Church and State
The, Alliance Defense Fund, a group of attorneys affiliated with a number of churches that are fighting the city over their eviction from public schools, announced today that they have won a temporary restraining order and will granted a ten day reprieve.
“Churches help communities; evicting churches hurts communities. Empty buildings offer nothing to communities that need hope,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence in a statement. “The court’s order is a message of hope for fundamental freedoms in New York City because it means that, for the time being, the city must welcome churches as it does other groups. ADF will continue to fight this battle relentlessly until the city no longer unconstitutionally prohibits activity for purely religious reasons.”
Church and State
One Friday earlier this month, elected officials, activists and advocates were planning a big sign-waving, high-energy press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall to protest the Komen Foundation’s decision to pull funding for Planned Parenthood. After a national outcry, Komen changed course, but the presser went on as planned.
It was something of a desultory affair: A Friday afternoon, cold, gray skies overhead, the pigeons on the stoop far outnumbering the number of shivering press who gathered there, mostly at the behest of assignment editors who hadn’t gotten the memo that the battle was over. Only three elected officials even bothered to show up.
Fast forward two weeks: The Obama administration announced a plan to require religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage. Amid another uproar, some of the region’s highest-profile conservative politicians tried to one-up their counterparts, planning a rare presser, just as Sunday Mass was letting out, on the glittering steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral—the home parish of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the man who almost single-handedly stopped the president’s initiative.