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WTH...its THEIR house.....Church Fights Back After Arizona Town Bans Home Bible Study

The Oasis of Truth church began meeting at Pastor Joe Sutherland's house in November and rotated homes several times a week for Bible study and fellowship.

A Gilbert code compliance officer hit the church with a violation notice after seeing a sign near a road advertising a Sunday service.

A zoning administrator told the church that Bible studies, church leadership meetings and fellowship activities are not permitted in private homes.

The Alliance Defense Fund's Doug Napier says no neighbors complained.

The Scottsdale-based group has filed an appeal with the town of Gilbert, contending its code violates the U.S. Constitution.

I think this is CRAZY! What say you?

Answer Question

Asked by momof030404 at 11:58 PM on Mar. 15, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 23 (16,925 Credits)
Answers (16)

    Yes its Fox, but its an AP story.


    Answer by momof030404 at 11:59 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • The hec they aren't!!! That's insane. I can't believe nobody fought this. They'd never get away with something like that in our town.

    Answer by GoodMomma24-7 at 12:01 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • A lady I know used to work for one of the cities around here. Apparently the codes that say something about a larger group of people regularly meeting in a home don't apply to bible studies or religious functions... because its religious.. I don't remember the exact reasoning, but they are the exception.
    It's pretty sad. All I see it as is religious persecution--finding some loophole in laws or codes to discourage studying His word. Pathetic!!!!!

    Answer by missbreezy214 at 12:07 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • Something isn't right. They need to fight against this, this is soooooooo wrong! These people are protected by the first amendment on this -- freedom of religion and freedom to assemble. Sounds like someone's gotten too big for their britches there in Gilbert....

    Answer by 29again at 12:09 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • There will be much more of this sort of discrimination... It is very wrong, but wrong is accepted as right these days by way too many folks...


    Answer by agentwanda at 12:11 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • they should not have advertised it that way but taking away their right to "gather" is insane. How is that any different than having friends over for a game night once every two weeks? I am not religous at all but if I wanted to host a meeting of anti-theism in my home once a week, I should be allowed just as every one else should be allowed.
    Dont worry, this wont stand up.

    Answer by jenellemarie at 2:08 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • This offends even ME. how can a town even THINK they can stop bible studies in private homes! the very idea is disgusting

    Answer by sati769leigh at 6:03 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • I think the issue is that they were advertising it as a church. Which most communities have codes regarding the use of private homes for any type of business, which a church is considered a business. When you start gathering people together regularly in large numbers then you have other considerations to take into account. Is the capacity of the building large enough to legally accommodate the number of people, is there enough fire exits...etc, etc. We hold a bible study in an apartment in our building and when we got to big we were told to move it to another location, our community room. Face it people the church broke the law, laws that are meant to keep people safe when gathering in large numbers. Yes we have a right to gather, but not when it potentially puts people in harms way.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:11 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • I think thats as stupid as the lady that was given a huge fine for agreeing that some neighborhood kids could go to her home after school so they wouldnt be latchkey kids..It was a neighbor helping 4 other neighbors and they cited her for running a daycare. Even though they didnt pay her and she had 5 kids for about an hour before school and an hour after



    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 7:54 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • I somewhat agree that organized bible studies should not be in private homes. Especially if you have one figurehead that is not ordained or regulated by the denominations governing body. I'm not sure exactly what all happened here, but that sort of behavior often leads to rogue leaders and brainwashers using religion as a guise. I would recommend anyone stay away from that sort of stuff in general.
    Even though it's worship as they say, they still need to follow the laws of society and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:38 AM on Mar. 16, 2010

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