So our local “civil liberties” attorney has decided that he doesn’t like churches renting out schools for worship services.
Fair enough. But why? And why now? Well, it turns out that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has sided against a church who wanted to rent out a school for Sunday worship services in New York City.
The only problem is that this activist attorney, in taking the side of the Second Circuit’s rather strange opinion, is treading on ground that simply will not hold.
The shaky ground is partly an ideological one. The “civil liberties” attorney (religion not making his list of liberties) is a stalwart defender of an absence of religion. To be sure, though, if the local Association of Humanists wanted to rent out a local elementary school every weekend and chant quotes from Chris Hitchens books, I doubt that his anti-worshiping crowd would have a problem with it.
Speaking of worship, it appears it has been decided that the government can determine what constitutes worship and what does not. If that is even possible, then this simply means, a) religions that involve “worship” are restricted, and those that do not are given free reign, resulting in a clear establishment of accepted and not accepted religions, and b) “worship,” the actual exercise of belief in a higher power, becomes the only form of speech or expression not permitted on public property.
Why? Apparently, because even though it would be discriminatory to not allow a religious club to rent out the space for a fundraiser, or a “meeting,” that discrimination becomes null and void if the meeting in question involves any kind of worship. Because, to allow someone to worship on public property, even though they’re renting the space, while the government is not using it, is “establishment” of that religion.
So, while Grace Baptist Church worships over at Harmony Middle School, they are establishing the Baptist religion on the unsuspecting citizens of Loudoun County; and it that’s not enough, just a few miles away, hundreds of Hindus are gathered establishing Hinduism. We should suppose that if Hinduism was established at one school on Saturday, and a Unitarian Church rented out the same space on Sunday, then come Monday all those Loudouners who thought they were in a Baptist regime the week before would be confused.
So you can see why there is cause for concern. I thought being a Protestant boy marrying a Catholic girl was bad enough. The school system should at least create a simple website to keep us apprised of which religion is currently established on a real-time basis.
It’s worth noting that even the Freedom from Religion Foundation has accepted the fact (though they certainly are not happy about it) that the Constitution allows for churches renting schools as long as they are all treated equally. But those siding with the Second Circuit ― who are more than comfortable having their special blend of secular humanism and Gaiaism inculcated into the minds of our youth by government workers during regular school hours ― would likely have the government form a team of observers to spy on all of our religious organizations that use public property to make sure that the opening prayers don’t go on too long, lest waves of “establishment” pillow out into the streets.
Perhaps, though, we shouldn’t give them any ideas.