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.


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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

As a matter of fact, jackass, my father does this very thing in his neighborhood.

So, no.

Take your intolerance to DKos.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Actually, I find this amusing rather than irritating.

Would any of you give a rat’s posterior if this were a group of Jews, Muslims or *gasp* atheists? I think not. You just have to get your licks in a those eeeevil “anti-Christian” zoning laws.

Any HA Palin or religion post is chock full of red meat for people who find many aspects of Teh Stupid fascinating.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 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

Actually, not a bad idea. All the Girl and Boy Scout troops, Brownies and cub scouts report themselves, or any other gathering of more than 3. Weekly bridge game, weekly poker game, etc. The list could go on. Inundate the city with complaints, and if each and every one was not fined, then, the bible study group could file a civil rights lawsuit against the city citing that the city picks and chooses who to enforce the law against. Show how this law makes everyone in the city a criminal.

Better yet, start spying on the City Officials and start reporting them to the police anytime they have an event at their home.

PrettyD_Vicious on September 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

They aren’t a church.

How is a gathering of 50 Christians holding a Sunday service not a church?

What is your definition?

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:49 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

You think that Muslims aren’t having meetings, and praying in their homes?
Why because no one is complaining, and fining them?

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM

As a matter of fact, jackass, my father does this very thing in his neighborhood.

So, no.

Take your intolerance to DKos.

Is he Shia or Sunni?

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 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

I’m sure all Christians are a nuisance to would be tyrants like yourself.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

The law, as written, is ripe for abuse by anyone not liking why anyone else is gathering together (for whatever reason).

mankai on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Is he Shia or Sunni?

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Why would that matter?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

How is a gathering of 50 Christians holding a Sunday service not a church?

What is your definition?

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Do they get tax breaks? If not, then they aren’t a church.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

csdeven on September 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

of course they can. the city can pass an ordinance saying no parking anywhere they want. even impose things like time frames and such. they do it all the time when residents complain

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

You think that Muslims aren’t having meetings, and praying in their homes?
Why because no one is complaining, and fining them?

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

How far can you go in requiring permits for religious organizations can you go without violating the establishment clause of the constitution. If I can prohibit one organization from meeting but don’t prohibit another, haven’t I in effect established a state approved religion?

KW64 on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Would any of you give a rat’s posterior if this were a group of Jews, Muslims or *gasp* atheists? I think not. You just have to get your licks in a those eeeevil “anti-Christian” zoning laws.

Any HA Palin or religion post is chock full of red meat for people who find many aspects of Teh Stupid fascinating.

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

You are so full of sh*t it’s embarrassing.

Don’t project your sick bigotry onto the rest of us.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Good thing I don’t live in Orange County. My weekly NFL viewing party would be subject to a fine since there are 3+ people watching football every week.

And I thought OC was the “conservative” part of California.

angryed on September 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Multiple meetings every week and 50 people every Sunday? That’s a church. I don’t care how big their yard is, that has to be a pain and disruption to the neighbors. None of whom bought a house next to a church. If the guy is as well off as it seems, he can rent a meeting hall. Being inconsiderate isn’t “ok” , just because you do it in the name of your religion.

This isn’t an attack on religion, it is grandstanding by the leader of the congregation. CA just used whatever they had on the books to try to make him change his behavior. Compassionate understanding for others should be the rule, not the exception.

/Religious

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

They weren’t parking on the street. Try reading for comprehension next time.

