Brought to you by Sunny King Toyota
Friday, July 6, 2012
A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after he refused to stop hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home – in violation of the city’s building code laws.
However, the Phoenix city prosecutor’s office said the violations have nothing to do with religious freedom — and everything to do with public safety. “It came down to zoning and proper permitting,” said Vicki Hill, the chief assistant city prosecutor. “Any time you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does — we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there is a fire — and that’s really all this comes down to.” According to court documents Michael Salman was found guilty in the City of Phoenix Court of 67 code violations. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail along with three years probation and a $12,180 fine. He could be jailed as early as next week unless the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grants an emergency injunction. “They’re cracking down on religious activities and religious use,” Salman stated. “They’re attacking what I as a Christian do in the privacy of my home.” “If I had people coming to my home on a regular basis for poker night or Monday Night Football, it would be permitted,” he said. “But when someone says to us we are not allowed to gather because of religious purposes – that is when you have discrimination.”
However, the Arizona courts consistently ruled against Salman – ultimately declaring that he was engaged in church activities and that the city did not violate his constitutional rights to religious freedom. The long-running feud between Salman and the City of Phoenix culminated in the summer of 2009 when nearly a dozen police along with city inspectors raided their home. Armed with a search warrant, police confined the Salman family to the living room as they combed the property looking for violations. Salman is the owner of Mighty Mike’s Burgers — and he is also an ordained pastor. He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people. Hill said the city became aware of the meetings after neighbors apparently complained about traffic congestion. In 2007 they received a letter from the city informing them that the Bible studies were not permitted in their living room because it was in violation of the construction code. A few months later, members of the Phoenix Fire Dept. broke up the family’s Good Friday fellowship. As many as 20 people were in their backyard eating a meal when firefighters threatened to call the police – unless their guests left the premises. “Immediately after that, we decided to contact an attorney,” Salman said. “The city emphasized that bible studies or church-related activities are not permitted on residences because you have non-family members coming to the home and such use is considered church use.” In the summer of 2008 firefighters once again broke up a gathering – and Salman finally reached his breaking point. He ordered the firefighters to leave his property. “We told them they had no right,” he said. “They had been harassing us since February. This is our home. We are a private gathering. This is Christians gathering on my private property.” The city ignored the Salmans until 2009 – when they built a 2,000 square foot building in their backyard. Salman said he applied for and was granted the proper building permits. He also said the building has passed a city inspection. “At that point we took our Bible study from our living room – and we moved it into that building,” he said. “We started worshipping in that building every weekend.” However, Hill said Salman has “mischaracterized the facts” of the permit. She said he was given a permit to convert a garage into a game room. “Any other occupancy or use – business, commercial, assembly, church, etc, is expressly prohibited pursuant to the city of Phoenix building code and ordinances,” she said. On June 11, 2009, the Phoenix Police Dept. showed up with a search warrant. When they had completed the search, Salman was charged with 67 code violations. He was charged with not having emergency exit signs over the doors. He was charged with not having handicap parking spaces and not having handicap ramps. “Imagine everything that a public building would have or a commercial building would have,” he said. “Anything we didn’t have was a violation.” The largest source of contention has been whether or not Salman is running a church. He insists it is not. But his building certainly resembles a church. It has chairs for as many as 40 people. There is a pulpit. There’s a sign out front – along with a cross. “Just because visitors come to my home three times a week and we discuss the Bible – if that’s their definition of a church then so be it,” he said. “At what point does the government have the right to state that you cannot have family and friends over at your home three times a week?” he asked. “People have a right to gather on their property as long as parking is available, as long as they aren’t parking in the street, as long as they aren’t violating noise ordinances.” Hill said the facts are clear. “He built a structure that he said wasn’t a church — that is in fact — a church,” she said. “It’s a church.” And the courts agreed — noting in a Jan. 4, 2010 ruling: “The state is not saying the Salmans can’t run a church or have worship services at the location. But the state is saying that if they do so, they must do it properly and in accord with fire and zoning codes.” Salman’s attorney has filed an appeal with the federal court – and unless they intervene – Salman will start serving his sentence on July 9.
Wake up America. Vote, and stand. Freedoms are disappearing. This man may not be right in everything he believes or does, but should have the right. He has a good point, if he were having people over for poker or Monday Night Football, no one would have said a word. Have a Bible Study, and now you are breaking zoning ordinances. And to think the Fire Department broke up an outside picnic on their 4+ acre property. If someone is endangered, fix it. Make it easy for this man to have the study. If his freedom is removed, yours and mine are next. We had better elect people that are at the very least "God friendly," but believes in the rudimentary beliefs of genuine religious freedom.
Have a blessed weekend!
Host of Pamela's Place,
Host of Weekend Outlook,
WDNG Radio Inc.
Keywords: Pheonix, jail, Bible Study, building code laws, religious freedom,
Visit Pamela's Place
To join the discussion click here.
The bottom line is this, how many times have people had large parties, family & friend "get togethers" , etc.... with numerous amounts of people and nothing ever been said or done! Pamela is right! Watch out people, they are after our rel. freedom!
Submitted on 07/10/2012 - 11:28 PM
Your article did not state how many people that he was hosting in his new building and how often. It seems to me that he is regularly using his residential property in a way that violates zoning and creates a nuisance for his neighbors.
Submitted on 07/10/2012 - 08:46 AM
Sunday, May 11, 2014 - Making a good first impression in a job interview is crucial
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - What Human Right Destroys So Many Children
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - A True Story of Perseverance and Hope
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - Investigation into school prayer.
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 5-year-old told she can't pray as she bows her head to say Grace at school before she eats
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Hour Two Pamela's Place guest for Friday 4/4/14 1:00 - 2:00 CST
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Hour One Pamela's Place Guest Friday 4/4/14, 12:00 - 1:00 CST
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest for hour one Friday 3/28/14 12:00- 1:00 CST
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - Pamela's Place Guest for Hour One Friday 3/21/14
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - Pamela's Place Guest for Hour one Friday 3/14/14
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - Scam artists posing as IRS employees targeting and calling tax payers at home
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - Important information concerning Common Core in Alabama! Legislators need to hear from you!
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Pamela's Place topic and guest for hour two Friday 3/7/14
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest and topic for hour one Friday 3/7/14
Friday, February 28, 2014 - Guest for hour two of Pamela's PLace Friday 2/28/14
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - Pamela's Place guest for first hour Friday 2/28/14
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 2nd hour guest and topic for Pamela's Place today
Friday, February 21, 2014 - First hour Pamela's Place guest and topic for today
Sunday, February 9, 2014 - Listen to WDNG for your chance to win great prizes during Valentine Week contests!
Friday, February 7, 2014 - Jan Withers and Frank Harris on hour two of Pamela's Place Friday
Thursday, February 6, 2014 - Out of body experience after tragic accident
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - Pamela's Place guests and topics for Friday 1/31/14
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - The amazing true story of Perto Herrera on first hour of Pamela's Place Friday 1/24/14
Friday, January 17, 2014 - Hour 2 Guest on Pamela's Place 1/17/14
Friday, January 17, 2014 - Guest for First hour of Pamela's Place 1/17/14
Sunday, December 29, 2013 - What would it look like for you to take an honest inventory of your life in 2013
Thursday, December 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Friday 12/20/13 is Wreaths Across America.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - This Weeks Community Talk Programming
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - Thanksgiving Week Programming
Friday, November 22, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday Nov. 22nd.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - Special Veterans Day edition of Pamela's Place Friday 11/8/13 12:00 p.m. CST
Saturday, November 2, 2013 - Capturing the Essence of this Present Season
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 11/1/13 12:00 p.m. CST
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday 10/18/13 @ 12:00 p.m. CST
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Thursday 10/03/13
Monday, September 30, 2013 - Program changes beginning this week!
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 9/20/13 is cancer survivor B. Davis Campbell
Thursday, September 5, 2013 - Pamela's Place guests for Friday 9/6/13
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - Pamela's Place guests for Friday 8/30/13
Thursday, August 22, 2013 - Guest for Pamela's Place Friday 8/23/13
Thursday, August 8, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest Friday 8/9/13, Witnessing a Miracle
Thursday, August 1, 2013 - Get Inspired, Catch this Vision, Get Informed & Let's Get Going!!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013 - Volunteering has healthy side-effects!
Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Rita Flegel, Pamela's Place guest for Friday 7/26/13
Thursday, July 18, 2013 - Pamela's Place topic and guest for Friday 7/19/13 Can a Vitamin Deficiency Cause Autism?
Thursday, July 11, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday, 7/12/13
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - Sex Trafficking and Our National Humiliation
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - Ahhh, The 4th of July!
Saturday, June 22, 2013 - Bullying linked to suicide factors
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Teen takes bullet to save three year old
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Teen mother saved from a coerced abortion
Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday/Anniversary Club winner for 5/31/13
Friday, May 24, 2013 - Secrets to summer grilling
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest and Topic for 5/24/13
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - Dog Buried in Tornado Rubble for 2 Days is Found Alive!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - CDC Study Finds 58% Of Public Pools Tested Positive For E.Coli
Monday, May 20, 2013 - Birthday Club Winner for 5/17/13
Monday, May 20, 2013 - WDNG BIrthday Club WInner for 5/10/13
Thursday, May 9, 2013 - AP Journalist for Jodi Arias trial on Pamela's Place Friday 5/10/13
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - Tips for Avoiding Contractor Fraud
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Relay For Life and Team Cindy Lou present Tails and Tiaras Pet Beauty Contest!
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Congratulations to our WDNG Birthday Club Winner for 4/19/13!
Friday, April 19, 2013 - Pamela's Place Guest for Friday 4/19/13
Thursday, April 11, 2013 - Pamela's Place guest for Friday 04/12/13
Sunday, April 7, 2013 - Tragedy hits family of Rick and Kay Warren
Sunday, March 31, 2013 - New local show, Community Talk with Eddy Reese, Charlene Fuller Gossett and Pamela Bates.
Saturday, March 30, 2013 - Make this Easter a safe, relaxing day for everybody.
Friday, March 29, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday/Anniversary Club Winner!
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - Guest on Pamela's Place Friday March 29th is Linda Wagner, Obesity Survivor.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - Cleaning for a Reason, Making a difference
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - Programming Update for Friday March 22nd
Saturday, March 16, 2013 - Congratulations to our Birthday Club Winner for 3/15/13!
Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Follow WDNG on Twitter!
Friday, March 8, 2013 - Cute, but inappropriate — Chicks and bunnies don't make good Easter pets
Friday, February 22, 2013 - Another child faced with bullying. Please help me in raising awareness
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - My husband one of first on scene of horriific Talladega accident involving Anniston woman
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - Programs will air at regular scheduled days and times again next week.
Monday, February 4, 2013 - Spike in gasoline prices might be just the beginning
Friday, February 1, 2013 - Birthday Club Winner 2/1/13
Thursday, January 31, 2013 - Friday's Pamela's Place Show: Who “owns” the civil rights movement?
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - Armed Robber Flees Home After Women Chant the Name 'Jesus'
Thursday, January 24, 2013 - Webcam hackers can spy on you in secret from your own computer
Monday, January 14, 2013 - Birthday Winner for 1/11/13
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - Study finds food allergies, bullying often linked
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - Mr. Zig Ziglar will be very missed by many people
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - God Bless Each of our Veterans!
Thursday, November 1, 2012 - Blood donations down after storm, Red Cross asking for help
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 1 Person Fatally Shot at Megapastor Creflo Dollar’s World Changers International Church
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - Congratulations Birthday club Winner Draven Thomas!
Sunday, October 14, 2012 - Raising awareness: Amanda Todd, a beautiful life lost much too soon.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - Father killed his five month old baby by raping her
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 8 Drowning Kids Saved by Heroic Strangers
Monday, September 10, 2012 - Your gravestone has an app: Companies sell interactive link for smartphones
Sunday, September 2, 2012 - Well now, isn't this a different side to the story!
Saturday, August 25, 2012 - Behind Empire State shooting: A layoff, a gun, and a targeted ex-boss
Friday, August 24, 2012 - Bible belt nude-fest plans charging forward
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Beware......Watch out for rising bank fees … again.
Friday, August 3, 2012 - Another retailer gets behind 'gay marriage'
Friday, July 6, 2012 - Man facing jail for hosting home bible study
Monday, July 2, 2012 - Fireworks, dry weather make potentially dangerous combination
Sunday, July 1, 2012 - Can pets take the heat? Tips for keeping your dog or cat cool
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - Rising food prices hard to swallow
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Germiest hot spots in hotels? TV remote and light switch
Monday, June 18, 2012 - School nurse forced a third grader to bathe at school.
Sunday, June 17, 2012 - iWitness app claims to be 'ultimate deterrent to crime'
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - Homeowners warned about storm-chasing scammers
Sunday, June 10, 2012 - School pulls patriotic song at graduation, but Justin Bieber's 'Baby' is OK
Saturday, June 9, 2012 - Looking For Father’s Day Gifts? BBB Tips Can Help You Avoid Shopping Scams
Friday, June 8, 2012 - Congratulations to our WDNG Birthday Club winner, Ann Clark
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - Restaurant restrooms put to the hot water test
Monday, June 4, 2012 - Neal Boortz announces retirement
Monday, April 23, 2012 - Do Online Companies Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?
Saturday, April 14, 2012 - Cancer Survivor Courtney Alvis, a story that must be shared.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 - Is driving becoming "last century"?
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - Another "choking game" fatality. Awareness is crucial!
Monday, April 2, 2012 - Congratulations Jim Robinson
Saturday, March 24, 2012 - What are our school systems coming to? Wake up parents!
Thursday, March 15, 2012 - "The choking game", make yourself and your children aware!
Friday, March 9, 2012 - Congratulations Jace Hardin
Friday, March 2, 2012 - Conratulations to 14 yr. old Alyssa Tims
Friday, February 24, 2012 - Congratulations Austin Pitts
Friday, February 17, 2012 - Congratulations to 10 yr. old Harley Kendall for being our weekly Birthday Club winner for the week of 2/17/12
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Choices we make today build the foundation of our character tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - Don't be a Stupid Cupid: Scammers love Valentine's Day too
Monday, February 13, 2012 - The family medicine cabinet is increasingly becoming a deadly drug dealer
Sunday, February 12, 2012 - So saddened by the death of Whitney Houston
Friday, February 10, 2012 - Congratulations Teressa Gross,Our weekly Birthday Club winner!
Thursday, February 9, 2012 - We want to hear from you!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Job openings jump to near 3-year high
Monday, February 6, 2012 - Children's of Alabama Donor Drive
Monday, February 6, 2012 - Tracking animal cruelty offenders
Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Alabama spay/neuter to offer discounted spay services through February.
Friday, February 3, 2012 - What is RSV? Become Aware For The Health of your Child!
Thursday, February 2, 2012 - Touching Letter From Former Backup Singer For Brittany Spears
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - Please Help Me Help A Local Rescue Group
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - Exciting Things Ahead for WDNG and Pamela's Place