Religious freedom is not just under attack in Germany; New York City has also been conducting whatever the secular equivalent is of a crusade or a jihad to win the “freedom” to discriminate against religious groups who want to rent city schools for worship services on Sunday.In the US, at least, the courts are siding with the cause of freedom; a federal judge has stopped the city of New York from turning religious groups into second class organizations. Blinded by secularist bigotry and self-righteousness, the city’s legal department appears determined to waste scarce taxpayer money by appealing the decision.Note that religious groups are not asking for any special privileges. It has long been New York City policy to rent out empty space in public schools on weekends or other times when the schools are not being used to various civic groups. The groups are charged a rent that is determined by the city.This is good policy. It brings in revenue from city buildings that are otherwise unoccupied, and it makes life easier for various non-profit and civic groups in a city where space is at a premium. Arts groups, gay rights groups, scouting groups and other organizations are, as they should be, perfectly free to apply for space and to be considered on equal terms.But militant secularists want to draw the line and say there is just one thing you can’t do in a New York public school: pray. Under current policy religious groups can use the space for “discussion groups”, but they are not allowed to worship God (or, in some cases, the gods).So far as Via Meadia knows, prayer causes no damage to school buildings. It leaves no visible stains to afflict the unbelieving. Prayer is doubly protected by the Constitution; it is protected as free speech and as the free exercise of religion.The religious groups are not asking for a lower rent than other groups pay. They are not asking for preferential consideration — to jump to the head of the line when multiple users want a particular space. They are not asking the City of New York to do one single thing for them that it would not do for the Association of American Atheists or the Audubon Society.But addled by a false concept of what religious freedom means, cockamamie bureaucrats and officials in New York think it their duty to stop small congregations — many immigrants, most composed largely of poor people — from enjoying the same rights that other New Yorkers have.After this clear cut defeat in federal court, there’s a serious question to ask officials in New York: how much more of the people’s money do you propose to spend in an effort to deny people their constitutional rights?
Religious Freedom Wins In New York
Newer Post Scottish Independence and National Identity Politics Older Post America’s Tiger Immigrants