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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:58 PM

Passing The Bill: Mass. Taxpayers To Subsidize Church Improvements

Wall of Separation
Feb 6, 2013
by Rob Boston

Generally speaking, members of the Unitarian Universalist denomination have been strong supporters of the separation of church and state. In my travels for Americans United, I often encounter UUs among AUís membership, and Iíve spoken in some UU pulpits.

I was rather surprised, then, to read an editorial in the Gloucester, Mass., Times defending a Unitarian church that accepted $30,000 in local tax funds to pay for some work on its building.

Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church took the money to make improvements to the church building so that it would be more accessible to people in wheelchairs and with other disabilities that make mobility difficult.

This was certainly a laudable goal. In fact, a federal law requires most businesses and government facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities. Houses of worship are exempt from this law, but most want to be accessible to everyone. The Gloucester churchís desire to be more accessible is admirable. What I donít understand is why the church believes it is OK to make the taxpayers pay for this.


Link to the Times editorial: http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x730439336/Editorial-CPA-money-well-spent-on-UU-church


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Reply Passing The Bill: Mass. Taxpayers To Subsidize Church Improvements (Original post)
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 OP
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #1
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #2
cbayer Feb 2013 #3

Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:05 PM

1. Then the taxpayers either own part of the church or they get to tell the church what

they get to do within the church

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:10 PM

2. And you hit on a point that often gets overlooked

The Church/State separation is not only designed to protect government from religious interference, but religion from governmental interference.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:30 PM

3. This is a tough one and I'm not sure where I stand after reading both sides.

Is the building the church or is it something else?

They community uses it for secular purposes and it has historic significance to the town. OTOH, it is owned by the church. The money is to accommodate someone who wants to attend non-church related activities there.

I'm really not sure.

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