https://www.wnd.com/2023/01/city-called-attempt-shut-christian-churchs-ministry-men/

The city of Westmoreland in Tennessee is being called out by a legal team for its attempt to arbitrarily shut down a Christian church’s ministry to men, which is intended to provide help including temporary housing as they try to escape drug addictions.

The letter is from the law firm Anderson & Reynolds PLC and First Liberty Institute, which explained to the city the church ministry already has met all of the city’s requirements.

The target of the city’s complaint is The Father’s House, a homeless ministry of Living Water Full Gospel Church.

“The housing and program provided by The Father’s House to men who are becoming better and more productive citizens should be encouraged, rather than prevented,” explained, Steve Anderson of Anderson & Reynolds in a statement.

TRENDING: Honor your father and mother through obedience

“The Father’s House welcomes the opportunity to work with the city to resolve this issue.”

Ryan Gardner, counsel for First Liberty, added,” The Father’s House is an essential part of meeting the needs of its community. Simply put, The Father’s House is already complying with the city’s zoning ordinances. There is simply no basis in the zoning ordinances – nor in any applicable building code – which justifies the city’s ‘Cease and Desist’ letter. The city is violating both state and federal law by blocking The Father’s House from fulfilling its religious mission.”

The ministry focuses on providing housing and support to men who want to escape drug addictions. The building being used, an addition to the church, was approved by the city in 1999 for “institutional” use.

WND is now on Trump’s Truth Social! Follow us @WNDNews

Should this Christian church’s ministry to men be shut down?

0% (0 Votes)

100% (8 Votes)

“The city’s zoning ordinances specifically permits residential living in the attached building owned by the church. Church officials asked city officials early in 2022 if they needed additional permits to provide housing in their already permitted facility and were told there were no additional requirements or conditions that had to be met,” the legal team explained.

But recently, the city dispatched its demand that the ministry close.

However, the letter to the city notes, “The City’s ‘Cease and Desist’ letter violates Tennessee law because the city is substantially and unfairly burdening the church’s free exercise of religion. The Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act (‘TRFRA’) prohibits any governmental entity in the state from substantially burdening the free exercise of religion unless it can demonstrate that: (a) the application of the burden is essential to furthering a compelling governmental interest; and (b) is accomplished in the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest. TRFRA defines a substantial burden to include any government action that ‘inhibit[s] or curtail[s] religiously motivated practice.’ Here, the city is clearly burdening the church’s religious conduct because it has ordered the church to cease operating a religious ministry to help men escape the trappings of drug addiction. Thus, the city must prove both that its actions are furthering a compelling government interest and that the burden it is imposing is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest.”

The letter also notes that the city’s demands violate the First Amendment and are, thus, “an unconstitutional exercise of governmental authority.”

“Here, the city’s treatment of the church is not neutral because it is singling out the church for disparate treatment. To our knowledge, the city is not applying zoning laws and building codes in this arbitrary manner to any other non-religious entities,” the lawyers wrote.

Finally, the city’s action violate the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which specifies the process for imposing a “land use regulation in a manner that substantially burdens a religious practice…”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The “Climate Change Cult.” The “Anti-Racism Cult.” The “Cult of Wokeness.” The “LGBTQ Cult” and its predatory offspring targeting America’s children, the “Transgender Cult.” The “Cult of Abortion.” The “COVID Cult.” The “Cult of Globalism.” “TikTok Cults.” Every month the list grows.

To right-thinking Americans attempting to make sense of a nation seemingly gone mad, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the irrational, deranged – and often demonic – leftwing political and cultural movements currently capturing the minds of millions of Americans are nothing short of full-fledged cults.

Although the high priesthood of all these leftwing religious cults – i.e., university professors, academics and other Marxist ideologues and activists – may be true believers, the people actually wielding REAL POWER do not believe any of it. To them, these leftwing cults conveniently serve to disguise and distract “the rabble” from what the leader class is REALLY up to, which is the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and glory for themselves, and a total transformation of America and the world.

All of this and much more is explored in a powerful, insightful and absolutely unique way in the latest issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “HOLY WAR: Defeating the growing cult of leftism and its total war on Christianity.”

For 25 years, WND has boldly brought you the news that really matters. If you appreciate our Christian journalists and their uniquely truthful reporting and analysis, please help us by becoming a WND Insider!

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

SUPPORT TRUTHFUL JOURNALISM. MAKE A DONATION TO THE NONPROFIT WND NEWS CENTER. THANK YOU!

You Might Like
Learn more about RevenueStripe...