Thursday, April 23, 2009

Separation of Mega-church and Christ

An odd controversy involving a public school and a mega-church is brewing in Wisconsin. For nine years, Elmbrook Church has allowed the local high school to use its facility for their graduation ceremony because the auditorium best suits their needs. But maybe not this year or ever again.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed the lawsuit in federal court in Milwaukee on behalf of a graduating senior and several others who were not named. It seeks to prevent the Elmbrook School District from holding the graduations on June 6th and 7th.

"This is a clear violation of the Constitution, a clear violation of the separation of church and state," said Alex Luchenitser, litigation counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, in an interview on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"These students and family members are being forced to graduate in the sanctuary of a church underneath a huge cross that dominates the sanctuary. They're sitting in pews with bibles and hymnal books right in front of them."

There is some "wiggle" room.

While there's an injunction that bars the graduation this year, there's also an option in there that the church would do some things as far as removing whatever symbols they could, or veiling other symbols, that they may be alright with that."
I hope the church doesn't cave in on this but I'm not convinced that they won't. According to the news report, in the past the church has veiled the cross and remove anything that was not permanent to accommodate the ceremony. They've changed that policy slightly to keep the permanent objects in view but removed everything else to accommodate the public school. How sad.

"But for a morsel a man will transgress" has become "but for a rental check a mega-church will deny the cross of Christ."

HT: Slice of Laodicea

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