Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Facade Improvement Lawsuit Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2900
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.215.245.97
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20060417/M ETRO/604170363/1003

American Atheists Inc. and some Detroit resident are suing the city and the DDA for allowing two churches to receive grants from the facade improvement program, claiming it violates both the US and state constitution.

Question: since the basic idea behind the "separation of church and state" is that the government is neutral in regards to religious matters, wouldn't it be just as wrong to bar the two churches from the program based solely on their religious stature?
Top of pageBottom of page

Jsmyers
Member
Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1615
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I aggree. As far as I know, an atheist club could have gotten a facade grant, as could a strip club.
Top of pageBottom of page

Pdtpuck
Member
Username: Pdtpuck

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 208.251.168.194
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 4:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

what kills me is that the atheists are INCORPORATED!!!!
Top of pageBottom of page

Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3551
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 4:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't agree with the extreme ideology of American Aetheist in regardes to separation of church and state, but to answer Steve's question, I can see their argument. What they are arguing is that tax-exempt religious groups (churches, whatever) should not be granted, or subsidized by, taxes. In other words, if you're not paying taxes, you should not be getting any money from the government in return.

Where this group ideologies goes wrong is that there are levels of separation of church and state, and that an out-an-out separation would not allow state and national government from making such things as under-age sex, human sacrafice...and the like sometimes found in religion, illegal. That's why our current system lies somewhere in between, and compromises. As for the particular case, though, they may have a leg to stand on.

(Message edited by lmichigan on April 18, 2006)
Top of pageBottom of page

Hamtramck_steve
Member
Username: Hamtramck_steve

Post Number: 2904
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.215.245.97
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 7:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

But the program was not for support of the "religious groups" per se.

The facade improvement program was for the support of buildings primarily. Why wouldn't it be just as wrong to impose a "religious use" test upon the building owners and then exclude only them?
Top of pageBottom of page

Bibs
Member
Username: Bibs

Post Number: 486
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 192.85.50.2
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 11:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The city provides police and fire protection to the church. Is that a violating the seperation of church and state? Perhaps, the church should incorporate and then ask for tax break! The church would be part of the SERVICE industry!
Top of pageBottom of page

Baliad
Member
Username: Baliad

Post Number: 70
Registered: 08-2005
Posted From: 12.178.24.2
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 11:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

great comments here... thanks for sharing guys...
Top of pageBottom of page

Erikd
Member
Username: Erikd

Post Number: 584
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.242.214.106
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 4:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is an interesting situation.

I am a firm advocate of separation of church and state. I support the fight to keep religion out of our government. For example, I oppose state liquor laws banning alcohol sales on Sunday mornings and Christmas.

IMO, this situation has nothing to do with religion. My understanding is that every building owner is eligible for facade improvement grants, regardless to the use of the structure. A church is treated the same as a strip club, party store, or office building.

Unless the facade grants conflict with the tax exempt status of the church, I don't see a problem with these grants.
Top of pageBottom of page

Lmichigan
Member
Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 3557
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.172.95.197
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 4:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bibs, great example. Again, I'm not argeeing with them, but see their argument. The money is being transferred from the government directly to the church body with stipulations that the grants must be used to upgrade the church structure, but still going straight to the church coffers, nonetheless. I don't agree with their argument, but I can see where they may see an overlap.

(Message edited by lmichigan on April 19, 2006)
Top of pageBottom of page

Llyn
Member
Username: Llyn

Post Number: 1505
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 68.61.197.206
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What I don't like about this suit is the particular battle they chose. This is a ciity struggling to right itself, but they'd rather sue the city than focus on other issues that could be more relevant to prejudice against atheists.

This suit shows me that they've lost their way and have nothing to offer but intolerance.
Top of pageBottom of page

Fnemecek
Member
Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1584
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 69.215.246.115
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

"Such direct subsidies of religious organizations from taxpayer-derived funds violate the plaintiffs' rights to be free of taxation for the support of religious organizations," says the complaint filed April 7.



Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the DDA financed by a seperate tax that is only imposed on property owners in the central business district. If that's true than, unless either of the Plaintiffs own property in the CBD, I doubt they have legal standing to bring this suit.
Top of pageBottom of page

Psewick
Member
Username: Psewick

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 70.235.110.46
Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 12:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Tax the churches."

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.