This looked like an interesting First Amendment story: “Attorney for Pastor jailed in Arizona speaks out” (capitalization as in the original).
Last week we brought you a story about Michael Salman, a Pastor in Arizona who surrendered himself to authorities to face two months in prison. His crime? Holding bible studies in his home. Mr. Salman faced a judge today and things don’t appear to be getting any better. The prosecution is pushing for a harsher punishment for his alleged crime.
The attorney is John Whitehead, of the Rutherford Institute. Hmm, that’s inauspicious. Here’s his statement regarding his client’s case.
Mr. Salman was found guilty of one count of violating probation for holding bible studies of more than 12 people. Where she got the number baffles me. Maybe she got it from Jesus and the Disciples, but in that case it would be 13…
The danger of this case is the government is trying to establish what is and isn’t a church. When it does that they are overstepping the boundary. This violates the very foundation of that Amendment and the Establishment Clause.
Ok, a government trying to imprison people just for holding Bible studies in their private home. Whitehead is right, this is a flagrant and serious violation of the First Amendment. Or is it?