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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So we agree that the town can regulate the function–we are just haggling over the number of attendees. It does seem, though, that the 50 visitors for the Sunday event would probably trip the zoning codes of most towns.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

The questions isn’t if it would…the question is if it should…

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I don’t think very many of us would mind a bible study in our neighborhood with 20-odd people. Some people would find a church service down the street, attended by 50 people, obtrusive.

Why? So long as they are not violating parking or noise ordinances, it shouldn’t matter what they are doing in the house. It has everything to do with free assembly and private property.

In a residential area, I frankly don’t have a problem with the city requiring a permit for regular gatherings like the church service. The permit shouldn’t be excessively difficult to get, but I do think the difficulty should be tied to the situation of the property.

When you allow a government permit, you are admitting that you need government permission to have people gather at your house. Again, this doesn’t pass 1st Amendment restrictions on government authority.

There happens to be a Seventh Day Adventist congregation meeting in a house four doors down from me, and there are only a couple dozen of them on a Saturday morning. Their cars take up the curb space for about four houses around for a couple of hours. It’s no big deal. If this were to be a bigger group of 50 people, with more cars, and worship music and a keyboard and amp and maybe some guitars, it would definitely start becoming an annoyance to the neighbors.

They are not being cited with parking violations, so it is obviously not a problem. As for music and singing (which apparently wasn’t happening judging by pictures), they would be covered under the city’s noise nuisance ordinances I’m sure. In other words, your entire anecdote is non sequitur.

In a different neighborhood, 50-person church services could be absorbed with less impact on others. But they wouldn’t be no/low-impact everywhere.

A relatively small bible study is one thing. I don’t see a good reason for cities to regulate those at all, especially not in people’s private homes and especially not by singling out gatherings for religious purposes.

All your terms here are subjective. What is “relatively small” and how big does a neighborhood have to be in order for a gathering of 50 people to be “no/low-impact.” Furthermore, how much does the number of people affect the amount of impact?

But think about this. If someone wants to start a Muslim worship center in his home, two doors down from you, and fire up the adhan five times a day, and invite groups of young men to come over and study jihad theory, would that be just fine because people should be able to hold any religious gathering they want in their homes?

So long as they are not making an unreasonable amount of noise or violating parking ordinances, then the 1st Amendment applies to the Muslim Jihad theory study group. So the answer to your question is yes. They have freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Hate to break it to you, but you can technically plan to kill another person with a group of people as long as the plan is never carried out. Of course if that person does get killed by one of the members, you all become accomplices.

What if this neighbor starts attracting so many worshippers that they have to pray in the yard? And then in the street? And therefore your lawnmower or your barbecue or the tunes you play while working on the project car, or your need to drive out on errands, or your kids’ after-school time with the bikes and the street-hockey gear, become an inconvenience to the worshippers down the street?

Now you are setting up a straw man. The issue is about holding the event on private property. The yard would be fine. Last I checked, streets in the suburban/city neighborhood you are describing are not private property…which changes the argument entirely. Nice try though.

I can see reasons why we would want local authorities to have some say about the conditions maintained in residential neighborhoods, even when they involve religious gatherings. SJC appears to have gone overboard and been too particular about singling out religious gatherings, but I wouldn’t throw the whole concept out. Neighborhoods may well find themselves needing it.

J.E. Dyer on September 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Another straw man. Nobody said anything about keeping the government out of the neighborhood (especially the public area of it), they are talking about keeping the government from controlling how many people you can have in your house to discuss a book twice a week.

It’s disappointing to see an HA contributor like yourself make such a poor argument in the threads.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

So at least one neighbor complained, but we already knew that, because someone had to complain in the first place for the city to get involved.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM

I provided a link in my post. It’s to their site.

Here it is again: http://www.chuckfromm.net/

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

50 visitors isn’t very private. Bummer for any kids who are playing on the neighborhood streets as the cars pass by.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Wow, that’s a real stretch there, dedalus. The majority of the neighbors said they have no problem with these meetings.

From Capistrano Dispatch

The Fromms’ citations say they violated section 9-3.301 of the Capistrano Municipal Code, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a conditional-use permit. The footnote on the section says it “Includes churches, temples, synagogues, monasteries, religious retreats, and other places of religious worship and other fraternal and community service organizations.”

Four or more people meeting at a private residence do not constitute an “church.”

JannyMae on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

So we agree that the town can regulate the function–we are just haggling over the number of attendees. It does seem, though, that the 50 visitors for the Sunday event would probably trip the zoning codes of most towns.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:04 PM

But, zoning-wise, they are calling this house a “church.” That’s why the city is saying they need a permit.

