had been going on for who knows how long. Traditions have to change with the values of the community. Isn't that what it means to live in a community?
Mark- In India there is so much leeway given to religious folks that it makes life difficult for others. A case in point is the everyday early morning call for Namaz(around 5 AM) by Muslims on loud speakers waking up everybody else and during Hindu festivals blaring of loud speakers till late in the night. I mean if somebody is so religious they can have there own alarm clocks to wake up or listen to music at there house during festivals instead of affecting the peace and tranquility of everyone around.
That ice-cream man controversy shows up every Spring. Then, too, there's the Winter equivalent - putting lawn chairs in parking spaces people shoveled out and want to save. Oh, the scofflaws are everywhere...
I do that here in Chicago. I'm not spending 40 minutes digging out the ice and snow where I park so some lazy %$@%$ can take my space when I have to run somewhere.
The snow plows don't usually run down the sidestreets unless you are friends with the Alderman or live on the Mayor's street. And most people in Chicago have to park on the side of the street in front of their homes. It's not so much a problem in the residential neighborhoods as it is where the apartment dwellings are. There is just too few parking choices for them.
Well, if you were in Boston there would be none of that! In fact, it's only because of the bad economy that a regulation prohibiting restaurants from having outdoor seating (other than in Summer) was lifted. The city is about to outlaw cigar bars now too. There's just no end to out-of-control, local, officials in Massachusetts.
They want to outlaw cigar bars where my mom lives too, in Charleston, SC. I think it's crazy. A person goes to a cigar bar to smoke cigars and socialize. There are plenty of places non smokers can go to socilaize.
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