Freedom of Religion- Except in the O.C.
Despite the fact that this great nation was founded on religious freedom, officials in San Juan Capistrano, California, are trying to deny this basic right to Chuck and Stephanie Fromm. The Fromms hold weekly Bible studies with their friends in the SJC home they live in. T Officials from SJC claim the Fromms are operating as a “church” because it is a regular gathering of more than three people. There have been times that the Fromms have had upwards of fifty people at their Bible study, and all are without incident.
The Fromms have been fined $300 and are facing further fines of $500 per meeting if any more “religious” meetings are held. The gathering of friends have not caused any disturbances according to neighbors of the Fromms. Their neighbors have even written letters to the city in support of the Fromms.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
1st Amendment of The United States Constitution
Liberals are quick to throw the 1st Amendment up in their right to free speech arguments, but conveniently forget about the 1st Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion and the exercise thereof. The Fromms have assembled peacefully to exercise their religious freedom with their Bible studies, yet have been issued fines for it.
The city official cited that “a regular gathering of more than three people” is the reason they are considering the Bible studies a “church”. “A regular gathering of more than three people”, could that mean your weekly friendly poker game with your four or five buddies could possibly get you fined for having “church”?
It is tempting to speculate that during these hard economic times the City of San Juan Capistrano is trying to make up some of their lost revenue with frivolous fines. Maybe it is an overzealous liberal official that wants to make it hard to be a Christian in SJT? Either way, there is no question that it is an attack on the freedoms of a citizen(s) of the United States of America.
For anyone that resides in San Juan Capistrano, please contact your elected officials and city offices and help the Fromms correct this wrong. Even if this story does not directly affect you, the next time the city officials attack personal freedom, it could be your freedom they are coming after.