To what degree did our forefathers (religious believers, not athiests) intend for us to be "free to do" as we please? Freedom has a price and responsibility, is it not intended to be all for one and one for all? Granted, not all want to share in maintaining the status quo. Consider that religion is in some ways similar to water, some need more of it to survive and some need less however without water you shrivel up and die. Without religion is a choice you chose to make or not. Each church...
We theoretically still have religious freedom. However, there was a contract formed many decades ago that in trade for tax-free status, the church would not interfere in politics. That agreement is no longer adhered to. Seems to me that if churches want to change the agreement, we should start over. No tax free status and they can do what they want and negotiate a new agreement. Seems best for the country, let's do it.
If they are going to be exempt from our Civil Rights Laws, they should not be allowed to take advantage of any of the laws that benefit a church. Including tax exempt status. They should receive no government benefits or financial support.
Sounds like we need to establish a litmus test for religious organization based on behavior, not merely name. If they don't receive public funds and are a religious organization then they are exempt. Ed, interesting point you bring up. Ability to not pay tax could be seen as "funding" I suppose. I wonder how funding is defined, or could be defined by a court?
California, when adopting the ADA as its base language for the 2013 CBC, chose to keep the requirements in for religious facilities. For those of you designing in California, 2013 California Building Code Section 11B-244 states: "Religious facilities shall be accessible in accordance with the provisions of this code. Where specific areas within religious facilities contain more than one use, each portion shall comply with the applicable requirements for that use." I've had a few design...
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