A California city is suing a family for holding bible studies in their home. So where's the UCLA when their basic rights are being violated?
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/califor … heir-home/
Maybe the idea of indoctrinating children and vulnerable adults goes against ideas of freedom ?
Somalia is the freest country in the world. It must be paradise!
Did you even bother to read the article?
City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.
It's not a dump on the Constitution and for you to claim it is means you apparently only read what you wanted from the article without realizing that the law applies to all.
No one's individual rights were trampled on by what occurred in the article.
From what we read it appears that these people are starting a church business without a licence - and have to comply with the same law everyone complies with - how is that infringing their freedom ?
A business? Lol! That's probably because you live in China where you have no religious freedoms, and because you have such rules imposed on you, you are jealous of the religious freedoms of Americans.
What else is it but a business.
You are seriously misinformed as usual - There is complete religious freedom in China - it is totally legal to practice any religion you like that is not patently harmful to others. I have been in Catholic, Baptist, Taoist and Buddhist temples or churches all over China. They are all practising away without interference, even the evangelical christian fools trying to sell their flat earth nonsense to a small community of gullible old women.
Recommend1 said; "complete religious freedom in China" LOL!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of … c_of_China
http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/201 … s-freedom/
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/rel … eedom.html
There was no infringement of religious freedom by China stopping [b]outside[b] religious demonstrations - the law against proselytising is very simple and easy to follow and also very sensible.
You can so any religious mumbo jumbo you like in your own house or designated places of worship - ie licenced premises.
People do not want to see a bunch of people wandering around holding up the traffic because of their strange beliefs, any more than a bunch of nudists would be tolerated excercising their 'freedom' to gather in public.
So what you are saying is that there is complete religious freedom in China, with the exception of proselytizing, and public profession of belief, and any church is allowed as long as it is sanctioned, registered, and controlled by the government.
This is your definition of complete religious freedom?
Yes - exactly as it is controlled by every government - controlled through licencing and planning laws.
The freedom being infringed upon is the person who is living in a residential area who is having to deal with all the disturbances.
Are you confusing Chinas intolerance of political dissent with religious freedoms perhaps?
This issue is about an evangelical pastor deliberately and provocatively broadcasting that he was going to break the anti-proselyting law by taking his 'event' out onto the street. He was specifically forbidden thus providing what the pastor wanted, to be able to scream religious intolerance. Yet he has never been bothered when practicing inside the building in accordance with the law.
If that's how you see it, then apparently you don't have all the information you need to come to the correct conclusion. I guess it's time you go learn more about California laws and what exactly these people were doing in the home.
If you seriously believe that it is a constitutional law then one would have to assume that you hold some sort of bias towards the individual rights of the religious.
Again, that would be a poorly perceived notion. I have no bias with regards to individual rights of those who are religious. And, to say that I do, only means you don't know me. I guess that's not a surprise.
Like I said, apparently there are other factors involved with the article doesn't touch on. So get real.
I would love to see whatever viable information you find concerning this incident that caused California's fair and unbiased legal system to invade the privacy of an individuals home and fine them for exercising their constitutionally protected first amendment rights.
Since I don't live in California, I'll have to make an example of the state I live in.
I once opened a business in my home. The article claims "non-profit" section of laws. And, you're claiming first amendment violations. But, when I opened a business in my home, I was specifically told that if traffic in and out of my home exceeded a specific amount, then I could run into legal issues. High traffic coming and going into and from a home that has a "non-profit" status, is subjected to other things.
This is why I said you don't understand.
Why is this protected under the first amendment?
"I would love to see whatever viable information you find concerning this incident that caused California's fair and unbiased legal system to invade the privacy of an individuals home and fine them for [violating their towns zoning ordinances]."
There, fixed it for you.
Or how about we deny people the right to have their friends over to their private homes for a BBQ, a book club, or any other kind of weekly get together of more than two people.
The fact is that when we see this law put into practice for any other reason it is clear that they have unjustly imposed a bogus law on private citizens.
There, I fixed it for you.
Religion is in a different category, generally, well behaved and intelligent people go to book clubs and BBQ. Nobody wants large groups of moralising bigots with blinkered political views marching around their streets.
Marching around the streets? you really hate religious people don't you?
No - only those groups who insist on pushing their ridiculous beliefs onto others, try to circumvent laws because they think they are above them, teach nonsense that makes the people it suckers in more stupid, proselytes all over the world to the detriment of the people they try to infect. The remainder of law abiding, pleasant religious people who are content with their own beliefs and practicing in private I would (and have) defended with my life.
