Saturday, September 5, 2009

New Jersey Censoring Free (Religious) Speech

In Plainfield, NJ, a local church has been holding one-hour sessions for children in a public park during the summer. The had applied for and received the proper part permits to do so. This time, however, the city has refused the permit. The reason cited is "separation of church and state." This is one of the more clear-cut situations. Courts have established, even in recent years, that if a public facility is generally open to the public, its use may not be withheld from churches on the basis of religion.

One has to wonder if the city's officials know that the First Congress, who ratified the First Amendment, approved holding regular worship services in the U.S. Capitol Building! The man who gave us the quote "separation of church and state" was Thomas Jefferson, and he attended those services. Do you suppose he thought they were unconstitutional?

The American Center for Law and Justice is attempting to educate the city on the proper interpretation of the law, the Constitution, and the courts. They are a group that often steps in to help individuals and groups when discrimination occurs.


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