According to The Blaze, the Fromms’ property is such that parking and noise aren’t a problem.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM

MrScribbler on September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The answer to you question is a resounding “Yes! I would”. Just so you know I’m agnostic and haven’t been to church in over 40 years and don’t subscribe to any religious beliefs. So with me it’s not a matter of religion it’s a matter of right and wrong.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

They are private citizens not an organization. That’s what the city has traffic and parking laws for, they didn’t fine them over parking.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

CA just used whatever they had on the books to try to make him change his behavior.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

See what happens when the mask slips…

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Multiple meetings every week and 50 people every Sunday? That’s a church. I don’t care how big their yard is, that has to be a pain and disruption to the neighbors.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Except if you read the actual article, it says his neighbors are supporting him in his fight against the city.

angryed on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Put on beanies, plop down the carpets pointing east and station on fella at the door with a scimitar…

Trust me, there’ll be no complaints from the neighbors…

Bruno Strozek on September 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Except if you read the actual article, it says his neighbors are supporting him in his fight against the city.

angryed on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

It also said that there was one that had voiced some concern. There’s always one.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

KW64 on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

one problem has to do w/ zoning. i have never heard of a church being told they couldnt build somewhere because it was against zoning/landuse ordinances. thats a fight the city will and has lost everytime.

they cant tell you that you cant build a church somewhere, but they can require you to meet building codes, setbacks, parking requirements, etc.

however using an existing structure in a residential area can come into conflict w/ things like parking requirements.

BUT and its a big BUT, they didnt cite them for any of that. they used an ordinance that very likely is un-Constitutional. its one thing to require an established church that doesnt pay property taxes, has required filings w/ IRS,etc to have a permit but to do that to a private citizen using their own home for religious purposes seems to cross a line.

im assuming there is no HOA violations or they would be using that.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

You would have been more useful living in Germany circa 1938.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

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

I’m not sure about that.

brtex on September 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

So those who don’t like this idea (the idea that Christians should be able to meet in their home) are saying the couple should have followed the law and gotten a permit.

I looked at the timeline for one of these conditional use permits that city approved. It took 11 MONTHS from initial application to final approval by the city counsel.

Nothing says freedom of worship like waiting 11 months before you can hold your first Bible study!

Vanceone on September 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM

CA just used whatever they had on the books to try to make him change his behavior.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

See what happens when the mask slips…

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

So now i’m one of the bad guys? Riiiiiight.

Read some of my past posts please and take off the tinfoil hat.

Multiple meetings every week and 50 people every Sunday? That’s a church. I don’t care how big their yard is, that has to be a pain and disruption to the neighbors.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Except if you read the actual article, it says his neighbors are supporting him in his fight against the city.

angryed on September 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

As the city acted on complaints, obviously someone doesn’t.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Except if you read the actual article, it says his neighbors are supporting him in his fight against the city.

Maybe they should get together and change the ordinance then.

Looks like it would pass by a wide margin.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

You would have been more useful living in Germany circa 1938.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

The shark. You jumped it.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM

im assuming there is no HOA violations or they would be using that.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

My guess is that one person who has concerns, really, really wants the neighborhood to be run like it has a HOA and doesn’t. I don’t think an HOA can trump the 1st Amendment, it would have to be in compliance.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

You would have been more useful living in Germany circa 1938.

Good retort…I bow to you astute observations.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Multiple meetings every week and 50 people every Sunday? That’s a church. I don’t care how big their yard is, that has to be a pain and disruption to the neighbors. None of whom bought a house next to a church. If the guy is as well off as it seems, he can rent a meeting hall. Being inconsiderate isn’t “ok” , just because you do it in the name of your religion.

***

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I have to say I agree. It’s one thing to have a high school graduation party with 50 people, since it’s a one time only thing. It’s quite another to have 50 people showing up every week. I wouldn’t want to live next to that, regardless of whether it’s a church, a political organization, or even a group of 50 people getting together to play cards every week.

Outlander on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Yeah, because it states 50 attendees it must mean 50 cars, it never dawns on brainiacs there is likely 4 attendees to a vehicle…which would be 12 whole cars…sounds like a typical BBQ in my neighborhood, and none of my neighbors have pools or barns…or corrals.

Seriously, if a property has a barn and corral it’s likely they have significant acreage and can accommodate parking for their visitors, which is why most of their neighbors could care less…but one gets his panties in a twist over a .0000001% increase in traffic near his idyllic countryside estate and the full force of the police state has to be brought to bear on a peaceful gathering of bible thumpers.

