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NYC Ruling on portable churches.

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1 NYC Ruling on portable churches. on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:33 pm

T@D

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New York City has recently had a ruling in court that "portable churches" that rent schools during closed hours can no longer do so. There reason is the "separation of church and state" clause. They claimed it was unconstitutional for a religion to use a government facility to "practice" their religious beliefs. USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-07-18-portable-churches-worship-schools_n.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Religion-TopStories+%28News+-+Religion+-+Top+Stories%29

Most of you know how I feel about religion, but I will always stand up for peoples rights to practice their beliefs. Basically, it "seems" the area government wants to stop public schools from being rented by churches......but still allow any other organizations to continue to rent the space. It appears that they are directing the law changes strictly at churches. I find that to be legally unfair and borderline unconstitutional. If the churches are paying for their permits and following the states rules they should not be exempt to the use of the facilities that others are still allowed to use.

Here's where I had a problem. In their petition, they used the line "The community is served by having a congregation in their midst." Come on... You can't "fight" a legal situation with insinuation that just because you are there.....a community is better. They have a legal leg to stand on, but that 1 line doesn't help their cause, in my opinion. So, I decided to email the writer and creator of the petition.

I saw a group on facebook today that is promoting your petition on the recent ruling from NYC regarding portable churches in schools. I read the page and agree that there seems to be a valid argument that having a service, while the schools closed, after paying to rent the facility should not be realistically something that the school board/local government should have a problem with. But, I did have an issue with part of your argument.

"The community is served by having a congregation in their midst." There is no proven facts that having a church, portable or established, benefits the community just because they are there. There is validity in most of your argument......but that line makes it seem something "special" is going to happen if they are allowed to continue to rent schools and that it will make the community a better place.

Having a valid, legal argument should never be pasted with "beliefs" that a church being in a location with some how better the community as a whole. There is no facts to support that and those kind of notions are exactly what opposition will attack to make your validity in your other arguments less creditable.

I support your right to practice what you believe even in a public building you have rented as long as there is no "propaganda" left in the schools during operating hours and the school is not being used as an advertising method to promote your religious beliefs. I do disagree, however, in the notion that having a portable church in a school or anywhere else for that matter, seems to better the community or it's occupants in any way.

Sticking to the facts will validate your argument, promoting your "agenda" wont.

Good luck,

Jeff McLeod

And he responded....

Jeff McLeod,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through the petition and for providing such thoughtful feedback. When I first drafted the petition, I leaned toward polarizing language to move people to action. Because of the response that I’ve received from you and others who support what is fair and just, even when they disagree with another persons beliefs, I realize that your feedback is right on. I’ve just edited the petition to read as follows:

When schools rent to churches, it is good for the school, good for the church, and good for the environment. The school collects rent that supplements it’s budget. The church is more accessible to the community that live near the school….

Sincerely,

Brian Koehn

I was glad to see he understood that even if he believes that his churches help or better the community, thats not a fact and has no place in a legal argument. I hope they do get to keep doing what they are doing, not because they are right....but because they have the right to do it.


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2 Re: NYC Ruling on portable churches. on Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:53 pm

EARTH_QUAKE

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Great point! I do not understand at all where this action is coming from, as long as the church is paying for the rent surely it has as fair a right to it as any other organisation does?Perhaps it would come across distantly as if the state was backing religion... and even then i don't really see an issue as, like the writer's re-drafted line says, the movement would be "good for the school, good for the church, and good for the environment".

Most odd, really does seem a no-brainer even from an aetheist's view.


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3 Re: NYC Ruling on portable churches. on Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:33 pm

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Well, in all reality.....on of the largest problems in this country IS the fact that politics and some politicians base their decisions solely on religion. Our constitution explicitly states there should be and is a separation of church and state. It gives everyone the freedom of religion... but also promises the freedom form religion. Unfortunately, we have had presidents that have made decisions based on what "god told them to do". It's not only wrong, but insane in immoral to try to use something else besides yourself to condone your decisions. Religion has no place in school, in our court system, or in our politics.....yet they fight constantly for this "right to do so...claiming "god" told them it was ok. Lunatics.

But, in this case I don't see an issue of separation of church and state. The churches are following the law and gaining approved permits like any other organization can. Upon approval, what they do in their rented space, in accordance to laws, is their own business. As long as they keep in perspective that what they do and believe is not a "end all" to facts. And they do not try to promote their agenda directly in connection to the use of the public buildings. If they follow the rules, more power to them...

My problem was their claim it "bettered the community". That was complete bullshit. I can just as easily claim that putting a prison in the middle of town will lower local crime rates, which in turn helps the community. It's propaganda and propaganda has no place in a legal proceeding no matter how right or wrong the core argument is.

The thing I will NEVER understand is....

If the god they believe in is so powerful and all knowing......why doesn't "he" fix this. Where is their belief in the power of prayer? According to christian beliefs, if god wants something to happen...he will make it happen. So, that means god wants this court battle? Or if they win....he wanted them to spend all this time and money for a resolution? What about if they lose this case? Does that mean god doesn't want churches in schools?

That's the problem with belief in religion.....you have to change your ideas and rationalize when things go a different way then you want or expect.


__________________________________________________________________________________________




"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.... Faith is the denial of observation so that beliefs can be preserved."


*{CHS}* Putch: im bringing sexxy back
*pWp*T@D*: I brought it back. But you are more then welcomed to fluff it.

<-H$*SoStoned / Pillies -: whos your quake fun person of the year taddie bear?!?!??!
*pWp*T@D*: me... dipshit.
*pWp*T@D*: Im the fun
.
http://www.pwpclan.org

4 Re: NYC Ruling on portable churches. on Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:16 pm

Virtuosity

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Well in my opinion if they aren't hurting anyone then why bother them?

I know plenty of churches that use schools for their service because they can't afford a multi-million dollar building.

Also don't understand this because the school is empty and if they can make profit out of someone using their facilities then why not do it? It only helps the school with funds and on the other end you are helping out a church.

Hell if I had a big enough building that I didn't use on weekends or whatever then I would rent it out to a church for profit, who wouldn't?

Oh and hey how about this if the government wants to have their heads up their ass about the whole thing then they can fund schools a little more than cutting their budgets.

5 Re: NYC Ruling on portable churches. on Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 am

EARTH_QUAKE

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definitly, there is no harm in religious activity... until (81?) people die in oslo due to extreme christians exercising their beliefs... although this is hardly mainstream belief, and i suppose if religion wasn't around they would just be "terrorists". For the most part, the only outcome religion has is good, even though (in my opinion) it is being done in vain hope.


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