Property Rights and Justice: Phoenix Edition

You remember this morning we discussed the right to private property and the rule of law. The article is here, and it’s basic to liberty. That article describes the way America was planned by the Founders. Here is the state of the union.

Today in Phoenix, AZ, according to Fox News Insider a pastor was sentenced to 60 days in jail and fined $12,180. Well, it happens, pastors aren’t God, they make mistakes. What was his? He held Bible studies at his home. That’s it. Here’s the story from Fox and Friends.

Bible study leader Michael Salman is sitting in jail today after his home was raided earlier this week by more than a dozen Phoenix, Ariz. police officers and city officials. His offense? The city says people aren’t allowed to hold private Bible studies on their own property.

Salman was sentenced to 60 days in jail, three years probation and received a $12,180 fine for “the crime.”

His wife Suzanne spoke with Fox and Friends this morning to express her shock and disbelief at the entire situation. According to Suzanne, the city told her that her husband was essentially arrested because the Bible study was at a private house .. and that essentially, it’s a church. Since they weren’t zoned for church, they were told they were breaking the rules.

“It defies logic, honestly. I don’t understand … that something so small got so large like this,” Suzanne said. “People do it all over the United States all the time.”

Continue reading Arizona Pastor Arrested, Jailed for Holding Bible Study in Home; His Wife Says It ‘Defies Logic’, there is a video too.

Aside from the obvious questions, like how Phoenix can afford to send a dozen police officers to arrest a pastor for zoning violations, and why they would,  and obvious 1st Amendment concerns. Oh, and would it be different if they were Moslems, studying the Koran?

You know, living in Nebraska, I have friends who have parties for every Cornhusker game, does this mean they need to get a liquor license and be zoned as a bar? I see no difference.

I guess there was a pulpit there but, you know what? There was in my Great Grandfather’s shop too. He was carving it for the church, and it wasn’t zoned a commercial woodworking shop, either.

Do property rights exist in the United States, anymore?

Or is the property you paid 100’s of thousands of dollars for, the government’s, who’ll kindly will let you eat, drink beer, and sleep in front of TV there, if you don’t read the Bible with your friends?



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6 Responses to Property Rights and Justice: Phoenix Edition

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Sometimes words fail.


    • Yes, they do.


  2. I think there was a lot more about this situation than meets the eye. There was quite a bit about it on Fox News this morning. One of the arguments against it was the frequency of the meetings…52 days a year not just the cornhusker’s games of which there are few.


    • I suspect as much as well, and if the participants were parking on the street, that would also change the situation, to a point.

      However, having a group to your home once a week, while it may not be the best of neighborhood relations, does not rise to the level of a raid by a dozen police officers, $12 K in fines or 60 days in jail, at least not until after a cease and desist order is violated, or something similar.

      It just strikes me as an unwarranted intrusion into the use of private property.


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  4. Pingback: Man Jailed for hosting Bible Study in his home - Iron Mill News Service | Iron Mill News Service

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