I don’t think having bi-weekly meetings makes their house a church, any more than having bi-weekly tupperware sales would make my house a kitchen supply store, or bi-weekly LAN parties would make my house an arcade.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

This being California, the next door neighbor could have 50 people over smoking “medical” mary-j and that’s totally cool.

The neighbor on the other side could have 50 people over for Rules for Radicals book club night. Again, no issues.

But a book club discussing the Bible? You degenerate lawbreakers must go to jail.

America is over.

GopherCon on September 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

The questions isn’t if it would…the question is if it should…

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 4:11 PM

There is social stability gained when homeowners can rely on neighborhoods functioning in a manner consistent with residential needs. Build a factory or a supermarket on a neighborhood street and it disrupts people who have invested in the area to raise families.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM

May I get an article/section number on that?

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantwell_v._Connecticut

That’s regarding free exercise. Other cases relate to incorporation of other sections of the 1st.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I don’t think having bi-weekly meetings makes their house a church, any more than having bi-weekly tupperware sales would make my house a kitchen supply store, or bi-weekly LAN parties would make my house an arcade.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

That is exactly the point, and that is exactly why this enforcement of this statute against the Fromms is a violation of their rights. They are not an “organization,” they are a group of private citizens gathering in a private home, and they have the freedom to do that, without getting a PERMIT.

JannyMae on September 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Looks plenty big enough for 50 people to me…or did you not look at the photos? The street also is relatively devoid of vehicles (though I’m unsure of when the photo was taken).

As for the cones thing, that is from the video on the front page. The Fromm’s go out of their way to make sure that if anyone chooses to park on the street, they don’t do so in front of their neighbor’s house by placing orange cones out.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM

There is social stability gained when homeowners can rely on neighborhoods functioning in a manner consistent with residential needs. Build a factory or a supermarket on a neighborhood street and it disrupts people who have invested in the area to raise families.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM

But if I have five sewing machines and make sweaters for sale in my house, am I a factory?

If I have a lemonade stand that also sells fresh apples, am I a supermarket?

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

There is social stability gained when homeowners can rely on neighborhoods functioning in a manner consistent with residential needs. Build a factory or a supermarket on a neighborhood street and it disrupts people who have invested in the area to raise families.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Are you seriously making a comparison between a group of people gathering at a private residence for a bible study, and building a factory or a store in a neighborhood?

JannyMae on September 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

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

And it’s YOUR job to go around and relieve people of their delusions. He probably didn’t know that.

You know what I hate? People who think they’re so much smarter than everyone else, that they need to force those poor, delusional people to realize how superior they are.

You know, those poor people who live their lives much happier than people like you? Not to mention, on average, those poor, delusional people also live much longer than people with anger problems?

For someone who doesn’t “hate the person”, your words sure drip venom.

Squiggy on September 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantwell_v._Connecticut

That’s regarding free exercise. Other cases relate to incorporation of other sections of the 1st.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM
A) Supreme Court ruling, not an article/section number. B) Connecticut is a state, not a city, and a direct constitutional reference relating to states was already provided, and not disputed.

JSchuler on September 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

50 visitors isn’t very private. Bummer for any kids who are playing on the neighborhood streets as the cars pass by.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

How many visitors makes something private then? When my Mom has all 20+ family members and some friends over for Christmas is our party public?

Also, last I checked it wasn’t a “drive up and down the street all day” meeting. The cars are obviously parked (mostly on the Fromm’s property from the articles) save for the likely 10 to 15 minutes that they are coming or going. Sucks that those poor kids have to wait 10 minutes for cars to go by so they can play street hockey, eh?

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Wow, that’s a real stretch there, dedalus. The majority of the neighbors said they have no problem with these meetings.

JannyMae on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Now laws get enforced only when a majority object to each violation? If the voters don’t like the law, they can change the law. The town can’t engage in selective enforcement. It doesn’t seem likely the revised visitor threshold would be set anywhere near 50.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Also, last I checked it wasn’t a “drive up and down the street all day” meeting. The cars are obviously parked (mostly on the Fromm’s property from the articles) save for the likely 10 to 15 minutes that they are coming or going. Sucks that those poor kids have to wait 10 minutes for cars to go by so they can play street hockey, eh?

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

The traffic sucks for parents who already have enough concerns for their kids safety.

For a few bucks each the prayer group could rent a nearby hall and leave their neighbors with a more peaceful Sunday morning.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Wow, that’s a real stretch there, dedalus. The majority of the neighbors said they have no problem with these meetings.

