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Monthly Archives: February 2012

On Feb. 8, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn appeared on The Diane Rehm Show to discuss the Obama administration’s decision to require most employers to include birth control in their health insurance plans. Houses of worship are exempt from the new rule, but religiously affiliated institutions such as hospitals, colleges and charities are not.

http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio-player?nid=15445

From NY Daily News:  State Senate Committee approves bill that would  allow houses of worship to meet in school buildings

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens), who voted in favor of the bill, said churches are just like any other group that rents school space to hold a function.

“I think the churches have every right,” she said. “As long as they’re paying their way, it’s all right with me.”

The problem is, they’re not like any other group:  They are tax exempt.  Secondly, they are not “paying their way”.   That was one of the main problems all along.

NY1:  Lawmakers Push for Legislation Allowing Churches to Use Public School Facilities

Here’s the killer quote:

[State Senator Marty] Golden says the bill will give religious institutions the right to worship without interfering with the separation of church and state.

Of course what they don’t say is that none of the proposed legislation addresses the US Court of Appeals’ concern that the city was footing the bill for churches to use the public space (taxpayers paying for sectarian worship), and that these churches were getting exclusive, long-term access to school facilities (the appearance of the state endorsing a particular religion).

More from AU:  Nothing To See Here: Religious Right Should Move On After Supreme Court Refuses To Hear School-Use Case