Ciannaky on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

The bible says get a permit. Romans 13

CG - Colorado on September 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

The shark. You jumped it.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Coming from someone who’s defending the indefensible, I’m not concerned about your opinion.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Put a SEIU banner out front and call it a union meeting, guarantee they wouldn’t be bothered by the local government.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

You would have been more useful living in Germany circa 1938.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Typical.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

I have to say I agree. It’s one thing to have a high school graduation party with 50 people, since it’s a one time only thing. It’s quite another to have 50 people showing up every week. I wouldn’t want to live next to that, regardless of whether it’s a church, a political organization, or even a group of 50 people getting together to play cards every week.

Outlander on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

From the article:

“Neighbors have written letters to the city in support of the Fromms, whom they said have not caused any disturbances with the meetings, according to PJI.”

Probably one nutjob liberal filed a complaint who most likely lives 3 blocks away but is OUTRAGED that someone in her zip code has the audacity to read the bible with friends.

angryed on September 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I’m sure all Christians are a nuisance to would be tyrants like yourself.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Take your medication, whackjob. Large groups of people meeting in a private home twice a week is a nuisance. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and they will not win in court. Sheesh!

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Put a SEIU banner out front and call it a union meeting, guarantee they wouldn’t be bothered by the local government.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

This would work like a charm – problem solved.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM

the HOA could have restrictions on parking and such. possibly even restrictions on gathering size, but i agree w/ you that the HOA cannot trump 1st Amendment no matter what.

im suspect on the whole someone complaining. it may have come to the city’s attention roundabout way and they want their permit money. i’m 100% sure they could care less about oppressing christians. they just want to get revenue.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Maybe they should get together and change the ordinance then.

Looks like it would pass by a wide margin.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM

In my county we have a subdivision that bordered a large shopping mall and popular shopping area. It was convenient to short cut through the subdivision to get there, lots of traffic. The people who lived there registered complaints with the county and state. They were told your streets are public property so sorry we can’t restrict traffic to just residents. Undeterred the property owners persisted in their complaints until finally the state and county came up with a perfect solution. They closed off the connecting streets to the shopping areas and made the sub division a little dead end pocket of houses. The residents were ecstatic for about a week until they realized that they now had to drive an extra five miles to get anywhere and their property values had just dropped because they no longer had easy access to anything. No more traffic though. Unexpected consequences.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Good retort…I bow to you astute observations.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Certainly at least as astute as your wild guess that my father is a Shia or Sunni.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

That is why traffic studies are important.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Typical.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Retards are funny.

MadisonConservative on April 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

city i work for had a neighborhood wanting to gate off a street that commuters were using as a shortcut. well after they got noisy enough and some council members (we have 4 at large)got involved our solution was to make the street one way at certain times. and our PD staked it out in the beginning to make sure people learned quick. well same type of unintended consequences. residents were upset when they had to go out of their way and some just ignored the one way and got ticketed and complained that it shouldnt apply to them since they live in the neighborhood. needless to say
that ordinance has been repealed.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM

As a matter of fact, jackass, my father does this very thing in his neighborhood.

Is he Shia or Sunni?

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

The shark. You jumped it.

Irritable Pundit on September 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Indeed.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Certainly at least as astute as your wild guess that my father is a Shia or Sunni.

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

As a matter of fact, jackass, my father does this very thing in his neighborhood.

So, no.

Take your intolerance to DKos.

Don’t know where I would get that idea!

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Take your medication, whackjob. Large groups of people meeting in a private home twice a week is a nuisance. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and they will not win in court. Sheesh!

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

From the article:

“Neighbors have written letters to the city in support of the Fromms, whom they said have not caused any disturbances with the meetings, according to PJI.”

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I love it when people always try to excuse their stupid remarks by citing others’, as if it somehow excuses or legitimizes their own. Even better when they always use the same one from ages ago.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

im suspect on the whole someone complaining. it may have come to the city’s attention roundabout way and they want their permit money. i’m 100% sure they could care less about oppressing christians. they just want to get revenue.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

California is in rough fiscal shape. Is this a symptom of how bad it’s getting? If so they are really straining.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

fossten

I bet you’re the type of Christian who would use the more barbaric of verses of the bible as justification for exterminating “non-christians”, etc because if god can say to the ancient Jews and Moses to go into the promised land and exterminate every man, woman, child, ox, and ass, YOU can exterminate the annoying atheists among you!

