If you thought that home Bible study (or other, similar gatherings) would never be banned in America, then you would find yourself … mistaken.
Below is the description accompanying the September video. The Fromms are right to seek redress.
Nanny of the Month turns two years’ old this October, and the busybodies who want to mind your own business show no signs of letting up.
Take formerly dog-friendly New York City which has banished man’s best friend from any establishment that serves food or alcohol (and that includes outdoor patios!). Then there’s Michigan Gov. Rick Snyner who’s tackling childhood obesity by introducing a statewide database to keep anonymous tabs on kiddies’ weight.
But the this very special nanny comes to us from a California city that is fighting (and fining) a couple that hosts Bible studies at home. Presenting Reason.tv’s Nanny of the Month for September 2011: San Juan Capistrano City Attorney Omar Sandoval!
The city slapped Chuck and Stephanie Fromm with fines totalling $300 for violating a municipal code which prohibits religious, fraternal, or nonprofit organizations from meeting on residential property without a conditional use permit (CUP). The Fromm’s gatherings can attract as many as 50 people and the city says that causes parking problems, but the Fromm’s disagree saying there is plenty of parking in their semi-rural neighborhood where large homes sit on even larger lots (the Fromm’s lot includes a corral, barn, and large lawn). The Fromms have held their gatherings since 1994 and say their neighbors support them, except for one woman whose recent complaint sparked city action.
The city is threatening to impose steeper fines if the Fromms continue their un-permitted gatherings, claiming that “zoning and building codes treat residences differently than places of public assembly because of public welfare and safety reasons.”
The Fromm’s are appealing the fines and refuse to apply for a CUP because they could face thousands of dollars in expenses that could include conducting traffic studies and making their home wheelchair accessible.
Next stop is Superior Court.