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Topic: Pastors and churches behaving badly
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint Beat



HomeLatest NewsFlint pastor charged with defrauding retirees, members
Flint pastor charged with defrauding retirees, members
March 30, 2017Flint Beat
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Washington D.C. The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze obtained against Flint pastor Larry Holley of Abundant Life Ministries for allegedly exploiting church members, retirees, and laid-off auto workers who were misled to believe they were investing in a successful real estate business.
The SEC alleges that Holley cloaked his solicitations in faith-based rhetoric, replete with references to scripture and biblical figures. Holley allegedly told prospective investors that as a person who prayed for your children, he was more trustworthy than a banker with their money. According to the SECs complaint, Holley held financial presentations masked as Blessed Life Conferences at churches nationwide during which he asked congregants to fill out cards detailing their financial holdings, and he promised to pray over the cards and invited attendees to have one-on-one consultations with his team. He allegedly called his investors millionaires in the making.

According to the SECs complaint, which also charges Holleys company Treasure Enterprise LLC and his business associate Patricia Enright Gray, approximately $6.7 million was raised from more than 80 investors who were guaranteed high returns and told they were investing in a profitable real estate company with hundreds of residential and commercial properties.

According to the complaint, Gray advertised on a religious radio station based in Flint and singled out recently laid-off auto workers with severance packages to consult her for a financial increase. Gray allegedly promised to roll over investors retirement funds into tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and invest them in Treasure Enterprise. The SEC alleges that no investor funds were deposited into IRAs, and Treasure Enterprise struggled to generate enough revenue from its real estate investments to support the business and make payments owed to investors. Treasure Enterprise owes investors an estimated $1.9 million in past due payments, according to the SECs complaint.

As alleged in our complaint, Holley and Gray targeted the retirement savings of churchgoers, building a bond of trust purportedly based on faith but actually based on false promises, said David Glockner, Director of the SECs Chicago Regional Office.

According to the SECs complaint, Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise were not registered to sell investments. The SEC encourages investors to check the background of anyone offering to sell them investments by doing a quick search on the SECs investor.gov website.

The SEC has obtained a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan that freezes the assets of Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise. The courts order also appoints a receiver and imposes other emergency relief.

The SECs complaint alleges violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, penalties, and permanent injunctions.

The SECs investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Ana P. Doncic, Delia L. Helpingstine, and Sruthi Koneru of the Chicago office. The case is being supervised by Steven L. Klawans, and the litigation is being led by Jonathan S. Polish.
Post Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:16 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Authorities investigating use of funds at Flint church
Posted: Mar 31, 2017 4:45 PM CDT
Updated: Mar 31, 2017 4:45 PM CDT
Posted By Brianna Owczarzak, Digital producerCONNECT

By Samaia Hernandez

Authorities investigating use of funds at Flint church


(Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -
A trusted source in the community is under the microscope of investigators for some not-so-trustworthy practices.

The historic Antioch Baptist Church on Flint's north side is being run by a group of parishioners, but it's those people - and a local government leader - who are accused of misusing church funds.

"I've been there ever since I was, let's say 5. Grew up here. And to see all the individuals come and those that are not, but see there's a love for this church," said Herman Miller, chairman of the Deacon Board.

Once among Flint's mightiest churches tasked with bringing souls to Christ, the historic Antioch Baptist Church is overshadowed in conflict over its finances.

"They're fed up with not knowing where the money is," Miller said.

Miller said after the church's pastor grew ill, other members stepped in to help run the church. Now the board said they are so worried about how church funds are being spent they have filed a complaint with police, pointing fingers at several members including a high ranking city official.

"We shouldn't have to worry about money that comes in. We should have some transparency with it. We should know when our bills are being paid," Miller said.

Michigan State Police confirmed they are investigating a complaint at the church. Police said they will have to obtain additional records to determine if there is any merit to the allegations.

Deacon Robert Williams said going to authorities was the board's last resort.

"The people that are in the office refuse to sit down and talk with us," Williams said.

Williams said the church wants answers so they can get back to focusing on worship.

"The monies that were going there were not going to the place where we thought it was going. So, we feel as the Deacon Board, we had to step up to the bat and try to do something about it because the congregation has requested us to take action," Williams said.

