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Many of our viewers tonight saw no conflict with having religious services in schools. More of your thoughts below.
Dueling rallies outside City Hall today set the scene for a vote on whether religious groups should use public school space for worship services. While this controversial issue continues to play out in the courts, the City Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution calling on Albany to amend State Education Law to allow houses of worship access to school property. The resolution was approved by the Council's Education Committee today.
The Department of Education says almost 40 congregations continue to rent space and hold regular, weekly worship services in empty schools on Sundays. Supporters argue religious institutions, like any other charitable organizations, should have fair access to meet in school buildings. Opponents, including Mayor Bloomberg, counter that separating church and state is a critical component of American democracy. What do you say?
How would you like your City Council member to vote on this issue tomorrow? Should houses of worship be able to use public school buildings for services during non-school hours? How frequently do you see examples of the merging of church and state?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
With so many other worthy causes to have have rallies for I can't believe this is even an issue.
Renting space out to religious groups should be no different than renting out this space to anyone else. It's revenue.
The mayor's (ugggh) view takes the separation of church & state to an extreme. What is everyone so afraid of? They are renting out space. They are not preaching to your child.
Why is everyone so easily offended?
I am offended that you can't say "one nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance...in school anymore...
There are more important issues at hand.
Marie Bay Ridge
From what I remember is that it started out as needing a
the reason being that it was an emergency.
So now what is the reason for the objection? Also who
Looks as though since they are paying for the space
someone had to
sign off on it. It seems as though it's been going on quite
a while and
why is it becoming an opposition on this particular day.
Have they tried to look for a new venue? I ask only
because the way
it is being handled.
ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE THE CITY COUNCIL INVOLVED IN YET
ALSO WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FUNDS COLLECTED FOR
THE RENTAL OF THE
Thank you John,
I am in favor of this as long as the two don't meet. In other words - the worshiping is done during none school hours and any "church" related activities also done during non-school hours. Up until about a year or so ago, a local church that didn't have a "home" rented my school for Sunday worship. During the summer, they even ran a sponsored day camp - many of the neighborhood kids took advantage of it, as it was extremely affordable. The Church paid the school a fee to have the bldg open and all sides were happy. What school can't use extra money? Then, the City started cracking down on what they considered mix of church and state and the Church had to relocate. It was a loss for our school community.
Jessica Arden Heights
Schools should remain places for education and not become places for religious worship. Schools have become places where parents can drop their children off and have them fed all year around. Schools should be for education and not houses of worship, restaurants, or other events not related to education.
Religious organizations are not like other charitable organizations. The are proselytizing and attempting to make conversions. This is a violation of the rule of separation of church and state.
Port Richmond, SI
WILL IT BE LONG BEFORE THE CITY COUNCIL VOTES ON ALLOWING SHARIA LAW?
VERY IMPORTANT TO KEEP CHURCH AND STATE SEPERATE FOLKS.
YOU MIGHT BE CANED FOR A PARKING TICKET, OUCH!
JOE, BAY TERRACE
Since schools are closed and DOE rents to any religious group, they should continue. The city needs the money and organizations need space. Churches are preaching only to their congregations.
Upper West Side
Of course houses of worship should be able to rent space in schools on weekends. What's wrong with Bloomberg? Is it because they are Christian that he is so against them? He'd be the first one to cry "anti-semite" if someone objected to a Jewish religious group using public school space. I will never vote for such bigots.
What's next? Will Bloomberg dictate that the city can't rent former parochial schools as public schools because there's a cross at the top of the building?
Doug - West Village
With what is going on in our streets and neighborhoods, I think prayer should be allowed in school every day along with the pledge of allegiance.
I believe the root of all evil comes from lack of prayer and lack of allegiance to the United States of America.
Figures quinn is opposed...she'd rather have mayhem and death in the streets so she can show up with her camera person.
All the best,
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL,WITH ALL THE TRAGEDIES THAT HAD OCCUR THROUGHOUT THE NATION. WE NEED A LITTLE PRAYER PEDRO BRONX
The Supreme Court has already said that if a school or other public infrastucture can be rented by non-religious groups it can't discriminate against religious groups.
There was no problem until the NYCLU created this controversy to further their anti-religion agenda.
Many religions support hateful ideologies: homophobia, sexism, antisemitism and anti-Americanism, just to mention a few. I do not want to see this kind of ignorance propagated in a public school building.
There's an issue with Christianity of course because the argument is about holding services on Sunday. The NYC DOE is not endorsing it if anything the question is how many days my daughter is out of school for Jewish holidays?? So who.are they endorsing?
Maggie, West Brighton Staten Island
Separation from church and state is nonsense. The minute there is a lockdown in school teachers and other staff will pray for safety. Lets start with bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance. What saddens me the most we don't even teach out kids patriotism.
The services are normally held on the weekends when school is out. The money made goes to great causes for schools and helps supports school programs and curriculum.
No one has ever forced anyone to join thier churches. Leave them in peace and support our school system!!!
Why not rent to the church on sunday but also on saturdays for those that observe a saturday sabbath.
These people on your show are optimists at best. Nothing happening in their neighborhood.
People need to wake up and stand up for the 50 by 20 space they call their own
i think the schools should partner with health and learning businesses to offer programs and services to the community during non-school hours. A place of learning should NOT be co-mingled with a place of prayer.
Will we try to stop religious groups from meeting in public parks as well?
Michael from Brooklyn
Community faith based groups should be allowed to use public buildings Afterschool. I find it hypocritical that tax payers can not conduct public assembly at a tax payer funded building. It's ok for churches and other temples to be used for town hall meetings,since colonial times, but not ok when they have a need to gather at a public school building. Whatever happened to the Constitution Right of freedom of assembly?
Obed, Washington Heights
Religious groups should ABSOLUTELY NOT be allowed to worship in public schools. The flaw in the logic of some of the city council members is the equating of a religion with another non-profit group. Religions are NOT the same as other non-profit groups. Separation of church and state is important and I will vote against any city council member who votes in favor of allowing religious groups to worship in city schools. City schools are places of learning, not the teaching of religion.
I oppose the idea. If the churches can pay rent for use of the school property, why don't they rent commercially available space? Also, there are a lot of public buildings that are unused during the weekend besides schools. Why schools? It is evident from some of the callers who support use of school property by churches that the real reason is for the church to get a connection with children.
Of course we shouldn't rent the schools out to religious groups. The fastest way to ruin a positive experience in terms of religion would be to tie in money and government.
I take issue with Mildred accusing atheists of being hoodlums in the street. 20% of the population is atheist* and many are successful community leaders including technologists, scientists, doctors, business owners, and artists and social entrepreneurs. In my opinion, religion is a belief of hate. It promotes wars and causes cliques of people to act selfishly against the greater human good. If the KKK wanted to hold a meeting in a public school, would we let them meet too?
I am very against allowing churches into schools and promoting religion -- any religion.
Churches renting schools is not against the separation of church and state.
The churches are not using the space during school time. They are not taking
anything away from the public school. They are not evangelizing the children.
I do have a question about charter schools using public schools. They do not
add anything to the public schools. They TAKE AWAY
space and resources (i.e. computer and science labs).
They DO NOT pay rent to help the school monetarily.
My humble opinion: If religious groups are paying to use public school bldgs, and are not preaching/teaching religion to the students, I see no problem with them using the bldgs. If students want to attend the religious services, that's there choice. Also, why turn away revenue?