JannyMae on September 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Now laws get enforced only when a majority object to each violation? If the voters don’t like the law, they can change the law. The town can’t engage in selective enforcement. It doesn’t seem likely the revised visitor threshold would be set anywhere near 50.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Both of these points have nothing to do with the issue at hand. First, it doesn’t matter whether neighbors support or oppose it.

Second, the law itself is unconstitutional, it doesn’t matter what the number is. The right to assembly means that I can technically have every inch of my property covered with people vertically planking (we’ll say I fit 300 people there shoulder to shoulder). In fact, I can do it every day. The city can refuse to let people park on the street or cite me for a noise violation (if we are being extremely noisy) but they cannot tell me I’m not allowed to have people assemble on my private property…no matter how many people or how frequently it happens.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM

For a few bucks each the prayer group could rent a nearby hall and leave their neighbors with a more peaceful Sunday morning.

Looks like a pretty posh property from the photos.

10% tithe from the 50 should rent them a pretty nice clubhouse.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

In one of the articles, Fromm refers to the Sunday gathering as a “service.” On their website, Mrs. Fromm refers to parking on the street. There is room for a few cars in her driveway but all that property people are talking about, does not have access. It is on the edge of a hill on one side and there are no roads in the rear.

Blake on September 22, 2011 at 4:36 PM

It’s a zoning issue. The couple’s particular religion isn’t singled out.

Religious meetings specifically do seem to have been singled out, which leaves atheists gatherings untouched, and as my non believing friends keep telling me, we shouldn’t be treated any differently according to the law.

They can rent a hall somewhere else in town if they want to congregate with 50 other people. Their neighbors have families to care for and can’t have their residential neighborhood appropriated for activities that generate consumer traffic.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Sure, but 1. people aren’t parking in front of their neighbors’ houses, and neighbors are actually writing in support of this Bible study group, and 2. the issue isn’t 50 people. It’s 3 or more.

If that last part doesn’t offend you, then I don’t know what type of government overreach would.

Esthier on September 22, 2011 at 4:36 PM

The traffic sucks for parents who already have enough concerns for their kids safety.

For a few bucks each the prayer group could rent a nearby hall and leave their neighbors with a more peaceful Sunday morning.

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM

You don’t have a right to traffic free streets. Maybe they could rent a place, but that is not the point. They shouldn’t have to and the government shouldn’t be allowed to force them to. We’re talking legality.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:37 PM

For someone who doesn’t “hate the person”, your words sure drip venom.

Squiggy on September 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I get that from people a lot. I’m actually happier now that I no longer have religion in my life than I ever was when I still had it.

Don’t address the meat of what I say, just tell me I’m a meany.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 4:39 PM

it is NOT a church. the city cannot decide a certain number of people meeting for a religous purpose constitutes a church. a church is a specific legal entity w/ tax exempt status, that has to file non-profit paperwork with the IRS, etc.

if it were a church they would have no problem paying the fee since they would have a collection most likely to take care of it. its a group of people who are gathering for a bible study.

chasdal on September 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

The person who has 50 people over for “services” on Sunday is defining it as a church by having “worship services”.

The weekly Bible Study aspect of this isn’t the issue. It just compounds the neighbor’s frustration.

Not saying their frustration is justified, or even constitutional, just saying there is more to the story that the article title suggests.

Lawrence on September 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Looks like a pretty posh property from the photos.

10% tithe from the 50 should rent them a pretty nice clubhouse.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

More brilliant logic: because the property is “posh,” then everyone who gathers there must be rich.

As for the tithe, from what I read they don’t collect money from their members. It is a gathering of friends for a Bible study. Of course, it shouldn’t matter what they are doing (as I and others have pointed out numerous times). It could be a knitting club for all it matters. Would you suggest the knitting circle donate 10% (of there income mind you) to rent a “clubhouse” to knit in twice a week? I somehow doubt it.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Sure, but 1. people aren’t parking in front of their neighbors’ houses, and neighbors are actually writing in support of this Bible study group, and 2. the issue isn’t 50 people. It’s 3 or more.

If that last part doesn’t offend you, then I don’t know what type of government overreach would.

Esthier on September 22, 2011 at 4:36 PM

The issue is 50 people if the group hopes to continue at the current location.

I agree that 3 seems too low, but what number would you come up with for a residential neighborhood if the question were number of employees regularly reporting to a home business?

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

The issue is 50 people if the group hopes to continue at the current location.

I agree that 3 seems too low, but what number would you come up with for a residential neighborhood if the question were number of employees regularly reporting to a home business?

