Churches holding meetings at public schools?

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2007 at 3:13 pm

church-flyer-small.jpg

The other day I opened my mailbox, and there was a card in it with a cute picture of a puppy dog on it. After reading it, I realized it was a postcard from a church. I dismissed it, however, my wife noticed something peculiar on it. It said the following:

Join Us for Worship!
Sunday, September 23 5:00 PM (You Don’t Have To Get Up Early To Worship With Us) Meeting At: East End Intermediate School

Wait a sec. East End Intermediate School? That’s a public school. My tax dollars pay for that facility.

So I have a few questions. Does this violate separation of church and state? Or is it okay as long as the church pays the school for us of the building? Is it wrong because it could very well look like the school is endorsing the religion of this church?

Full Size Version of the card

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  1. It’s fine. As long as they are paying rent… or the school offers free meeting space for all local religious/non-religious groups. I’d assume it’s the former, not the latter.

    Unless those things are violated, though, I don’t think there’s a problem.

  2. Public schools near my home also allow churches to use their buildings on weekends. It bothers me as well. Unfortunately, it seems to be legal.

    Here is some information explaining the legal situation: http://www.ffrf.org/faq/church_meeting_in_public_schools.php

    I’ve contacted my local school district to find out more about the situation here. There doesn’t seem to be much else that can be done.

    Great site, by the way. I stumbled on from an internet search and am enjoying looking through your past posts.

  3. Actually, I have decided I agree with the legality of this. However, they MUST allow ANY group to use the building. If they allow this church but disallow the local Mosque, Temple or atheist group from meeting, then we have a violation of the 1st amendment.

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