Thursday, November 12, 2009

Room in the Inn Would Be Illegal in Phoenix

For years, churches and houses of worship of all stripes throughout the greater Nashville area have cooperated, through a program called Room in the Inn, to feed and shelter many of the city's homeless during the coldest months of the year. Host churches bus homeless persons to the church's campus where the guests receive a hot meal and a place to sleep. Apparently, Room in the Inn would be illegal in Phoenix:

This week, retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Corcoran, serving as a hearing officer, ruled that feeding the homeless at a place of worship can be banned by city ordinance.

The determination means that CrossRoads United Methodist Church, 7901 N. Central Ave., will no longer be permitted to feed the homeless and poor at its campus unless it appeals the decision.

Corcoran, in his 19-page opinion, noted that the church had a long history of feeding the "poor in poor neighborhoods" but the use of this property to feed the poor, who were bused in by another group, Prodigal's Home was a change. The hearing officer ruled that the "living functions" of a residential neighborhood were not compatible with the operation of a charity dining hall.

(In my opinion this is a greater affront to religious liberty than any ordinance that says that employers can't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.)

This story reminds me of the instances when my neighborhood's board of directors has decided to take down the basketball hoops in the common area for fear that the hoops bring the wrong sort of people into Willoughby Station. Fortunately, a few months ago, the people of Willoughby Station petitioned then voted to override the board's decision and have the hoops put back.


Anonymous Kevin Alton said...

Our community would probably love to help out with your social justice thing, but they're all tuckered out from getting upset about cheerleader signs.

Maybe next time.

5:24 AM  

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