Michael Salman Claims His "Right to Hold Bible Studies in Jail" Was Violated

Categories: Religulous
See also: Michael Salman wants to build a church in his backyard
See also: Michael Salman Is Not in Jail for Having Bible Studies in His Home

Michael Salman (right) and his appropriate t-shirt, which reads, "I am a criminal."
Pastor Michael Salman -- the ex-gang member and convicted felon who's currently serving a 60-day jail sentence after being found guilty of 67 misdemeanors -- claims yet again that his "right to hold Bible studies" is being violated.

This time, Salman's claiming that his religious freedom is being violated during his stay in Tent City, after he got in trouble for holding Bible studies, and skipped out on working his job in the kitchen.

Salman's attorneys from the Rutherford Institute issued a "warning" to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, pretty much claiming that Salman can do anything he wants in Tent City under the name of religion.

Again, Salman simply cannot follow laws or rules, evidenced by his recent convictions, his previous six-year prison sentence for a drive-by shooting, an incident in which he was caught with LSD in prison, the time he was booked into jail for impersonating a police officer, and his recent probation violations.

Or, if you believe the story of Salman and his attorneys -- he's just being persecuted for his religious beliefs.

According to the letter the Rutherford Institute attorneys sent to Arpaio, the attorney's "sources" relayed to them that jail staff had told Salman he would be tossed "in the hole" if he failed to show up to work.

Salman's refusing to go to work on Sunday due to his religious beliefs, although the attorneys state that they were "able to clear up this particular matter."

Then, Salman started doing Bible studies again.

"Since being detained in the Tents Jail [sic], Mr. Salman has begun leading Bible studies for and with his fellow inmates," the letter says. "On a recent night, the number of attendees grew to more than 20 men, causing the guards to direct them inside to a day room. However, after a short time, the group was directed to disperse by the guards and locked down."

Of course, this sounds pretty darn close to the reason Salman's in jail in the first place -- breaking rules and claiming it's just because he's exercising his religious rights.

Salman repeatedly lied to the City of Phoenix about building a church in his backyard, and refused to comply with the laws after several warnings.

Salman told the city in 2007 that he was building a garage in his backyard. He did not build a garage in his backyard.

"Mr. Salman had regular gatherings of up to 80 people," the city says. "He held services twice a week and collected a tithe at the services. The building that he held services in had a dais and chairs were aligned in a pew formation. He held himself out as a being a church through the media (Harvest Christian Church) and claimed a church status for tax exemption purposes on his property."

Then Salman got a permit to have a "game room" in his backyard -- one that said "[a]ny other occupancy or use (business, commercial, assembly, church, etc.) is expressly prohibited."

Salman purchased a grand total of zero Foosball and air hockey tables, of course, because it was still a church.

The building was also found to be extremely unsafe, and Salman was found responsible of several code violations.

Or, as Salman claims, it's some sort of law against practicing his religion.

We've asked the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office what actually happened during Salman's run-ins with jail staff, so we'll pass that information along when we get it.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help


they will arrest a person for having too many people on their own property but what about arresting people for being in this country illegally, using fake ID's, not having auto insurance when they drive with their fake ID's, or how about going after the Islamic religious gatherings at people's homes, or the hindu, or the wiccens. How about putting a stop to all the blatant illegal prostitution hanging out on street corners, or the gangs in the major inner cities where a person cannot even walk down the street in broad daylight. I have yet to see some of the so called law makers do any or some of these things lately. They would just like to attack and go after someone who is trying to do something positive with their life and help others- I hope they sue the hell out of those politicians who did this-post their names and let everyone know what cowards they are....


If people have the right to speak a foreign language such as Spanish, people certainly have the right to hold Bible Study where ever and when ever they want.  Haven't you ever heard of "freedom of religion"?


wow, really? This moron is pushing his luck. After all I could start a religion that made it ok to murder stupid fuck republicans. It doesn't mean I would have the right to murder anyone.


eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Salmon should take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  There he

will find that religion is not quite as sacrosanct as most people believe.


 @ptcgaz If Freedom of Religion isn't protected, neither is being able to speak a foreign language such as Spanish.  I'll ask Code Enforcement to require that all Spanish language media be removed.


 @eric.nelson745 he would find that the jail has the right to make him go to the job he is assigned. If he didn't want to work at the jail he didn't have to. 


 @arpaiofan so freedom of religion should include a guy saying he WON'T do the job he is assigned at he jail for his behavior? SO basically religious people can say I am not going to do what you say ? you are an idiot and your argument is idiiotic and has nothing at ALL to do with the issue. BTW in your fuzzy logic should all rights for anyone who is sent to jail.. (not even convicted yet) be taken away? YOU are an idiot. 

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

 @ptcgaz That was my point.  If his case somehow made it to

the Supreme Court (him appealing all the way), they're going to slap

him up one side of the face and down on the other.  He is a thug and

a con man trying to hide behind religion.  Not gonna work.


 @eric.nelson745 ok, I get the point. It's pretty much the same point I am making .. people are pretty dense sometimes. And yes this guy is a con man. He's trying to abuse religion as a way to get away with not doing what he's told by the city, the police, and the jailers. For once I am on the side of the MCSO. Esp when I learned that the jail was on a lockdown when he was making his complaint...

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault