This sounds like a serious case of overreaching on the part of local government:
A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home, 10News reported.
…The county employee notified the couple that the small bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of county regulations, according to Broyles.
Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed “unlawful use of land” and told them to “stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit” — a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Now, unless there’s a lot more to the story–local residents voicing legitimate complaints about parking problems, for example–this sounds like a bunch of bullshit on the part of the county. Fifteen people gathering in a private residence should not need a fucking permit to do anything. I that Bible study is about the most profound waste of time imaginable, but these people should be allowed to do it without forking over thousands of dollars (although there’s a certain dark justice in the idea given the untold millions–hell, billions–religious organizations have saved over the years owing to unjustifiable tax exemptions).
Christians are wont to scream about “persecution,” and whereas most of the time this translates to “We can’t use secular entities to enforce out morality on others 100 percent of time,” this sort of unnecessary intrusion gives them ammunition.
Hell, home Bible study should be encouraged, not punished. The more time people spend at gatherings like the one in San Diego, the less likely they are to continue trying to shoehorn religious nonsense into public schools and other places it doesn’t belong. (That’s probably a failed theory, but work with me here.) When people want to self-quarantine their stupid ideas and beliefs, by all means let them.