Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit

Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been told that they cannot invite friends to their San Diego, Calif. home for a bible study — unless they are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to San Diego County.

"On Good Friday we had an employee from San Diego County come to our house, and inform us that the bible study that we were having was a religious assembly, and in violation of the code in the county." David Jones told FOX News.

"We told them this is not really a religious assembly — this is just a bible study with friends. We have a meal, we pray, that was all," Jones said.

A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited "unlawful use of land," ordering them to either "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," the couple's attorney Dean Broyles told San Diego news station 10News.

But the major use permit could cost the Jones' thousands of dollars just to have a few friends over.

For David and Mary Jones, it's about more than a question of money.

"The government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion," Broyles told FOX News. "I believe that our Founding Fathers would roll over in their grave if they saw that here in the year 2009, a pastor and his wife are being told that they cannot hold a simple bible study in their own home."

"The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved," Mary Jones said. "There are thousands and thousands of bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future."

The couple is planning to dispute the county's order this week.

If San Diego County refuses to allow the pastor and his wife to continue gathering without acquiring a permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522637,00.html
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:20 PM
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Since when can the government tell me what my friends and I can do under my own roof?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:23 PM
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Since when can the government tell me what my friends and I can do under my own roof?
Your question is vague. Way, way too vague.


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Since when can the government tell me what my friends and I can do under my own roof?
starting now since Ivanovbama is in command.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:36 PM
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starting now since Ivanovbama is in command.

yeah, no kidding, bet if it was muslims the aclu would be protesting and the naacp would be up in arms.

Pretty soon you'll have to have a "entertainment permit" to have friends over for a ufc fight.

its still "we the people"right?

"So this is how democracy dies, with thunderous applause"

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:41 PM
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Since when can the government tell me what my friends and I can do under my own roof?
Try smoking pot in your house.

Seriously though, come to my house and try that. You will be in court so fast your head will spin.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 06:43 PM
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yeah, no kidding, bet if it was muslims the aclu would be protesting and the naacp would be up in arms.
or gay/lesbian/transgendered/satanic/wiccan/animal rights/illegal alien or any other downtrodden group currently deemed as sexy for asshole liberals to defend.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 09:25 PM
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or gay/lesbian/transgendered/satanic/wiccan/animal rights/illegal alien or any other downtrodden group currently deemed as sexy for asshole liberals to defend.

yep.

its still "we the people"right?

"So this is how democracy dies, with thunderous applause"

"a lesson lived is a lesson learned, everyday is a lesson."

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 09:29 PM
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This case is headed to court, whereupon I suspect that the accused will win their case and the san diego people will be told to pound sand.

Unless they were having like 50-75+ people over, which would overwhelm the neighborhood with cars, and I can see the issue. Then they might be told to stop.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 09:44 PM
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Wow that is unbelievable. What is our country coming too...

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 09:58 PM
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 12:35 AM
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isn't this kind of like what they did to that cherry pit house in texas that was having swinger parties.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 05:57 AM
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isn't this kind of like what they did to that cherry pit house in texas that was having swinger parties.

Kind of but not really. The cherry pit was charging iirc. It was also full of fat ugly people having sex. This was bible study where they had a meal and discussed organized religion with no mention of any funds exchanging hands.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 06:57 AM
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It's in Cali, they need money so bad right now they will issue fines/violations to about anything possible.
Pathetic IMO

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 07:54 AM
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sad, its just plain sad at what this country is coming to
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 08:48 AM
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I would tell them to fuck off.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 08:52 AM
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That's some bullshit right there and I am not even a religous person.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 08:55 AM
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Unless they were having like 50-75+ people over, which would overwhelm the neighborhood with cars, and I can see the issue. Then they might be told to stop.
I got $1 that says this is what is going on. How could it not be? Hell no one would know what was going on at their house unless this were the case.

EDIT: The local news story said it is about 15 people. I'd probably sue if I was the pastor.

Last edited by AL P; 06-02-2009 at 09:06 AM.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 09:12 AM
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Follow up story:

Quote:
County won't force permit on Bible study leaders
Code officer formally warned couple over meetings at home
By Helen Gao, Union-Tribune Staff Writer, Janine Zúńiga, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. May 30, 2009

Sweeping issues of religious freedom and governmental regulation are swirling around Pastor David Jones' house in rural Bonita, attracting attention from as far away as China and New Zealand.

