Since I have been interested in American Civics, the question of how can laws be passed and enforced when they are in direct conflict with the clear writings of the Constitution, has yet to be answered satisfactorily. If the Constitution says no law can be written, preventing a guaranteed right, then why are they and how have the courts upheld them? I was interviewing David French, a former senior counsel to the ACLJ, on my talk show several years ago and asked him this very question, his reply was; good question, a majority of the legal issues dealing with liberty are as a result of laws written by progressives trying to supersede the Constitution.
Here lies the problem, if the Constitution is not taken literally than it loses its force as a pillar of our republic.
Constitution of the United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Pretty straight forward, with reference to religion, the founders wrote – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
With 1,000’s of stories we could cover, here a recent one in my state of California
The city of Salinas, California, is forcing an evangelical Christian church to sell its downtown property, saying it does not fit in with the new look of the town.
New Harvest Christian Fellowship bought the building in early 2018 after its congregation outgrew a space the church had been renting for more than 25 years. A new city ordinance, however, prohibits houses of worship from occupying the first floor of downtown buildings, the Christian Post reports.
A northern California U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the city of Salinas, declaring on May 29 that churches generate limited interest, do not draw tourists, and therefore detract from the city’s stated goals.
According to the City, the purpose of its land use ordinance is “to stimulate commercial activity within the City’s downtown, which had been in a state of decline, and to establish a pedestrian-friendly, active, and vibrant Main Street.”
So a church purchases a building and is very vibrant and active.
The Court even noted New Harvest’s weekly schedule of activities “includes a Sunday morning worship service (including a worship band) and programs for children and teens/tweens; a Tuesday evening worship service, ‘Fun Club’ for children ages 3-4, and boys’ ministries (which alternate weekly between two different age groups); a Thursday evening worship band rehearsal; a Friday evening prayer meeting; and a women’s Bible study on some Saturday mornings.”
Yet because churches can be treated differently than non-religious organizations, they are denied their Constitutional rights preventing them from freely exercising their religion.
Now here is how crazy it gets. A federal magistrate judge Susan Van Keulen ruled, even though they are prevented from using this building, that the city of Salinas did not violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), because the City’s zoning restrictions do not impose a “substantial burden” on the religious exercise of New Harvest. What, the church can’t hold worship services yet the judge says there is no substantial burden on their religious exercise?
The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the church, arguing that the City’s zoning code and denial of New Harvest’s proposed use of its property “treat New Harvest on less than equal terms with nonreligious assemblies and substantially burden religious exercise, in violation of (RLUIPA).”
In response to the court’s decision, PJI has appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit, declaring it is “optimistic that a different result will be reached upon review by a higher court,” since while the church is prohibited from gathering, the city is allowing secular theaters and live entertainment venues to operate.
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In direct conflict with Bill Of Rights, Salinas, California passed new laws/ordinances, one which is violating the 1A rights of the members of New Harvest Christian Fellowship, but unless the liberal Ninth Circuit Of Appeals or Supreme Court intervein, the church will not have the rights our founders fought for them to have.
Conservative independent talk show host and owner of https://MAGABOOK.com. USMC Veteran fighting daily to preserve Faith – Family – Country values in the United States of America.
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