Saying he was motivated to defend the separation of church and state, a New Jersey mayor ordered the removal of a religious shrine from state-owned land.
Newly-elected Passaic Mayor Hector Lora called for the 14-year-old shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe to be dismantled because it was a religious display on public property. Mayordomia Guadalupe, the group caring for the shrine, was stringing electrical lines for security cameras on the site and collecting money for its upkeep, reported the Bergen County Record.
Americans United this week urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to stop Morris County officials from awarding taxpayer-funded grants to houses of worship.
Since 2012, Morris County has distributed more than $4.5 million in tax revenue to a dozen active churches through an historical preservation program. These grants are in direct conflict with the Religious Aid Clause in New Jersey’s state constitution, which proclaims that no resident can be compelled to pay taxes for “building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship.”
A New Jersey town that rejected a plan by local Muslims to build a mosque by requiring it to have more parking spaces on its property than churches and synagogues is paying the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge $3.25 million in damages and legal fees after reaching a settlement.
When Muslims in Bernards Township, N.J., sought to build a mosque, they found themselves subjected to a strange requirement that wasn’t imposed on other houses of worship: They’d have to build a “supersized” parking lot.
Officials in the township insisted that since Muslims gather for prayers on Friday afternoon, everyone who might come to the mosque should have a dedicated parking spot.
Last week, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a speech to a group of Catholic lawyers that didn’t get as much attention as it should have.
A federal judge has ruled that a New Jersey town cannot require a mosque to have more parking spaces on its property than churches and synagogues, marking what activists hope is the end of a four-year legal battle.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp’s Dec. 31 ruling gave the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge a win against Bernards Township, which, after 39 planning board meetings, rejected a plan by local Muslims to construct a mosque.
People went to the polls yesterday to vote on more than just who would be the next president of the United States. Voters in two states and one city voted on ballot initiatives that would have impacted religious freedom.
During this election season, many of us will be voting on more than just national, state and local candidates. We will also encounter state and local ballot questions that are of great importance to our communities.