My Kids’ School becomes a Church

Our children’s school is being turned into a church.  The school district, in order to raise money, decided to rent our elementary school to a church group.  So, every Sunday the church will hold two services in the school.  The church’s first service will be Sept 26th.  Presently the contract is for two years.  They already anticipate parking issues.

The church is a large evangelical church whose business model is to rent spaces all over our metropolitan area and broadcast their flagship church’s main sermon to each peripheral church.  My children’s school is going to be a newly added satellite to their kingdom — it is already advertised on their website.  The church, already making themselves at home, have revamped the school’s sound system.  Apparently United States law presently holds that schools can rent out their facilities to religious organizations but they may not exclude some and allow others.  Yet government facilities and resources may not be used to aid a group which is pervasively religious in mission.

Irrespective of the law–for we all know that not all laws are good–my wife, several townspeople and I are trying to fight it.  The good news is that the borough who rents the land to the school has a contract saying the land may only be used for a school.  So a cease and desist suit has been filled against the district but the contract can be appealed and the school is appealing to a zoning committee.  So this looks like it will be a fight to see if we can get our community to see that keeping religion our of our schools, even on weekends, is a good thing.

Some atheist friends, who also have children in the school, said they didn’t care about the issue because it was good money.  I pointed out to these friends that if this were a large atheist group or a Muslim group, the town would immediately organize against the school being used by them.  My friends agreed and are hopefully re-thinking their positions.

What do you think?  I will be using your thoughts to help me organize my plan.  Bring them on!


Filed under Events, Personal

50 responses to “My Kids’ School becomes a Church

  1. BorealisMeme

    I’m inclined not to care either. That said I would have concerns that the church would leave religious material around for the weekday classes. It’s hard to believe that a church could (or would) set up and break down completely during the weekend such that nothing was left behind come Monday. That concern aside, I have no issues with what the school uses its facilities for when kids are not in it.

    Your contention that a Muslim or atheist group would face more popular protest is likely accurate but doesn’t address the fundamental issue of whether protest in this case is wrong. I believe that, except for the above noted concern, it is wrong to protest this use of the school simply because you disagree with the message of this church.

  2. geoih

    They do this with some of the schools in my area. My concerns about it are more financial. I think it would be fine for a school to do this, as long as the school was benefiting (i.e., profitting). If the school is not benefitting, then there is some charity affect to the church, which I think should not be allowed. Since public schools rarely consider profit in their decision making, I would be inclined to be against it.

    I think your points about bigotry toward non-christian organizations doing the same thing are completely relevant, and also a reason to be against it.

    As for doing anything actively against the practice in my area, I haven’t. My own personal domestic situation makes taking such actions against my own self interest (for now).

  3. @ BorealisMeme :
    My issue is not at all about disagreeing with the message of the particular religion. I am against religion in general being in the school — for all the obvious reasons.

    @ geoih:
    My personal domestic situation may mean both harm to my wife and myself. But we decided the risk is worth it. We anticipate future encounters anyway, may as well begin now. But I am trying to be tempered.

  4. Growing up my church met in a public school for a few years. An arsonist burnt the hundred year old church building down. It felt weird meeting in the school, but I appreciated it very much. We moved out as soon as we could rebuild.

    Moving to California, we have had a few cases of government funded Islamic charter schools. These have been closed for more subtle versions that are less overtly madrassahs, but still state funded. Then we have groups that promote the religion of depravityism, along with drug dealers, gangs and everyone else operating on campus during school hours.

    Anyway, atheism and Islam are systematically favored by the school elites over Christianity, and this has been true since I was a child growing up in the back woods of Tennessee.

  5. Interesting. I have no problem with it and agree with BorealisMeme that my only concern would be materials left for kiddies to find.

    When I was still a Christian I once attended a church that was building a new building and had sold the old one. They rented a church gymnasium during the building period.

