Couple hit with fines for holding a Bible study in their home

posted at 10:45 am on September 22, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Where two are three are gathered in His name, there good ol’ California city government is in the midst of them. Seriously. This happened. The Blaze reports:

A southern California couple has been fined $300 dollars for holding Christian Bible study sessions in their home, and could face another $500 for each additional gathering.

City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.

The Fromms appealed their citations but were denied and warned future sessions would carry heftier penalties. A statement from the Pacific Justice Institute, which is defending the couple in a lawsuit against the city, said Chuck Fromm was also told regular gatherings of three or more people require a conditional use permit, which can be costly and difficult to obtain.

Mrs. Fromm was rightly incensed at the city government’s intrusion into her living room. “I should be able to be hospitable in my own home,” she said. Had it been her bedroom, libs would have leaped to her defense, but as it was, no such luck for the lady.

The municipal code bans a religious organization. I’d say a private Bible study hardly qualifies — it’s just a friendly gathering of like-minded folks. Would the city of San Juan Capistrano also consider a family-members-only Bible study a religious organization?

But, more broadly, why is the ban on the books in the first place? What’s wrong with religious, fraternal and non-profit organizations in a residential neighborhood?

According to The Blaze, the Fromms’ property is such that parking and noise aren’t a problem. Plus, the Bible study is meditative. But the code enforcement department relies on complaints, which means some unfriendly neighbor or other member of the community turned the Fromms in. That snitch makes Gladys Kravitz look politely respectful of privacy.

The old gal in me wants to say “an eye for an eye,” but the new gal in me thinks maybe the Fromms’ best bet would be to ask the city officials — and the snoopy neighbor — to sit in on a session or two.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 7

Socialist Soviet State of Kalifornia.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

What’s next, Tupperware parties?

Knucklehead on September 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I can just imagine the outrage if this were a Muslim group reading the Koran. The Feds would be on the San Juan Capistrano council faster than stink on… well, you know…

CynicalOptimist on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

They are probably stretched to the limit now, but I’d like to see the American Center for Law and Justice get involved in this.

SKYFOX on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Livin’ it up at the Hotel California…

That place just keeps getting creepier.

Ace ODale on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So what’s next California, speech codes? Thought police?

Kafir on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

If it was a GLBT gathering where everyone wore tutu’s it would be perfectly ok though.

preallocated on September 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Does anyone seriously believe that if this were a group of Muslims studying bomb-making techniques under the rubrik a of religious gathering that he ACLU wouldn’t be there in a heartbeat suing to protect their First Amendment free speech rights?

Welcome to Dystopia.

Western_Civ on September 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

They wouldn’t fine the couple if they were having an huge orgy, but do if they are having a Bible Study?

What goes on in a persons house is their business. Be it Religious, or not.

portlandon on September 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

COD hardest hit. No Wiccan gatherings.

faraway on September 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

P.S. Tina, Where can we send a few bucks to help this couple defray the costs of totalitarianism?

Western_Civ on September 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Just call it a backyard BBQ with a very long before meal prayer.

gophergirl on September 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Drum cirlces and swingers’ parties exempt, of course.

Laura in Maryland on September 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I don’t understand the code in the first place.

It’s like the government has nothing to do, so they make up ways to make money.

bridgetown on September 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Hard to find any rational justification for this. Would liberals object to people holding a meeting in their home for global warming enthusiasts? What about a Muslim prayer group? Oh right, those groups probably get their “permits” on the cheap.

It seems an awful like the law is specifically targeting one group of folks. This would be an easy case for the supreme court to decide, even with 4 idiots on the bench. I just wish the people who wrote the law could be sued and/or punished afterwards.

tflst5 on September 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Heh! Wait till the Muslims start taking over the streets on Fridays for prayer. California won’t mind religion then.

BL@KBIRD on September 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If it was a GLBT gathering where everyone wore tutu’s it would be perfectly ok though.

preallocated on September 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

GLBT. The sound one makes when something gets shoved in their mouth.

Extrafishy on September 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Are Girl Scout troops allowed to meet in private homes?

