A Public Library in Oregon was fined $10,500 and ordered to permit religious organisations to hold services and proselytise in the library, overturning that library's rule against such practices. The religious were represented by the Christian law organisation Liberty Council.
Seaside Library Changing Policy after Federal Lawsuit (link to Seaside, Ore. Signal)
Just as in politics, the religious are starting at the bottom and working up. Evangelicals did not start at the top of the GOP, nor will they start at the top of other governmental organisations, like libraries.
And the atheists stay asleep at the switch whilst the religious slowly take over everywhere . . . if we say we do not wish to involve ourselves in the political sphere, we cede it to the religious, who in every way want to dominate it.—James.
Actually, I am all over this one. If they can do it, no reason we couldn't. I think I would like to start having an "un-church" in my local public library. Perhaps an atheist book discussion? I wonder how many members we could get. I think it would be a blast!
There is a problem though: if the library becomes a public forum, it can't really be a library. Neo-Nazis, Democrats, the NRA, anyone can use the forum. The I Amendment does not allow you to differentiate in a public forum.
"if the library becomes a public forum, it can't really be a library"
How so? Please expand on that thought.
I'm not terribly thrilled about having religious groups use libraries either. For that reason, I went and read the article. While the religious groups, along with everyone else (as best as I can tell), can use the library, it did not give the go ahead to use the facility as a base from which to proselytize. When they start hassling other library users to join their congregation THEN they have a problem. I wonder if there will still be rules in place to curb their enthusiasm.
There is an upside to this ruling, we just need to turn our thinking around to see it. By forcing the evangelicals to sue for the right to meet in a library, they've turned this into the forbidden fruit. We all know how that went last time. How many of the congragation are going to fall from grace after reading a few science books? Unfortunately, I'm sure their pastor/circus barker will catch onto that quickly, at which point he will begin screeching about books that need to be banned from the library (think about the children!!!!). I hope they keep us updated to the ensuing fiasco.
That's a violation of separation of church and state to let religions hold services in buildings paid for by tax dollars! *argh* Maybe local atheists should begin proselytizing right before and after those services. Harass them the way they harass others. What's good for the goose...
What the religious don't realise is that separation of church and state is the best defence for religious liberty.
If they choose to turn libraries into public fora, that means all organisations have access, not just them. But then many Evangelical groups consider the Bible to be above the Constitution. They would just as soon tear out the I Amendment, because they believe it is their religious faith that will win out.
The I Amendment is not there to protect the speech of the majority, it doesn't need protection. Last I checked, we were decidedly the minority. It is there to protect us.
Turn libraries into public fora and they will become government-owned churches. Partner libraries with churches and the church will exert its influence on what can be read, purchased, loaned, or seen in the library.