Skip to comments.Arizona man sent to jail for holding Bible studies in his home
Posted on 08/05/2012 9:40:35 AM PDT by Zakeet
A Phoenix pastor who was jailed for holding a Bible study group on his private property is now holding one behind bars.
Michael Salman is serving a 60-day sentence in Maricopa County's notorious Tent City jail for allegedly violating his probation by holding religious services on his property in violation of zoning and building codes. He was arrested July 9, after authorities charged the one-time gang member hosted Bible sessions for as many 80 people on his 4-acre property, which he tried to claim as a tax-exempt church.
The married father of six is an ordained pastor of Church of God in Christ and founder of Harvest Christian Fellowship. He and his family believe he has the right to worship at home on his private property.
"The only people who came to our home were family and friends," Salman said in a video posted online before he reported to jail this week. "Our home was not open to the public; it was private."
His wife, Suzanne Salman, said her husband's constitutional rights have been violated.
"Christians deserve the right to gather at their homes privately just like every other American has the right to gather for their reasons," she told FoxNews.com.
But the city rejects the idea that Salman is doing time for saving souls.
"The case is about the building that is used for regular assembly does not meet construction and fire code requirements for assembly," Phoenix officials said in a statement.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Things would have turned out a lot different if that pastor would have opened a mosque.
No, he wasn’t jailed for having bible studies in his home.
IIRC this is the guy who has tons of cars parking, traffic, and it’s often in a neighborhood for homes. It’s not the bible studies getting him in trouble, it’s the traffic and noise in a neighborhood.
I’m not reading the article though - maybe it’s a different guy. lol
This is not as it appears. 60+ of his neighbors signed a petition to have him stop holding the studies due to traffic concerns etc.
Well that is what I had guessed until this article. If he has a 4 acre property as the article says, it sounds less likely to me that it is in a neighborhood.
As for people parking on others land, the police could ticket them or even have them towed.
Still perhaps the man was using his property in such a way as so negatively impact others to the extent the government should circumscribe his liberty. Of course the burden of proof is on the government. A judge or jury has apparently been convinced, though it is not clear why from the article.
“.... It’s not the bible studies getting him in trouble...”
From what I gathered from reading the article, he had 80 people on his 4 acres. However, I get the feeling that the Home Owner’s Association is reacting to the fact that up to 30 of these people served prison time. Me-thinks that some of the neighbors were worried about who was coming into their neighborhood and the traffic/congestion as well. IMHO.
I would not want a neighbor setting up a church or a mosque next door, no matter how well-intentioned.
Unconscious nuts also come in religious garb.
A couple of weeks ago...I finally got to see this picture of the ‘building’ that he had in the backyard...that was becoming the chapel. It was probably big enough for 150 people to meet, with two large AC units supporting it. He obviously wants a real church...so he ought get one...but not in his backyard or house.
Seems to me the Apostle Paul spent a lot of time in jail and prison. I’d expect many people will find Christ at tent city jail.
It looks like everyone here has gotten the true story.
He was just being a very bad, troublesome, neighbor and the rest finally had had enough.
After all the church at Philippi started in prison.
There are many house churches springing up throughout the nation. Are these gatherings any different than people hosting large parties in their homes (some like to party every week), a tupperware-type party, an organizational meeting, or a reception for a political candidate?
80 people at his home means probably 60 cars. That would sure be a neighborhood nuisance.
He should rent a local hall for the weekly study sessions.
So, I guess if you lived next to “the mount”, you would have been happy to have “that religious nut” that drew all those thousands to his sermon jailed. After all, we wouldn’t want to interrupt your BBQ.
Folks, “neighborhoods” do NOT have FOUR ACRE lots.
And no matter, do we or do we NOT have a RIGHT to assemble here in the USA?
I do not understand the reasoning that if the man has a building large enough to hold 150 people on his OWN LAND, why he should ‘go buy a church’... There is no reason behind a statement like that.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
The bolded word is an inseparable feature of the blessing.
When Christians in America go to prison like Chinese Christians still sometimes do, for standing for Jesus Christ, it will be other professing Christians who condemn them.
