60 Days In Prison And A $12,180 Fine For Hosting A Home Bible Study In Arizona
The war on home Bible studies and house churches is heating up again. Down in Phoenix, Arizona a man has been sentenced to 60 days in prison and has been fined $12,180 for hosting a Bible study in his home.
Since 2005, Michael Salman and his wife have been hosting gatherings of about 15 or 20 people where they share food, fellowship and discuss the Bible. Unfortunately, that kind of thing is against the law in Phoenix, Arizona apparently. At one point, nearly a dozen armed police officers raided their home and “evidence” of their “crimes” was gathered. Michael Salman was found guilty of 67 “code violations”, and now he is going to be ripped away from his family and put in prison for two months. In addition, the assistant city prosecutor is asking the court to “revoke his probation and convert it into a 2 1/2 year jail sentence since he continues to hold worship gatherings on his property despite court orders.” This kind of case has the potential to have a huge “chilling effect” on home gatherings of all kinds all over the United States.
You may be thinking that you are glad that this man is being put in prison because you aren’t a Christian and you don’t have any sympathy for Christians.
Well, what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to discuss the U.S. Constitution?
Or what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to play cards or watch football?
The U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, and when the constitutional rights of one person are under attack, it is an attack on all of us.