Skip to comments.Latino Evangelical Leaders Disappointed With NYC Ban on Worship Services in Public Schools
Posted on 04/06/2014 6:50:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Hispanic evangelical leaders are speaking out after a federal appeals court ruled that New York City has a constitutional right to bar religious groups from using public schools for worship services after hours.
The National Latino Evangelical Coalition, a group of over 3,000 Hispanic evangelical churches, immediately expressed its disagreement with the ruling Thursday.
"This decision is absolutely unnecessary and whimsical. How is allowing for certain worship practices but not worship services consistent with the First Amendment?," Gabriel Salguero, president of NaLEC, said in a statement. "Worship in empty school buildings in no way undermines the non-establishment clause."
The ruling is the latest relating to a lawsuit that began nearly two decades ago when The Bronx Household of Faith Church sued the city for denying their Sunday services at a school, although the same location was being offered to other religious groups.
According to Judge Pierre N. Leval, who wrote the ruling for the 2-to-1 majority of the panel, the city's ban is "consistent with its constitutional duties," and said that it did not violate the right to free exercise of religion.
However, Salguero, who also serves as pastor of the Lamb's Church in Manhattan, said NaLEC is particularly concerned about how the ruling will impact church-planting efforts and ethnic and immigrant churches since many do not own their own facilities in New York.
"(The court's decision) is a real setback for congregations, church planters, and faith communities who are making a genuine impact in some of the most difficult neighborhoods," Rev. Michael Carrion, pastor of the Promise Land Covenant Church in the Bronx and NaLEC executive, said in a statement.
He added, "Many of our churches partner with schools to offer mentoring, after-school and other services in the poorest communities."
In addition to Hispanic Christian leaders, Galen Carey, vice president for government relations of the National Association of Evangelicals joined NaLEC in its concern.
"...By discriminating against churches and those who freely gather for worship, the school board and court undermine the First Amendment," said Carey.
In January 2012, Salguero along with four other NaLEC executives joined hundreds of New York City clergy and then public advocate, Mayor Bill de Blasio in a march advocating for faith groups to be allowed to worship in public schools. Now, the organization hopes Mayor de Blasio will continue his commitment, which he affirmed Thursday.
"I stand by my belief that a faith organization playing by the same rules as any community nonprofit deserves access," Mayor de Blasio said, according to the New York Times. "They play a very, very important role in terms of providing social services and other important community services, and I think they deserve that right."
Mayor de Blasio said he will assess the court's decision, signaling that he may change the Department of Education's policy.
Hmm Tea Party this migh be a good time to make friends for a joint cause...
Keep voting for Democrats.
When I was in elementary school, a group used our school cafeteria on Sundays to start a Baptist church. More people came and it grew and they eventually were able to build a big church. I don’t know of anyone who complained. Of course, it was a long time ago.
Its a tricky political maneuver for the neo pagan, anti Christian de Blasio regime to suppress the real religious sentiments of its politically deluded minority supporters.
I just sent them a message to tell them I support them and that they might want to contact local tea parties to help them in their cause. Here’s their contact info where you can send an email.com
Just an opinion but I think the Hispanic population has always been told to vote Democrat while I actually observed conservative values in their lifestyle and belief systems. I really think the time is right to get them to vote for their religious beliefs, family values, and moral values by voting conservative. Send them a message.
I think you have something there?
The libs / progressives wouldn’t approve I’m sure...we do share a joint cause that is genuine - freedom to worship
Foes that include no prayer breaks or footbaths for Muslim teachers?
DOES that include...
Why don’t they quit going to the school gym and go to any of the other actual real churches nearby ?
They all have spare seating capacity.
What about the Muslims?
There was a SCOTUS ruling on this years ago. The jist of the decision was if a school rents its facilities to anyone they have to rent to a church. So if the boyscouts or Kiwannis or anybody uses the school facility they have to allow others.
I did a church plant a couple decades ago and they tried to block our use and we trotted out a lawyer who showed the Supreme court ruling. As long as we paid the normal amount of rent and the custodial help they could not refuse us.
You're kidding, right? Forgot the sarcasm tag?
There is no way Evangelicals would want to, nor should they, hold services with empty mainline churches. Empty, as in not just the building.
I’m dead serious. There’s plenty of half empty evangelical churches in NYC too.
“Latino Evangelical Leaders Disappointed With NYC Ban on Worship Services in Public Schools” but will keep on voting Democrat anyway because even though Democrats shut them out, they KNOW Republicans would have done it if they were in charge.
Yes, most churches are empty after 12:00 noon. Our church in Stuttgart, Germany, allowed a group of Korean believers (mostly from the nearby universities) to use our building in the afternoon. Most churches here in the U.S. are empty during that afternoon time slot as well. It’s a win, win.
This is odd because all kinds of civic groups have meetings in churches after hours.
Taxpayers don’t pay for churches. I resent subsidizing religious groups in public buildings. You want to worship, pay for your own building.
You don’t know that they don’t pay to rent the building. There are many churches that meet in office buildings that are closed on weekends or in empty storefronts and they certainly pay rent for the space they use. A church I attend used to meet in a hotel conference room and they paid for that.
I don’t know how Evangelical Hispanics vote, but Protestant Hispanics are about a 50/50 vote.
44% GOP in 2000, 56% GOP in 2004, and 48% GOP in 2008.
Don’t confuse the Protestant Hispanics with Catholic, and non-Christian Hispanics.
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