I would think Girl Scounts would be classified as non-profit if I’m not mistaken.

kooly on September 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Socialist Soviet State of Kalifornia.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

From the Headlines comments:

I know some folks are assuming that this is typical liberal California, but SJC is solidly in Republican territory.

calbear on September 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

In any case, this seems like it’s blatantly unconstitutional, and hopefully it’ll be harshly struck down.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

I can think of several people who post here regularly who would do the very same thing if they were in power.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

In any case, this seems like it’s blatantly unconstitutional, and hopefully it’ll be harshly struck down.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

You would think and hope.

gophergirl on September 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

In any case, this seems like it’s blatantly unconstitutional, and hopefully it’ll be harshly struck down.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Only after hundreds of thousands of dollars of the defendants’ money have been exhausted and the case reaches the SCOTUS.

That’s the nature of tyranny – you have to risk your freedom and your fortune to combat it.

This is NOT what the founders intended.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

They shouldn’t have to say why people are coming to their home.

portlandon on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

If it was a GLBT gathering where everyone wore tutu’s and then had them removed so they could perform perverted sexual acts, it would be perfectly ok though.

preallocated on September 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

FIFY

honsy on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Are Girl Scout troops allowed to meet in private homes?

I would think Girl Scounts would be classified as non-profit if I’m not mistaken.

kooly on September 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

GSA-I’m a former Girl Scout-would be fine because the National Council has taken the organization very far to the left.
The BSA howver, wouldn’t be allowed because they don’t allow homosexuals to be leaders and expect members to believe in a higher power.
///

annoyinglittletwerp on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Where two are three are gathered in His name…

Just a pet peeve of mine… this verse has to do with the Jewish system of justice, discipline and the requirement of the testimony of witnesses… it’s not about fellowship.

We need to change the words of that Paul Noel Stookey song “There Is Love” to “There Is Discipline.”

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

We need a DADT for Bible Studies now?

portlandon on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

How would a Koran study group by Muslims be treated?

amazingmets on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution!

Tennman on September 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

I know some folks are assuming that this is typical liberal California, but SJC is solidly in Republican territory.

calbear on September 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

From the headlines…

You must also realize (and we see it at HA daily) that there is a contingent on the Right that hates the Bible and openly mocks Christianity. I have no idea who runs SJC, but in the GOP primary in my district in 2010 (NC-13), one of the candidates with a weekly column in which in he offered several articles mocking Christianity lost in the runoff. Even the Democrat isn’t stupid enough to attack Christianity here in NC.

In CA the culture allows these sorts of statutes to seem normal.

I trust no one with power. Even if we elect a GOP president, I’m going to watch him/her like a hawk.

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Just a pet peeve of mine… this verse has to do with the Jewish system of justice, discipline and the requirement of the testimony of witnesses… it’s not about fellowship.

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

So, this promise from Christ doesn’t apply to Pentecost?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Why not try to call it a “commercial meeting?” If non profit, religious, and fraternal organizations are banned without a permit, then form a religious corporation (they usually have their own codes) and hold weekly corporate meetings.

But this is absurd.

Vanceone on September 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

California… Uber Alles.

tetriskid on September 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I bet the governement wont settle for 10%.

csdeven on September 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Are Girl Scout troops allowed to meet in private homes?

I would think Girl Scounts would be classified as non-profit if I’m not mistaken.

kooly on September 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

It is even harsher than that. This is from the links through the earlier Headlines piece:

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

That would include regular bridge games, play dates, Sunday dinners, football games in the man-cave, book clubs, and perhaps a teen’s regular Friday night hang out time with friends.

Laura in Maryland on September 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Yep; their state representatives, federal representatives, and mayor are all Republicans. As far as I know, it’s been a Republican area for decades. Of course, that doesn’t make it okay; it just busts the assumption that this is some liberal fantasyland.

calbear on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit.

So this means no cocktail parties or cookouts either, right?

RebeccaH on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

It would be interesting to know if any of these Democratic Party Meetups were held in residences.

faraway on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The Red Chinese agree 100% with forbidding home churches.

