Christians Muzzled in California

By Dave Gahary

The secular elite’s continuing assault on this country’s white, Christian majority has taken a new turn, this time coming compliments of the Golden State. A California couple has been fined $300 and threatened with more if they continue to praise the Lord with their friends within the confines of their own home.

On Sept. 26, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with the couple’s attorney, Brad Dacus, president and founder of the non-profit Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).

PJI defends religious freedom, parental rights and other basic civil liberties. They are manned by over 1,000 volunteer affiliate attorneys. With the tag line of “Faith, Family and Freedom,” PJI has its work cut out for it. In 2010 alone, the institute received over 4,000 requests for assistance, a clear indication of the ongoing attacks by Christianity’s detractors.


THE FOUNDATION TO DEFEND THE FIRST AMENDMENT (FDFA) has also stepped forward to assist the cause of freedom. FDFA recently provided much-needed funding to help defend the California family against the state’s attack on their religious freedom.

Chuck and Stephanie Fromm of San Juan Capistrano are the latest Christians targeted by the secular elite. Their only supposed crime was hosting Bible study sessions at their home every Sunday with as many as 50 like-minded individuals. They reside in a semi-rural development with ample parking.

AFP asked the Fromms’ attorney to summarize the case against them.

“The city of San Juan Capistrano has a policy that says if you have more than three people meeting at your home on a regular basis,” explained Dacus, “then you have to pay money—pay homage to the city—to seek their permission and get a conditional use permit. . . .Basically, according to the city, if you want to pray, you have to pay.”

Dacus discussed draconian measures taken by city officials. “The Fromms were told by the city magistrate at a hearing that they would be charged $500 for every day they are caught reading the Bible or praying in their home during Bible studies,” said Dacus. “So, if this Bible study group meets,” he continued, “and they’re caught meeting to read the Bible, then they’ll be fined $500 a day by the government, to punish them.”

The Fromms’ troubles are representative of a broader assault on Christianity, wherein a minority attacks the majority. Dacus elaborated: “There are 52 homes in this neighborhood, and only one person complained. This lady has a real attitude problem against Christians.”

The city, apparently, is not content with simply stopping the Fromms in their own home.

“The Fromms decided to meet at the clubhouse of the homeowners association,” explained Dacus. “The city found out about this gathering and notified the housing association that they couldn’t allow the Bible study group to meet there without getting a conditional use permit.”

AFP asked why this case is so important. Dacus replied: “There are millions in America that meet every week at a Bible study. So, if we’re not successful, the floodgates are going to be wide open for cities and counties across the country to feel at liberty to exercise this same degree of control and oppression. It’ll be just the beginning.” Dacus concluded by saying, “We are prepared to take this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

*FDFA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that works to defend every American’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to FDFA, which shares an office with AMERICAN FREE PRESS. Send cash or check to FDFA, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Ste. 100, Washington, D.C. 20003. No credit cards, please.