Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New York judge grants injunction to allow churches to use school buildings

Here’s an interesting story from the Christian Post.

Excerpt:

Churches in New York City will be allowed to return to public schools starting this weekend after winning a court order Friday.

District Judge Loretta Preska granted a preliminary injunction against the city’s ban on weekend worship services in vacant school buildings after determining that the plaintiff – the Bronx Household of Faith – demonstrated irreparable harm and will likely win its lawsuit against the Board of Education.

The judge wrote in the court opinion that the church has a good chance of winning based on the argument that the ban “fosters excessive governmental entanglement with religion” and violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment – which provides that “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].”

The city plans to appeal the ruling.

[...]The ban on worship services at public schools went into effect on Feb. 12, affecting more than 60 other churches in New York City.

[...]While Judge Preska recognized the Board of Education’s concern that allowing schools to be used for religious worship services could be perceived as violating the Establishment Clause, she stated, “In this Court’s view, losing one’s right to exercise freely and fully his or her religious beliefs is a greater threat to our democratic society than a misperceived violation of the Establishment Clause.”

Let’s hope that the injunction survives the challenge by Michael Bloomberg.

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