Man Arrested for a Bible Study in His Home? In Arizona?

BibleThis morning I woke up to see a story in the media world about was (funny since this happened back in June 2012), as far as I could tell at first, the biggest step against Christianity that I have seen in America.

The headline: Arizona Man Arrested for Bible Study 

I watched the Fox News clip about the incident and was nearly convinced that I should be riled up about this event. I mean, a 60 day jail sentence plus a fine for studying the Bible together at home? That sounds more like Saudi Arabia than America (albeit their the sentence would be less friendly than some minor jail time).

But I always try to be careful not to jump on the “America hates Christians” bandwagon that Fox News tends to overhype. A lot of what is espoused by conservative radio and tv shows is nothing but fear mongering and overreaction with little attention to facts.

After a little bit of digging this is what I found:

In defense of Fox:

- Whatever the other facts say, the ability for a church to meet in a home has been highly instrumental in its historical development and will always be important.

- Fifteen police invaded the home to take Michael Salman away. Not one or two police, Fifteen.  A little overkill I think.

In defense of Arizona:

- A large group of people meeting regularly and collecting money (tithe) is legally allowed in only properly zoned areas.

- This “Bible study” met regularly twice per week and marketed itself as a full fledged Church online.

- These Bible studies regularly had up to 80 people

- Michael Salman claimed tax benefits of a church

- Neighbors had repeatedly complained about the noise and congestion

- Salman had been warned by the city several times, up to six years before, that he was violating city codes

Welll I have to run to work. You can do your own research and let me know what you find in the comments below.

Start at http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/05/arizona-man-sent-to-jail-for-holding-bible-studies-in-his-home/ and http://www.examiner.com/article/arizona-man-was-not-arrested-for-bible-study, but don’t stop there.

Picture by Arvind Balaraman and used by permission of freedigitalphotos.net 

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About Ross Slane

I am a lifelong student (currently college student); a student of the Bible, people, philosophy, history. My life is about bringing glory to God. My mission is to seek out truth and help others to see it. My current task is to serve, study, and write. My goal is to take the Gospel to a people group and language that has never before given praise to the one true God. View all posts by Ross Slane

3 responses to “Man Arrested for a Bible Study in His Home? In Arizona?

  • FuriousJehu

    It is common for churches to comply with health. safety, and fire codes. This group resisted. It is common for churches and other businesses to be required to have a specific ratio of parking-to-seating. They obviously did not have enough parking.

    As near as I could tell, they weren’t being persecuted for their faith. They were facing the consequences of ignoring the law, which everyone is required to abide by.

    This is not a matter about faith but about a fool.

    • Ross

      I agree. I see it more as laziness. The pastor was too lazy to comply with regulations and used the “persecution” excuse to not feel bad about it.

  • A father figure

    You’ll often see that there is a lot more to these “persecution” stories that puts it in its proper context.

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