I mean Christians already KNOW that every other adherent of every other religion is already doomed to hell so you’d just be helping them along in their path, right?

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Don’t know where I would get that idea!

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Your mistake, not mine. I was referring to the story, not your silly statement.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Yeah, because it states 50 attendees it must mean 50 cars, it never dawns on brainiacs there is likely 4 attendees to a vehicle…which would be 12 whole cars…sounds like a typical BBQ in my neighborhood, and none of my neighbors have pools or barns…or corrals.

This is California. One doesn’t car pool. And they go after party houses, too, you brainiac. This isn’t once a month but a twice a week thing.

Seriously, if a property has a barn and corral it’s likely they have significant acreage and can accommodate parking for their visitors…

Ciannaky on September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Well, they don’t have the ability to accommodate parking. Try checking it out first before opening your mouth.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I love it when people always try to excuse their stupid remarks by citing others’, as if it somehow excuses or legitimizes their own. Even better when they always use the same one from ages ago.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I love it when people always stalk other people around the forum instead of actually taking a position on the story themselves. It’s cowardice plain and simple.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Don’t know where I would get that idea!

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

He does the same to others all the time, quite intentionally. Now watch as he calls you out for his own behavior.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Your mistake, not mine. I was referring to the story, not your silly statement.

Yes, my mistake for actually reading what you quoted and wrote underneath.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Large groups of people meeting in a private home twice a week is a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

How?

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

From the article:

“Neighbors have written letters to the city in support of the Fromms, whom they said have not caused any disturbances with the meetings, according to PJI.”

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

From the same article.

although she said one has voiced concerns in the past.

There’s always going to be at least one. No matter what.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

fossten

I bet you’re the type of Christian who would use the more barbaric of verses of the bible as justification for exterminating “non-christians”, etc because if god can say to the ancient Jews and Moses to go into the promised land and exterminate every man, woman, child, ox, and ass, YOU can exterminate the annoying atheists among you!

I mean Christians already KNOW that every other adherent of every other religion is already doomed to hell so you’d just be helping them along in their path, right?

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I know who you are – you’re one of the nastiest anti Christian posters here. Coming from you, I’ll just chalk this up to projection.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

So? Because nameless people without addresses claim they are not bothered does not make this any less of a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

He does the same to others all the time, quite intentionally. Now watch as he calls you out for his own behavior.

He certainly likes to spew the venom don’t he.

Friendly fella.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Yes, my mistake for actually reading what you quoted and wrote underneath.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Your statement was a straw man.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So? Because nameless people without addresses claim they are not bothered does not make this any less of a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So nameless people without addresses claiming they ARE bothered makes it a nuisance? Were these people cranking up the stereo? Were they leaving the house and yard in a noticeably disordered state? Were they being raucous or rowdy?

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:29 PM

So? Because nameless people without addresses claim they are not bothered does not make this any less of a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Move those goalposts!

LOL

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM

He certainly likes to spew the venom don’t he.

Friendly fella.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Just wait till he starts implying things about your personal relationships.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM

You would have been more useful living in Germany circa 1938.
fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

More like Rome circa 65 AD.

tommyboy on September 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

from having worked for a city in the dfw area for the last 10 years it just the nature of the beast. especially as a city grows they grasp for more and more money. and seeing what stuff we do here im never surprised. a fair amount of city ordinances would never stand constitutional scrutiny. but its expensive and stressful to fight a entity w/ deep pockets when all you get in the end is usually an ordinance repealed. if cities had to pay damages like private companies they would be much more careful.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

So? Because nameless people without addresses claim they are not bothered does not make this any less of a nuisance.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Your logic here is exactly the kind of approach taken by the Madison police against lawful open carriers. If someone is bothered, it suddenly becomes disorderly conduct. Not how it works, nor how it should ever work.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

He certainly likes to spew the venom don’t he.

