The above are three links from Alliance Defending Freedom describing churches they are or have represented against attempts by individuals or the state to limit the freedoms of churches.
I’m not an attorney, so I can’t speak to the details of the case of the Hawaii churches that are being sued for failing to pay the appropriate amount of rent for use of public school facilities. It seems, however, that the rent paid was in agreement with the Department of Education, so I’m not sure what the beef is. Also, the churches have contributed many thousands of dollars to the schools for upgrades, so why this wouldn’t be considered is beyond me. Hopefully, the courts will recognize that, if the Department of Education says you’re only required to pay this much rent, then you’re only required to pay this much rent. If the plaintiffs are upset about how much rent the churches are paying, perhaps they should sue the Department of Education.
In the Massachusetts case, the state attempted to identify churches as “public accommodations because churches are (surprise!) open to the public and (equally surprising!) sometimes have activities that are open to the public (like, say, Sunday worship services!). As such, the state tried to force churches to follow their guidelines on allowing men to use female facilities and vice-verse. Happily, the state backtracked when the ADF got involved. But, it’s disturbing that a state would attempt this foolishness, and one wonders if it’s the last time Massachusetts attempts to impose itself on their churches.
The Iowa case is even more disturbing because, not only did the state identify churches as public accommodations and hold them accountable to state policy on discrimination against homosexuals and transgendered persons but, as public accommodations, the churches are instructed that they are limited in what they can preach from the pulpit! The case in Iowa is more disconcerting, as well, because even though the state changed the wording of the guidelines to recognized that churches are “generally exempt” from the guidelines, the state failed to fully recognize the freedom of the churches to preach and live according to their faith. As such, the ADF case against the state of Iowa has not been closed. The ADF wants language that is not vague, but clearly defends the rights of churches and all places of worship to preach, teach, and live their faith without the state trying to tell them what they’re all owed to preach, teach, and live.
Justice Samuel Alito recently gave the commencement address to the graduating class of 2017 at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Justice Alito focused on the fight to preserve religious liberty and attacks on religious liberty, saying, “There is cause for concern at the present time,” that religious liberty is imperiled. These cases and other prove Alito’s point.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.