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How can there be a church in a public school?

 
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:30 pm
There is an public elementary school near our house that is a church on Sundays.

How is this possible?
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 2,075 • Replies: 17
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sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:33 pm
@boomerang,
Huh.

When I read the title I thought "it can't," but I thought you meant that there were religious services being held during school hours.

I think that as long as the religious paraphernalia is not there during the school week it might be fine. I remember that I was involved with a charter school that was thinking of starting up in a church, just because it was cheap and available, and being surprised that was OK.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:59 pm
@boomerang,
I'm not certain, but I think churches can use public buildings during off-hours. I seem to remember a case about this a while back. But I can't remember the details.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:21 pm
@boomerang,
The church probably rents space from the school to hold their services. I don't think there's anything that would bar a school district from renting out their space to private groups when it's not being used for public purposes.

Our local school board decided to ban Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings at our school because they require an allegiance to God. I don't think most school boards are that particular. These groups meet at the church across the street instead. Different strokes...
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:31 pm
@JPB,
I've no immediate opinion, but people do think of buildings as 'places'. That's the church! That's probably not relevant.. just talking.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:39 pm
@boomerang,
It's not unusual for schools to rent out their space during off-hours. For example, my running group at the New York Road Runners Club meets at 6 pm in a public school's assembly hall so we can lock away our civilian clothes, warm up, and line up for our runs.

Why shouldn't the same school rent out the same assembly hall to a church on Sunday mornings? Sure, it may be a hassle to administer the right balance of non-establishment and free excercise of religion. But as long as students don't have to attend the services, every school activity that needs the hall can use it, every religious faith has an equal opportunity to rent the room, and every secular organization's opportunity to rent it is equal to that of the religious organizations (yadda yadda yadda), I don't see a problem with the principle or renting it out.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:58 pm
I don't have a problem with it I just had absolutely no idea that they could do such a thing.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:01 pm
@boomerang,
the schoolboard is probably trying to make a little money .
it's not uncommon in canada for churchgroups to rent space in a school .

it's all about the money .
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 09:53 pm
@hamburgboy,
Quote:
it's all about the money .


Amen.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 10:18 pm
@boomerang,
I think that if a school system rents out its facilities to the public, then it cannot discriminate against the church, but the school system cannot give preferential treatment to the church either.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 11:56 pm
@engineer,
which brings up how a school system can do that.. re who is the public.
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:25 am
@ossobuco,
I so badly want to test this by trying to rent the school gymnasium for a Satanic ritual. Perhaps a prayer meeting to pray for the death of Christians. Talk it up a bunch in the neighborhood.

Then come Saturday, have some friends arrive in cloaks and come into the gym and instead we'll have a joint LAN party and watch all three extended versions of lord of the rings. After several hours, we'll put the cloaks back on and exit the building covered in fake blood chanting about dark princes and victory.

Sunday comes, and I'll wander back into the school while it's s church and ask: "Hey did any of you guys see a obsidian scepter lying around?"

T
K
O
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 06:35 am
@engineer,
This is a plausible statement of the case. However, it hinges upon renting the space to the group, where religiously affiliated or not. If the school board were to offer the use of facilities free, to any group, religiously affiliated or not, they'd be giving away the public nickel. Especially in the United States, where public schools are supported at the lowest level (i.e., property taxes assessed by township, municipality or county), if a school board attempted to offer their facilities to any group for free, they'd be a sitting duck for a law suit.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 08:59 am
@Diest TKO,
I had a similar discussion with my neighbor when the Boy Scouts were booted from the school. She was upset by the decision (her boys are active in Boy Scouts). I asked her how she'd feel about a KKK meeting taking place in the school. "That's Different!!!", she said. errrrrr... no, it isn't.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 10:38 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:
Our local school board decided to ban Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings at our school because they require an allegiance to God.

Is that the same fascist school that tried to fingerprint you for the school trip like criminals? It sure sounds like it. Unless the Scout meetings were in some way part of the school activities, in which case the decision was correct.

JPB wrote:
I asked her how she'd feel about a KKK meeting taking place in the school. "That's Different!!!", she said. errrrrr... no, it isn't.

What if the KKK stopped requiring an allegiance to God, only to White Pride, White Power, or whatever they call it? Would that make it permissible in your view?
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 12:35 pm
@Thomas,
Yep --- same one (well, it was the grade school vs the high school).

I think they were hung up on the Boy Scout scoutmaster requirement to assert that they weren't homosexual (as well as the allegiance to God). It was a PC move on their part. I'd have to check to see if they allow private usage of the schools at all. I think perhaps they don't, but it was over the Boy Scouts in particular that the decision was made.

Nope --- I don't want the KKK meeting in our public schools at all. Bigots are bigots whether it's White Pride or Straight Pride. It's all the same to me.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 12:44 pm
@JPB,
Quote:
Bigots are bigots whether it's White Pride or Straight Pride.


I take it you would acknowledge that that would include Black Pride and Gay Pride, too, yes?

When blacks blame the Jews for slavery, and gay boys and girls rant about breeders, that's just as bad, don't you agree?
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 01:51 pm
@Setanta,
Groups whose mission or purpose includes policies to exclude one group or another from safely participating in society would be on the list that I wouldn't want my tax dollars to support - yes.

Personal opinion is personal opinion. Providing groups public space at taxpayers expense for a forum to express that view is different.
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