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View Full Version : Dallas Housing Authority halts church services at complex for seniors



FlaGator
03-04-2010, 09:42 AM
Sometimes, some people just have to go too far...



For 14 years, Lake Highlands United Methodist Church has brought Sunday morning worship to elderly residents of Audelia Manor, a public housing apartment complex in northeast Dallas (http://topics.dallasnews.com/topic/Dallas%2C_Texas).

But now the Dallas Housing Authority has ordered the church to stop, arguing that the services violate church-state separation required by the U.S. Constitution.
Residents aren't exactly saying amen.

"It's just something we will miss terribly. It's like putting a big hole into our lives," said Myrna Hardy, an 84-year-old resident who has attended the services since they started.

"A lot of us are older people," said Hardy, who uses a wheelchair. "We've been to church all of our life, and we can't get out to go to other churches very easily."
MaryAnn Russ, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Housing Authority, said the worship services violate the agency's contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds its public housing programs.

"It's all federal money, so we're subject to constitutional prohibitions," Russ said. "It's like prayer in public schools. It's the same deal."

But Jerry Brown, a HUD spokesman in Washington, D.C., said the Fair Housing Act does not prohibit religious activity in common areas of public housing as long the activity does not result in unequal treatment of residents.

"We'd like to chat with the Dallas Housing Authority to see if there's something we're missing," he said.

A spokesman for the watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State (http://topics.dallasnews.com/topic/Americans_United_for_Separation_of_Church_and_Stat e) agreed the worship services would not be objectionable, as long as federal funds weren't used, other religious groups had the opportunity to hold services, and residents weren't coerced or subject to "unwanted proselytizing."

Since the usual suspects don't seem to have a problem with this, the question is why was it stopped. Did MaryAnn Russ of the DHA even bother to investigate the legality of the services before unilaterally eliminating them?

Story here (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/030410dnmetdhachurch.3bd4ec8.html)

noonwitch
03-04-2010, 10:03 AM
The Brewster homes in Detroit have a church in their midst-I think it's a baptist church, but the housing units were built around it, and the church does outreach to the people in the projects. Nobody in Detroit complains about separation of church and state issues, though. Most city celebrations open with a very christian prayer, and gospel music at city events is a given.

Gingersnap
03-04-2010, 11:08 AM
That housing authority is gonna get slapped and slapped hard. Public housing has to accommodate the needs of the residents and if the non-mobile residents want religion, it's has to comply. Some of these facilities are primarily Jewish and have Jewish services and events, a few now are mostly Muslim and they have Muslim activities, and a lot are mostly Christian.

This issue has been hashed out in court many, many times and people like Russ have always lost. There is nothing that forbids a citizen from practicing his or her religion while standing (or living) in the public square. Government is just forbidden from imposing a specific government-backed religious viewpoint on citizens.

Atheists in public housing who dislike a Christian service being held for Christian residents have to hold their noses and ignore it just like the Christians do for things they dislike. Tolerance is about ignoring or working around someone else's beliefs or behaviors that you do not support or accept.

AmPat
03-04-2010, 11:38 AM
But now the Dallas Housing Authority has ordered the church to stop, arguing that the services violate church-state separation required by the U.S. Constitution.
Residents aren't exactly saying amen.Where is this in the Constitution? I can't seem to find it. :rolleyes:

This is an example of; If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. These idiots heard somebody say "separation of Church and state" and assumed it was in the Constitution. They obviously have never read the document. Typical liberal moron being a Parrott.

FlaGator
03-04-2010, 12:35 PM
Where is this in the Constitution? I can't seem to find it. :rolleyes:

This is an example of; If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. These idiots heard somebody say "separation of Church and state" and assumed it was in the Constitution. They obviously have never read the document. Typical liberal moron being a Parrott.

If you do find it please let me know. I've been seeking it myself and apparently all the copies of the Constitution that I have access to don't have it.