From you other post, which I replied to, it's apparent that you don't. Or that you do, but refuse to accept it. So, which is it?
I completely understand that you are on the side of the law when it is against the rights of the religious.
But how do you feel about having "in God we trust" on your money, or "one nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance, or that we are "endowed by a creator" in our constitution, or any kind of religious and biblical reference on our public buildings? Or how about a church's tax exempt status? how do you feel about kids praying in School? I bet you don't like it, I think you are against it, and I think you leap for joy every time the freedom from religion organization puts up a atheist sign next to the manger scene in the town square at Christmas time, or gets another city to take down it's Christmas tree, or sues someone for practicing their constitutional rights to exercise their beliefs in public. Oh yes, I get it.
Actually, I'm on the side of individual rights. So, get real.
I don't agree with it, because it sets a poor precedent and confuses the masses of society.
They should pay taxes on revenue received. Just like every other company should.
If it disrupts the class, then it shouldn't happen. Period. Kids/students/children are in school to learn, not cause a disruption.
Actually, your statement shows how biased YOU are with regards to understanding of what the law actually does. Good show on you. You're nothing more than a religious who would love to dominate others. Another good show on you. Man, you keep detracting from the actual truth of the matter, then you will definitely show how much character you lack, when you're suppose to be bettering your character as a person, via your religious beliefs.
Ironically, you cannot tell the difference. It's not a surprise, but thought I would point it out.
Um, hos is it against the rights of religious people when it applies equally to religious and non religious people. It is, at the very most, against the rights of highly gregarious people.
All of that stuff was added during the 1950s, and it never ought to have been. I would think that all of the folks who seem to love the founders would want that stuff put back to the way they were during the founding era, with E Pluribus Unum as the motto on the money, and no words at all in the Pledge of Allegiance (because it didn't exist until the late 19th Century).
Well, seeing as how that isn't in the Constitution at all*, I have no problem with it not being there.
Well, seeing as how the USA is an officially secular nation, and ought not to give any religion privileged status, either any citizen who wants a reference to his or her holy text on the public buildings should get to put one on there, or nobody should.
That's fine, as long as they don't engage in politics. If they do, then they're a PAC, and ought to be subject to the same rules as any other PAC.
If the kids are praying on their own initiative, and the prayer is not being led by a school official, and the kids aren't trying to pressure (that is, bully) others into joining them in prayer, and don't punish (that is, bully) kids who don't participate, or the prayer is in a private school, then it's all good.
See, what you fail to see is that this is an instance of a church group being required to follow the same darn rules that any other gathering of similar size would have to follow. The church didn't follow the rules, so they got cited. They could get a permit, but they didn't.
You seem to want privileged status for Christians: the church in this story shouldn't have to obey the law.
That's not freedom of religion, mate. That's special treatment for religions.
I'd hazard a guess that you wouldn't have batted an eye if this story had been about a Buddhist meditation group or a Druidic circle.
*It's in the Declaration of Independence, silly.
"Or how about we deny people the right to have their friends over to their private homes for a BBQ, a book club, or any other kind of weekly get together of more than two people."
Except we're not talking about a few people; we're talking about a weekly gathering of about 50 people, with all the traffic that entails.
Look, if the folks in the house want to run a church (or a karate school, or a drama club) in their home, all they need to do is get the appropriate license from the local authority. If they do, then they're golden. If they don't, then they're in violation of the local zoning ordinances, and they get cited if someone complains. Someone complained, so they got cited.
They could have followed the same rules that any other weekly 50-person gathering in a residential neighborhood would have to follow, (get a permit for weekly gatherings of large numbers of people) but they didn't, so they get cited. Simple, legal, and completely fair.
Now, we can have a discussion about whether zoning laws are okay or not, and that's a discussion worth having. But let's don't pretend that this instance is evidence of Christians being persecuted, 'cos it ain't.
In which case, you would be in danger of getting the police called on you if you were violating noise regulations, obstructing traffic, or violating any other public laws.
To reiterate... The law specifically states organizations such as they were having as "conditional" not "prohibited" meaning they would have to get permission first. They didn't.
For 50 people they probably wouldn't either as appropriate parking would have been an issue for residential areas. Meaning people would be parked along the street.
