Court finds for noisy Tilburg pastor
A court in Breda has found that Tilburg priest Harm Schilder is allowed to harass his neighbours by ringing his church bells far too loud at early hours. Although the court (LJN: BB8689) recognized that the city had the authority to impose fines and make rules limiting the noise levels its citizens are allowed to reach, it also pointed out that there is state law that overrules city law in this case. Specifically, the “Besluit woon- en verblijfsgebouwen milieubeheer” (Decision Housing and Living Buildings Environmental Management) states that churches are allowed to make as much noise as they want when calling the flock (“1.1.2. Excluded from determining the noise levels are […] the sound required to call one to practice their religion or life philosophy”).
Call me a cynic, but I’ve got a funny feeling that this ruling won’t stand long once the first mosque starts making use of this privilege, and the usual demagogue crowd will start howling “terrorism”.