BEEBE, Arkansas (KRON) — An Arkansas man who says he wants to start a church in his spare room says local officials were all for it until they found it he isn’t a Christian.
Betram Dahl says city officials in the Arkansas town of Beebe now tell him there’s no way he will be approved to open a Pagan sanctuary and store on his property citing zoning restrictions.
“When they knew we were going to open a church, it wasn’t an issue,” Dahl told Arkansas TV station KARK. “We explained to [the mayor] the house had a building that we could open the church in, and he had no problem.”
Then Dahl says the mayor found out the church was going to be a “Seeker’s Temple” and spiritual goods shop.
“We were basically given a cease and desist you know — shut down. We hadn’t even unpacked. We aren’t even open — how are we getting this?” the High Priest says.
The City Attorney’s office says zoning laws don’t permit the temple but Dahl says there’s an exemption in the code for “places of worship” and “private non-profits.” Officials concede several people run home based businesses out of homes on Dahl’s street.
The High Priest says he also spoke with his local alderman who refused to help. When the TV station asked the alderman about the situation, they say he responded that Dahl’s “God is not my God.”
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