Order, I say order, must be maintained by the Party.

And no other party is allowed!

jimw on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Does the city of San Juan Capistrano ban gatherings of swallows as a fraternal or non-profit organization?

I think not.

They’re just birds of a feather, ya know.

NeighborhoodCatLady on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

More evidence of why California is doing so well educationally and economically.

balkanmom on September 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

calbear on September 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Another thing to consider, it may be that the statute wasn’t written with Bible Studies in mind, but is being applied here because it is badly written. It may have nothing to do with the local government officials. They may be forced under the law to act because a complaining neighbor met the low threshold for forcing action.

The true measure of the community is how they will act now. Will they seek to rewrite or repeal the law?

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

gatherings of three or more people require a conditional use permit

Golly, what if a family of four says grace before dinner? Or just four friends?

So much for “the free exercise thereof.”

MassVictim on September 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

this isnt about Christianity at all. its about revenue. the city is pissed they arent getting any money from this “illegal” gathering. and since city attorneys tend to be lawyers who cant even cut it as public defenders the council isnt getting decent legal advice. they will lose and the legal costs will far exceed anything the might have collected in permit fees.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I seem to remember something about the right to free association…..I mean if their 1st amendment rights aren’t good enough for the city fathers.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Yet they never go after illegal alien clown houses.

Oil Can on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Golly, what if a family of four says grace before dinner? Or just four friends?

So much for “the free exercise thereof.”

MassVictim on September 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I’ll look into it. Just give me your name and address, and officials will be at your home immediately to answer your question.

Laura in Maryland on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Only after hundreds of thousands of dollars of the defendants’ money have been exhausted and the case reaches the SCOTUS.

That’s the nature of tyranny – you have to risk your freedom and your fortune to combat it.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

True, but that’s what institutes like the ACLU and Liberty Institute are for, working these cases for people who don’t have the resources themselves.

And before more people preemptively mock the ACLU:

Does anyone seriously believe that if this were a group of Muslims studying bomb-making techniques under the rubrik a of religious gathering that he ACLU wouldn’t be there in a heartbeat suing to protect their First Amendment free speech rights?

Welcome to Dystopia.

Western_Civ on September 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

People were making sarcastic comments about the ACLU not being involved in the Florida teacher who mocked gay marriage on his Facebook page, but ACLU did in fact help him: http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/27/florida-school-district-reinstates-teacher/

It’s true that ACLU is horribly partisan and hypocritical a lot of the time, but they do sometimes step up for things that aren’t on the liberal side. And anyway, there are other organizations that can hopefully step up as well.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

um, that whole free association thing, right of the people peacably to assemble, still the 1st amendment.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Got any examples where the ACLU defended Christians’ rights to practice their religion? I can think of several where they were silent.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Yeah, I’d complain. That is a lot of traffic in your neighborhood twice a week.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I am wondering if they are collecting donations? that would make a difference.

csdeven on September 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Yet they never go after illegal alien clown houses.

Oil Can on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Now I’m going to be hearing calliope music in my head all dang day.

Laura in Maryland on September 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Freedom of association is the individual right to come together with other individuals and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests.[1] The right to freedom of association has been included in a number of national constitutions and human rights instruments, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Freedom of association in the sense of workers’ right to organize is also recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labor Organization Conventions, and the latter also protects collective bargaining in the conventions on freedom of association.

So if you are a Union you are covered under Freedom of Association in California if you are a private citizen pay your fines. Apparently this is a do as we say not as we do situation.

Someone let the Unions in California know they are going to start being fined.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

To defend the government on this one, reading the article, it wasn’t a little gathering. It did attract 50 people to the residence on Sundays. That’s rather straining, regardless of what you are doing. I could see how I’d be ticked off if one of my neighbors had that many people over on a regular basis.

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Yet they never go after illegal alien clown houses.

