Update 26 April 2010
A federal court has ruled that the city ordinance restricting church bells is an unconstitutional abridgment of religious speech.
Now that the principle is established, perhaps the congregation will accommodate itself to its neighbors and moderate the number of times and circumstances during which the bells are rung? Now would be a time for wisdom and witness. I can’t see how irritating the neighbors is going to attract them to faith. Let the gospel and Christ be the offense and stumbling stone and not the ringing of bells.
Update 4 June 09 In a related story, ice-cream trucks are okay in Phoenix, but church bells aren’t? There are differences between a mobile, off-key ice-cream truck and hourly, fixed, church bells. Anything at stake? I wish some judge would do something about my neighbor’s Harley that he starts with a roar at 7AM every stinking morning. Maybe if I baptized the bike and said a prayer someone could call it “religious” and silence it?
Update 1 June 2009. Here’s the latest. Thanks to Kim Riddlebarger for the lead.
Original Post: Yikes! San Diego County may be cracking down on those dangerous home bible studies. Yes, one can’t be too careful these days what with all those Christians running amok on the streets.
Before you host a bible study in your neighborhood you had better print out the following and send it to all your neighbors:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Be careful for whom you open the doors. Do they have catacombs in San Diego? (I haven’t seen them). You might also keep a lawyer on retainer (HT: Riddleblog)