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

I’ve already addressed this point at 4:34pm. The number doesn’t matter.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Question: Would you be just as emphatically self-righteous and arrogant if this family were members of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Don’t address the meat of what I say, just tell me I’m a meany.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 4:39 PM

You’re an arrogant hypocrite. You say you ‘hate the delusion not the deluded’ but you refuse to allow for the Christian to ‘hate the sin but not the sinner.’

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

As for the tithe, from what I read they don’t collect money from their members. It is a gathering of friends for a Bible study. Of course, it shouldn’t matter what they are doing (as I and others have pointed out numerous times). It could be a knitting club for all it matters. Would you suggest the knitting circle donate 10% (of there income mind you) to rent a “clubhouse” to knit in twice a week? I somehow doubt it.

Well I don’t think there are knitting deities that demand 10 of your pay so no I don’t expect that.

However if a neighbor of mine had 50 friends over twice a week for “knitting sessions” I would expect them to rent a place and take it elsewhere. I would suggest the old Bingo hall down the block. It has a parking lot and everything.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

You’re an arrogant hypocrite. You say you ‘hate the delusion not the deluded’ but you refuse to allow for the Christian to ‘hate the sin but not the sinner.’

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

What in the hell are you spouting on about now fossten? I thought you crawled back under a rock and left us all to laugh at your inane remarks.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Question: Would you be just as emphatically self-righteous and arrogant if this family were members of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

You didn’t read the second post on this page obviously. I addressed this idea in full. The short answer is yes. Here’s what I wrote in response to a similar question (using a Muslim Jihad theory group…which I would assume is equal to or worse that Muslim Brotherhood):

So long as they are not making an unreasonable amount of noise or violating parking ordinances, then the 1st Amendment applies to the Muslim Jihad theory study group. So the answer to your question is yes. They have freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Hate to break it to you, but you can technically plan to kill another person with a group of people as long as the plan is never carried out. Of course if that person does get killed by one of the members, you all become accomplices.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I’m not sure what the necessity of the words “self-righteous” and “arrogant” was…unless of course you are trying to pick a fight instead of have a debate. You can omit such words from any further posts as I will ignore them from now. I wrote this so that you will know not to waste your time with them.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I loved this part:
fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people
Sounds like an old fashioned method used by less than friendly governments to keep people discussing the events of the day without a ‘party’ handler. I have read about laws like this in my history books I think. These things never turn out well if they are not nipped in the bud. I am so glad I don’t live in California.

Dawnsblood on September 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Here, the judgmental SauerKraut states that Christians are unable to separate their hate for sin from their love for the sinner, and instead want all atheists dead.

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

But here, the self righteous hypocrite SauerKraut claims that he, and ONLY he, can separate his hatred of delusion from his hatred of the person.

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

It would appear that SauerKraut is the one with the inability to grasp the distinction.

At worst, it’s hubristic arrogance, and at best, it’s hypocritical ignorance.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:11 PM

What in the hell are you spouting on about now fossten? I thought you crawled back under a rock and left us all to laugh at your inane remarks.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Actually, you tortured little coward, I responded to you twice, and you had apparently run off with your tail between your legs because you failed to respond.

So yet again, you see things upside down and back to front.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

However if a neighbor of mine had 50 friends over twice a week for “knitting sessions” I would expect them to rent a place and take it elsewhere. I would suggest the old Bingo hall down the block. It has a parking lot and everything.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

What you expect is irrelevant to what is legal. Would you think it constitutional if the city fined the knitting circle $300 dollars and told them they weren’t allowed to gather on their friends private property because there were more than x number of them? If they refused to pay the fine, could the government then take the money by force or jail them?

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

fossten,
you bore me and everyone else here with your pseudo intellectual musings and debating techniques. go crawl back into bed and read your fairy tales about celestial daddies who care for you and others who believe in him, and who will mete justice out to people like me who speak out against your celestial daddy.
cheers!

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:15 PM

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Seriously, neither of you are adding anything to the conversation. Rather you are bickering like two teenage girls. You both hate each other (not very humanistic or Christian) and neither one of you will ever “win” the argument save in your own mind. You might as well stop now since the whole exercise is a waste of time.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I’ve already got him set on ignore. He/she/it loves coming at me whenever he/she/it sees me commenting. He won’t get any more replies from me.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

fossten,
[whiny voice] you bore me and everyone else here with your pseudo intellectual musings and debating techniques. go crawl back into bed and read your fairy tales about celestial daddies who care for you and others who believe in him, and who will mete justice out to people like me who speak out against your celestial daddy.
cheers!

