Loading
Church and State
New Jersey attacks religious freedom of Methodist campground

.- The state of New Jersey denied the tax-exempt status of part of a Methodist campground because it has refused to host same-sex ceremonies. Ocean Grove Camp Ground in New Jersey was founded and has been privately owned by a Methodist organization since 1870.

According to the New York Times, the state commissioner of environmental protection declined to recertify a boardwalk pavilion as tax-exempt because the campground would not allow a lesbian couple to have their civil union ceremony there. The lesbian couple has filed a civil rights complaint with the state against the campground association.

Association leaders point to the United Methodist Church's official prohibition against same-sex unions on church property.
 
"The state ruled that the boardwalk pavilion no longer met the tax-exempt requirement as a place fully open to the public, which is inaccurate,” said Mark Tooley of United Methodist Action. "Contrary to New Jersey's assertions, the Ocean Grove Camp Ground Association has not limited the use of its boardwalk pavilion to any person, rather it has prohibited some behavior, according to the principles of the United Methodist Church.”

"The New Jersey government is now interfering with the camp association's religious liberty by revoking its green space tax exemption,” he said in a press release. “This tax exemption had previously been renewed year after year without objection. Now suddenly it has become endangered in a vindictive political attack unrelated to environmental protection or green space."

The administrator of the Camp Meeting Association, Scott Hoffman, said in a written statement that the Camp Meeting is reviewing the letter sent by the state. “However, it is worth noting that over 99 percent of the Camp Meeting’s land was recertified as tax-exempt,” he said.

In a letter sent to the state last week arguing that the tax-exempt status of the pavilion, should be retained, Michael Behrens, the association’s lawyer, said that the use of the open-air pavilion had not changed since it was first included in the tax-exempt program 18 years ago.

The pavilion, which is used largely for Sunday church services and youth ministry programs, has also been a place where people out for a walk are welcome to sit and relax.

“But never was the general public granted unfettered right to use the pavilion in any way it chooses (e.g., to reserve it for an exclusive use such as a civil union ceremony),” Behrens wrote. 


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: