Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That. That's what we're talking about. Part the...what number are we up to?

This breezy little gem crossed my e-threshhold this a.m.:

Homeless Persons, Religious Leaders, Taxpayers Say City Should Not Fund Ministry That Compels Homeless Men to Attend Religious Services As A Condition of Receiving Shelter

The ACLU of the National Capital Area, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the District of Columbia's plan to grant more than $12 million in public property and cash to the Central Union Mission, a religious homeless shelter.

The Mission conditions shelter for the homeless on participation in Christian religious activity, including mandatory attendance at nightly church services. Its director has stated, "We are in the business of converting people to Christ. That's what we do." The Mission only employs Christians and requires volunteers to declare their church affiliation.

The lawsuit, Chane v. District of Columbia, was filed in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. Two of the plaintiffs are homeless men in the District of Columbia who do not go to the Mission because of its requirement that the homeless participate in religious services. Six other plaintiffs are local taxpayers including members of the clergy who assert that the proposed gift of cash and property from the District of Columbia to the Mission will unconstitutionally support religious activities. The taxpayer plaintiffs include the Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, and the Rev. Joseph M. Palacios [, S.J.]*, a Roman Catholic priest and professor of sociology at Georgetown University.

Read the whole thing here.



* No, really, click on Father's CV. It is, er, illuminating.