Recently, the Supreme Court upheld NYC’s decision to ban Christian churches from meeting in public schools. That these Christian churches were renting the spaces just as any other organization might (religious or secular) and at the same fee-rate has no bearing in the case. These churches were paying organizations which were not found in violation of any code or standard of the public schools’. But as of February 2012, Christian churches meeting in NYC public school buildings will no longer be allowed to rent building space for worship services. For more info, read here.
The reasoning of Judge Pierre Leval is what concerns me most…
“Jews and Muslims generally cannot use school facilities for their services because the facilities are often unavailable on the days that their religions principally prescribe for services…”
“…At least one request to hold Jewish services was denied because the building was unavailable on Saturdays. This contributes to a perception of public schools as Christian churches, but not synagogues or mosques.”
What the Judge is implying here is that because Jews and Muslims choose to worship on days during which the school’s space is occupied, but Christians choose to worship on Sundays when the school’s space is not occupied… what is created is an “unintended bias in favor of Christian religions,” as the official court statement reads. So if Jews and Muslims were to suddenly decide to hold worship services on a day when the school’s space is unoccupied, would the renting of public school buildings to Christian organizations again become non-biased? What about Kabbalists, Humanists, or Satanists? They choose to hold religious gatherings on Sundays frequently. Doesn’t that mean public school space is just as available to them for rental as it is to Christian churches? This decision seems to be saying that discrimination is the only way to not discriminate. That doesn’t even make logical sense.
The issue is not that Christianity has an unfair advantage at public school building rental. It is that Christian churches are being unfairly discriminated against because of the exclusive nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Judge Leval’s contempt for the message of Christianity was profoundly exemplified when he wrote these words: “Bronx Household (one Christian Church being discriminated against) acknowledges that it excludes persons not baptized, as well as persons who have been excommunicated or who advocate the Islamic religion, from full participation in its services.” That’s what freedom of religion is. Any organization has the right to reserve membership and participation to whomever it deems to be like-minded and of similar conviction. It’s not about being fair. It’s about an intolerance for what is discriminatorily labeled “intolerant.” The new postmodern gospel being preached from our humanistic culture is that the only intolerance which is acceptable is one which hurls intolerance toward a view/organization that is labeled intolerant.
“No intolerance allowed!” … … “Unless it is toward an opinion that opposes my own.”
All religion that would espouse a doctrine of universalism or religious syncretism is seen as tolerant and therefore, acceptable. But any religion that is seen as exclusive on the basis of adhering to a set of standard beliefs is seen as intolerant and therefore, unacceptable. As flagrantly displayed in this court’s decision, the misguided new definition of “tolerance” has become the new standard for religious freedom. If Christian churches are discriminated against in the renting of public facilities, then what other rights of ours will be soon overruled by extremist judges with an anti-Judeo-Christian agenda?
Wake Up America.
Grace and Peace,