According to News Times Phoenix, Micheal Salmon, who arrived at Maricopa County jail to self surrender and serve his sixty day sentence was sent home by jail officials back in mid-June. Today, July 10, 2012, Salmon began serving his sentence. Salmon was convicted of several fire and zoning code violations in conjunction with the Bible study he hosts at his home.
In 2009, more than a dozen police officers raided Salmon’s home and the 2000 square foot building in his backyard, Fox News Radio reported in its coverage of the arrest. Micheal contends that his Bible study is not a church, nor is his building a commercial building; but just a regular meeting with friends to study the Bible, but City Code enforcement states that it is in fact a church and therefore in violation of sixty-seven codes. Some of the violations ranged from not having fire sprinklers, to exit lights above the doors or having handicap parking. In an earlier report, Salmon explained that his guest do not park on the street, they are friends who come to visit in his private home.
“If I had people coming to my home on a regular basis for poker night or Monday Night Football, it would be permitted,” he said. “But when someone says to us we are not allowed to gather because of religious purposes – that is when you have discrimination,” said Michael Salmon.
Tony Perkins of Family Research Council told Fox News Radio:
“Any time religious freedom or the freedom of speech is infringed upon, Americans should be concerned. We are seeing jurisdictions using zoning ordinances to crack down the exercise of religious freedom.”
Salmon and his attorney plan to file a motion with the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals Court in hopes to quash the sentence, reports Ray Stern of the News Times.
Salmon’s wife, in a video made in response to her husband’s arrest, pointed out that God is faithful and the Micheal will be sharing the Gospel to those in jail. She courageously thanked those who have reached out and who are praying for them as they stand for what the believe is their right as American’s, to worship God, with others, in the privacy of their own home. The video documenting the tearful good-bye can be found here.