Monday, September 19, 2011

Need a Permit to Invite 50 People Home?

Ridiculous, but read the report here.

Sometimes ridiculous local rules are invoked, or created, to deal with situations that aren't what they seem to be. Rules against masks may be aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. Rules against tinkering with cars in your yard may be aimed at car thieves who are abandoning stripped vehicles in yards. Home-based Bible studies may be offered by sinister cults...but the downside of all the ridiculous rules is that, if set up as laws, they will be used to interfere with legitimate activities. Criminalize the "parties" or "movie nights" or "Bible studies" that may be offered by a drug dealer today, and you're criminalizing your own family gathering tomorrow.

I recommend that, if the people of San Juan Capistrano want to break up these particular Bible studies for some valid reason, they look for one that makes sense. Don't fall into the trap of voting for laws that seem like a neat way of dealing with a real but unproved threat to the community, but will inevitably become a way for troublemakers to harass their neighbors.

(Here's a related article: