A federal appeals court is hearing arguments in New York City on
whether churches can continue to rent empty schools for Sunday
services after the city kicked them out.
A lower court issued an injunction against the city allowing the
churches to continue meeting, but senior counsel Jordan Lorence of
Alliance Defending Freedom notes the Second
U.S. Court of Appeals has
been hostile in the past.
"Well, we are facing the reality that we are before
... the same three judges who ruled against us 2-1 in June of
2011," he tells OneNewsNow. "But we [now] have some different
arguments and new evidence, and we are hopeful that they will take
a fresh look at this and vote in favor of religious liberty."
Hurricane Sandy provides the most recent example of the positive
impact the churches have. Lorence sites just one case.
"International Christian Center, which meets in a public school,
has been reaching out, supplying food and water to those who have
had their homes wrecked and their electricity off because of the
hurricane," the attorney describes.
Lorence says even some government officials understand it is a
win-win situation when churches are permitted to use empty school
buildings, and in many cases work to better the school and help in
the surrounding community. But the NYC Department of Education and
Mayor Michael Bloomberg have insisted that the churches be