Oil Can on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

You mean where up to 30 people reside in sleeping bags before they go to work the next day? Either “gardeners” or prostitutes?

honsy on September 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Gatherings of 20-50 people twice a week hardly qualifies as a simple in home bible study. Parking has got to be a nightmare for the poor neighbors. Fork out some money for a church or a rental space that won’t be fined. Go to a park…

Should be a felony…arrest the batch, convict them, then comes prison and loss of gun rights. Teach them a lesson about the law!

Karmi on September 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

No surprise here. St Paul warned us that the real battle in life is between the powers and principalities and God for our souls.

Just dare to mention morality anymore and the forces against God, both on the right and left start spewing venom. (those fantical social conservatives…) Much of the anti-Palin venom is because of her public moral stances.

I sense another great persecution coming. We can’t have those horrible truth tellers around to remind us of our embrace of sin.

Don L on September 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I just realized there were 20-50 people attending. I don’t care what they were doing, string ‘em up.

faraway on September 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM

To defend the government on this one, reading the article, it wasn’t a little gathering. It did attract 50 people to the residence on Sundays. That’s rather straining, regardless of what you are doing. I could see how I’d be ticked off if one of my neighbors had that many people over on a regular basis.

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Straining what? They could have been getting together to watch football, and it still isn’t illegal.

They were cited for RELIGIOUS REASONS, get it?

And until they are trying to get a tax deduction for it, it doesn’t require a permit.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Easy fix. Call it a book club and you have a gathering to discuss the current book you are reading that so happens to be the bible.

DoS_Conservative on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Freedom of assembly and free exercise therof? As long as there were no toys in the happy meals.

See a pattern here? No lemonaid sales, no fast food, weighing kids at school and announcing their weight in gym classes, no cookie sales for Brownies or Scouts while they control what we eat, lighting we use, regulating toilet and shower water flow…

Gov’t control and tyranny……and Obowma is not a socialist?

dthorny on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

if its a problem w/ parking or traffic then use laws concerning those issues to go after them. they used an ordinance that is blatantly in conflict w/ the 1st Amendment.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

So, this promise from Christ doesn’t apply to Pentecost?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM

It has nothing to do with the church of this present age. It is not a generic promise, he is giving a specific promise to the twelve that when they sit on the 12 thrones he promised (only to them and no one else can “claim” that promise) that if they had the witness of two or three (as required under Jewish law – every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses), they would have his approval/authority.

To try and drag something else out of it is to ignore the context.

The statement that precedes the “promise” is certainly not true for us.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

They should start aborting the babies of underaged teenage girls without their parents consent or knowledge. Liberals would be fine with their meetings from that point on and would probably donate money to buy donuts and coffee.

TheBlueSite on September 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

said Chuck Fromm was also told regular gatherings of three or more people require a conditional use permit

ROFL

Regular Wednesday Bridge with the old bitties playing cards and chattering over coffee needs a permit?

Where do these people come from? Seriously, where? Jeebus.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

But the law reads “three or more people” as I understand it.

That’s a bit Draconian.

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Karmi: I seriously hope that you forgot your sarcasm tag.

You think it should be a felony to have medium-to-large regular gatherings?

As noted earlier in the thread, one $300 citation gave as the threshold ‘more than 3 people’, if I read it correctly.

Scott H on September 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Got any examples where the ACLU defended Christians’ rights to practice their religion? I can think of several where they were silent.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I googled and found lots of links like this: http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/

I don’t know how many Christian cases they were silent on where they have defended similar non-Christian cases (you should probably post links to a few to remind people).

I know that the ACLU is grossly partisan, but I was just pointing out that sometimes people exaggerate and claim that they’ll never fight for a case like this, whereas the reality is different, so there is hope for this story.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

dthorny on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Yes I see the pattern. The long term result is a camera on every corner watching people, and similar to the dictatorial crapholes of the world, gatherings of anyone anywhere will be suspected of subversion and sedition.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I live in CA, and believe me, this is not unusual. Code enforcement people, like the police, are out trolling for dollars all the time. In our little burb, the city even asked us to inform on our neighbors when they were watering at the wrong time of day! Yes, Soviet style. BTW there is no drought here now.

IMHO it’s a plan. Go out and get the dollars. It’s true all over CA.

