For a number of years, starter churches have been renting space in public schools to hold their Sunday services. I once attended a church that rented the auditorium of a local high school and another church that rented the library of a middle school.
In the past, there have been some challenges to such practice, claiming that it is a violation of the supposed establishment clause dealing with the separation of church and state. In almost all of the cases, the courts upheld the rights of the churches to rent school property as school is not in session on Sundays and that the schools rent to others equally.
But in Hawaii, a group of atheists are filing lawsuits claiming that several churches are not paying fair rental rates. Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber, are two well-known atheists in Hawaii, and they are harassing and bullying several churches. Sadly, one church caved in to the atheist bullying and agreed to pay $775,000 to avoid having to go to court.
Now they have set their sights on One Love Ministries and Calvary Chapel Central Oahu. The difference is that these two churches are being defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The first time the atheists filed suit against the two churches for renting school buildings for their Sunday services, a judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence. However, they have vowed not to give up and are talking about refiling the lawsuits again.
ADF attorney Dale Schowengerdt commented about the atheists efforts, saying:
“Two well-known atheists in Hawaii have accused several churches of defrauding the government by leasing space for Sunday services in school buildings. They’re saying that the churches should’ve paid more than they did, even though they paid everything that the government asked them to pay. So … they’re baseless lawsuits.”
“It’s too bad that they made the decision to cave, because I think that hurts other churches, but as far as our case, I don’t think it’ll impact it, and we’re going to go forward with the motion to dismiss if the plaintiffs decide to file again.”
The illogical part of the atheists’ argument is that they too can rent the use of public school facilities to hold their anti-God, anti-Christian meetings if they wanted to. Most likely they would pay the same amount as the churches, but it’s not the money that they are making an issue. They are trying to bully the churches to stop using school property to make it harder on them to worship God and our Savior Jesus Christ. They know they can’t stop the churches from renting on religious grounds, so they are attacking them in whatever way possible.
The two atheists are just like gay activists and other sinner groups. They can’t stand equality. They want superiority and the right to bully anyone and everyone who views their ways of life as being sinful. And Christians will continue to have to fight for the right to live and worship their faith for as long as mankind walks the planet. The question for you is how much are you willing to stand up and defend your right to worship and live your faith? Will you be a Steven who praised Jesus as he was being stoned to death or will you be a Judas who sold out for 30 pieces of silver? Think carefully before answering as God knows your heart before you do.