If there are 25 cars blocking my right to egress onto my property... you are violating my rights. Those extra 25 cars are also causing wear and tear on the streets I have to drive on. Those extra 25 cars are also increasing the risk to any children playing in the area. In residential areas, the increased noise and traffic are a nuisance... thereby reducing the value of my property.
The article stated that there was a complaint. Therefore, there was obviously some intrusion on the peace and/or privacy of another persons home. Avoiding such intrusions are one of the reason that residential zones are zoned residential. That and the allocation of public funds for road maintenance, law enforcement etc.
In essence, any group that acts against zoning laws is expected to pay more (through licensing)to help foot the bill of the increased costs incurred by the additional traffic or will be denied the licences based on the inability of the area to support the group without undue hardships to other residents. (insufficient parking/property devaluation)
In addition, from a personal viewpoint, if 50 extra people were in my neighbors place for ANY reason on a regular basis I would call the police and file a report as well. I don't care if they were there to worship ME.
The municipal code is clearly unconstitutional. It violates the rights to worship freely and to assemble. It's harrassment pure and simple!
Untrue, depend on other factors. So, go haunt someone else who doesn't know or understand the laws and constitutional rights.
Correct. Reasonable zoning rules are constitutional. They consider such factors as available parking, traffic congestion, etc., in residential areas. We have churches in our residential neighborhood, but they are on huge pieces of property with parking lots behind the church buildings. Sometimes political fund raisers and graduation parties cause traffic and parking congestion on our side street, but they aren't regular, weekly affairs attended by 50 people. My guess is that some of the atheists in the neighborhood objected to the weekly church services.
Sounds like a reasonable opportunity for a little civil disobedience. If one can host a large Sunday Night NFL game night then why not a Bible study or a religious or, for that matter, non-religious gathering.
Sounds like the ordinance could be challenged in a court.
Your example is meaningless considering your comparing apples to oranges. But, again A+ for effort on trying to distort, as per usual.
No, he sort of has a point.
If a 50-person Football Night happened every week in someone's house, and the town let it continue in spite of a neighbor's complaint, then we'd see that this is a clear case of religious discrimination.
But that hasn't happened as far as we know.
Also, if we agree that a person should be allowed to use his home for whatever purpose he wants to, and that the zoning law is unjust regardless of what kind of gathering it's preventing, then yeah, it is a good time for some civil disobedience.
But there's a difference between hosting a big party once or twice a year, and hosting a big party once or twice a week.
Also, if you go to the mat for the right of this church to gather in this guys' house, no fair complaining when a druidic circle or witches coven or, heaven forbid, a poetry writers' workshop starts meeting every week across the street.
Interestingly enough it isn't. For the same reason state law can protect religion in ways that federal law cannot (against the wishes of the founding fathers) it can also restrict it.
Is it so tragic that they need to get a permit to run what is essentially a church? Why not just get the permit? If/when it is denied I will agree their rights are under attack, until the they are defending the non-existent "right" to not do boring paperwork. Bureaucratic paperwork is something you render unto Caesar.
"If/when it is denied I will agree their rights are under attack,"
Not necessarily. They're essentially running a church in an area zoned residential, without a parking lot large enough to accommodate said church.
They aren't being discriminated against any more than anybody else who was trying to run, say, a two-nights-a-week martial arts academy, or a twice a week actors' workshop in their basement. It's not what they're doing. It's the traffic congestion generated by the large group doing whatever in a residential neighborhood.
Of course, the right wing will try to pretend that this is discrimination against Christians. It isn't, but pretending that it is reinforces the siege mentality to so many wing-nuts are trying to perpetuate.
They don't want real religious freedom. They want their religion to have a privileged status over all others.
The only reason the city should be required to intervene is if their meetings are causing a safety hazard. I just find that it is kind of interesting that if these same people had the same amount of people over once a twice a week for a BBQ no one would care. But since it is in the context of this group of people expressing and enjoying their right to religious freedom it is an issue. That should be something we all need to think about.
You are exactly correct. This is an outright attack on individual rights, and it is directed at the religious freedoms of American citizens.
The scary thing is that there are so many people out their that don't feel that this is a right worth protecting. This "freedom" is the cornerstone of our country. It is what made us who we are as a country. Today it is our right to assembly and religious freedom (as in this case), what will be next our freedom of speech. All I can say to that is bye bye hubpages, blogs or anything else we hold dear.
I'm sure we will see more and more stories like this in the future as our individual rights are foregone through a "just" litigation process.