PattyJ on September 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM

I googled and found lots of links like this: http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Actually, this looks like a much more comprehensive list, even though it’s from the ACLU itself: http://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-practice-and-expression. They say that more than half of their freedom of religion cases are on behalf of Christians.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

To defend the government on this one, reading the article, it wasn’t a little gathering. It did attract 50 people to the residence on Sundays. That’s rather straining, regardless of what you are doing. I could see how I’d be ticked off if one of my neighbors had that many people over on a regular basis.

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

FWIW from the article.

According to the Dispatch, the Fromms live in a neighborhood with large homes and have a corral, barn, pool and huge back lawn on their property, so parking and noise aren’t a problem.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

if its a problem w/ parking or traffic then use laws concerning those issues to go after them. they used an ordinance that is blatantly in conflict w/ the 1st Amendment.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I don’t believe they can ban people from parking on a public street.

I still want to find out if there is money being exchanged.

csdeven on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Gov’t control and tyranny……and Obowma is not a socialist?

dthorny on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Tying this to Obama seems like it might be a stretch.

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Someone in that city council must not like whoevers at those meetings…

mythicknight on September 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The key points in this story are: “20 people on Wednesdays” and “50 people on Sundays.”

Those of you complaining about religious freedom might consider how you’d feel if that many people (in cars, naturally) were showing up in your neighborhood on a weekly basis.

Zoning laws are not designed solely to punish Christians, no matter what you think. If groups this large want to meet, there are more appropriate places for them to gather.

Like *cough* churches.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

ROFL

Regular Wednesday Bridge with the old bitties playing cards and chattering over coffee needs a permit?

Where do these people come from? Seriously, where? Jeebus.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I’d have been in violation every day of the week when my first kid got home from school.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I’m an atheist that usually finds Tina’s posts insufferable.

That being said, this makes me furious. Government, get the hell out of their house.

sobincorporated on September 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Those of you complaining about religious freedom might consider how you’d feel if that many people (in cars, naturally) were showing up in your neighborhood on a weekly basis.

Like *cough* churches.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Once again from the article FWIW.

According to the Dispatch, the Fromms live in a neighborhood with large homes and have a corral, barn, pool and huge back lawn on their property, so parking and noise aren’t a problem.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

change the bible to a koran or ‘soledad brother’ . ponder and discuss, instead of good works and brotherly love, flying a plane into a building or cornering the smack and ho trade in oakland. now that’s the only speech the forefathers intended to be protected- the speech of malcontented minorities community organized into violent criminal/revolutionary gangs.

california should just cede itself to mexico or, better yet, cuba.

mittens on September 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

if its a problem w/ parking or traffic then use laws concerning those issues to go after them. they used an ordinance that is blatantly in conflict w/ the 1st Amendment.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Yep – which means their motivation wasn’t about public safety etc…

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:33 AM

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I get that 50 people could easily be a nuisance, but the law requires a permit for having “three or more” people, which seems like an overreach.

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:33 AM

tneloms on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Golly, did you even bother to google the opposite? Like, say, ‘aclu anti christian’ or something?

I’m sure you have an open mind, right?

http://www.thunderrun.us/2006/10/aclu-anti-christian-liberals-union.html

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:34 AM

So did they do a check of all churches, mosques, et al to see if they all had the permits?
And cub scouts and girl scouts and bridge clubs and ….any other group. Sports clubs?

albill on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Had it been her bedroom, libs would have leaped to her defense,

The “replublicans want to have say in what you do in your bedroom” is one of the biggest liberal lies out there. They can never come up with actual examples. Some will say “Gay marriage” but no replubicans/conservatives are trying to make laws saying that two gay poeple can’t have sex in their own home.

DethMetalCookieMonst on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

According to the Dispatch, the Fromms live in a neighborhood with large homes and have a corral, barn, pool and huge back lawn on their property, so parking and noise aren’t a problem.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Ah, I see the light! Those people don’t have to drive down residential streets to get there and, since they magically appear, make no noise or cause any other disturbances to the neighbors. That about right?

