Anne, that is wonderful, but the constitution is not that conditional. If you want it to be there is a process for amending it. Currently for a law to violate the 1st amendment it has to pass the test of Strict Scrutiny. Meaning that the Gov must have a compelling governmental interest, i dont think this law is that compelling.
You can be fined for holding Bible studies in your home in California
Diest, please take a look at my earlier post to this thread wherein I mention compelling governmental interest in not losing potential tax revenues. Thanks.
Thats great but the government cannot prevent you from donating property to an exempt organization. Homes are donated all the time for such purposes. Nearly one third of the city of Boston is exempt for various reasons. If cities could stop that they would.
The only violation that could be compelling is safety, which could be enforced by the fire marshal not a zoning regulation.
Wow, it's really different here in Canada. You CANNOT operate a business (whether it's for profit or nonprofit) on Residentially zoned property. CANNOT. It's what's called a city by-law.
We, too, have the right of free assembly,,, we don't, of course, have YOUR Constitution with its amendments,,, but the freedoms are basically the same. The only one we do not have is "the right to bear arms".
I dont disagree Tal. Id like to take away tax exempt from any goup that is not truely helping people....ie food, or shelter. It would really make the money we spend on tax expemt worth it. In order to do that we would have to ammend our constitution.
City ordinances are always stepping on someone's toes.
In some cities:
You can't hand laundry to dry.
You can't grow vegetables in your front yard.
You can't have certain animals.
These people have not been denied the right to assemble. They are asked to abide by city codes--put in place for the comfort and property value of the neighbors. Most neighbors would not object to regular bible study in a home with around 10 regularly attending. How many were attending this? How often? These things grow! People are not bothered by superbowl parties and family dinners. Has anybody been fined for family dinners??? But zoning is zoning. These are formal meetings regularly held---and depending on the size---they can really bother the neighbors.
I think some have elevated zoning issues to religious oppession. They are not being oppressed. Perhaps they could rent a room in a church---it happens all the time. Should someone be able to run an AA meeting from their home? A Green Peace meeting? Are these groups suppressed? No.
All I can think of right now is JWs rejoicing "we were right to get rid of the book study. Praise Jah". This makes me sick. Its a victory for JWs and a loss for our constitutional rights.