No, Onusonus, Lindy's World is exactly incorrect.
This is a zoning problem, and nothing more. Pretending that it's an incidence of religious discrimination is not helping anything except the perpetuation of the right-wing conservative Christian siege mentality delusion.
There is no evidence that "if these same people had the same amount of people over once a twice a week for a BBQ no one would care." None. Lindy's World just made that up. It's pure speculation.
"Ok then, Enjoy your totalitarian regime."
Thou shalt worship no god before me...
Which totalitarian regime?
So you are saying God is a totalitarian regime? Interesting, Wrong but interesting.
How is it wrong, God has said unequivocally that you will worship him, no one else, and if you do decide to worship someone else you go to hell for eternity. If you do things he doesn't like you will also go to hell for varying lengths of time.
OMG, they broke a law, they got cited.
Anything else is just posturing. The law applies to everyone and obviously SOMEONE had a complaint that brought it to law enforcement's attention. Did that SOMEONE have something against Christianity.... possibly... or maybe he just wanted to get in his dang driveway.
Regardless, once it was brought to the attention of the local authorities they were constrained to act. To ignore a complaint BECAUSE the gathering was religious in nature would have been just as biased as the meeting group is claiming they were by enforcing it.
If they expect special treatment because of their religion, then they need to put on their big girl panties... or maybe get the appropriate permits/find a legal meeting place.
You're missing the point, the law is wrong!
I've read the whole law. It's a simple zoning law that prohibits gatherings in low-density residential communities. Non-profit groups are listed as conditional... which in legalese means "get permission first". Bed and breakfasts, day cares, residential care facilities, and swimming pools are also conditional.
There are zoning laws for a reason. Large gatherings of people should not be in residential areas. Especially light density residential areas... the traffic patterns are not arranged for it, generally the parking is not sufficient, and it brings the land value down. These particular zoning laws are very heavy on maintaining the natural flow of the land and limit quite a few different kinds of structures. My guess is the city likes it's low density areas very much as they are probably bringing in the most property taxes. It's not about religion. It about maintaining the investments of it's citizens.
If you want to slog through the law, here is the link. It is dry, much like every piece of zoning law ever written.
http://library.municode.com/index.aspx? … California
I cannot agree with you here. I grew up in a fairly small Christian sect (although world wide) that believes Jesus taught that worship sessions were to be held in private homes, not in churches. It has been around for something over 100 years.
Assuming that the city merely wants money in order for people to worship, it would seem to be in violation of at least the spirit of the constitution if not the letter.
If the city is declaring that it is a zoning matter, with parking and other similar problems as be the root of the question it again very definitely violates the spirit of the constitution. These people believe in worshipping in their homes as directed by God and Uncle Sam cannot declare otherwise (yes I realize the constitution only addresses federal restrictions and not state, but courts generally seem to interpret it otherwise). The city will not generally allow private homes on commercial land; by restricting worship to just such places it denies a religion that has been around longer than any such zoning law.
However, you're overlooking the obvious. Religion cannot and will not dictate laws. So, therefore, religion loses and rights are not infringed upon.
A side issue, but I find religion can and does dictate laws. A great many of our laws come right out of the church.
As far as this thread it would seem that the law(s) being discussed here will prevent this small sect from worshipping as they have done for a hundred years - the sect will have to change their beliefs to conform to the new laws. This in turn seems to me to violate the constitution; yes I know that it merely says govt cannot set up its own religion, but by refusing to allow a long standing church to exist I think a court would hold it as unconstitutional.
Used to, which laws are still on the books, because they don't only apply to those who are religious but to mass society's overall existence.
Untrue. It doesn't have to change it's beliefs. It has to change it's location.
But it can't. You can't generally put a home into the commercial zoned area which a church would occupy (I think, anyway - not really up on zoning laws). Therefore you can't live in a church, which is what their religion requires.
No religion that I know requires anyone to live in a church. But, that's off topic with regards to this thread.
Zoning laws need to be in place for the well being of social communities. Not all communities are based on religion and even if entire community was solely based on a religious belief, it must not be able to dictate laws. Yes, I know it was that way in the long dead past, but not anymore, because of social acceptance of individual rights.
Rastafarianism uses marijuana smoking as a sacrament. Pot is still illegal.
Some Mormon splinter groups practice polygamy. Polygamy is still illegal*.