If you believe that, I have a nice, one-owner bridge for sale that might interest you.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Just remember. . . .

Most of us commit two felonies a day without even realizing it.

Jason Coleman on September 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM

First Amendment protections apply so just ignore the city…no, sue them for damages.

JIMV on September 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

You can google up their address and check it out on google maps. They are a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Churches are not exempt from zoning laws.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I thought book clubs were the greatest thing for those on the lefty side of the fence.

Guess it only applies to bored housewives gathering together to talk about the latest chick-lit and complain about our male-dominated society.

JohnTant on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

So did they do a check of all churches, mosques, et al to see if they all had the permits?
And cub scouts and girl scouts and bridge clubs and ….any other group. Sports clubs?

albill on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

This thought came to me too. This will become unsustainable on the part of the city, as what would be smart would be for other groups like this, in support, to turn themselves in for not paying a fee to exercise our right to assemble, and the right to express our religion. I always felt it would come down to just like the scriptures that tell of feeding people to the lions den, because they prayed in their own home.

Noelie on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

If you believe that, I have a nice, one-owner bridge for sale that might interest you.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

You can’t sell me anything. It may piss you off but those people were doing nothing wrong. Last time I checked it is not illegal for anyone to drive down a public street. Again if it’s a traffic problem then why didn’t the city address that and not try to apply some bullsiht city ordinance concerning regular meetings of three people. Does that ordinance apply to a family of four. I mean they regularly meet.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Churches are not exempt from zoning laws.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

They aren’t a church.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I’m really curious here by those defending this. Do you hate Christians that much? 50 people on a sunday afternoon, even under the worse case scenario of each driving a F-350, isn’t THAT much traffic. Especially when they park on the property! So why do you want to fine these people $500 a pop?

It’s illegal under federal law to cite this family. Here is a link to the Civil Rights Division religious discrimination page. Under the zoning and landmark laws it gives this example:

A rabbi periodically holds prayer meetings in his home with 10 to 15 people. He is cited for zoning violations for operating a house of worship in a residential zone.

It then says this is likely a violation of the

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), which protects individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions from zoning and landmarking laws that substantially burden religious exercise without a compelling government justification.

Seems to me this is a textbook violation of federal law.

Vanceone on September 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

I am sure noone here would object if some iman was holding prayer meetings for 50 people bi-weekly in their neighborhood.

Seriously 50 people…go rent out a church.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Elsewhere in Capistrano…

Fatwa Alert!

Capistrano Councilman Names Dog “Mohammed
[CAIR Demands Apology]

SPCA should demand an apology from CAIR.

Terp Mole on September 22, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I was raised in the Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, and SJC area of Orange County and for a period of 2 years lived in San Juan Cap. In those days it was a conservative leaning area, with vast areas across the 405 (east)of open land but as the social elites bought larger swaths of land in the gated areas of SJC it became what all coastal or near coastal communities become, a rats nest of socialist, psuedo intellectual wannabes who couldn’t afford to live in the beach communities of Dana Point, San Clemente, Capastrano Beach or Laguna Beach. All of which have migrated heavily left while being run by leftists w/ a “I have mine f–k you and your desires” attitude so this does not surprise me at all.

OC, especially South OC in the 70s and early 80s was a great place to live until all these a$$holes moved in.

Living now in San Diego the same has occurred on Corondao Island which years ago was a pleasant area populated mainly by exNavy amd Marine personnel but as they died off their children sold the land to the elites and it has turned into a bunch of penny loafer leftists that have done exactly as those in OC w/ the same “I have mine etc” attitudes

theblacksheepwasright on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

I thought book clubs were the greatest thing for those on the lefty side of the fence.

Guess it only applies to bored housewives gathering together to talk about the latest chick-lit and complain about our male-dominated society.

JohnTant on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

My sister belongs to a book club and no one has ever bothered them. She’s been trying to get our mother to participate but their choice of books are not h,er taste…..it really comes down to somebody doesn’t like their taste. The couple’s “taste” are also covered in the 1st Amendment “Freedom of Expression”.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 7