Saturday, March 11, 2006

City to seize church by eminent domain

The city of Long Beach, Calif., is using the power of eminent domain bolstered by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling to condemn a Baptist congregation's church building.

The city wants to remove the Filipino Baptist Fellowship's building to make way for condominiums, the Baptist Press reported.

The city will hold a hearing March 13 and vote on a resolution authorizing the city attorney to begin condemnation proceedings.

[…] Baptist Press noted there are eight other active cases of eminent domain abuse against churches across the country, according to the Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm in Arlington, Va.
(Read the whole article on WorldNet Daily)

I hope no one is surprised by this. If Kelo v. City of New London continues to stand, we are likely to see a whole lot more of it. Churches, after all, are among the prime targets for seizure since they produce no tax revenue. Perhaps we’d best start looking to see what we can use as the equivalent of catacombs.

The whole thing is kind of funny, in a way. The authorities just arrested three kids for burning down a bunch of Baptist churches in Alabama. The jerks are likely to get (deservedly) some pretty serious jail time. Other than being legal, however, how are Long Beach’s actions any different?

On the other hand, perhaps the court will use this as an opportunity to correct the hideous decision they made in Kelo.