Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boston Admits Unconstitutional Ban on Bible Study

A children’s Bible study group can return to class in the Roxbury community center that banned religious study, reversing a decision that Christian rights lawyers called unconstitutional and Boston officials acknowledged was an error in enforcement.

-- From "City lifts ban on Bible program" by Sydney Lupkin, Boston Globe Correspondent 4/16/10

"Calvary Kidz" Bible study, which serves children ages 5 to 12, had been meeting in the Thomas L. Johnson Community Center for two years when an official told them they had to cut out the religious content of their program to comply with city policy, said Greg Brace, who oversees the program and is an assistant pastor at Calvary in the City.

In a four-page letter dated April 28, officials from the Alliance Defense Fund warned city officials that the ban was discriminatory and violated the First Amendment, said Joel Oster, an attorney for the national Christian rights group. After the letter went unanswered for more than a month, the alliance threatened to sue, he said.

According to the complaint that the alliance threatened to file, one of the center’s managers told Calvary Kidz officials about the policy and said her orders came from an agency supervisor.

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