Pastor jailed over private church services
Does the punishment fit the crime?
- Duration 4:08
- Date Jul 11, 2012
Does the punishment fit the crime?
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And a pastor Michael Salomon is now -- sitting in his jail after his home was raided by more than.
A dozen Phoenix police officers and city officials what do they do wrong.
Well apparently you can't hold private Bible studies are -- Property alias he couldn't -- right now is the wife of that jailed Bible study leader Suzanne Solomon.
And from the Rutherford Institute John Whitehead -- and -- them.
Good morning morning Suzanne.
Yeah I've read in the local papers out there that the city had a problem because you had did the Bible study there at your house and they said you know -- Essentially -- -- church and because you're not zone for a church.
You're breaking the rules and that's why he was arrested.
That is correct yes -- and what.
-- your house it's your living room.
Who can you know you're you're doing.
Private Bible study people do that in my neighborhood all the time and he was arrested.
That is correct we need it it -- it defies logic honestly and I don't understands.
What you know -- that something so small -- just so large like this you know.
Know people do it all over the United States all the time so.
Great his sentence is we're gonna put up a graphic sixty days in jail he started his term on Monday.
Three years probation -- 121180.
Is he being discriminated.
Against because of his Christian faith because I have read that that's how he feels.
-- -- as I mean if it.
If they can categorize the kind of -- religion and saying -- this is you young and church or synagogue that we've actually had synagogue cases were cities have done this city care.
Have a synagogue in your home.
And we fought those cases but the key is the constitutional.
Guarantees a right to freedom of religion the right to assemble and talk with each other wherever you wanna be on public -- -- -- And so what you have here is I think something -- so shocking that you might think it might happen someplace like Iran -- some of the countries around the world honorees Jean's -- Happening in the United States in my opinion this is just so shocking is beyond belief but.
Again I'm seeing this is a pattern across the country sure -- Is a quote from -- -- the chief assistant.
City prosecutor in Phoenix she writes he came down to zoning and proper permit me any time you were holding a gathering of people.
Continuously as he does we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there's a fire.
And it really all comes that's really all this comes down to.
And I know that you -- -- him put together a little video showing.
-- you're talking about people parked in in my driveway and -- and stuff like that look at the neighbors.
And right now or take a look at that the team that came and arrested and you you -- a big poker party in your neighborhood you could have a Tupperware party in your neighborhood.
Nobody gets in trouble but you say you have a private Bible study -- get arrested.
That's right I mean it just it makes it it doesn't make sense you know people are crowding our streets other neighbors.
They get our people park all behind in our property and it just it makes no sense.
John why we're being targeted sure.
John why are they being targeted in your estimation.
I think you know we've seen is when -- when a city agency focuses on someone -- -- you had firefighters actually you know where was Suzanne and her husband coming their backyard breaking up for a barbecue with -- people.
The city is focused on them but -- police in their house like a swat team raid.
For someone -- meeting.
-- have a church but the thing historically got to remember the early Christian church all met in the homes there would be you know church today as we know it.
If it hadn't been for the fact that they met -- homes -- and the other thing is and Saddam's right.
You've been Tupperware parties you can do all kinds of meeting in a regular basis but for some reason they call your church -- -- legal but again that's what regimes do today.
Well it all came down to zoning according to the city of Phoenix so.
A crazy story Suzanne -- and John Whitehead we -- thank you both for joining us live.