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60 Days In Prison And A $12,180 Fine For Hosting A Home Bible Study In Arizona

Via The American Dream

The war on home Bible studies and house churches is heating up again.  Down in Phoenix, Arizona a man has been sentenced to 60 days in prison and has been fined $12,180 for hosting a Bible study in his home.  Since 2005, Michael Salman and his wife have been hosting gatherings of about 15 or 20 people where they share food, fellowship and discuss the Bible.  Unfortunately, that kind of thing is against the law in Phoenix, Arizona apparently.  At one point, nearly a dozen armed police officers raided their home and “evidence” of their “crimes” was gathered.  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.

A while back I wrote about how control freak bureaucrats all over the country are using “code violations” to force preppers back on to the grid.  In some cases, they are even using “code violations” to force preppers completely off of their properties.

They want to run our lives, and if we do not live within the very narrow constraints that they define for us then they will send armed men to raid our homes.

So how did Michael Salman’s problems start?

You can probably guess.

His “neighbors” complained about noise and “traffic congestion“.

So that is how city officials got involved.  We have become a nation of informers and tattlers, and this is another perfect example of that.

Michael Salman did have a big cross and a big sign outside his home, and in this situation that was rather foolish.  Perhaps if he had kept a lower profile, things would have been different.  But it still does not excuse what authorities in Phoenix are doing to him.

People should be able to have small gatherings of friends and family in their own homes.  If we can’t do that, what do we have left?

And these days, just about everything is illegal in America, so if you want to sick the authorities on your neighbors it is quite easy to do.

What is this nation turning into?

The implications of this story are staggering.

Over the past couple of decades, the number of “house churches” in the United States has absolutely exploded as an increasing number of Americans reject the big, institutional churches for one reason or another.

Now we are seeing a backlash against the home church movement.

Are we going to start to see authorities systematically coming after home Bible studies and house churches all over America?

Sadly, we have already seen quite a few examples of this. The following is one example from California….

A Christian couple from Orange County, Calif., were fined earlier this month for holding Bible studies and for what city officials called ?a regular gathering of more than three people? in their homes. They have now been told they face a $500 fine if they continue to hold their home Bible study gatherings.

Fortunately, authorities in that case have backed off at least for now after immense public pressure.

But this is just the beginning.  Bible-believing Christians are now considered to be “outside the mainstream” and are being attacked in unprecedented ways.

For example, the head of Personhood USA (Keith Mason) had his home brutally vandalized after he was featured in a recent Newsweek article.  When that article was posted on the website of The Daily Beast, someone left a comment that contained his home address.  Unfortunately, some very sick individuals decided to “pay a visit” to the home and hurled a boulder that destroyed the glass in his front door.  In addition, they took red spray paint and painted cuss words and red coat hangers on his house and on his sidewalk.

The following is how this attack was described in a recent Newsweek article….

Mason says he was awake at the time of the attack. ?I was in the basement, catching a movie and having a beer, to just chill,? Mason says. ?I heard a loud noise and thought one of our kids had fallen down the stairs.” Mason says he ran upstairs from the basement, then “ran through a bunch of glass” and “saw red.” He describes the scene as “surreal?I didn?t know if it was blood on the glass or what. It turned out to be spray paint. There was red paint all over the side of our house. They spray-painted coat-hangers all over my sidewalk and door. We called 911. The police were there within three minutes.?

The family has moved from the home and they say that they have no plans to return.

This is what America is turning into.

Hate and anger are rising to unprecedented levels and it seems like psychopaths are running around everywhere.

I truly fear for the future of this nation.

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  1. I agree that many “code laws” in the US are unfair. However, maybe this man did violate some building codes in his zeal. Romans 13… th rest of the story or at least another side:

    http://home.conservativebabylon.com/2012/06/22/black-collar-crime-round-up-june-22-2012/

    Michael SalmanSentenced: Michael Salman, ordained Church of God in Christ (COGIC) minister; pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship (also: Facebook); and owner, Mighty Mike?s Burgers, Phoenix, Arizona; to 60 days in jail and three years of probation for ?representing as a church on his home property without securing the proper permits,? reports the Christian Post. azfamily.com reports: ?Inside a back building on his property ? is a pulpit and chairs ? room for the 30 to 40 who gather here weekly. Still Salman insists this is no public church. ? Inspectors say for what Salman was doing, he needed dozens of building and safety updates. All Salman says he was doing was practicing freedom of religion. The court disagreed. ? The Maricopa County Prosecutor?s Office tells 3TV that this is not a religious freedom issue, but that Salman has consistently refused to comply with building codes and safety standards that are required by law.? In one of his protest videos posted to YouTube (under the alias ?Kryptologos?), Salman declares: ?I?m a criminal because I?m a Christian.?

    The Christian Post also notes that ?the Salmans have launched an online petition on Change.org directed to the ?Mayor and City Council? of Phoenix. So far, only 93 visitors have signed the petition, which needs 100,000 supporters.? That may be because angry neighbors are upset about his building a 4,200-square-foot structure up against the property line, according to a lengthy 2008 profile in the Phoenix New Times, which quotes several neighbors, including one who recounted a neighborhood meeting with Salman: ?He gave us a lecture on the fact that all of us were going to make money on our property, and if we were true Christians, we ought to be willing to sacrifice a little bit. ? That meeting is where the real animosity started. He made no effort at being conciliatory or cooperative. That really united the neighbors against him. He was his own worst enemy.?

    The New Times also reports that Salman ? who has been divorced, yet is reportedly vehemently opposed to marriage equality ? is a former gang member with a prison record, and was once arrested for impersonating a police officer, purportedly in order to scare a boy who was ?fooling around? with a girl in Salman?s church. Two years earlier, Salman, ?hoping to scare the hell out of a kid who?d been messing with his girlfriend?s little brother,? reportedly ?donned a Raiders T-shirt and fired five rounds from a .38 special into the kid?s house,? nearly hitting the boy?s mother. He was found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to six years in prison. Also: ?In 1994, Salman had filed paperwork claiming that he belonged to the Embassy of God. That meant, the document claimed, that he didn?t need to follow United States law.?

    Salman has not yet begun his 60-day sentence; when he surrended June 16th, jail officials ?inexplicably? sent him home. Story: Phoenix New Times, January 17, 2008; Phoenix New Times, April 15, 2011; azfamily.com, June 19, 2012; Phoenix New Times, June 20, 2012; Christian Post, June 21, 2012. See also: ?Dips? of the Week,? (language NSFW), an eye-opening video dissecting Salman?s video-sermons, which claims that Salman is in favor of ?assassination? in some instances, and condones the assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

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