Michael Salman: Committing Crimes, or Victim of Religious Persecution?

Categories: Morning Poll
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
See also: Michael Salman Might Get More Jail Time


michael-salman-criminal.jpg
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Michael Salman and his "I am a criminal" t-shirt.
It looks like people are still buying the religious-persecution story from pastor Michael Salman, who's currently serving jail time for not following laws again.

Lawyers for the ex-gang member and convicted felon -- who's currently serving a 60-day jail sentence after being found guilty of 67 misdemeanors -- recently revealed Salman's facing even more jail time, since he just couldn't comply with the terms of his probation.

Salman's been passing off a story on the public about being sentenced to jail for hosting Bible studies on his home, which the City of Phoenix heavily denies.

This started when Salman told the City of Phoenix twice that he wasn't building a church in his backyard, then went ahead and built a church in his backyard.

Salman was found responsible for 96 civil code violations in the building of his church, most of them related to how much of a fire hazard the building was.

Salman and his supporters continue to tell a tale about how he's being persecuted for his religion -- so much so that the city has actually put out a fact sheet explaining Salman's disregard for city ordinances, his decision to ignore the repeated warnings from the city, and how this whole mess has absolutely nothing to do with Salman's religion.

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."

Whether he actually planned to get an air hockey table or something doesn't really matter, since he never did, and continued to use the death-trap building as a church.

As for Salman's other incidents with police -- including serving nearly six years in prison for a drive-by shooting, getting caught with LSD while in the slammer, and once being booked into jail for impersonating a police officer -- he doesn't chalk those up to religious persecution.

For Salman's newer convictions, related to the backyard church, he maintains he's the victim.

Are you buyin' that?

Cast your vote below:



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4 comments
ArizonaRocks
ArizonaRocks

You people are idiots.  I may not support his views but I don't want the government deciding that having Bible studies in one's own home is illegal.  When the law is used to stop the free exercise of religion it is religious discrimination.  You really don't see the slippery slide? Next they will come for your particular home gathering.  I hope the city is sued for violation of his civil rights under the first amendment.  

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I see that only 10.2 % of you think this nutbag is being persecuted for his bullshit religion. I arrest my case. Send him to prison where he belongs.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Do a web search on Harvest Christian Church - there's a TON of them!  Here's one - http://www.hcaz.org/contact-us.html I don't think that anyone in the Christian world honors tradename law violations just like they don't honor God's law (Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness . . )

KennyPowers
KennyPowers

This guy appears to be a dipshit. The city almost can't win. If they act, they get told it's religious persecution. If they don't act, and all these assholes burn to death in a fire, then they should have done more. I say, fuck this guy and his pretend church. I can only imagine how much his neighbors love having 60-80 extra cars in the neighborhood. 

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