You can be fined for holding Bible studies in your home in California

by Terry 26 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • WTWizard

    What else do you expect from the United Tyranny of Stupidity? This is something I wouldn't expect 20 years ago--but I am not surprised in this day. It is getting to be illegal to put up a damn lemonade stand--why not also do a ban on Bible study groups? And while they are at it, I wish they would go after the real scams that usurp people's money and time with a few Bible scriptures and admonition that God wants them wasting all their time spreading the cancer(s) through the neighborhood.

  • cyberjesus

    The issue here is not about your right to do whatever you want in your home... the issue here is zoning. It doesnt matter if we like it or not. Thats irrelevant. The house must be in a RESIDENTIAL zone, not in a COMMERCIAL zone. Religions are a non-profit organizations and their buldings must be in a permited zone.

    It doesnt seem that they are holding their own personal of family bible study or harry potter reading book club. It looks like they are having their religious meetings out of their house and that is not permited out of a residential zone.

    You think that you can do whatever you want inside out your house as long it doesnt bother anyone else? well you are wrong. Cities have codes that only allow certain activities in certain zones.. like or not. I can not run a freaking dry cleaning business inside my home even if its safe and I take all the precautions. why not? because its out of zone. My right of do whatever I want ends when the city is not allowing it.

    you dont like it? wah wah wah! I cant run my own cult out of my house. but lets be positive here is what you can do.

    1) apply for a conditional use permit. that will allow you to what you want out of zone... if they approve it.

    2) Move to a zone that allows both commercial and residential. a permit to run a religious building in the right zone its only $15 bucks in some areas.

    3)Vote to change the zone of your home.

    4)Vote to change the law

    5)Check what your zone is before moving there.

  • cyberjesus

    so yes if you break the law you should be fined.. you wanna ready the bible do so but dont break the laws.

  • shepherd

    "When does the activity elevate from simple bible study in the home to actually operating a church in the home. " - I agree, having 50 there every Sunday is not a bible study with a few friends, it's a church.

  • AnneB

    From a purely financial perspective: It seems that the home and property are relatively costly. If the owners continue to "hold services" and "bible studies" on that property, they will qualify for ministerial exemptions on their personal income tax. At some point they may decide to form a nonprofit religious, educational, or charitable corporation and that means exemption from property tax. San Juan Capistrano is protecting whatever rights it has in relation to income or loss thereof. They might not want their city to lose money like Brooklyn Heights, Patterson, Walkill, etc., still having to protect the property against crimes, fires, emergency medical needs, but getting nothing in the way of compensation for it.

  • talesin

    cyberjesus, I think, is spot-on.

    In my city, we have zoning regulations, too. If I wanted to start repairing cars in my backyard, that would be illegal, as I live in a residential zone. If I want, I could apply to have my property re-zoned to R-C, but there would have to be a public meeting, and hoops to jump through. I would think that's pretty standard stuff for US and Canadian cities.

    Having 50 people over every Sunday, and 20 every Wednesday night? Sounds like church services to me.


  • GLTirebiter


    This happened in California, though a different city and county. One of my English Lit profesors liked to hold the weekly discussion sessions at his house, Wednesday evenings after dinner. This was a regular assembly of a dozen or so people, every week for entire term, in a residentially zoned area (off the college campus, so whatever exemption the college had would not apply).

    If the city allows this, they could hardly forbid a home Bible study group of the same size.

  • Berengaria

    LOL this is in the same stupid county that was fining people for letting their lawns go when we were in a drought, and those of us in No. Cal could only water three days a week. Property values and all. A very wealthy county, and very conservative.

    Although I'd be pretty pissed if 20-50 people were attending services twice a week next door to me.

  • Diest

    That’s great you can have all the silly zoning laws you want. Unfortuately when they go up against the constitution they loose. Religon + Right to Assemble = Almost Bulletproof

  • AnneB

    Diest, no one is taking away their right to assemble (for religious purposes), they're just saying "not on residential property".

Share this