I've been following this story very closely over the past month or so.
Reading today I see that many online Christian news sites that had previously written with concern and support for Michael Salman and his family in their coverage of this story - have decided to pick up the secular media mantras that; "this isn't about first ammendment rights, this is about zoning ordinaces“ and "Michael Salman hasn't followed Biblical principles and instruction for submitting to the governing authorities”. Many are now posting the “Official Fact Sheet Regarding the Michael Salman Case” put out by the City of Phoenix Official Website . Read the Official City of Phoenix “facts” and then compare it with the Rutherford Institute Fact Sheet about the case. After literally having spent hours and hours reading everything I can find on this case, I'm convinced this is so NOT about building code violations - regardless of what is being reported. I was so disappointed to watch even this mornings Fox News report on the case- They've gone from giving a fair, balanced and unbiased account of this case several weeks ago, to today leaving viewers with the impression that Salman is essentially a shady character, emphasizing his criminal past when he was involved in a shootout, his impersonating a police officer, his being in violation of probation, and that he is in prison solely for violating city building ordinances - which by the way is disputed by his attorneys.
Fox News failed to mention that the shootout occurred 20 years ago (1992) when Salman was a teenage gang member. He was sentenced to six years in prison, did the time, and turned his life around because of Jesus. Re: Impersonating a police officer, yes - sort of - a very foolish act by a young man more than 15 years ago, but to me, not as horrible as it is being presented in most media. It certainly has nothing to do with the current case. Reports have described the misdemeanor like this:
…”after getting out of prison and becoming a pastor, he'd been booked on a misdemeanor for impersonating a police officer. According to court records, a girl from Salman's fledgling congregation was fooling around with an older boy; at the parents' request, Salmon went over to the boy's house and pretended to be a cop to scare him.”
For anyone interested, John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute has just written a thought provoking commentary titled:
"The Overcriminalization of America: Are We All Criminals Now?"https://www.rutherford.org/
Please take the time to read both Fact Sheets. Two different sets of FACTS about the same case. The Rutherford Institute is very careful about the cases they take on and for whom they will risk their professional reputations defending and representing. There are regular accurate updates on this case posted on the Rutherford Institute site.
Fact Sheet from the Phoenix Government sitehttp://www.phoenix.gov/news/071212salmanfacts.html
***Rutherford Institute Fact Sheethttps://www.rutherford.org/files_images ... Sheet1.pdf
Still Watching & Praying - Ruth