Sunday, November 27, 2011

Religious Freedom - #3444 - Ten Commandments Dispute in Virginia Headed to Federal Court - Washington Times (2) City Drops Fines Against Bible Study Hosts - Citizen Link















A long-simmering battle in Virginia over the separation of church and state heads to federal court on Monday, with a southwestern county school board fighting for the right to display the Ten Commandments in a public high school.  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke will hear arguments in the Giles County School Board’s motion to dismiss a complaint brought by a high school student and the student’s parent arguing that the biblical display violates the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.  The Ten Commandments had been hung in all county schools for at least a decade before a complaint in December led to the display being removed and replaced with a copy of the Declaration of Independence.  The issue went back and forth for the better part of this year, with the Ten Commandments being taken down and then reposted amidst ongoing furor from community members who support the display. About 200 high school students in Giles County — located roughly 285 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. — staged a walk-out on March 7 in support of restoring the displays to the schools.  Read more.........

City Drops Fines Against Bible Study Hosts - Citizen Link - A California court case that drew national attention was settled late last week. The city of San Juan Capistrano agreed to pay back the $300 it had fined a couple hosting a popular Bible study in their home and amend a city ordinance requiring them to get a permit.  Chuck and Stephanie Fromm’s weekly Bible study has been known to draw up to 50 people — which prompted an atheist neighbor to complain to the city this summer. The city, citing an ordinance requiring churches to obtain conditional use permits, fined the Fromms twice for refusing to get one.  “It was always a question of whether they were a church or not, and they were not,” City Attorney Omar Sandoval told The Orange County Register when the settlement was announced.  In exchange for the refunded money and changes to the ordinance — which the city Planning Commission discussed Tuesday evening — the Fromms dropped their religious-freedom lawsuit against the city, which had been ongoing since August.  “The city has now rescinded those fines, completely reversed its direction, and made a commitment to no longer be oppressive toward families having bible studies in their homes,” said Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus. The good news is that whether a family is meeting in their homes to study and worship on Wednesday night, versus Sunday morning, it really doesn’t matter concerning the basic freedom we have as Americans to do that, as long as we’re not creating a nuisance or a health or safety issue for those around us.  Read more.........

No comments:

Post a Comment