Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Couple Fined For Hosting Bible Study In Their Home

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I've personally know Christians and Christian pastors who have been fined and imprisoned for "illegal" home Bible studies.

But that was in a different country---far, far away. Not here.

Chuck and Stephanie Fromm have been fined $300 for hosting a Bible study in their home in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

The municipal code prohibits "religious, fraternal or non-profit" organizations in residential neighborhoods with out a conditional use permit.

So the city has fined them.

The Fromms do not have, nor are they starting an "organization". It is a gathering of like minded friends getting together to study the Bible in a private home.

The city says one person in the upscale neighborhood complained.


The city is wrong on this one and that's probably why they are not returning calls on the matter.

The bigger question may be; can one person take away the freedom of another in matters of religious beliefs and gatherings in private homes? Clearly the city code has not been broken.

It's happening too often. A few vocal homosexual activists have re-defined many aspects of our culture and continue to do so with the support of a complicit press and an extreme left President. At the expense of millions of Americans who believe otherwise.

It seems a small minority is moving America away from our founding principles and faith.

And now one person can deny a couple religious freedom in their own home.

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  1. What Gary neglects to mention:
    1. The Fromms live on a small cul-de-sac with little parking available.
    2. They have been hosting twice weekly meetings of 20 -50 people, which means up to 25 extra cars seeking to park on the cul-de-sac.
    3. The Fromms run a Christian oriented business, that is undoubtedly benefiting from all the free publicity this is generating.

    Rules are rules, and you shouldn't be allowed to create a nuisance for your neighbors, if you are discussing religion or sports is irrelevant.

  2. anon 8:58 Your comments are telling. Christians host and participate in Bible studies for greater reasons than promoting a business. I happen to know the Fromms. Their success far exceeds 20-50 people meeting in their large home for a Bible study or any publicity that may come from this.
    Thanks for making your point Gary. A few are driving the masses.

  3. @9:45

    Your lack of reading comprehension is what is actually telling. I made no contention that the "bible studies" were what was promoting business, how absurd. It's this lawsuit, with it's attendant national coverage, focused on a right-wing Christian audience, that is promoting his business!

    Also, the size of their home isn't the issue, it's parking and the other SHARED neighborhood resources that the Fromms feel they have the right to monopolize twice a week that are at issue. If they could park all these extra cars in their garage & driveway, I bet there would never have been a complaint.

  4. ... if you are discussing religion or sports is irrelevant.

    Actually, it isn't. Sports isn't explicitly protected under the First Amendment. It seems like they have a good case for getting that law struck down on constitutional grounds.

  5. Being an outlaw and fringe member of this society, I expect to break some law everyday, including assembling at some friends' house for any kind of party, sport, or religious activity. Businesses however are expected to provide sufficient street or off-street parking for their customers.
    Occasionally I get a bit upset with the cars parked for one neighbor's family gathering, or another neighbor whose visitors often block the street with double parking, or the increase in traffic for drug dealing.
    But all this has nothing to do with any assembly by conservative anti-christian religious right.
    Rural central WA

  6. This is an old story. Simple search on Google shows a paper about these with incidents from the 90's.

    This is just how some communities try and control residential usage; some do it via parking, some limit the number of 'public gatherings', some laws have been found to be overly vague and struck down, others were not.

    The paper's author makes a good case for these usage laws being replaced with nuisance statutes - what difference does it matter what someone is doing in their home if it isn't impacting the community and if it is then it still doesn't matter who they are they are still in violation.

    Most can understand the 'why's' behind these statutes, but it's more to prevent homes with swingers clubs from meeting than it is religious groups. This one was more lenient than most since even this large frequent group would be allowed with a permit.

    So I guess the question is: did the Fromms apply and were turned down, or does this have some other motivation?

    (oh and to the person who thinks that the First Amendment doesn't allow this, they are wrong. A universal restriction on property use is legal even if it limits a religious group's activities in part. Religion is protected from being abridged directly, not indirectly especially when this group (as could any other limited by this statute) could meet at another venue.)

    This particular statute might be found to be over broad but it's because of the parking and congestion it's an issue at all, not because it involves religion so no more caterwauling for special rights, ok?

  7. If my neighbor had 25 or so cars blocking up our little residential street twice a week, it wouldn't matter to me if it was for gambling or Jesus - I'd be trying to find a way to stop it just because it's a nuisance.

  8. ... There will alway's be excusses when it come's to gatherings. And, especially in the religeous arrena...This is nothing new. It's been going on from the beginning.
    I feel this way, this is my home, my family & my friends. If I choose to have a bible study, it's my home. Therefore, no one has a right to tell me what I can nor cannot do in the privacy of my own home

  9. While Gary protests about religious freedom when it is his religion, he is all about destroying the religion of others whose religion is different than his. He advocates a big nanny state to waste our hard earned tax money to engage in violence against peaceful people because of what they choose to put into their bodies in their religious activities.

    Shame on Gary for his hypocrisy!

  10. WOW!!!
    This puts a whole different light
    on the story.

    1. The Fromms live on a small cul-de-sac with little parking available.
    2. They have been hosting twice weekly meetings of 20 -50 people, which means up to 25 extra cars seeking to park on the cul-de-sac.
    3. The Fromms run a Christian oriented business, that is undoubtedly benefiting from all the free publicity this is generating.

    Thanks Anonymous .


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