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NEWS: Court asked to evict church from school

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posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 11:24 AM
The Christ Tabernacle has it's own building but on Sundays, they take their musical instruments banners etc to a school 2 miles down the road. The reason that they do this every Sunday is that their congregation / membership has exceeded what their building can hold. Use of the school building gives them an extra 800 seats.
Federal District Court will hear arguments that could ultimately lead to the church being evicted from using the school. There is a 1978 law that prohibits religious groups from using public school facilities.
When the city started to allow nonreligious groups to use puiblic school facilities, religious groups filed and won a couple of significant cases where the judges ruled that the NY schools could not forbid the use of the facilities by the religious groups after school hours.
NEW YORK -- Dozens of volunteers show up at 7 a.m. on Sundays at Christ Tabernacle to haul screens, banners and musical instruments to a school two miles away.
Federal District Court Judge Loretta A. Preska will hear arguments in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York, which could lead to the eviction of all churches from New York schools.
The city is arguing that the use of a public school for religious worship violates the separation of church and state. But the churches say that if nonreligious groups can use public facilities, they should be allowed to do so as well.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I have to side with the churches on this one.
As long as the school facilities are open for use by other nonreligious groups. Then it would be disciminatory to disallow a group the same rights to use the facilities solely based on thier religion. That in of itself would be against the law.
I will side with the religious groups on this one as long as their use of the facilities is limited to non-school hours and they do not start to preach to the students and or faculty of the school.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:38 PM
Where I live, there is an elementary school being built. The project is six months behind and won't open until after christmas break. Guess where they are going to be teaching students during the first part of the year.....A church.

[edit on 10/8/05 by Skibum]

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:42 PM
Me being Atheist and seeing religion in my school doesn't really bother me. As long as discussions and such don't get out of hand. In my World History 1 class, we talked about the ancient religions, and at one point got into an almost heated argument over it. I was one of the 2 or 3 that argued against it. Of course, I was the only one that really knew what I was talking about just from reading and from ATS, but otherwise I don't mind. We have our little "prayer circle" around the flag every morning, and noone says anything to those that go out and do it. But as long as the topic of religion doesn't come up too much or cause problems... then I don't see why we couldn't even have classes on religion in HS and so on.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:52 PM
Is the school in question a public structure, paid for and/or supported by public funds?

If so - then yes, it does appear that allowing the Church to use school buildings for worship is in violation of both the 1978 law, and the generic separation of Church and state.

If however the school is a private institution, on private grounds, then it would appear that the school could rent or loan out it's property to whomever it chooses.

Personally? Why can't the Church simply rent from a private property owner?

If there's to be a separation of Church and state, then that should be upheld at every level, including activities taking place "after school hours". A school is no less a school simply because the pupils have left for the day.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 01:58 PM
I have to agree with Tinkle. Even being a Christian and a preacher's kid, I cannot agree with church and state being together. The fundamental reasons behind the speration of the two is just too important to allow any leeway.

By the way, if you think that church and state merging is a good idea, read about Oliver Cromwell.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:10 PM

I cannot agree with church and state being together. The fundamental reasons behind the speration of the two is just too important to allow any leeway.

I don't see this as a separation issue. This isn't about government endorising a particular religion it is more about fair use of the property. If any group can rent the space after school hours, it is not fair to disallow a group just because it is a religious group.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:15 PM

it is not fair to disallow a group just because it is a religious group.

This is what I agree with... This religious group doesn't bother anyone. baseball is on the field, as is football. Basketball is in the gym, band is in their room. And everything else is in it's own room. They rarely interact with one another. So I don't see how a religious group could be bad. During the day, I guess I can see why people don't want a religous group, but after school hours, it shouldn't really matter.

[edit on 10-8-2005 by DarkHelmet]

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:16 PM
But don't the church goers pay taxes which go toward the upkeep of the school? Why wouldn't they have the right to use a public building which their tax dollars erected and and maintain?

It's not like they are doing during school hours. As long as the school is available for use for other organizations it is discriminatory to deny it's use to a group of people based simply on their faith.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 03:54 PM
There are some very good arguments here for allowing the church to use the school on Sundays. I think Marid Audran had a very good point with regards to paying taxes to maintain the school.

Anyway, people should lighten up a little and let the building be used on the weekends. Life is too short to get wrapped up in the small details.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 08:50 PM
How exactly does the use of public property by nonreligious groups equal the use of public property by religious groups? Arent we talking about apples and oranges here? I could understand if the schooll was also being used by the located synagogue as well but its not. If the law prohibits the use of public property by religious groups then the actions of nonreligious groups is irrelevant to the issue.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 08:52 PM
If they don't pay rent to use the building on Sundays, I'm all for something being done. If they do pay rent to use the building on Sundays, then everybody needs to just get over it. "School" isn't held on Sundays. So there is no "church and state" taking place if they are renting the building on off hours.

posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 09:15 PM
My opinion is, why should we let something that we could use on a day it IS NOT being used just idle when a number of local tax-paying citizens could use it for something? Reminds me of just letting sports arenas idle for more than half a year. A true waste of land.


posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 03:05 AM
Problem is, by allowing religious groups to use the building during vacant days, the public is paying to help the group prosper.

