Arizona Pastor Michael Salman is currently serving a 60-day jail sentence for hosting bible study classes in his Phoenix home. The suburban residence was “raided” earlier this week by more than a dozen police officers because the city maintains the religious meetings were in violation of local zoning laws. Salman was arrested and sentenced to serve 60 days in jail, received a $12,180 fine and was placed on three years probation for sitting around his living room and sharing his faith with others. Fox News reports.
The pastor’s spouse Suzanne appeared on Fox ad Friends this morning to share the story of her husband’s arrest. Governmental officials concluded that Salman was operating a church in a space which was zoned residential. Apparently you can host Tupperware parties, sex toys parties and cooking parties in your home in Phoenix, but discussing scripture and holding hands in prayer crosses the line.
“It defies logic, honestly. I don’t understand that something so small got so large like this,” Suzanne said. “People do it all over the United States all the time,” Suzanne Salman stated during the Fox interview.
Living in a small town where absolutely no zoning exists, the Salman arrest is simply too difficult to fathom. Do rural residents simply possess more common sense and neighborly consideration that city dwellers? We exist without a building permit office or zoning rules, yet not a single house has fallen down, caught on fire for sub-par electrical wiring or strip club built next to an elementary school.
“It came down to zoning and proper permitting. Anytime you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does, we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there is a fire, and that’s really all this comes down to,” Phoenix City Prosecutor Vicki Hall stated in a press release shared on Fox and Friends.
Do you think Pastor Salman deserves jail time for a bible study zoning violation?