One of many hot button issues for American conservatives is the freedom to practice Christian religion freely and without hindrance from the local, state or federal government. This issue has been taken up by Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit in the case of Michael Salman, pastor of the Harvest Community Fellowship Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, Arizona again.

From reading the current article at Gateway Pundit, which links to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze one would believe that Michael Salman is an “innocent Chrsitian pastor” who wanted to legally erect a church in the neighborhood. But a previous article published on 17 January 2008 by Sarah Fenske in the Phoenix New Times paints a completely different picture.

Salman has had a bit of a checkered life as was reported by Fenske in her 2008 piece. The pastor was charged, tried and convcted of a drive by shooting and served three years of a six year sentence. Salman openly discusses these events as well as his arrest for impersonating a law enforcement officer, which is a misdemeanor. He has been inflexible in his determination to build a 4,000+ square foot church on his property despite his inability to finance such a venture. Neighbors in the community have fought the construction and Salman has not complied with community codes for such a building. His defiance has angered and frightened neighbors to the point that one has put his home up for sale.

In Hindsight

The real hoot in all of this is that Pastor Michael Salman is seeking help from the US Department of Justice for this local matter. Yep, that same DOJ run by the Attorney General Eric Holder who had come under fire by just these same sort of conservative over “gun walking” in the state of Arizona. Salman hopes that the DOJ will aid him in his effort to convince the Phoenix city council to allow him to build his church. To me as a reporter with an opinion this appears to have more to do with the arrogance of one man and conservative pundits wanting to give the appearance that their “base” of Christians is being persecuted by secular government than anything else. Nowehere in The Blaze report is there anything about the numerous confrontations and refusals that Salman has been invovled in with both city officials and his neighbors. Salman has been fined $12,180 and faces a 60 day jail sentence.

On the Fox News Radio site where host Todd Starnes first brought this to the eyes and ears of conservative listeners, the headline most recently about the 60 day jail sentence Salman has recieved for continuing to hold services in a building with 67 code violations is, “Man Facing Jail For Hosting Home Bible Study.”. This is as entirely innacurate as if the title had been, “Former drive by shooter sets up shot in Phoenix suburb.” Republic Heritage has a headline, “Man Facing Jail For Hosting Home Bible Study.” The reality is that the shed in the back of the home was not fit for gatherings of people according to Phoenix city fire code standards. Keep in mind loyal readers this is the same man who declared himself immune to all US laws by joining the “Embassy of God” which it’s chief proponent Sunday Adelaja has drawn considerable criticism for financial fraud in numerous media reports.

[As of post time, The Michael Salman Defense Fund has raised $125. Gavlae Reudo Maxric-Copy Editor.]
Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
64 Shatter 2 AS

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