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Exactly the type of whiny response I would expect from someone who just got his posterior handed to him by his own words. But you run along now, momma’s calling.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

You don’t understand. These are the only threads Sauerkraut comments on. He’s on a quest to personaly represnt the 8 % (per Gallup) of Atheists in this country.

kingsjester on September 22, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Seriously, neither of you are adding anything to the conversation. Rather you are bickering like two teenage girls. You both hate each other (not very humanistic or Christian) and neither one of you will ever “win” the argument save in your own mind. You might as well stop now since the whole exercise is a waste of time.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:16 PM

No no, only atheists like him know how to love people. According to him, Christians like me want to [and I quote] “exterminate” atheists.

Of course, he says this without any evidence whatsoever, just his own paranoid, tortured, emotionally driven logic.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

@Patto

I’ve already got his set on ignore… ignoramus that is.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

What happened to separation of state?

right2bright on September 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

I’ve already got his set on ignore… ignoramus that is.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Where you goin’? I thought your life’s work was helping stupid Christians get rid of their delusions? And now you bail out after just one encounter?

You must not be very strong in your beliefs if it’s that easy to run you off.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:26 PM

You don’t understand. These are the only threads Sauerkraut comments on. He’s on a quest to personaly represnt the 8 % (per Gallup) of Atheists in this country.

kingsjester on September 22, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Not quite true kingsjester, I comment on many different threads on various topics. It’s only when I see the inanities of religious comments here and there that it sets me off and I comment about it in return.

Then people start debating my comments. I can’t help it if I’m driven to defend my comments.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Just a reminder, this was the VERY FIRST COMMENT EITHER OF US MADE TO THE OTHER:

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’ve already got him set on ignore. He/she/it loves coming at me whenever he/she/it sees me commenting. He won’t get any more replies from me.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

So it looks like YOU sought ME out.

Delusional indeed.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

It’s only when I see the inanities of religious comments here and there that it sets me off and I comment about it in return.

Then people start debating my comments. I can’t help it if I’m driven to defend my comments.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Wait, I’m confused. I thought you just tried to claim that I started this with you.

He/she/it loves coming at me whenever he/she/it sees me commenting. He won’t get any more replies from me.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Make up your mind – did you start it or not?

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:28 PM

fossten,

I’m not running from you, but I understand with people as obstinate as you that it’s useless to even speak to you anymore.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make em drink, and you just like riling people up with your snide little comments and overall jackassery.

I’m setting you back on ignoramus mode now. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

It’s only when I see the inanities of religious comments here and there that it sets me off and I comment about it in return.

Then people start debating my comments. I can’t help it if I’m driven to defend my comments.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

LOL – don’t start none, won’t be none, you little coward.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:30 PM

fossten,

I’m not running from you, but I understand with people as obstinate as you that it’s useless to even speak to you anymore.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make em drink, and you just like riling people up with your snide little comments and overall jackassery.

I’m setting you back on ignoramus mode now. ;-)

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

You are so ignorant.

You don’t ‘lead a horse to water’ – you stand back and throw bombs at it.

Your approach sucks. Your attitude sucks. And your sniveling sucks as well.

Don’t be so ‘shocked’ when somebody responds in kind after one of your insults.

Sheesh, what a thin skin.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:31 PM

You don’t understand. These are the only threads Sauerkraut comments on. He’s on a quest to personaly represnt the 8 % (per Gallup) of Atheists in this country.

kingsjester on September 22, 2011 at 5:20 PM

That’s no excuse to engage in irrational bickering without end. His quest is of no concern to me. He is free to troll threads if he wants. People are fee to complain. If his unreasonable posts were ignored, he would likely have less of an impact. Just like if we were to ignore CSDevin on Palin threads (which I do, but most don’t).

No no, only atheists like him know how to love people. According to him, Christians like me want to [and I quote] “exterminate” atheists.

Of course, he says this without any evidence whatsoever, just his own paranoid, tortured, emotionally driven logic.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

And you won’t convince him otherwise with throwing insults and a condescending attitude. I agree with you, but your response only further confirms his convictions. In other words, you are helping him dig his own trenches/build his own walls to the Gospel. You also damage your own credibility. There is no reason to get into heated flame wars on the internet. You won’t win any arguments that way…no matter how good your logic.

@Patto

I’ve already got his set on ignore… ignoramus that is.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Thank you for (kind of) attempting to stop the fight. I think you’d have been better without the last little dig though (I know it can be hard to resist…we’re all human).

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Question: Would you be just as emphatically self-righteous and arrogant if this family were members of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Does the 1st Amendment suddenly not apply to Muslims?

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM

I’ve been here since 2008. You have never commented on any other threads but those giving you the opportunity to attack Christians.

And if you ever did on any others, they were few and far between.

kingsjester on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

What happened to separation of state?

right2bright on September 22, 2011 at 5:22 PM

In regard to what comment?

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Well I don’t think there are knitting deities that demand 10 of your pay so no I don’t expect that.

However if a neighbor of mine had 50 friends over twice a week for “knitting sessions” I would expect them to rent a place and take it elsewhere. I would suggest the old Bingo hall down the block. It has a parking lot and everything.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Bible Study doesn’t require tithing.

I wish you weren’t stunningly ignorant on the religious matters you love to chime in on, but I’m not going to demand that be legislated.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM

What you expect is irrelevant to what is legal. Would you think it constitutional if the city fined the knitting circle $300 dollars and told them they weren’t allowed to gather on their friends private property because there were more than x number of them? If they refused to pay the fine, could the government then take the money by force or jail them?

Yes.

Believe or not, many cities do not allow you do to whatever you want on your property. For instance some cities do not allow you to have indoor furniture on an outside porch, some don’t allow you to have cars on blocks in the front yard….some may restrict the color you can paint your house, some may limit the number of people that can gather in your house on a bi-weekly basis without a permit (I do think that 3 is ridiculous btw…a more reasonable amount would be say 20…but that is details.)

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM

fossten,
I don’t have a thin skin. I’m still here aren’t I?

Look, I only commented to you earlier because you were being a prick to others before me. That’s why I said what I said, because you always comment with prickish comments designed to try to get under people’s skins.

Your comments don’t bother me so much anymore because I expect it from you.

It’s your logic that bothers me.

You can’t see your own delusion on this topic until you open your mind and try the thought experiment of, “am I possibly wrong on this topic”?

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Does the 1st Amendment suddenly not apply to Muslims?

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

I think he was implying hypocrisy on my part despite having already addressed the question long before he asked it. I have an uber post above to JE Dryer (@ 4:12 I think) that covers much of this debate. You are absolutely right. It’s good to see there are others who understand the foundations of the issue.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

In regard to what comment?

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Probably in regards to the topic from the other day about separation of church and state.

A common refrain was “no one is stopping you from reading the Bible in your own home.”

You know, unless you’re doing it with three other people. Then you’re a church and you need a permit, I guess.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I’m not sure what the necessity of the words “self-righteous” and “arrogant” was…unless of course you are trying to pick a fight instead of have a debate.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

I’m sorry.

They were simply my unsolicited opinion of your character based upon the flippant and condescending throw-aways you use when you “debate” those you disagree with. Perhaps you’re just being witty and I’m “not getting it”?

If so, again, my apologies.

As for your support for the Muslim Brotherhood should 50 (100? 750? 1,500, is there a limit?) choose to hold twice weekly meetings next door to your home … well … good for you. You are a better man than I.

But you already knew that, didn’t you?. (It’s okay. I’m just being witty.)

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Lots of passion here, but less logic. The problem is that neighbors have complained about a regular occurrence of crowds. 50 people at any home is tough enough to deal with once, but if it is a regular occurrence, neighbors have every right to complain. The fact that this happens to be a Bible study meeting has nothing to do with the law, or the neighbors complaint. We have all lived near neighbors that suck. I’ve spent over $1000 “addressing” problems that the b-i-t-c-h two houses down has complained about. Sucks to be me, but I’m complying with the law (while at the same time letting her know how much I despise her).

This is much ado about the wrong thing. If the group has grown this large, they need to find a place to meet besides a neighborhood. I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask this. The same applies to the Boy Scouts, or the Masons, or the KKK for that matter.

cannonball on September 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

And you won’t convince him otherwise with throwing insults and a condescending attitude. I agree with you, but your response only further confirms his convictions. In other words, you are helping him dig his own trenches/build his own walls to the Gospel. You also damage your own credibility. There is no reason to get into heated flame wars on the internet. You won’t win any arguments that way…no matter how good your logic.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

He’s a converted atheist. There is no ‘persuading’ him. But if he tries to come in here and attack me and make wild claims that I want to murder atheists, I will defend myself and demand that he back up his claim. He originally ran from the challenge and now he’s trying to cover it up. It’s really that simple. If you don’t like the rhetoric, then don’t read it. Again, if he doesn’t want to tango, he doesn’t need to start it.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

You don’t know shit Chai… I KNOW that a lot of people think there is a god out there, I do as well, but where they go astray of logic is thinking that THEIR particular rendition of this god is it. Where they go astray is in KNOWING that their particular god happens to be the one true god.

Washington and many others who helped to found this country were Christian, or especially religious, of that I have no doubt, but there were a lot of deists as well ie Jefferson, Franklin, etc.

If they would only exhibit a bit of intellectual honesty on this one topic I have no doubt that they’d eventually get back into the Deist column like Jefferson, et al were.

YOU should be a deist at best, if you were intellectually honest that is…

You say you know your god is the right one but you really don’t, else why do Christians sometimes doubt themselves?

You don’t know, any more than any of the rest of us do. You have your faith, and you think it’s a virtue to have it, but its not.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Sauer, I beg your pardon. Intellectually honest?? So you think that my faith in God is intellectually dishonest? Your logic is screwy, and besides, I feel sorry for you. Too bad you have lost your way…

chai on September 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

The issue is 50 people if the group hopes to continue at the current location.

It would if this were about this specific group. This is a law they’re trying to enforce, and it supposedly applies to any groups of 3 or more.

I agree that 3 seems too low, but what number would you come up with for a residential neighborhood if the question were number of employees regularly reporting to a home business?

dedalus on September 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

If we’re talking about actual employees, then no number is too low. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about organizations which may or may not have employees, and I honestly have no idea at what point the government should step in, but I do feel there are plenty of other avenues to exhaust before outlawing private gatherings.

If the cars are causing a problem, ticket them. But to say they can’t have a couple friends over to study the Bible is insane. Because this again, isn’t about 50 people. What they’re being told now is that even if they tell 45 people not to come anymore, they still can’t hold these Bible study sessions.

Esthier on September 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

dedalus on September 22, 2011

Call me shocked . You came against people with religious views./

You’re gross. Really gross.

Go do your work at PP and leave us alone.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Believe or not, many cities do not allow you do to whatever you want on your property. For instance some cities do not allow you to have indoor furniture on an outside porch, some don’t allow you to have cars on blocks in the front yard….some may restrict the color you can paint your house, some may limit the number of people that can gather in your house on a bi-weekly basis without a permit (I do think that 3 is ridiculous btw…a more reasonable amount would be say 20…but that is details.)

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Then those laws all violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution regarding private property. Just because other cities have laws that violate property rights doesn’t make them just. This is a common logical fallacy (the name escapes me) similar to “appeal to authority.” It is often summed up with “two wrongs don’t make a right,” or in this case, many wrongs.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

I’ve been here since 2008. You have never commented on any other threads but those giving you the opportunity to attack Christians.

And if you ever did on any others, they were few and far between.

kingsjester on September 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

they usually start of rather innocuously and then devolve into me trying to set someone religiously minded straight on a point their wrong about. Which then becomes a bigger debate overall.

sorry, it’s like crack cocaine! ;-)

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

So saying Grace before Thanksgiving supper with all of the family and in-laws around is going to need a city permit…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM

they usually start of rather innocuously and then devolve into me trying to set someone religiously minded straight on a point their wrong about. Which then becomes a bigger debate overall.

sorry, it’s like crack cocaine! ;-)

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

LOL…

You are trying to claim that your FIRST post, which accused me of wanting to murder atheists, was ‘innocuous?’

That’s not even a debate devolving. That’s an outright flame war.

The self delusion is strong in you.

ROFL…

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Sauer, I beg your pardon. Intellectually honest?? So you think that my faith in God is intellectually dishonest? Your logic is screwy, and besides, I feel sorry for you. Too bad you have lost your way…

chai on September 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

He’s adopting the csdeven tactic of hiding behind the skirts of others and not responding directly.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Wow!

Cindy Munford on September 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM

As for your support for the Muslim Brotherhood should 50 (100? 750? 1,500, is there a limit?) choose to hold twice weekly meetings next door to your home … well … good for you.

Rod on September 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

The limits are defined by how many the private property can hold. So, again, the number doesn’t matter. I might not be happy or comfortable with it, but that doesn’t make it illegal. There are many legal things that I don’t like.

I did not intend to appear condescending and I’m sorry you got that impression.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM

So saying Grace before Thanksgiving supper with all of the family and in-laws around is going to need a city permit…?

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

So saying Grace before Thanksgiving supper with all of the family and in-laws around is going to need a city permit…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 22, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Don’t dare have family over after a baptism .

CW on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

really? is that what the law says?

CW on September 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Now I am not normally a fossten supporter, but he made sauerkraut look like an idiot hypocrite lol ol!! way to show out for Derby City!

TheQuestion on September 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

really? is that what the law says?

CW on September 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

It’s what she would like to see.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM

He’s a converted atheist. There is no ‘persuading’ him. But if he tries to come in here and attack me and make wild claims that I want to murder atheists, I will defend myself and demand that he back up his claim. He originally ran from the challenge and now he’s trying to cover it up. It’s really that simple. If you don’t like the rhetoric, then don’t read it. Again, if he doesn’t want to tango, he doesn’t need to start it.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I understand you wanting to defend yourself. I was just hoping to put an end to the cycle. I’ve not been reading most of the rhetoric (save what my eyes skim as I scroll past). It was just becoming hard to ignore. You can obviously do as you please, I won’t interfere any further.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Now I am not normally a fossten supporter, but he made sauerkraut look like an idiot hypocrite lol ol!! way to show out for Derby City!

TheQuestion on September 22, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Some days I rock, some days I suck. ;)

Good to see another Louahvull commenter!

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I understand you wanting to defend yourself. I was just hoping to put an end to the cycle. I’ve not been reading most of the rhetoric (save what my eyes skim as I scroll past). It was just becoming hard to ignore. You can obviously do as you please, I won’t interfere any further.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

It’s all good Patto, I’m pretty sure the teapot isn’t whistling anymore.

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM

It’s what shehe would like to see.

Yes, if my neighbor wants to hold 50 person gatherings twice a week I want them to get a permit….

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Some days I rock, some days I suck. ;)

You are half right.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Yes, if my neighbor wants to hold 50 person gatherings twice a week I want them to get a permit….

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:57 PM

So the couple in the story are ok by you .

Again what does the law say? I love how you ignore that question.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Some days I rock, some days I suck. ;)

fossten on September 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

No, you always rock.

Cindy Munford on September 22, 2011 at 5:59 PM

You are half right.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Yeh he rocks. Thanks for agreeing and being civil.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.
Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Prove it.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Fossten,
I did flame you first, you’re right, but only because you were flaming others first. And my flame was mostly a continuation of earlier flame wars you and I engaged in.

I’m not hiding but my last few comments didn’t post so I assume I’m banned or sumptin.

SauerKraut537 on September 22, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Again what does the law say? I love how you ignore that question.

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.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Prove it.

Try it and see what happens.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Chuckle. Pretty lame.

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.
Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Where in the law does it say twice a week? Do tell. Where does the law say that even one such gathering is not against their code?

You know you were shown to be your idiotic self. Give it up.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Actually it’s saying 3 or more people are all that are required. So many of you are harping on the 50, but they would fine this group if it even just has 3 people each week. That’s worth $500 a hit? That’s fair? That’s somehow legal?

Esthier on September 22, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Try it and see what happens.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Huh?

Show me the entire code that you bases your your comment on. You know:

“Only need one if you celebrate thanksgiving twice a week with 50 of your friends all year round. ”

Not the one you are looking up now but the one you found before you posted that drivelo

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:11 PM

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.

Wow i have never seen code that refers to ” Chuck”. They need some new lawyers.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Actually it’s saying 3 or more people are all that are required. So many of you are harping on the 50, but they would fine this group if it even just has 3 people each week. That’s worth $500 a hit? That’s fair? That’s somehow legal?

I already stated that I thought the 3 person limit was ridiculous.

But the group in question has meetings of 30-50 people twice a week….not 3.

If they had only 3 I doubt anyone would have complained., that being said I think 10-20 people is more reasonable (based on housing density)….based on the photos of their estate…20 seems reasonable.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.

But the group in question has meetings of 30-50 people twice a week….not 3.

.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Pablo doesn’t know how to read.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:18 PM

CW that code again?

LOL

Later loser

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.

But the group in question has meetings of 30-50 people twice a week….not 3.

.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Pablo doesn’t know how to read.

CW on September 22, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Very astute…almost on par with catching that typo I made earlier.

You win the internet.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Actually it’s saying 3 or more people are all that are required. So many of you are harping on the 50, but they would fine this group if it even just has 3 people each week. That’s worth $500 a hit? That’s fair? That’s somehow legal?

Esthier on September 22, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Put the number at x, because it shouldn’t matter. 3 or 300 should make no difference so long as they stay on the private property. The only issue would be likely fines for noise (which aren’t being touted here, so it is obviously not a problem). It’s not a structural problem with the ordinance…it is a foundational problem.

If they had only 3 I doubt anyone would have complained., that being said I think 10-20 people is more reasonable (based on housing density)….based on the photos of their estate…20 seems reasonable.

Pablo Honey on September 22, 2011 at 6:14 PM

So…all houses should be designated a maximum number of visitors based upon “housing density” and frequency. Like I said, neither of those factors should matter. The number is not the problem with the ordinance…the entire foundations of the ordinance violate property rights.

Pattosensei on September 22, 2011 at 6:22 PM

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