    The church I was attending when I deconverted had a lovely building and was considering building a larger one and going borderline mega church. I found this appalling as one of the things that had attracted me to the church was that it seemed very down to earth and really willing to meet people where they were. The head pastor and the board were just about to sign the papers on the new building when they changed their minds and decided to do satellite churches by renting places withing the communities they were trying to reach out to. We attended one of the new locations which was in a school auditorium.

    In both locations they put up easels for their signage and had manned tables with people handing out materials or monitoring sign-up sheets. It was all very temporary and could easily be packed up and cleaned out after the service.

    Aside from a world religion and or philosophy class I don’t want religion taught in public schools. That said, I have no problem with school buildings being used for other purposes, even religious ones during off hours.

  6. NFQ


    Anyway, atheism and Islam are systematically favored by the school elites over Christianity, and this has been true since I was a child growing up in the back woods of Tennessee.

    What? Citation needed…? I agree that government funding for Islamic schools is a bad idea, but I am pretty sure such policies are very rare and not a pervasive feature of the American school system. Who are the “school elites” you are referring to?

    @Sabio: Are there any non-Christian religious groups who could apply for the same sort of opportunity? If you are so confident they would get denied, that might make your argument more clear for people.

  7. Sabio

    @ Looney:
    Thanx for your note. I agree with NFQ’s request.
    I am pro private schools. I am pro local control of schools and not national control. But as long as the government runs my school and mandates my kids to go to it and uses my money to run it, I will object to religion being taught there. But I support science being taught. If people take that to be “pro-atheist”, so be it.

    @ Mike:

    Interesting points, thanks.
    Our kids and community will now see buses of people coming to the school. They already ride in on buses saying “Only Jesus will Save You.” People will begin associating that with the school. I think the association is much like the literature left. In a society where Christianity is considered “default”, this will make it even harder for my kids who are often told they are going to hell while eating in the cafeteria and other times in school.

    @ NFQ
    We have thought of your strategy and I am thinking of using it if needed. Thanx.

  8. I think religion subsidizing your school with funds is absolutely fine. Why not allow the schools to rent the place not he weekend? Why assume that his means that other religious groups would be denied this?

    If you’re willing to persecute a religion on the basis of assuming that they’d do the same against you, that’s a pretty lousy place to make a moral stand from. I say let them build it, not because you know they’d do the same for you but because you’d want them to do the same for you. Otherwise you’re just feeding into this:


  9. BorealisMeme

    @ Sabio

    I understand that you are against religion being in school. I too am opposed to religion in general, and certain as a subject matter taught to children with taxpayer money.

    The point where my concern drops to nil is when we discuss non-discriminatory uses of public facilities when children are not in the school. Regardless of my feelings for religion, my feelings about freedom of expression far supercede any bad feeling I have for any given religion. If the USA is truly to have freedom of expression, then I have to support the right of others to practice their religion any way they wish, so long as I am not forced to participate or fund it.

  10. This is a very common practice with non-denominational, evangelical churches. I’ve seen this in several states in which I have lived.

    AS far as the comment someone made about the church putting things away so that they wouldn’t be seen. Most churches that go this way don’t have any overtly Christian symbols to hide or put away. No crosses, or communion sets, or stained glass portrayals of Jesus. Usually the only equipment they have is sound equipment and TV/camera equipment.

    As far as whether or not it should be “allowed”, I don’t think it’s an issue. The church is paying for a use of the space and I don’t see how that is any different than a church paying a government-owned community center for space….which I have also seen.

    I also haven’t seen people in these types of churches trying to surreptitiously trying to leave religious materials laying around for kids.

    Most schools are pretty good about drawing the boundaries and sticking to them.

    I would advise simply talking to the school’s principal and seeing what they have to say about it.

    Share your concerns and see what the response is. Maybe they can convince you that it’s not a big deal and that the money is going to help out the school.

  11. Brandon

    If a private group has the right to rent out public space (community hall, school auditorium, park, etc.) then it would stand to reason that a religious group should have that right. That is, assuming that whatever enterprise contracting its use would not be operational during school hours. It strikes me as discriminatory against the free practice of religion to disallow them.