He says it all started with $220 in car damage.

Jones and his wife, Mary, hold a weekly Bible study at their home that sometimes attracts more than 20 people, with occasional parking issues. Once, a car belonging to a neighbor's visitor got dinged.

David Jones paid for the damage, but he thinks the incident spurred a complaint to the county.

A code enforcement officer warned the couple in April for holding a “religious assembly” without a permit. The action became an international incident when it was reported last week on the Web site worldnetdaily.com.

The Joneses assert that the county's action violates their rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion. Their story was picked up by conservative Web sites for days, then made it to CNN yesterday.

Barraged by hundreds of complaints, San Diego County officials backed down yesterday from their enforcement.

“No one respects the right to free religious expression more than I do, and no one would find the infringement of such rights more abhorrent,” county Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard said in a statement.

Chandra Wallar, the county's general manager of land use and environment, said the county has re-examined the situation and decided that the Joneses don't need a permit after all.

Religious assembly, under the county land-use code, is defined as “religious services involving public assembly such as customarily occurs in synagogues, temples, and churches.”

Wallar said that definition, which doesn't spell out specific thresholds on when a religious gathering becomes a religious assembly, probably needs to be clarified and that more training may be warranted for code enforcement officers.

She said the county was not targeting the Joneses because they were exercising their religion, but rather it was trying to address parking and traffic issues.

“We've advised the pastor he has the authority to continue to hold his meetings just as he's held them,” Wallar said. “My hope is we will be able to resolve the traffic concerns.”

Wallar said the person who filed the complaint alleged that Bible study was drawing 30 to 40 cars.

In an interview yesterday, the pastor said at most, there are six additional cars on Bible study day. Jones, pastor of South Bay Community Church in National City, said he has visitors park in a lot that he owns beside his house.

“We're in trouble if they are going to go with a parking issue, because that means that thousands of people in Bible study groups could be cited for a parking violation,” Jones said.

“What about people who gather to play Texas Hold 'Em, Mommy and Me, 'Monday Night Football,' Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous? Everyone has a right as a homeowner to the quiet enjoyment of their property. They're trying to take that away. We're not going to let it go.”

Constitutional law scholars say that the county can impose land-use restrictions on religious gatherings, as long as they are not unreasonable or discriminatory.

“If people can get together weekly to read books or discuss books or play bridge, if those are OK, there would be a constitutional issue involved in singling out, among other things, religion as a forbidden thing,” said Larry Alexander, constitutional law professor at the University of San Diego.

Dean Broyles, president of the Western Center for Law & Policy, a nonprofit organization in Escondido that supports religious liberty, is representing the Joneses. He said traffic issues were not raised when the code enforcement officer first visited the Joneses in response to the complaint. The warning itself does not mention traffic or parking problems.

“Even though the county is saying it's about traffic and parking, it's a fake issue. It's a fabricated issue,” Broyles said.

According to Broyles, the code enforcement officer asked a series of pointed questions during her visit with the Joneses – questions such as, “Do you sing?” “Do you say 'amen?' ” “Do you say 'praise the Lord?' ”

Wallar said the county is investigating what questions were asked and in what context. She said a code enforcement officer does have to ask questions about how a place is being used to determine what land-use codes are applicable.

“Our county simply does not tolerate our employee straying outside what the appropriate questions are,” Wallar said.

Ekard, the top county executive, emphasized in his statement that he would get to the bottom of the matter.

“Should I find that county staff at any level acted in a heavy-handed way; did anything inappropriate under the circumstances; or that a change or revision to our processes and procedures is warranted, I will take appropriate action immediately,” he said.


As of late yesterday, county Supervisor Greg Cox's office – which represents the area – reported having received 400 e-mail messages about the Joneses'situation. Wallar said her department has received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls as well.

Broyles said he's been fielding media calls nonstop.

“It's been hard to do anything else but to handle the phone calls and media interviews,” he said. “It's been crazy, back to back to back to back.”
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2009, 04:15 PM
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Look at the backpeddling now LOL.....they knew damn well what they were doing except they got caught this time.

However, I expect government harassment to continue, perhaps a nice tax audit or something similar.
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