Monday, July 11, 2005

If Worlds Collide

Many Christians eschew political involvement, and I respect their reasoning, particularly when the political activity is the kind that involves one of my fellow SEBTS students critiquing candidates from the pulpit. But I wonder how consistently those anti-politics principles will hold up when the US Supreme Court's recent Kelo decision hits home. In a nutshell, this decision allows state and local governments to claim private property and sell it to other private developers when it seems likely that the seizure and sale will increase the tax base.

Now guess who doesn't pay taxes: yeah, churches. So you do the math and conclude what properties are going to become prime time candidates for eminent domain proceedings.

Jared Leland, a lawyer for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, warned that letting cities use eminent domain to increase their tax base will increase the vulnerability of tax-exempt churches. "The decision will inevitably draw the bulldozers toward religious institutions first," he said.

full text of NYT story (free registration required)

HT: government employee

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