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megimoo
03-13-2010, 09:05 AM
The city of Gilbert, Ariz., has ordered a group of seven adults to stop gathering for Bible studies in a private home because such meetings are forbidden by the city's zoning codes. The issue was brought to a head when city officials wrote a letter to a pastor and his wife informing them they had 10 days to quit having the meetings in their private home. .
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…nothing in [Gilbert's] zoning code prevents weekly Cub Scouts meetings, Monday Night Football parties with numerous attendees, or large business parties from being held on a regular basis in private homes. In fact, the zoning code explicitly allows some day cares to operate from homes.

Notably, the church only met for a few hours a week in members’ homes, and would rotate to different homes weekly. Further, the church was quite small, consisting of just seven adult members, including three married couples, and their four children.

ADF attorneys argue in their appeal that 1) the town’s zoning code does not authorize such a broad ban on church meetings in homes; 2) the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause doesn’t permit a ban on church meetings where all other meetings are permitted; 3) Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act (FERA) protects “Arizona citizens’ right to exercise their religious beliefs free from undue government interference;” and 4) the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) prevents zoning officials from singling out churches for discriminatory treatment.
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UPDATE: Just in case anyone is interested in what I think, it seems to me that the ADF has it right here, given there are no problems with noise or parking. It looks to me that Milillio exceeded his proper authority. However, WND’s overwrought headline should be seen in the context of Joseph Farah’s long-standing agenda of whipping up paranoia and resentment.
http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/house-church-vs-zoning-regulations-in-arizona/
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snip
Pastor Joe Sutherland had been told in a letter from code compliance officer Steve Wallace that the people were not allowed to meet in a home for church activities under the city's Land Development Code.
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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=127793

Sonnabend
03-13-2010, 10:21 AM
A typically hysterical headline on WorldNetDaily

Yes. Probably why Megimoo uses it so much :rolleyes:

Gingersnap
03-13-2010, 06:44 PM
Yes. Probably why Megimoo uses it so much :rolleyes:

I read WND myself. I rarely see anything there that wasn't reported in the MSM a day or so earlier. :cool:

The pastor should just start calling his meetings 'birthday parties'.

Speedy
03-13-2010, 06:47 PM
Call it a Muslim Outreach and it would not be a problem.