    As for this argument: “if this were a large atheist group or a Muslim group, the town would immediately organize against the school being used by them.” Well, so? They would be wrong. Using this to discriminate against a Christian group strikes me as a red herring. (

    Just a thought.

  12. I used to attend Buddhist lectures at a public school in my town, and my youngest attended a couple of years of Chinese school (including language, dance, gongfu, and intro Confucianism) at a local school on weekends. In both cases, the schools were also used for student activities on the weekends, so normal students would often come into contact with the Buddhists or Chinese. I did hear one guy complain about all the Chinese people once; like “Why do they let all those take over the school on Saturday?”

    On the flip side, the megachurches in my current town often rent out for large secular events. Every year, if we are in the U.S. for Chinese New Year, we attend Chinese New Year at the biggest megachurch here. There is certainly no trace of Christianity in these celebrations; lots of pro-communist party talk, and celebration of a culture that is officially atheist and historically Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist. I don’t see any problem with it.

  13. “What? Citation needed…? I agree that government funding for Islamic schools is a bad idea, but I am pretty sure such policies are very rare and not a pervasive feature of the American school system.”

    Special prayer accomodations for Muslim students is becoming pretty common in the larger cities. I used to live just outside Dearborn, which is the largest middle eastern population outside of the middle east, and the federally funded schools there were quite Islamicized. There were plenty of lawsuits about it, but there is really no way to change it — that’s just the way it is. Federal and state money is paying for Islamic education. Just Google for “Dearborn Islam Public Schools” to get a sense.

    IMO, it’s a pretty complex issue, and we need to accept the fact that we’re not going to be able to ban Muslim prayer from schools, we’re not going to be able to outlaw Spanish instruction, and so on. I sympathize with the traditionalists, but the world changes and we have to change with it.

    (Of course, this is orthogonal to the issue of a religious group renting the building on weekends.)

  14. @Sabio Regarding your response to my comments, I see your side and agree with you. I guess it really depends on the local culture and the brand of Christianity.

  15. Sam

    “The school district, in order to raise money, decided to rent our elementary school to a church group.”

    The sad part is that it sounds like the school district is strapped for cash. If they were properly funded they wouldn’t be in this debacle. But my own kids are still toddlers so I can’t say much more than that.

  16. @ AndrewClunn & Brandon :
    I am not “willing to persecute a religion on the basis of assuming that they’d do the same against you.” I don’t think I am introducing a “red herring.”
    Instead, pointing out that Christians would be upset with Atheists using the school every Sunday or Muslims is only meant to show why all of us really don’t want religion in our schools. We don’t want the site where our children are education associated with a religion. Simple as that.

    @ BorialisMeme:
    I am totally for free expression — just as strongly as you state it. But I don’t want to make it easy for a group whose values I disagree with using my money. And I think they wouldn’t want the same.

    @ Terry:
    Last week the church met there already with Buses lining the parking lot with “Only Jesus will Save You” signs on the buses.

    Actually, an other objection is that the choice of this decision was secret. When many school board members were told, they were surprised. The mayor of the small borough that rents the land was never consulted.

    I am sure we could weather this just fine but I don’t want it. Our school is not strapped for money.

    The principal is not the person deciding — it is the superintendent who has proven himself effective at money and status quo.

    We will still try to stop it. The Superintendent has broken a contract. That contract was written that way for a reason.

    @ Everyone :
    It seems that the majority of those comment thing it is no big deal. I appreciate the comments, they may temper my response. Thank you.

  17. @ JS Allen :
    If we can’t fight it, we will role with the punches. I like your other points, thanx. And thanks for pointing at the evidence. I still think we should drastically resist prayer in church accommodation just as we do full covering in public. Even if the Borg tell me “resistance if futile”!

    @ Mike:
    Yeah, I will see if local culture supports the contract that requested only schools to use the land. But we live in a 95% Christian town — with a seminary, nonetheless. Sort of an uphill battle.