Sounds like they need to be studying Romans 13:1-10.
As a Phoenix resident I can attest that there are neighborhoods that have lots that big. There are many horse properties inside Phoenix and in neighboring communities. It isn’t just the periphery of the towns either.
Read the article AND the FR posts.
Most of us realize that this had nothing -ZERO- to do with religion. It had to do with causing a public nuisance.
BTW, it occurs to me to ask, are you a dog owner?
No,not for Bible Study.....but for trying to claim it as exempt status as a church....
That, and most people will gladly give up their freedom for the right to mind their neighbors' business.
It's got to be very easy to host 80 friends and family members on four (4 !) acres without bothering neighbors, even with their cars.
I own 0.5 acre in a small town and have had forty people at a time with very few cars on the street.
Something is very wrong here, either in the reporting or in the attitude of the city.
Its getting tougher to get permission to build churches these days. The whole planning process, with neighbors turning out to complain about traffic patterns and the like.
I know of a church that bought adjoining land years ago to expand on to. When they got ready to use the land, the city and county planners refused to give them permission. They’ve been trying for years, and the land is essentially worthless to them. Strip malls, shopping centers, thats fine. Church building, forget it.
My experience with dog owners whose dogs are a public nuisance.
What part of EIGHTY PEOPLE don’t you understand?
On the side of evil, as usual.
All zoning and building codes that restrict “the free exercise thereof” are obviously unconstitutional.
>> “The case is about the building that is used for regular assembly does not meet construction and fire code requirements for assembly” <<
I see that your “principles” are antichristian, as usual.
His “neighbors” have no right of petition against his worship.
NIMBY is the term.
>> “ it doesn’t seem like the pastor lived up to that command.” <<
He lived up to it just fine, but his neighbors were not inclined to peace in their hatred of Christ.
Not his worship of course but if that worship is causing problems they sure do....
Are you saying all 60 of his neighbors who signed the petition are all wrong and have an axe to grind against people of faith? I think not. The guy was a total jerk to his neighbors if you read accounts of him.
Face it ES, if you have 60 of your neighbors ganging up on you, might YOU might have something you are doing wrong? Kinda like the person that has been divorce 6 times always blaming the divorce on their spouse.
There are hundreds of thousands of people having Bible studies in their homes across this country without any problem. You sticking up for this guy against insurmountable evidence against him just makes Christians look bad.
No, they need to be studying 1Corinthians 6.
He's got all the right to assemble (although this is not for political purposes) he wants, he just can't bring in 80 people err "friends and family," in dozens of automobiles, to his neighborhood again and again and again.
It not even about a freedom of religion since he's not being prevented from free exercise of his INDIVIDUAL right. He's started a church and is lying about it.
If he doesn't like the local zoning laws, SELL THE HOUSE and MOVE or move the services to an appropriate venue, properly zoned.
Christ is a “public nuisance” to those such as yourself, that hate him.
LMAO. So all 60 neighbors who signed the petition against him were atheist who hate Christians?? Most silliest thing I have read in along time.
Phoenix is a hotbed of Christian hatred.
No, he wasnt jailed for having bible studies in his home.
I am not cursing today. It’s Sunday.
>> “Something is very wrong here, either in the reporting or in the attitude of the city.” <<
Phoenix is like San Francisco of the desert.
Oh, I could get my whole neighborhood into a tailspin. I am the president of our house association. Any way I want to protray neighbors, I can. We have Bible study leaders that live here. It’s no different than the weekly keg parties for the football games.
Stop being a mindless follower of the herd. There are controlers of the herd. Who is the controler of the herd and what is their history and agenda. Atheist much?
I have a 4 acre lot, and an 8 acre lot. The 4Ac lot is on a steep slope, so we can only park about 20 or so cars there, but the 8 Ac lot is flat, and we can easily parl 200 - 300 cars there with abundant room to spare.
The neighbors are insane haters.
Again there are hundreds of thousands of Bible studies in homes throughout this country every week without any problem.