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posted by martyb on Thursday April 13 2017, @01:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the it-is-not-the-law...-yet dept.

Alabama lawmakers have voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a police department. The church has over 4,000 members and is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers:

"After the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the wake of similar assaults at churches and schools, Briarwood recognized the need to provide qualified first responders to coordinate with local law enforcement," church administrator Matt Moore said in a statement, referring to the mass murder of 20 first graders and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a deranged man with an AR-15 style rifle just before Christmas 2012. "The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests." The church would pay the bill for its officers.

[...] "It's our view this would plainly be unconstitutional," Randall Marshall, the ACLU's Acting Executive Director, told NBC News. In a memo to the legislature, Marshall said they believe the bills "violate the First Amendment or the U.S. Constitution and, if enacted, would not survive a legal challenge." "Vesting state police powers in a church police force violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," his memo states. "These bills unnecessarily carve out special programs for religious organizations and inextricably intertwine state authority and power with church operations."


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:11AM (9 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:11AM (#493212)

    Sounds like they want the same Campus Police that most large colleges and universities have. They should be permitted to have it subject to the same regulations that any other educational institution would be. Anything else is religious bigotry, straight up. Remember the 1st Amendment only forbids the government establishing a State Church, it does not, and certainly was not intended to, discourage or forbid religious institutions from enjoying -every- right and privilege any other person or group of people enjoy.

    So they get 'police' that are more than mall cops, less than real cops until they get big enough to incorporate as a town in its own right, but that WOULD have consequences since a real town can't be a church. That would require a government entity with an 'established church' and that would be out of bounds. They would gave to run the town government under purely secular rule, assuming they could even pull it off at all. But 'real cops' have to be hired by a government entity so they be sworn agents of the State, have sovereign immunity, have the lawful right to initiate the use of force, etc.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:34AM (#493224)

    The fact that any college would have police with arrest powers is pretty broken. The same goes for Disneyworld. I have to wonder how the money plays out... are these places still paying for regular police? If so, does the local municipality try to cause this situation (saving money on cops while collecting taxes) on purpose? Do insiders and outsiders get equal treatment, or at least as well as a town would do? It sure looks like use of force and immunity would be part of the deal, otherwise I don't see why this requires legislative action.

    Also, we do sadly have non-secular towns. There is one by a Mormon splinter group, and there is a Jewish one in New York, and some Muslim ones seem to be forming up near the Great Lakes. Non-believers are hounded out of town by unfair policing, purposeful interference with stuff like city water hookup and various permits, and "interesting" public schools. For example, public schools in the Jewish one are 100% special education. (normal kids go to religious school, the town doesn't really fund the public school, but there is federal money for special needs students)

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:10AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:10AM (#493246)

    Sounds like they want the same Campus Police that most large colleges and universities have.

    Maybe they should start paying property tax like most large colleges and universities do.

    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday April 13 2017, @05:01AM (6 children)

      by jmorris (4844) on Thursday April 13 2017, @05:01AM (#493258)

      Find a degree granting university that pays taxes. They don't pay property tax, they don't pay income tax, their endowment is tax exempt on both the principle and the income it generates from investments in the stock market, they don't pay sales tax. Of course we aren't even counting the ones that are actual government entities, since obviously they don't pay taxes. They all get plenty of tax money though. At least the religious ones that are still actually religious don't tend to suckle the government teat very much.

      Of course the above takes as given the lie that Progressivism / Cultural Marxism isn't itself a religion, that one qualifies for plenty of government money and is even taught openly at government operated institutions. Basically it is our Established State Religion.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:29AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:29AM (#493287)

        Find a degree granting university that pays taxes.

        MIT is the single largest tax payer in the city of Cambridge. [mit.edu]

        • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:15PM (1 child)

          by jmorris (4844) on Thursday April 13 2017, @04:15PM (#493466)

          You must be government educated. Reading is fundamental.

          Economic impact and innovation catalyst. MIT has a far-reaching impact on the economy of the region. The Institute is Cambridge’s second largest employer and largest taxpayer, representing 14% of the city’s revenue stream. MIT pays taxes on its commercial property and provides an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for property that is used for academic purposes and is legally tax exempt. In fiscal year 2016, the Institute made a voluntary PILOT contribution of approximately $2 million to the City of Cambridge and paid approximately $50 million in real estate taxes.

          I bolded the important part for you. They operate in a nest of Democrat politicians who saw the large sacks of cash at MIT and found a way to get a taste, despite their tax exempt status. Which I can sorta understand; when the biggest industry in your city is tax exempt it strains the ability to supply the Blue College Town amenities those same MIT types will be demanding. Places like MIT have used their endowments to buy up a LOT of commercial real estate and spin out whole businesses and for a long time they managed to keep all of that tax free. Even with the Blue Hell property tax rates that one finds in MA, imagine how much real estate and how developed it is for them to be paying $50Mil per year on it. That is a seriously large chunk of a city.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:48PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday April 13 2017, @07:48PM (#493590) Journal

            provides an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for property that is used for academic purposes and is legally tax exempt. In fiscal year 2016, the Institute made a voluntary PILOT contribution of approximately $2 million

            You do realize that's saying they voluntarily pay more than they're actually legally obligated to, right?

            Nah.....nevermind.....keep digging that hole!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @08:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @08:50AM (#493305)

        Wow.
        You really think churches and universities are opposites.
        No wonder you are so dumb, instead of going to school, you went to church!

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13 2017, @02:45PM (#493409)

        It has been a real treat the last few weeks watching you steadily fall into madness. Ii knew it was there, but you have been outdoing yourself almost daily!

        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday April 13 2017, @03:03PM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 13 2017, @03:03PM (#493422) Journal

          I've spent the last year at least loudly and publicly ridiculing him (and The Shitey Uzzard, and to a lesser extent Runaway) for this crap, and it is *so* gratifying to see everyone else, even ACs, catching on finally. Thank you for this; it means all that lonely, blood-pressure-raising work wasn't in vain. It's time he and his kind got exactly what they deserve.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...