    @ Sam:
    Nope, our school is fine for cash.

  18. But isn’t the issue, Sabio, not “what would the community do to us if we organized an atheist meeting, but “how would I like to be treated if I did in fact try to start an atheist meeting here?”

    The Golden Rule and all.

  19. @ Tony :
    It think the Silver Rule:
    “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want them to do unto you.”

    to be more useful if we want to turn the conversation into witty sound bites. But is it soundbites we are after or dialogue?

  20. Sorry Sabio for the brevity. I’m back in school and doing several hours of homework a night in addition to all my stay at home dad duties, so I don’t get nearly as much time on the net as I have in the past for extended dialogue. I wasn’t meaning to be snarky but concise.

    In fact I think it odd that you are seemingly put off by a rather innocent question. That is, unless you feel that such a moral position is convicting for you. So again, how would you want to be treated by a Christian group if you wanted to rent a public school space for the use of an atheist group? It seems to me you want to partake in an active act of bigotry.

  21. @ Tony
    NP, good luck with school and kids.
    As I stated several times above. I don’t think Atheists or Buddhists should be meeting there on Sundays as a regular meeting to make it their home. So it would not be my desire. Thus no bigotry — I think. Or am I mistaken and have a blind spot?

  22. My bad Sabio, I didn’t read all of the comments so I misjudged.

    I’ll only say that as I figure it, a school is part of our shared “public” or “common” life as citizens; and so I’m not opposed to any group (well, maybe the KKK) using a public space periodically provided that it is accepted by the proper authorities.

    But by the sound of it this agreement wasn’t handled well so perhaps this is a special situation.

    For what it’s worth Sabio, if you wanted to rent my local school for an atheist meeting, and some Christians protested, I’d advocate for you🙂

  23. @ Tony
    As stated above, the church is Monopolizing the school EVERY Sunday and making it into a church. The contract is renewed every 2 years. $100K/year.

    This is not just one meeting — I’d have no problem for this. This is a Mega-Church buying our school to turn it into a satellite. This ain’t just a meeting.

    I’d protest to allow you to speak in my school in a second as long as I knew others were welcome to speak without coughing up $100K or no voice.

    Perhaps you understand me feelings more.

    This is a “public” school, not a “public” rent-a-church.

  24. Boz

    Another strategy you may want to try is to get a real estate agent/consultant to write an independent report determining the appropriate amount of rent. (A friend may do this for free? But this may constitute a conflict of interest?)

    Then you can argue (with evidence!) that the school is subsidising the church by giving it a discount.
    You can also argue that the school’s money managent is not up to par, and privately show this report to the superintendant before making it public.

  25. @ Boz
    Great suggestion. Thanx!

  26. CRL

    My school rents out to a Chinese school on weekends, and a Japanese camp during the summer. Could you call this discriminatory towards the white minority? I wouldn’t. So renting out to a Church would not be discriminatory towards atheists. And provided the school does not subsidize them, it does not violate separation of Church and State.

    What a school does on its weekends is not an issue as long as it does not bleed into instructional time. (As a few others mentioned, if Bibles are left in classrooms, THEN you have a problem.) Most schools are struggling for cash, so whatever money the Church pays them is probably much needed (and may end up funding science labs!)

  27. @Sabio:

    “But I support science being taught. If people take that to be “pro-atheist”, so be it.”

    I just spent my day in an engineering conference listening to foreign accents. You should know that Americans with graduate degrees in engineering that went to public school – like me – are an endangered species! Or at least we joke this way all the time. Would it make any difference if the US public schools completely stopped teaching math and science? Since I had to learn math and science on my own, I know it wouldn’t have made a difference to me getting through grad school.

  28. Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that it is unconstitutional for a public school to refuse to rent facilities to a religious organization, while allowing secular organizations to rent.