It is not the public's fault the perish in question can't afford a building large enough to accomodate their membership. The public should not have to provide the facilities.

There are civic centers and halls that are more than happy to rent their space, built just for this purpose.

The vast majority do not have a problem with, for example, the Boy Scouts meeting in a public school cafeteria. Religion, while present, is kept as a minimal and unoffensive factor in such a group.

If the public were to be expected to allow a church use of the property, then they would be expected to allow any church use of the property. They would be expected to allow gatherings in practice of Santeria, smearing chicken's blood all over the floor (they would clean it up, of course) or Wiccans drawing pentacles on the walls.

This is why we have seperation of church and state.

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 07:14 AM
I have to agree that the real issue comes down to if the group is paying to rent the space or not. If they are paying rent, this money is going to the school which like most is probably under funded. Does it make sense to turn this money down and let the room set vacant?

Now if they are using it without paying, that's another story. That would be a donantion of public reasoucres to a tax free group. Maybe their donantions could be taxed while using the building. God gets 15% of their earnings, and Uncle Sam get 20% of that. Of course that might be bad Karma for the U.S., I don't I don't wanna get caught w/ my hand in God's wallet.


posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 10:59 AM
I think whether or not the religious group in question pays rent is irrelevant.
The public is not expected to provide the facilities to such organizations.
What if teleevangelists were allowed to rent out the Oval Office when it wasnt in use? How would people feel about that? No difference here.
Again, what if people wanted to practice Voodoo in the school Gym on the weekends? Or "Devil Worshiping" in the cafeteria? They would pay the rent too.. would the public be expected to help these groups prosper, as well?
When I say prosper, I mean succeed. By allowing religious groups use of state run schools, even during vacancy, the public is providing property to help solve the groups' problems. Again, it is not the public's fault the group can't fit into their own place of worship.

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 12:01 AM
Preaching in the public schools?
It kinda creeps me out.
It would feel like the place was unclean.
Religious cooties.

I would feel more comfortable if it were just the Church choral group working on music which is art and advances mankind technically or spiritually.

The preaching in public schools really bothers me.
Public schools are places for self-improvment/development and acquiring knowlege,

And most religions are about promoting superstition, ignorance and intollerance. Spiritual contraction.

They have to at least take care of cleaning up after themselves or pay a fee for it and should provide some nominal compensation for inevitable wear and tear of the facilities [that comes from any use].

To me learning is sacred. It gives one better tools and abilities to live in the Universe. Education is inspired. Religion is conspired.

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 06:07 AM

Originally posted by slank
Preaching in the public schools?
It kinda creeps me out.
It would feel like the place was unclean.
Religious cooties.

That's got to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard.:shk: Do you feel unclean, or tipsy, when you go to the hospital? Well you should, because they and many other public buildings allow AA and NA chapters to hold meetings there. And we all know how an AA meeting is wrapped up... by saying the Lord's Prayer.

The worst thing that can happen for a building is for it to be underutilized. These church members that want to use the rooms are our friends and neighbors, people we pass every day. We are all part of one nation. Let's start acting like adults, and forget who is paying who how much rent. Learn how to get along with each other; you'll live longer.

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 09:54 AM
Ok then,
so if it is wrong to allow a church or a religious group to use public facilities such as schools, during the school's off-hours, since it is perceived to be somehow to be promoting the group then all public facilities need to closed to any group that requests to use them. Such groups include but are not limited to:
Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts
Local Home Owners groups
If they decide to close the facilities to a group soley based on the groups theme of being religious then they will have to to close the facilities to all groups or else it will be a blatant bias which is against the law.

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 10:02 AM

Does the separation of Church and State supercede laws regarding bias in these instances?

I can't see how denying a group because it is religious is anywhere near the same thing as denying a group for any other reason....if only because the law makes a specific reference to this to begin with?

posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 10:13 AM
Well since it is against the law to judge or to exclude anyone the same rights due to another citizen based on
Their sex
etc. then yes it would be against the law to exclude a group the use of public facilities that are available for use by other groups soley due to the groups religious basis
The seperation of church and state issue should be negligible in that the use of the facilities is during off-hours when the facilities are not being used for their normal operations. If the use of these facilites by a religious group was to occur during normal operations then yes there would be a problem with the seperation of church and state

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