Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

In San Diego, in May, a pastor and his wife found out how tyrannical a simple thing like a zoning law can be.

They hold Bible studies in their home. Being Americans, they expected the freedom to associate and practice their religion.

But a county employee grilled Pastor David Jones and his wife about what they were up to with their Bible studies — did they pray? did they say “amen”? Then they were told that the study group, averaging 15 people per meeting, violated county regulations.

“Unlawful use of land,” you see. It had nothing to do with suppressing religion, everything to do with how many cars appeared Tuesday nights. County officials said the ominous grilling about religion was done simply to find out which land-use regulation to use in filing the complaint.

And there was a complaint. Too often, these days, instead of neighbor taking up the matter with neighbor, the government gets called in. So, before these students of the Bible could even consider carpooling, to respect the Joneses’ neighbors’ parking concerns, government employees told them to cease and desist — or else apply for a major use permit. Which could take a lot more money than found in your average Sunday passing of the offering plate.

This story is almost a parable — of why zoning laws don’t make good neighbors. Zoning is a blunt instrument, indeed. There are alternatives.

But the alternatives require a bit of common sense.

I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

6 Comments

  1. Chuck McCoy says:

    I certainly agree with the essence of your comments – however, the city has since made comment regarding this that does put a bit of light on the city’s “policy” regarding religion and freedom of speech. Check this out:
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/biblestudy.asp

  2. Silvio Cutuli says:

    I wonder if such action would have been taken if the Taliban was conducting Koran studies…

  3. Dave Shaver says:

    San Diego County has since dropped their requirement, with some lame excuse, and the pastor and his wife can continue their study. My wife and I have had the same kind of study in our condo for over 7 years and we wondered how long before the idiocy of these zoning laws would reach us.

  4. mike says:

    I live in a similar neighborhood in Alabama.it is a townhouse community.What is scary is there are known drug dealers in the section and they let them coexist.
    The people having the prayer group are at fault too. remember ,love thy neighbor. If the neighborhood is like mine, parking is a big problem and I do not like to walk 2 blocks to my house because of cars at another’s house.
    There are always 2 sides to a story.
    It would have never been reported if everyone did the Godly thing,and respected each other.
    Publicity and humility are 2 different words.
    Peace

  5. HealThoid says:

    Interesting… But what sign on novelties of the news?

  6. Call me a Libertarian, but government regulation of our personal lives assumes that we are not able to regulate ourselves. While this may be true in some instances, if there is no victim, there is no crime. I assume it’s legal to have 15 people over for cocktails once a week. It seems like a case of the letter of the law being emphasized over the spirit of the law.

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