    Of course, Sabio can teach his kids a valuable lesson by using technicalities to circumvent the U.S. Constitution to enforce his personal animosity against religion. The Muslims will use the same technicalities to force schools to allow prayer and Muslim corporal punishment. I personally don’t have a big problem with that; I’ve used technicalities to stop housing developments in my neighborhood, and it’s a reality of life.

    But, considering that it’s unconstitutional to deny the religious group, and considering that the church can only be turned away by using legal games, then I suggest it’s not terribly honest to act as if this is a principled stand.

    Sabio, if you’re really going to campaign against this rental decision of your superintendent, you probably ought to NOT mention that it’s about religion for you. Stick to the technicalities, because the moment you make it about religion, you open the school up for liability for religious discrimination.

  29. I see this a bit differently.

    From where I’m at, we have a group renting a building.

    That building is not the school. The teachers and students are the school. They could move to a different building, and continue to be the same school, but if the current building was turned into a fish cannery, it would stop being a school.

    The only connection is that the school gets a bit of money and some other benefits from renting the building to another group.

    I see no problem whatsoever with that situation per se.

    The bigger question is, should you place limits on who you rent that building to, and if so, what should the limits be? I think that’s relatively straightforward too, because you’re going to have to draw the lines in way that are (a) legal and (b) don’t have much room for judgement. That pretty much leaves:

    (a) nobody
    (b) anybody

    Trying to split it down further would get you in very messy territory. Would you rent it to Boy Scouts, for example? What about a yoga class? 4H? The YMCA? The Sierra Club? All of these groups have some kind of baggage that somebody would disagree with.

    IOW, while I sympathize very strongly with your overall goals, I’m not quite sure this battle is worth fighting. It would probably be hard to win, and the fruits of victory would be rather bitter and not altogether good eating.

    Here’s what I’d do instead: I’d start a skeptics’ reading circle, and rent space from the school for that, around the same time as the church thingy.

  30. @ CRL :
    It is religions that I have trouble with. Particularly religions that tell their believers that those who believe are saved and those who don’t will be tortured for eternity (or some equivalent). I would object to the KKK too. Both teach violence toward others — one physical and one mental. The mental abuse to Children (an elementary school) is key. My kids are already told by Christian kids that they are going to hell. Now their school is supporting that.
    Again, as I have said above, our school does not need cash.

    @ Looney :
    Wow, so you are saying that our science and math education sucks compared with other countries? Maybe that is what they should be doing with the school on weekends. Maybe they could teach Confucian Calculus!

    @ JS Allen :
    My school is not renting to secular organizations, so the refusal could be OK. The most important thing about our issue is that the process was hidden. No one knew. Why not tell the district they are open to renting — lots of groups could rent. Instead, this mega-church is taking over the whole thing.
    BTW, my animosity is toward religions which damn non-believers — that takes it out of the class of simple worldviews. It is a part of religion that I criticize — if you have read some of my earlier stuff.
    But your main point is correct — I think we have to do this in tricky ways. My kids have already learned that “Just because it is a law, does not mean it is right” –> What is that, second stage of moral development?
    Thanks for your advice.

    @ Petteri :
    I basically have 100% of people commenting here suggesting I just let it go. This surprised me. I will let their advice temper my thoughts over time.
    What I am seeing is that, sure, I am upset about it being a Mega-Church but if the decision had been open, public and allowed the community options to compete for space etc, I’d probably be less upset.
    I agree, that the fruits of victory may not be worth eating. I think your suggestion of renting school space for a Skeptic Group would be a cool counter project given that the first might not be avoidable. We’ll see if (a) we can raise money and (b) will they rent (c) organize [herding skeptics is tough!].

  31. @Sabio: Maybe if you made it a skeptic Bible study group.

    Today’s topic: “I think my neighbor had sex with his wife during her period. According to the Bible, should they be banished to Canada or Mexico, or is Oklahoma far enough?”

  32. Brilliant Suggestion !!
    Though I am diving back into Buddhist stuff now. Diving into negative criticisms of the Bible seems so limiting of a mental space. As my previous post said, “I am enjoying my vacation from my reacting to the negative sides of Christianity”
    But good idea !