Friendly fella.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I call ‘em as I see ‘em.

Speak for yourself. Oh wait…you already did.

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

50 people on a weekly basis is pushing it, no matter what they’re doing. It’s a zoning issue.

John the Libertarian on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Just wait till he starts implying things about your personal relationships.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Like when you called my mother a troll?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

There’s always going to be at least one. No matter what.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Yes, I have noticed this phenomena, it must be a law of the universe.

Dr Evil on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

50 people on a weekly basis is pushing it, no matter what they’re doing. It’s a zoning issue.

Wrong sir!

According to fossten it means you are a Nazi.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Like when you called my mother a troll?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Never did. But then, dishonesty and manipulation are your stock and trade.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Really. if he has 50 members a week, he should actually think about forming his own church.

BruceB on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I know who you are – you’re one of the nastiest anti Christian posters here. Coming from you, I’ll just chalk this up to projection.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Only when inane Christians like yourself spout your nonsense saying we’re a Christian nation, or that our government was brought about by Judeo-Christian philosophies, etc…

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Probably one nutjob liberal filed a complaint who most likely lives 3 blocks away but is OUTRAGED that someone in her zip code has the audacity to read the bible with friends.
angryed on September 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Zoning issues are super fact intensive and are very difficult to judge based on media reports (which don’t necessarily convey all the facts). In some neighborhoods, the Bible study may not be a big deal; in others, it could be a huge deal. I guess I shouldn’t be so hasty in jumping to such conclusions.

That said, I’ve dealt with a few zoning disputes in my career, and the pattern tends to be an unreasonable neighbor trying to do something unreasonable, and then defending their unreasonableness by declaring that “it’s America, I can do with my land what I want.” So, I tend to be a bit biased on these issues…

Outlander on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I like the idea expressed above that people should stalk the city counsel and whenever they have more than 3 people in their house, report it. It’s a “fraternal” thing, right? So what if it isn’t the Rotary Club? This place wasn’t an established church either, so informal fraternal things over 3 people are violations too.

And fraternal means “brotherly” so family meetings would count. Make it a pain in the neck for the council, this will be repealed shortly.

And I see Mankai was right, when he posted that some of the most anti-Christian people around are so called “Conservatives.” We can see that right here in the last 20 or so posts.

Vanceone on September 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Never did. But then, dishonesty and manipulation are your stock and trade.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

And I never implied anything about your relationships.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Speaking of religion, it’s looking more and more like we’ll need the holy trinity to save us from totalitarianism.

*Mossberg, Winchester and Glock.

justltl on September 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Only when inane Christians like yourself spout your nonsense saying we’re a Christian nation, or that our government was brought about by Judeo-Christian philosophies, etc…

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Got a link?

I didn’t think so.

But thanks for admitting that you’re a Christian hater.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

although she said one has voiced concerns in the past.

There’s always going to be at least one. No matter what.

Oldnuke on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Looks to be their next door neighbor. And it doesn’t look like they are in a rural area but rather in an upscale residential area.

You can find more info here – http://www.chuckfromm.net/ – including pictures of the neighborhood and their home.

One ironic note: The town of San Juan Capistrano was founded around Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of the original Catholic Spanish missions established to expand the Spanish empire and to bring Christianity to the native Indians.

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

John the Libertarian on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

how is it a zoning issue? if its an issue at all its traffic congestion or parking.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I wonder if they’d fine Muslim gatherins?

Schadenfreude on September 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Speaking of religion, it’s looking more and more like we’ll need the holy trinity to save us from totalitarianism.

*Mossberg, Winchester and Glock.

justltl on September 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Haha good point. Be careful, though – you will be accused of being a militant bloodthirsty atheist-killer next.

