Dave Hodges

More About: God, Government and other assorted myths....

The Rest of the Story (part two)

Greg Dixon and I are in complete harmony when we both advocate for the right to freely practice one’s religion, even in a quiet neighborhood. Specifically, Mr. Dixon and I agree that Pastor Michael Salman has the right to conduct religious services at his home in North Phoenix. And yes, I feel empowered to know that Mr. Dixon is fighting for the same rights that I also hold dear; the right to worship the Lord without governmental interference. With all this apparent harmony, it is hard to understand why Mr. Dixon would engage in a repetitive personal attack upon me complete with name calling (i.e., statist).


In his rebuttal article, Dixon states that “Salman represents the Lord Jesus Christ.” This may be true, but I do not believe that Jesus would engage in such practices as having his flock play loud music to the point of disturbing the peace, block driveways, impersonate a police officer as part his pastoral duties and go on to a neighbor’s property and intimidate the person to the point to where they feel compelled to obtain a restraining order. In short, being a pastor does not give one the license to act irresponsibly towards one’s neighbors. If Mr. Salman were operating a day care center out of his home and Salman and his clientele were engaging in the same alleged behaviors, the neighbors would have the same concerns. This case is not about curtailing religious worship, this is about preserving some level of tranquility in a neighborhood, regardless of the activity.


Contrary to what Mr. Dixon may write, I never stated that people should be seeking relief, on either side, with the courts or any other governmental agency. Salman’s city councilman wanted to informally mediate between the neighbors and the church. Would it have hurt either side to attempt to privately work out their differences? Regardless, I was very clear on the point of not involving the government when I previously wrote Clearly, a judge will ultimately decide this issue. In this era of judge made law, all of us may lose a lot more when this issue is finally adjudicated than either Salman or his neighbors.”


Mr. Dixon is clearly correct when he states that there are forces in the world that want to eliminate the right of Christians to freely practice their religion. I just don’t believe that the Salman case is the appropriate example to hang one’s hat on. To chase this windmill could result in the loss of credibility for one’s cause.

If Salman v. Phoenix ever makes it into the courts, a judge may decide what constitutes appropriate religious worship. And if that does not frighten the proverbial cross off of your local church building, then you better check your pulse for signs of life

If Mr. Dixon and Pastor Salman dispute the facts, as I have presented them, and want a venue to further tell their side of the story, I will be happy to give them airtime on my radio show.


I can be reached at thecommonsenseshow@yahoo.com.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Dave Hodges
Entered on:

 Pastor Salman

In your response to your comment on my article, I find it interesting that you failed to address two very important issues! I will ask you again:

Were you, or were you not convicted of impersonating a police officer in the name of scaring off a boy who was "bothering" a girl from your congregation?

Were you or were you not the recipient of an Order of Protection by you neighbor after you went on to their property and intimidated them?

Disputed traffic counts aside, these are issues which should concern any neighborhood whether these are the actions of a Pastor or a plumber.

Your failure to deal with these issues, and more, may be part of the reasons why your neighbors are up in arms against you.

Prove to the public that you are the victim of a vast conspiracy in which all of the allegations are merely being fabricated by your neighbors and the Phoenix PD and the courts merely because you are practicing your Christian faith. There are places where these conspiracies do exist, I just don't see it transpiring in neighborhood of 31st Avenue and Orangewood. 

Comment by Pastor Michael Salman
Entered on:

Dave, I appreciate the fact that you defend religious rights.  But you are not looking at the facts.  First of all, we have 4 acres of property, and we have 12-15 cars max, do you really think we park in the street or block anyone's driveway, further if you look on the city map or even google earth.  The nearest home is at least 100 feet away.  Do you really believe we play music that loud.  We bring 12-15 cars per week.  did you know last year we did a traffic study and the average cars that drive in front of our home on a daily basis is 2500 cars PER DAY!!  The city has it registered at 2900 cars in some days.  THIS IS PER DAY.  Your facts are wrong and if we did do loud noise, park in the street, dust and stuff we can understand their problem but it is EVIDENT this is not the case.  They do not like us worship on our property because they believe it is a nusiance to them.  They have a JUST BECAUSE attitude.  Should I not practice my religious rights because someone says, Just because the CITY feels you should not?  www.HCFAZ.org

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