  33. I’m going to be honest, which might tick you off Sabio….and some of your other commenters as well.

    Listening to you come up with sneaky ways to circumvent the legal use of the school by a group you don’t like is troubling. I can hear the conservative evangelicals now..”See, the atheists really are out to persecute us!!”

    If you go the “sneaky” route, you risk it completely blowing up in your face. What happens when the rental assessment comes back and the fee is appropriate? Then you have to take another tactic, revealing to everyone that you really don’t care about the money, that it was just a ruse to get what you wanted. That’s not going to look good or win you any support.

    If the land is to be used for a school, and it is being used for a school, I would assume that the school has the right to use the land as it sees fit.

    Now, if you want to protest this, please do it. Express yourself. Picket. Storm the school superintendent’s office. Rile up like-minded people and try to use the court of public opinion to sway your community in your particular direction.

    Or better yet, ask to use the school for a Free Thinkers meeting, or a skeptic support group or meeting place….or whatever.

    How is what your commenters propose doing any different than all the protesters in NYC who want to stop a group from legally building a mosque?

    In my eyes, it’s no different. If the law protects them, even though you don’t personally like them, that doesn’t mean that the law isn’t a “good” law.

    Whether we are christians or atheists, we are all Americans…and respect for the rule of law, from both sides, is what allows us to live peaceably.

    Don’t like the law? Try to change it. Just keep in mind that the protections you take from one group can just as easily be taken from your group.

    I hardly think that’s what you would want.

  34. @ Terri :
    Just to let you know, JS Allen and Looney (commentors above) are also conservative Christians — you are actually much more liberal than they.

    Also, the Church and District are being “sneaky” in trying to side-step the lease contract which explicitly states that the property is to only be used as a school. The borough who rents the land is against this church and is filing a complaint about their sneakiness.

    I respect the “rule of law” as an important tool in society. But I do not respect laws per se. The distinction is important.

    But thanks for your advice. It will sink in my head to some level. Smile!

  35. “Wow, so you are saying that our science and math education sucks compared with other countries? Maybe that is what they should be doing with the school on weekends. Maybe they could teach Confucian Calculus!”

    Let’s just say that they teach Calculus without abandoning their Confucian ethics. America’s secularism is based on seeking the lowest non-common denominator of ethical systems and then imposing this on the math classroom – and all the rest. That is why America’s education system doesn’t work.

  36. Sabio,
    Just to let you know, JS Allen and Looney (commentors above) are also conservative Christians — you are actually much more liberal than they.

    Gasp! I actually already knew that and have popped over to JS’ blog before and run into him in comments sections at other blogs…one in particular this week in which he put up a good fight for the meaningfulness of atheists’ lives.

    But thanks for letting me know who my conversation partners are!😉

    I actually lurk at most blogs for a while before I comment, trying to figure out if I have anything to add to the conversation before I put my foot in my mouth…though it doesn’t always prevent me from putting my foot in my mouth.

    I don’t have much to add to my earlier comment about the church/school issue.

    The only other thing I would wonder is whether or not they were truly trying to to be “sneaky” or if it just seemed that way because it wasn’t publicized. Assuming bad motives, without really knowing whether its warranted could make the situation more emotional than it needs to be.

    Anyway…that’s enough from me.

  37. @Terri
    Yes, assuming bad motives would be counter-productive. We asked, first, but have seen the cover-up happen very quickly and counter measures taken without dialogue.
    Your suggestions are valuable.
    Yeah, I have been fortunate, the Christians that still “bless” my blog are very helpful dialogue partners in many ways.

  38. I don’t see the problem as long as the two remain seperate (school and church).

    Now although it may true if this were a Muslim group or Atheist group there would be some uproar – but is it a good enough reason to say ‘no’ to this church? Seems like an assumption to me is the basis for fighting this church?