My holy trinity is Glock, Saiga, and Heckler & Koch.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

According to fossten it means you are a Nazi.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Because turning in your neighbors to the government for worshiping their deity isn’t at all like the Nazis.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

I said Only when inane Christians like yourself spout your nonsense saying we’re a Christian nation, or that our government was brought about by Judeo-Christian philosophies, etc…

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Got a link?

I didn’t think so.

But thanks for admitting that you’re a Christian hater.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I’m not going to bother wasting my time trying to find an instance where you said that we’re a Christian nation or that our Constitution is based on Judeo-Christian philosophy… I’m fairly certain you have before but as for me being a Christian hater.

I don’t hate the person, I hate the delusion the person suffers from.

There IS a distinction fossten. Too bad you can’t grasp it.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

I’ll agree with mankai that the three-or-more rule is unreasonable, but a gathering of 50 people is not the best poster child for that cause.

If they have a coral, or barn, or whatever, good for them. The fact is, though, the law still applies to them: If you have X+ people on a regular basis, and someone complains, you need to get a license. It is not an unreasonable law. Now, maybe the threshold is too low (in this case, probably wouldn’t matter). Maybe the zoning reg isn’t as granular as it should be to distinguish between a ranch and an apartment complex. Maybe the class of people who can complain should be narrowed. Maybe the process for awarding permits should be streamlined. All of these are interesting points, but none of them makes this case “OMG! FASCISM!”

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Wouldn’t having friends over to watch the game also violate this under the fraternal or non-profit part?

Zaggs on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

For those of you claiming this isn’t a big deal and these people are a church… let me ask you something.

I served a religious mission once upon a time, and we had a small group of people in our congregation. Maybe 15 people a week. We met in an apartment. Let’s say we suddenly grew to 50. What to do? Under this city’s facts and practices, it takes an LONG time to get a conditional use permit. How many places, exactly, are “licensed church space” and are not, in fact, actually a running church? I.E. how much available ready to use “church space” is there that won’t require a long permitting process?

So what are we supposed to do? Stop holding church for a year until we can get a conditional use permit approved? Just eat the fine for holding a “religious meeting” that is in a unlicensed space? Try to beg, borrow, or steal some “approved worship space” and inconvenience some other denomination?

I’d love to hear your solution here. Besides, of course, mass ritual suicide and just get rid of the whole “Christian” problem in the first place. I know some of you would prefer that solution.

Vanceone on September 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM

20 to 50 people parking on my street would be a nightmare. Every week and I would definitely consider complaining. 20 people (let’s assume 5 cars – minimum) multiple times a week would be an inconvenience; 50 – about 15 cars – is definitely going to get the neighbors complaining. I don’t care if it is a church, a quilting bee, a study group, or the lesbian poetry society pushing 15 extra cars into a neighborhood every single week plus a few extras during the off days is at the very least seriously inconsiderate of your neighbors.

darcee on September 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Zaggs on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

besides the obvious 1st amendment issue w/ the ordinance you just made me realize another big hole in it. “organization”?? that implies a formally structured group. friends gathering on a regular basis probably wouldnt qualify. an organization has a defined leader, purpose and rules that are documented.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

And I never implied anything about your relationships.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Liar. Thankfully the comment was deleted, but the quote will remain.

MadisonConservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I hate the delusion the person suffers from.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

You don’t suffer from any delusions, do you?

Would that be because you’ve decided that you hold all the answers?

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Because turning in your neighbors to the government for worshiping their deity isn’t at all like the Nazis.

Actually it would be for clogging up my street, don’t care what supernatural prime movers people want to worship.

But I believe Hitler did complain about congested street parking and the importance of enforcing zoning laws in Mein Kampf.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

If there were 50 of them parking on my street twice a week I would certainly complain.

Don’t care what organization it is.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Why doyou have any more right to park on that street than I do if I live in the municipality? Just as much of my tax dollars go to upkeep of the road in front of your house and your tax dollars.

When we start making laws about what certain neighbors like and don’t like, it’s a short trip to the government telling you what color your house needs to be, when you can park in your own driveway and what time the lights inside your house need to be turned off.

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

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