Sunday, July 29, 2012

Religious Freedom - #4079 - UPDATE: Michael Salman - Rutherford Institute Warns Sheriff Arpaio, Tents Jail Officials Against Interfering With Michael Salman's Rights to Hold Bible Studies in Jail - Rutherford Institute

Phoenix Man Jailed 60 Days, Fined $12,000 for Hosting Home Bible Studies in ‘Violation’ of Zoning Codes PHOENIX, Ariz. — In the wake of the Arizona Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in the case of a Phoenix man who is serving a 60-day jail sentence for using his private residential property to host a weekly Bible study, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have sent a stern warning to Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio that jail officials are required by law to accommodate Michael Salman’s Christian beliefs, including his right to practice his religion while in jail by holding Bible studies, witnessing to fellow inmates and observing the Sabbath. Institute attorneys had already been called upon to intervene once after learning that officials at Tent City had refused to accommodate Salman’s request to observe the Sabbath while incarcerated and threatened to throw him “in the hole” if he failed to show up for work in the kitchen. Institute attorneys are continuing their legal efforts to challenge Salman’s detention in Tents City Jail in Maricopa County as a violation of his First Amendment rights to religious freedom and assembly. Salman still faces the possibility of additional jail time on charges that he violated his probation by continuing to hold Bible studies on his private property after being ordered not to have more than 12 people gathered on his property at any one time. The Rutherford Institute’s letter to Sheriff Joe Arpaio is available here. “A person does not shed his constitutional rights upon being incarcerated,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “So long as Michael Salman is in jail, he has the right to assemble with his fellow prisoners, to observe the Sabbath, and to practice his sincerely held religious beliefs.  Read more.........

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