What do city codes, building codes, zoning regulations and memebers of the Phoenix Fire Department have in common with Bible studies? What an interesting question. The answer is a mans home, raided by city officials, for having a Bible study in his living room.
This is the not the first time this has happened. Other reports of zoning regulations have stopped Bible studies within persons homes in other states as well.
Should have the private citizen just got the approval to have the Bible study or is this a violation of freedom of religion?
City officials claim that he’s running an operation that is reminiscent of a home church but without the required permits. And according to Fox’s Todd Starnes, Phoenix court documents show that he violated 67 codes. Unless the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grants an emergency injunction, he will be jailed as early as next week.
Naturally, Salman believes the court’s findings amount to a crackdown on faith and religion. The city maintains that the penalties are legitimate based on the zoning laws he and his family have violated. However, Starnes was apparently unable to reach the Phoenix prosecutor’s office, the mayor’s office or code enforcement to obtain further comment.
“They’re cracking down on religious activities and religious use. They’re attacking what I, as a Christian, do in the privacy of my home,” he said in an interview with Starnes. “If I had people coming to my home on a regular basis for poker night or Monday Night Football, it would be permitted. But when someone says to us we are not allowed to gather because of religious purposes, that is when you have discrimination.”
The question remains, is this a case of religious discrimination or simply a man not following city zoning regulations? What are your thoughts?