Some Muslim women wear face coverings as an article of faith. But they can't get a driver's license without taking off the face covering.
You can't just say, "Oh, it's my religion" and get special dispensation to break the law.
*Polygamy between informed, competent, consenting adults actually shouldn't be illegal, imo. When children are coerced into a polygamous relationship, or when a person marries more than one spouse without the knowledge of all spouses involved, that is and should be illegal.
"Assuming that the city merely wants money in order for people to worship, it would seem to be in violation of at least the spirit of the constitution if not the letter."
If this rule applied only to church groups, you'd have a good case, and I'd be right there with you.
But if it applies to any regular gathering of a large number of people in a residential zone, as it seems to, then you're asking for privileged status for churches as opposed to secular book clubs, karate schools, folk music circles, etc.
If they had been having a Richard Dawkin's reading circle or Wiccan coven meeting exactly the same thing would have happened.
Something that does not discriminate based on religion, cannot be religious discrimination.
Don't churches always get privileged status anyway? No taxes on buildings designed for worship for instance. OK to ding dong the big bells early in the morning, parking only on the public street, etc.
They do get tax-free status, which I don't so much like, but as long as the same status is equally available to all churches, I'm not going to gripe so much.
And again, nobody is trying to stop anybody from worshipping in this instance. They're trying to get the homeowner to comply with local zoning ordinances, which the owner either knew about or ought to have known about when he bought his home.
Some localities don't allow campaign signs on lawns. This is spelled out in the bylaws of the local homeowners' association. If someone wants to put campaign signs on their lawn, they either need to live somewhere where it's allowed or else get their neighbors to agree to change the rule.
Same kind of thing here. The church can get a permit, and continue to operate. Or they can not get a permit and continue to get fined. Or they can campaign to get the rules changed to allow gatherings of 50 or more people without a permit in their area.
My point is that while the rule may or may not be a good rule (and I have no opinion yet on whether it is good or not), it is still a rule that applies across the board for everyone. This is not a case of religious discrimination, as some folks would have us believe.
I don't see how needing a license for your church is any more wrong than needing a license for your car or dog.
So you believe that zoning laws are wrong?
Or you just think that Christians should be allowed to do whatever they want and everyone else should just let them, since they're Christians?
This doesn't look like a local law that's interfering with the US Constitution 1st Amendment at all.
Consider the interpretation of the 1st Amendment - Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.
Consider if my religion allows me the practice of human sacrifice. If I was a US citizen, I can do this under the constitution. Yet I cannot due to state or local law. (In regards to laws about murder or manslaughter).
May be one for the legal eagles to debate, I'm an Australian looking at the outside in, but that's how I interpret the constitution and the local law.
So for this couple, their right to practice religion , and the right to assemble is not either, but to do in their house without a permit is against local law, yet still protected under the 1st Amendment.
The Political forum sure seems to attract a lot of "experts" on the Constitution!
Wonder how they would feel if 50 gays descended into their neighborhood weekly for a meeting. They would be the first ones screaming.
I'm an atheist, and this sort of stuff pisses me off.
Freedom will always win out against tyranny, and it looks like LA is going with the latter.
Based on the fact that someone who didn't bother to apply for a permit got charged with not applying for a permit.
There are a lot of tragedies in the world; this is not one of them.
Requiring permits for large gatherings in a residential area. Absolutely Hitleresque!!
As long as we're railing against the injustice of zoning ordinances and not pretending that this is part of some paranoid war-against-Christ delusional fantasy, I can see your point.
I'm not sure I agree that zoning ordinances are a bad thing by definition, but I agree that they can and do unnecessarily infringe on private property rights.
As long as I don't create a nuisance for my neighbors, I should be able to use my property as I see fit.
But if I do create a nuisance for my neighbors (traffic congestion, loud noises, bad smells, smoke, etc) that interferes with their enjoyment of their own property rights, then yeah, I ought to cut it out. And if I keep infringing on my neighbors' rights, then the township ought to make me cut it out.
The difficulties arise when the obnoxious jerk who refuses to stop burning leaves, or turn his music down, or whatever, argues, "Hey, there's no law against [obnoxious thing that's bugging the neighbors]."
It sounds like the township in this case has found a middle ground: Do what you like on your property. We've got laws on the books against large gatherings, but as long as your gatherings don't bother anybody, we won't stop you from having them. But if we get a call, we're going to give you a warning, and if we get a second call, we're going to give you a citation.
Seems reasonable to me.
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