Yes, you read the headline correctly. It’s getting bad out there.
Michael Salman is an ordained pastor. He has a house in Phoenix, AZ on 4.6 acres of land. He and his family began hosting a Bible study at home in 2005. Up to 15 people were attending then. His neighbors complained to the city about traffic congestion, so the city started getting involved.
He built a separate building in his backyard. The city allowed it and granted him the proper permits. His study group grew in size. Each week, 10-15 cars pull into his property and park behind a gated area. The cars aren’t visible. His Bible study isn’t open to the general public, just friends and family.
The fire department regularly showed up and broke up the studies they were having in Mr. Salman’s living room. They cited safety concerns. An exerpt from the article reveals how nasty things got:
In 2007 they received a letter from the city informing them that the Bible studies were not permitted in their living room because it was in violation of the construction code. A few months later, members of the Phoenix Fire Dept. broke up the family’s Good Friday fellowship. As many as 20 people were in their backyard eating a meal when firefighters threatened to call the police – unless their guests left the premises.
The city police department broke into his house and detained his family. They cited him for 67 city building code violations. They told him that his property needed to meet all of the same standards as commercial buildings: exit signs, handicap parking spots, etc.
They assert that he is running a church. Too bad he wasn’t just hosting weekly football parties — his home was not invaded when the same people gathered for his birthday.
“But what about our 1st Amendment right of peaceful assembly?” you may be asking. No problem! — just as long as you have proper handicapped parking. Otherwise, there’s probable cause and a preponderance of evidence to justify searches and seizures (4th amendment).
Do you still believe in the “neutrality” of the State? Does “separation of church and state” really mean equal hearing from all sides?
For the answer to that question, you must look to whom the State is covenanted: God or Man?
God requires separation of church and state because He has given them distinctly different responsibilities in society. Man requires separation of church and state so that he can use the State to squash the Church.
The US government has turned into a power state run by the worst kind of law: bureaucratic, administrative law. Bureaucrats — unelected officials, sometimes with less than a high-school education — hold the power to ruin lives. They make it extremely difficult to get a court hearing.
This is Man acting autonomously for his own benefit. Those who oppose a large and invasive state (the ultimate manifestation of man’s power), as Christians generally have throughout history, are its enemies.
There is no neutrality.
For information on how you can help Mr. Salman’s family, you can read the full article by clicking below: