Below is an article I would like you to quickly read which describes how a county official came to the HOME of a local pastor and told him he could not assemble a small group of people in his home for Bible study on pain of escalating fines unless he got a permit costing $10,000. Read on and my comment at the end
Home: No place for Bible study
County demands pastor spend thousands on ‘Major Use’ permit to host friends
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A San Diego pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a county official and warned they will face escalating fines if they continue to hold Bible studies in their home.
The couple, whose names are being withheld until a demand letter can be filed on their behalf, told their attorney a county government employee knocked on their door on Good Friday, asking a litany of questions about their Tuesday night Bible studies, which are attended by approximately 15 people.
“Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say ‘amen’?” the official reportedly asked. “Do you say, ‘Praise the Lord’?”
The pastor’s wife answered yes.
She says she was then told, however, that she must stop holding “religious assemblies” until she and her husband obtain a Major Use Permit from the county, a permit that often involves traffic and environmental studies, compliance with parking and sidewalk regulations and costs that top tens of thousands of dollars.
And if they fail to pay for the MUP, the county official reportedly warned, the couple will be charged escalating fines beginning at $100, then $200, $500, $1000, “and then it will get ugly.”
Dean Broyles of the Western Center for Law & Policy, which has been retained to represent the couple, told WND the county’s action not only violates religious land-use laws but also assaults both the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
“The First Amendment, in part, reads, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,'” Broyles said. “And that’s the key part: ‘prohibiting the free exercise.’ We believe this is a substantial government burden on the free exercise of religion.”
He continued, “If one’s home is one’s castle, certainly you would the think the free exercise of religion, of all places, could occur in the home.”
Broyles confirmed the county official followed through on his threat. The pastor and his wife received a written warning ordering the couple to “cease/stop religious assembly on parcel or obtain a major use permit.”
“The Western Center for Law and Policy is troubled by this draconian move to suppress home Bible studies,” said the law center in a statement. “If the current trends in our nation continue, churches may be forced underground. If that happens, believers will once again be forced to meet in homes. If homes are already closed by the government to assembly and worship, where then will Christians meet?”
On a personal note, Broyles added, “I’ve been leading Bible studies in my home for 13 years in San Diego County, and I personally believe that home fellowship Bible studies are the past and future of the church. … If you look at China, the church grew from home Bible studies. I’m deeply concerned that if in the U.S. we are not able to meet in our homes and freely practice our religion, then we may be worse off than China.”
Broyles also explained to WND that oppressive governments, such as communist China or Nazi Germany, worked to repress home fellowships, labeling them the “underground church” or “subversive groups,” legally compelling Christians to meet only in sanctioned, government-controlled “official” churches.
“Therein lies my concern,” Broyles said. “If people can’t practice their religious beliefs in the privacy of their own homes with a few of their friends, that’s an egregious First Amendment violation.”
WND contacted a spokeswoman for San Diego County, who acknowledged the description of the incident seemed “bizarre,” but who was unable to locate the details of the account. She simply could not provide comment yet, she said, until she could become familiar with the case.
Broyles said the WCLP is nearly ready to file a demand letter with the county to release the pastor and his wife from the requirement to obtain the expensive permit. If the county refuses, Broyles said, the WCLP will consider a lawsuit in federal court.
Broyles also told WND the pastor and his wife are continuing to hold the Bible study in their home.
What we are seeing here is yet another small step in the ever increasing war against YOU from the authority. They want your total submission and to do this they are slowly turning up the heat. Yesterday we had police choking and trying to arrest ambulance drivers while they tried to tend to a very ill woman in the van. The day before we had a policeman put an inocent young man in a coma slamming him into a wall because he didn’t respond to him. Now today we hear officialdom wants you to bow down and submit when they tell you you cannot have a gathering in your own home or face increasing fines
This is all part of a constant barrage on your psyche teaching you to OBEY AUTHORITY, not to question however crazy they become or however ridiculous the laws are getting. The hostility with which these things are happenning is increasing too, as well as the number of things they demand your obedience too.
Some might say that this is a one off and it was pronbably the neighbour complaining that the cars were blocking up the road every Wednesday. However this is their OWN HOME and the authority should have NO BUSINESS in your home. This is not a one off. If the law exists it will be used. Then what will you do when you want to have a party in yuor home, pay ten thousand to the county? What about a family get together? What about any kind of club you might hold or regular meeting of friends? This is only the first step towards putting people in fear of associating with groups even in their own home.
When a government is becoming illegal or acting illegally or against the interests of the people they become paranoid of being discovered and afraid of the people they are betraying. When this happens they begin to try to censor the media and free speech, and curtail freedom to associate so that ideas cannot be discussed. It is the madness of a dictator that always happens when the dictator finally achieves power through the stealthy means you see going on now. He will eventually fear that everybody is trying to depose him and he will kill those people closest to him who brought him to the top because he knows they have the ability to do again what they did with him. Now his supporters have become the biggest threat. This is the madness we are now seeing growing in government. They fear the people and will do anything to supress discussion. Hitler did this. Stalin did this.
They also d
id this….. Soon you will have a million strong private youth brigade running around in uniforms looking over your fence, in your bin, listening to the way you speak about the government or the way you handle your kids and they have the hotline to the local gestapo…. er…… police, CSA, etc. Parents and family members afraid of what their own children might say to someone that might get them a bang on the front door.
There are 90 year old people in Germany who are scratching their heads and saying why? Why can’t the British and Americans see that what is happenning in their countries is exactly what happened in Germany in the 1930s? They cannot believe it is happenning again and that we have all forgotten
Already you have to get permits to protest, and Britain has laws banning people gathering in groups more than a certain number. They are even preventing your children from making physical contact at school now. It is mind control for slaves and it has gone too far
America and Britain are now in the top 6 of the most repressive governments and societies in the world according to a recent international survey. America has more people in jail per capita than any other country in the world. What are you going to do to stop it because it doesn’t seem to matter which of the mainstream parties you vote for it only stays the same or worse?