Here are some developments that we are following involving religious land use and the intersection of religion and local government.
- New Life Evangelistic Center, which runs a homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis, and the City of St. Louis to explore potential resolution to RLUIPA suit involving either City’s blessing for Church to host up to 275 people at the existing facility or give church title to a different building to continue operations. (St. Louis Louis Post-Dispatch has more) (previous post here)
- Southern Colorado high school sued by teacher for religious discrimination. The Cowboy Church at Crossroads rents cafeteria space at Florence High for Sunday morning services, hosts prayer every morning before school around the flagpole and hosts Bible study and pizza during lunch in a school classroom. (local coverage by the Denver Post)
- S. Marine files an appeal after discharge for bad conduct when she failed to remove bible verse from cubicle: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” (coverage from the Military Times)
- Pastor Jared Pierson of ActivateChurch.tv denied conditional use permit to continue worship services in his garage and to house parishioners in need. (local coverage from Wisconsin Channel 3 News)
- Nevada school apologizes to twelve year old Mackenzie Fraiser after censoring her “All About Me” power point presentation, which included a Bible verse as her “inspirational saying.” (BreitBart Texas provides coverage)
- Neighbors sue after All Shores Wesleyan Church allowed to raze home and build an extra driveway in residential area. (coverage by the Grand Haven Tribune)
- Federal courts consider whether filing an exemption request from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate imposes a substantial burden. (Caroline Mala Corbin of University of Miami School of Law and Elizabeth Slattery, legal fellow in the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, ponder the issue)
- Surry County Board of Commissioners attorney warns Board that prayer policy consisting of mainstream Christian prayers may violate U.S. Constitution. TM Gerber comments that the Board’s attorney “is a perfect example of what is wrong with America. He needs to be stripped of his title, disbarred, and shipped off to Mexico or Canada.” (The Mount Airy News reports)
- Indiana First Church of Cannabis Founder Bill Levin continues plans to hold first church service on July 1 – the day Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act takes effect. Levin, who holds the church title of “grand poobah” and “minister of love” states that: “This is what I live by, and I have more faith in this religion than any other,” said Bill Levin. “This is my lifestyle. This is millions of people’s lifestyle.” (USA Today reports).