  39. Bob Skinner

    This is a non issue. The church PAYS RENT to use the space! The church has UPGRADED the sound system in the school and more then likely UPGRADED the Internet capablility of the school. There are protocals in place for putting everything back in place before schools starts Monday morning.

    This is a Win for both groups, so lets not make something out of nothing. If you don’t want the school to have more money to spend their needs then reach down in your pocket and make up the differece.

    Get a life and move along there is nothing here to see!

  40. Bob Skinner

    For all of you who are anti-religion, hope you’re not hypocrites and are celebrating Christmas!!

  41. @ Bob
    The school is losing the battle. It was found out that the Church and the District Superintendent colluded to ignore existing laws because they felt they conflicted with their god’s law and ignored Zoning laws.
    You are right, this is a costly arrogant move of these Christians which will cost our taxpayers. Thank you for your interest.
    BTW, please read the comment policy carefully.

  42. It’s funny, on one hand I have Christians complaining about the secularization and commercialization of Christmas, and on the other I’ve now had two people, one definitely Christian, act like I’m a hypocrite for putting up a Christmas tree and, “gasp!”, a nativity scene. I have Zen, Buddhist, Hindu, and Native American artwork displayed as well, and believe in none of it. Then again I’m an atheist leaning agnostic, not an anti-religionist.

    The most amusing thing to me is that Christmas was hardly established in the New Testament.

    Sorry to go off topic a wee bit.

  43. @ Mike
    Yeah, np, this thread is quiet. And I doubt Bob Skinner will return. Just sounds like he wants to shout and not listen. Otherwise he would have realized that this is not an anti-religion Atheist site.
    I liked your points!

  44. Does seem like a drive-by. I guess we’ll see. Had one from someone named LaDonne a few months ago. It was rather condescending.

  45. Earnest

    Hi Sabio, I have been out of the loop on my own school! BTW (as you probably already know) this school is already a meeting place for Girl Scouts. It is also an annual recruitment site for Cub Scouts, which as you know has Christian religiosity that is on occasion overt. Indeed, when I took over the Webelos den I was taken aback at how much churchy stuff was “required”!

    Despite my professed faith I think you did the right thing here. There is supposed to be a division of sorts between church and state, despite what Ms. Palin may assert. I think we are looking at “mission creep” for the school as it wanders very slowly and quietly into religious territory in its provision of activities. Even though it may be constitutional to do what the school proposes, it doesn’t smell right to me.

    I find it ironic that this comes in the setting of a number of churches in our area being decommissioned and sold off to people to make homes, stores, bars or dance halls out of them. I know of a large church near us whos owner keeps trying to get me to buy it. Why can’t this group meet there? As long as you can tolerate the broken bottles and used needles in the parking lot it’s a great place to have a church.

    But of course, the church wouldn’t want to meet at our school just to get access to the children of the local people of wealth! That would be too cynically strategic….

  46. @ Earnest
    The church and superintendent violated zoning laws and did so intentionally because they felt the laws unjust. The laws were put there for a purpose, now it may go to courts.
    Churches have historically be exclusive — “if you don’t believe, you go to hell.” THAT is what we want out of our school. But we have to fight with zoning laws now.
    I went to both zoning board meetings — lots of lawyers. The church’s side was very slimy. They want to make this a constitutional violation and confessed to ignoring and breaking present laws. They are now saying, “OK, we are sorry, let’s move on.”
    I hope we keep their tentacles out of the school.

  47. Prophet Rene

    I think you should join that church group and support it, rather than rally against it. They are trying to teach morality and good conduct and spiritual things which bring hope. Not every one is a pagan with out moral standards, some actually exercise hope and faith in bigger and better things. Try something new.

  48. Mike aka MonolithTMA

    Actually most of the pagans I know are extremely moral people.

  49. @ Mike,
    Yeah, my experience too. I see “religion” offering no particular benefit.
    But Mr. Rene (I detest self titles), may feel otherwise — but his comment makes me feel we are very safe ignoring him. 🙂

  50. Mike aka MonolithTMA


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