The PJ Tatler

People's Republic: California Town Fines Couple for Home Bible Studies

No joke, this is the sort of thing totalitarian states do to suppress faith.

An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

Now, you might think that the couple’s neighbors must have complained to get the city government involved. That’s not the case.

Neighbors have written letters to the city in support of the Fromms, whom they said have not caused any disturbances with the meetings, according to PJI.

How ironic, that this is happening in San Juan Capistrano, which started off as a Spanish mission.

What next, will we Texans have to start smuggling Bibles into California? We’ll do it, but we would prefer not to have to.

Update: Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh weighs in.

It seems to me that regulating any regular gathering of “more than three people” has the potential to reach far too deeply into private lives. It could impact anything from a morning coffee klatch to a fantasy football league to a book club. For that matter, most families themselves have more than three people in them — will the city start fining families for meeting each night for dinner? There’s no indication that the city has come down on anything other than this home church. The question is why?