Skip to comments.Christian school sues Oregon county over right to meet at church property
Posted on 01/14/2020 7:38:23 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A Christian school that meets at a church has filed a lawsuit against an Oregon county after officials told the congregation that the school could not use the property.
Skopos Christian School, which has around 30 students, began to hold classes at Faith on Hill Church in Milwaukie last year after they had to leave their former building. Skopos and Faith on Hill are both being represented by the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative law firm based in Sacramento, California.
PJI explained in a statement released last week that they're filing the suit under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA for short.
Essentially, the county has been fining the church for letting Skopos use its wing in a manner consistent with the terms of the churchs permit, explained PJI attorney Ray Hacke in the statement.
Nothing in the permit limits the wings use to Sunday school classes and Wednesday night Bible studies. The wing is being used for what it was built for, and suing under RLUIPA was the only way to stop the county from misusing its power to suppress religious exercise.
According to PJI, Clackamas has sent letters to the church telling them that having the Christian school operate on their property violates the terms of their permit.
The Christian Post reached out to both the County of Clackamas and Skopos Christian School for this story, however neither returned comment by press time.
Enacted in 2000, RLUIPA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against religious institutions regarding landmark and zoning laws.
RLUIPA prohibits zoning and landmarking laws that substantially burden the religious exercise of churches or other religious assemblies or institutions absent the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest, explained the United States Department of Justice.
Last July, a Florida church successfully won a legal battle against a county that was fining them for opening a school for children with disabilities on their property.
Crosspoint Church voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against Sarasota County after reaching a settlement in which the county waived a daily $250 fine against the church.
We commend Sarasota County for changing course, approving Crosspoints zoning request, and reimbursing the churchs hefty application fee, said Kyle McCutcheon of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented Crosspoint.
The county already allows the church to host a secular charter school on its property and has now correctly determined that Crosspoint has an equal right to host a private Christian school thats motivated by its convictions.
The government should not be restricting churches.
When main stream denominations allowed themselves to fall under zoning laws.
They broke the dam.
I think all houses of worship should pay normal property taxes. Gets rid of deciding what is a church or not. Like Scientology. It’s against the spirit of the law. (If you will)
Why can’t any one of us declare that we are a church and stop paying property taxes? Who is to decide? The state? Under what criteria?
The Peyote Churches do.
Neither primary residences nor churches should pay property taxes. Church has are non-profit organizations.
Churches located on valuable land would be forced to move. Moreover, there would be pressure to use eminent domain if they refused to give up prime land.
What you have against churches?
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**Churches located on valuable land would be forced to move.**
Not if they have a workable plan for that land.
More anti-Christian persecution coming from Democrat-run government.
Property taxes for non-commercial dwellings imply that the owner of the property does not really own it. They are quasi-commie in that regard. There is no reason not to simply cover services like fire and sewage using sales taxes and even a poll tax.
As to apartments, simply charge sales tax on rent. The only one not paying is the resixent owner who is not renting.
I have no desire to soak the rich with their big houses. Socialism simply impoverished both the middle class and the nation.
There are middle class people around here on the hook for $25k/year property taxes on $600k homes in good areas.
“Not if they have a workable plan for that land.”
What plan for church land will return the same revenue as a mall?
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