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Post Info TOPIC: Religious persecution

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Religious persecution

A long time ago I told my family that when the sins of the world descended to greater depths, they could see for themselves when we were ripening in iniquity. IOW, in the 60s, sexual sins were being promoted, and then the murder of innocents in abortion. As society kept changing from the prevalent sin to the next worst, religious persecution seemed to me the herald of the end. Looks like we're getting there.

So. Calif. City to Home Bible Study: Shut Down by Good Friday

Rancho Cucamonga, CA


A city in Southern California is demanding that a small home Bible study group stop meeting because it does not have an expensive permit. The permit is not required for similar-sized gatherings in homes, such as book clubs, birthday parties or gatherings centered around sporting events. City officials have also indicated that they might not even grant a permit if it is requested. The citys stance has similarities to, but is perhaps even harsher than, a pending situation in Gilbert, Arizona, and a flare-up last year over a home Bible study in San Diego County.
In Rancho Cucamonga, the Bible study group, which meets on Friday nights, averages about fifteen attendees. The group is affiliated with Shiloh Tabernacle, which rents out a community center for its Sunday morning service and, like countless other churches across the country, offers smaller Bible studies that meet in members homes during the week.
The City of Rancho Cucamonga has sent a letter to the homeowner insisting that the home Bible study is not allowed because it is a church, and churches require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in residential areas. The City has also indicated that no CUP would be granted and the gatherings must cease by Good Friday, April 2. Pacific Justice Institute Senior Counsel Michael Peffer, who heads PJIs Southern California office, represents the homeowner where the Bible study meets and will vigorously contest the Citys actions. PJI has guided dozens of churches through the CUP process but has only recently seen it being applied to home Bible studies. CUPs require public hearings and regularly require the applicants to obtain traffic studies, architectural design reviews and even seismic retrofits. In California, the process often costs churches hundreds of thousands of dollarswhich probably explains why it is almost never applied to informal gatherings in homes.
Imposing a CUP requirement on a home Bible study is manifestly absurd and unjust, said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. I dont know of a single court in America that would approve their actions. We will give the City a chance to rescind its letter without litigation, but we are fully prepared to take this as far as is necessary to defend this Bible study groupand countless others like it.


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Judge Robert Bork discussed this phenomenon in his book "Slouching Towards Gommorah".  It's an inversion of what is called the Durkheim Constant.  It's basically a limited amount of tolerance for breach of common morals and values  by society at large, which is constantly sliding downward.  In other words its called defining deviancy down (or constantly drawing a new line in the sand). For instance, when Elvis Presley shook his hips in the 50's it was very edgy.  Now a days it evokes a yawn when compared to freak dancing.

However, the present inversion of the Durkheim constant is this: society is now defining deviancy up.  Behavior once thought moral and commonplace is now regarded as out of line.  Examples: To think of homosexuality as some type of moral deviancy is considered hateful and intolerant.  Voters who are pro-Constitution are considered extremist.  Large families are seen as irresponsible and burdensome to society.

Isaiah 5:20 sums it up for me.

"The void is the supreme fullness." Simone Weil

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Thanks, Free!

I appreciate your insights. I'm sorry that I haven't read Bork's excellent book. Sounds like it explains a number of things in our society.

I went to your scriptural reference, thinking of the black is white reference, and found a better one. Thank you.

Here's another example:
Praying in park puts man in jail for 9 days
Letter warning of warrant arrives after defendant taken into custody

Posted: March 24, 2010
8:34 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh



A Christian who prayed in a public park with six other people is serving a nine-day jail sentence for disorderly conduct even though his case is under appeal and charges against the others were dismissed or overturned.

Wisner Park in Elmira, N.Y.

Julian Raven of Elmira, N.Y., said he was "surprised by police at his office," handcuffed and taken into custody this week, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending Raven.

"According to his wife, police escorted him out of a court hearing in handcuffs in front of his crying children to begin serving his nine-day jail sentence," the organization said in a report.

"We are surprised at how eager the city was to arrest Mr. Raven again in light of his appeal. Now he will serve time in jail; however, we will continue to aggressively pursue his appeal in court," said Joel Oster, ADF senior legal counsel.

Raven was arrested while praying in an Elmira public park during a 2007 "gay pride" event. His attorneys are waiting for a response from the New York Court of Appeals.

Originally seven people were arrested June 23, 2007, in Elmira's Wisner Park at a homosexual festival promoted by city officials as open to all. Four were convicted, but three of the convictions already have been overturned.

The Christians "made their way to an area in front of the stage and began to pray silently while lying prostrate in the grass. A police sergeant had earlier informed Julian Raven that he could not enter the public park, walk through the park, or talk to anyone in the park about his religion. After the group began to pray silently on their faces, all were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct," ADF reported.

Court records show Sgt. Sharon Moyer told Raven he could not disrupt the event.

So, ADF reported, he and the others "entered the event to pray silently for event participants and to share the Gospel with them."

"There was plenty of room in the park. No one was being turned away. They walked in silence. Neither the defendant nor anyone from the group bumped into anyone as they entered and they did not force others out of the way," ADF said.

They walked to a grassy area near the front, kneeled or laid down, and prayed.

"They chose this posture in order to be as non-threatening as possible," ADF said.

Moyer then arrested the seven and reported it was because of concern that the homosexual festival participants might react with hostility to the Christians.

Three defendants were removed from the case almost immediately, leaving four to be convicted by Elmira city Judge Thomas Ramich of "disorderly conduct."

But the convictions for three Gloria Raven, Maurice Kienenberger and Walter Quick later were overturned in the Chemung County Court.

ADF is arguing, under the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, "peaceful speakers may not be arrested simply because others in the forum may react to their message in a hostile manner."

"The lower courts in this case ruled that the arrests were proper because the defendant must have known that other event participants would respond with hostility. This, however, is precisely what the cases prohibit,"  ADF asserts.

When the Christians were arrested, officials with Elmira justified their actions to WND.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Robertson told WND at the time that the members were accused of a "combination" of allegations, including the "intent" to cause a public inconvenience, a "disturbance" of a meeting of persons and obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

He also said at the time that the accusations would include taking part in "any act that serves no legitimate purpose."

The prosecutor, Robert Siglin, said the city was concerned for public safety, and that's why the Christians were arrested while exercising their First Amendment rights.

ADF said it is ironic that Elmira recently settled a lawsuit in a separate federal civil action involving Raven and two others. In that 2008 case, Elmira police threatened the men with arrest as they tried to share their faith during another "gay pride" event.

The men were wearing shirts with the message "Liberated by the blood of Jesus," handing out literature and holding up signs on a public sidewalk at the event.

Court documents show the city paid each defendant in that case $5,000 plus the attorneys' fees and costs for the action.

Oster told WND that the city appeared to go out of its way to create controversy in the case. Raven has been represented by legal counsel throughout, yet the city mailed to his home address not his legal counsel a notification of an arrest warrant.

The city then arrested Raven before the notification reached him, Oster confirmed.

"They wouldn't have to do that," he said. "It was intentionally to create embarrassment."

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