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Old 03-15-2010, 11:13 AM
 
4,861 posts, read 9,306,847 times
Reputation: 7762

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Please tell me that this article is incorrect:

Arizona Town Bans Bible Study

So, to sum it up, the town of Gilbert allows people to meet in their homes for any other reason BUT religious reasons, and then they are banned from doing so? How come I never heard anything about this when we lived in the Phoenix area (but not in Gilbert)? Is this completely unconstitutional or what?

I didn't dig up this article, it was the topic of a discussion on another forum that I belong to. Does anyone here who lives in Gilbert or that general area know anything about this? Please tell me it isn't true. People have a right to meet in their own homes or we would live in a police state!
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
39,077 posts, read 51,218,516 times
Reputation: 28322
It is quite clear that the guy is running a church from his home - however small. He even had signs up. Who puts up signs for a small group of acquaintances to study the bible, play poker or whatever? He is advertising a church. You want to have a church, you need the proper zoning. Almost all towns have zoning laws and for good reason. They don't work if they are not enforced. The same kind of enforcement goes on with home day care, home body shops, home hair salons etc. The bible has nothing to do with it. Gilbert is not stopping bible study groups. That is just silly. I kind of thought you were above this kind of posting.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
587 posts, read 1,420,006 times
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Wow. I sure hope they rethink that, as I would probably move if we lived there now.

We never held church itself in our home, but the church we belonged to also had small groups of 10-12 that would meet for bible study and fellowship during the week. We hosted this at our house once a month.

I can't even imagine that being an issue, as we had more cars in front of our house for Superbowl parties!

How incredibly sad...
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Cypress, TX
587 posts, read 1,420,006 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
Gilbert is not stopping bible study groups. That is just silly.
It states in the article:

Quote:
Despite protest and appeals to the zoning board, the town refuses to back down and is contending under its zoning code, churches within its borders cannot have any home meetings of any size, including Bible studies, three-person church leadership meetings, or potluck dinners.
Now, I can understand not having an actual church out of your home, but bible studies, three-person church leadership meetings and potluck dinners is ridiculous. Those happen all the time for many reasons and should never be against the law.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
39,077 posts, read 51,218,516 times
Reputation: 28322
Quote:
Originally Posted by intmd8r View Post
It states in the article:

Now, I can understand not having an actual church out of your home, but bible studies, three-person church leadership meetings and potluck dinners is ridiculous. Those happen all the time for many reasons and should never be against the law.
This is not news. It happended several months ago and was widely reported at the time. The pastor was operating a church called the Oasis of Truth Church at his home in Gilbert. He had signs out advertising the church. Certain groups have seized on this and blown it all out of proportion and grossly exaggerated the commission's interpretation of the zoning laws.

It is difficult to discern the line between what is business and what is residential in some matters. I think if the signs had not been involved there would have been no issue.I don't know if it has been resolved yet or how. I think getting hysterical over it and trying to turn it into us-against-them divisiveness is uncalled for.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:03 PM
 
4,861 posts, read 9,306,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
It is quite clear that the guy is running a church from his home - however small. He even had signs up. Who puts up signs for a small group of acquaintances to study the bible, play poker or whatever? He is advertising a church. You want to have a church, you need the proper zoning. Almost all towns have zoning laws and for good reason. They don't work if they are not enforced. The same kind of enforcement goes on with home day care, home body shops, home hair salons etc. The bible has nothing to do with it. Gilbert is not stopping bible study groups. That is just silly. I kind of thought you were above this kind of posting.
I didn't post this to be sensationalistic or divisive. I posted it because I was trying to find out if this is just a piece of irresponsible journalism that stretches the truth or if it is indeed true, and I figured that people who live in that are would know better than anyone else.

As the pp pointed out, this article does indeed say that people are not allowed to meet in their homes for any religious purpose at all, and does not say that it would only apply if someone were trying to run a church from their home. I found it hard to believe, since it is obviously unconstitutional, and I wanted to find out the truth.

It has nothing to do with the fact that it happened in Gilbert or AZ, and if it had happened in Topeka, KS I would have posted this on their forum. I don't know why everyone on this particular forum is so defensive and takes everything so personally, and why, if anything is addressed that puts anywhere in AZ in a less than stellar light one is accused of being fear mongering, sensationalistic, pot stirring, etc. I don't seem to see this type of reactive response in most of the other forums here, but I guess that's neither her nor there. The main point is, if this is indeed happening anywhere in the US, I want to know about it, the article just happened to mention that it happened in Gilbert. I have nothing against Gilbert or anywhere else in AZ, and I never come over here and bash it like so many others do.

Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers just by asking a question. Sorry if it offended you. But if the things in this article are indeed true, then it offends and deeply concerns me and I want to find out if there is any truth to it.

Have a nice day.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,404,840 times
Reputation: 10726
I think that as long as you are not putting up signs directing people to your Bible study or church council meeting or supper or whatever, you can do as you want, and Gilbert residents have likely been doing so all along. As was already pointed out, running a church in your home, even such a small one, is something different, which is what was actually happening here.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:23 PM
 
4,861 posts, read 9,306,847 times
Reputation: 7762
Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
I think that as long as you are not putting up signs directing people to your Bible study or church council meeting or supper or whatever, you can do as you want, and Gilbert residents have likely been doing so all along. As was already pointed out, running a church in your home, even such a small one, is something different, which is what was actually happening here.
Well, see, that's exactly what I figured the truth probably was, and I figured that this article was stretching the truth and making a mountain out of a molehill, and I wanted to find out if my suspicions were true, which it sounds like they were. It occurred to me that Gilbert is an especially religious town, what with the large LDS population there, and I couldn't believe that this article could be true or that someone wouldn't have sued if it were true.

Thanks for clearing this up, Observer53.

Oh, and BTW, I LOVE Gilbert. It is a beautiful, family oriented town, and I have no negative feelings towards it whatsoever, just in case anyone here gets the wrong idea...
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,404,840 times
Reputation: 10726
You're welcome.

Organized LDS church activities are always held at the local ward or stake center, so this ordinance has never had any effect on what they do. I suspect if everyone else except the church that started this flap just keeps doing as they've been doing all along, this is not a huge deal.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
39,077 posts, read 51,218,516 times
Reputation: 28322
I just saw where Gilbert city council directed employees to rewrite the zoning ordinance in question and not enforce it until they do. A couple of Gilbert officials attended the church (at the guy's house) this weekend!
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