UPDATE: San Diego County is already backing down and will allow the Bible study in question to continue. However, the county administrator is still framing it as a “land use” issue rather than a regulation of religious expression. We will continue to follow and monitor this situation.

Meanwhile here are some quotes from county Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard:

“No one respects the right to free religious expression more than I do, and no one would find the infringement of such rights more abhorrent,”…

(the county) “has never tried to stifle religious expression and never will. This is a land issue” …

“I deeply regret that a routine code enforcement issue has transformed into a debate over religious freedom in San Diego County,” …

“[L]et me be clear: religious intolerance in any form is not, and never will be, allowed under any circumstance in San Diego County government.”

Response: Their office must have been bombarded with inquiries and complaints in order for them to so quickly respond and go into an obvious “save your own rear” mode. The fact remains that an overzealous county officer did in fact attempt to shut down a Bible study under the pretense of “land use violations”.

Fact is that the pastor and his wife owns a vacant lot next door and Bible study visitors park there so this is really not a parking or traffic issue. Exactly what is the “land use” issue originally cited if not an attempt to regulate Christian assembly and religious expression?   

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