Police said these types of financial complaints take time to investigate and they need to obtain a subpoena or warrant first.
Post Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:19 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

CIVIC INVOLVEMENT: Deacon and assistant treasurer at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, member of the Flint Branch of the NAACP, member and finance director of the concession area for the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.
Post Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:45 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

s
State police investigating alleged financial impropriety at Flint church


Print Email Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com By Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com

on April 03, 2017 at 2:00 PM, updated April 03, 2017 at 2:04 PM
FLINT, MI - The Michigan State Police say they are investigating allegations of financial improprieties at a Flint church.

A fraud complaint regarding the finances at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1083 E. Stewart Ave., was initially filed with Flint police.

The case has since been referred to the Michigan State Police for investigation, according to MSP Lt. David Kaiser.



A woman who answered the phone at Antioch and did not give her name said the church had no comment on the investigation. She referred MLive-The Flint Journal to the church's attorney, but would not provide the name of the attorney.

Authorities have not released specifics on the investigation or any potential amount of money involved.

"Somebody made an allegation," Kaiser said. "I don't know if there's any merit to it."

Kaiser said the investigation could take weeks.

"The investigation says for possible financial fraud -- that could be for misappropriated or misspent funds," he said.

Flint police forwarded the complaint to the Michigan State Police on Tuesday, March 28, because of Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson's affiliation with the church, according to Kaiser.

MLive-The Flint Journal could not reach Nelson for comment, who MLive-The Journal records show served as deacon and assistant treasurer at the church.

The investigation comes on the heels of other recent investigations at area churches over financial indiscretions.


He hosted financial presentations masked as "blessed life conferences" at churches across the country, the SEC said, and because Holley was a man who "prayed for your children," he was more trustworthy than a "banker" with their money.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced civil fraud charges Thursday, March 30, against Flint pastor Larry Holley. His assets have since been frozen.

Holley, 59, pastor of Flint-based Abundant Life Ministries, exploited church members, retirees and laid-off auto workers into investing in a real estate business he claimed was successful, according to the complaint filed by the SEC.

The MSP are also involved in an investigation into the alleged theft of funds from a Shiawassee County Catholic church.

The Rev. David Fisher was in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso for 23 years and retired to North Dakota in June 2015. He and a secretary, Nancy DeFrenn, are accused of taking nearly $500,000 from the parish.
Post Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:16 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint police forwarded the complaint to the Michigan State Police on Tuesday, March 28, because of Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson's affiliation with the church, according to Kaiser.

MLive-The Flint Journal could not reach Nelson for comment, who MLive-The Journal records show served as deacon and assistant treasurer at the church.
Post Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:17 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Retired priest extradited to face charges of embezzling from church

Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com By Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com

on April 04, 2017 at 12:28 PM, updated April 05, 2017 at 1:38 PM

OWOSSO, MI -- A retired priest wanted on suspicion of embezzling nearly $500,000 from a Catholic church in Shiawassee County is expected to be back in Michigan this week to appear in front of a judge.

The Rev. David Fisher was in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso for 23 years and retired to North Dakota in June 2015.

A new pastor was brought in and noticed some figures were off with the parish's finances, according to officials with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing. The Diocese contacted the Michigan State Police and it was recommended a forensic audit, Diebold said.

The audit revealed there was at least $450,000 missing, diocese officials said.

Fisher was arrested in North Dakota on suspicion of seven counts of embezzlement, police previously said.

He is expected to arrive back in Michigan on Wednesday, April 5, and is set for arraignment on Thursday, April 6, according to Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Mark Pendergraff.

Initially, Fisher was fighting extradition from North Dakota, but later decided to waive the hearing, Pendergraff said.

Fisher was charged with a count of embezzlement of over $100,000 from a charitable organization and the other six counts of for alleged embezzlement of lesser amounts, Pendergraff previously said.

Church secretary Nancy DeFrenn also was arrested, according to Pendergraff. She is charged with a single count of embezzlement from a charitable organization of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000.
Post Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:44 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Lawsuit alleges Flint City Council President helped embezzle millions of dollars from church
May 30, 2017Jiquanda Johnson

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FLINT, MI Members of a Flint church have filed a civil lawsuit against five people including Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson after claims that millions of dollars went unaccounted for.
Four members at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church allege that Nelson along with the churchs pastor, Rev. Lewis Randolph, his son, Dietrick Randolph who serves as assistant trustee, LeDon McNeil, chair of the trustee board and Antiochs financial secretary, Delores Roberts may have embezzled more than $1 million from the church.

The four members of the church filed their lawsuit with the Genesee County Circuit Court on May 23, 2017 on behalf of other of the members.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah moved a May 30, 2017 hearing regarding the lawsuit to Tuesday, June 6 , 2017 at 10 a.m. giving process servers time to find both Rev. Randolph and his son, McNeil and Roberts.

The initial complaint was filed with the Flint Police Department early April, said Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson.

It was moved on right way, said Johnson. We turned it over to the state police immediately. Johnson said the complaint was turned over to the Michigan State Police Department because of Nelsons potential involvement.

MSP officials said last week that they were waiting on more documents before they turned their investigation back over to the Flint Police Department.

Flint Beat could not immediately reach Nelson who serves as Antiochs assistant finance secretary.
Post Tue May 30, 2017 4:03 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Our integrity is severely tarnished: Christianity Today editor says no one will believe a word we say after Alabama
Bob Brigham BOB BRIGHAM
12 DEC 2017 AT 23:16 ET



The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today posted a provocative editorial that concludes Christian faith was the clear loser in the Alabama special election.


No matter the outcome of todays special election in Alabama for a coveted US Senate seat, there is already one loser: Christian faith. When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation, the editorial explained. Christianitys integrity is severely tarnished.

Democrat Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the special election.

The editorial noted the Alabama special election, put an exclamation point on a problem that has been festering for a year and a halfever since a core of strident conservative Christians began to cheer for Donald Trump without qualification and a chorus of other believers decried that support as immoral.

The Christian leaders who have excused, ignored, or justified his unscrupulous behavior and his indecent rhetoric have only given credence to their critics who accuse them of hypocrisy, the editorial continued.



When a public Christian is accused of some immorality, the honorable and moral thing to do has been to take a leave of absence until the matter of settled, Christianity Today noted. This is precisely what Moore, who sees himself as a godly and moral candidate, has refused to do.

The Republicanism of some evangelical Christians harms the gospel of Jesus, the editorial argued.

When combative conservative Christians refuse to suffer patiently in the public square, retaliate when insults are hurled at them, and do not refrain from the appearance of evil, they sabotage not only their political cause but the cause they care about the most: the gospel of Jesus Christ, Christianity Today concluded.

Read the powerful editorial.
Post Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:33 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Religious right leader accused of sexually abusing teenage boy and claiming it was a God-sanctioned secret
Texas Tribune TEXAS TRIBUNE
12 DEC 2017 AT 13:28 ET


Paul Pressler in a video endorsing Ted Cruz for president (Screenshot)
!

A former Texas state judge and lawmaker has been accused of sexually abusing a young man for several decades starting when the boy was just 14, according to a lawsuit filed in October in Harris County.

The lawsuit alleges that Paul Pressler, a former justice on the 14th Court of Appeals who served in the Texas state house from 195759, sexually assaulted Duane Rollins, his former bible study student, several times per month over a period of years. According to the filing, the abuse started in the late 1970s and continued less frequently after Rollins left Houston for college in 1983.

In a November court filing, Pressler generally and categorically [denied] each and every allegation in Rollins petition.

The abuse, which consisted of anal penetration, took place in Presslers master bedroom study, the suit alleges. According to the lawsuit, Pressler told Rollins he was special and that the sexual contact was their God-sanctioned secret.

Pressler is a leading figure on the religious right in Texas and was a key player in the conservative resurgence of Southern Baptism, a movement in the 1970s and 1980s that aimed to oust liberals and moderates from the churchs organizational structure. Presslers wife Nancy, his former law partner Jared Woodfill, Woodfill Law Firm, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and First Baptist Church of Houston are also named as defendants in the suit.


Rollins seeks damages of over $1 million.

When asked about the suit, Ted Tredennick, Presslers attorney, pointed to Rollins record, which is peppered with arrests on DUIs and other charges over the last several decades.

Mr. Rollins is clearly a deeply troubled man, with a track record of multiple felonies and incarceration, and it is the height of irresponsibility that anyone would present such a bizarre and frivolous case much less report on it, Tredennick said. He would not give any further comment or respond to specific questions.

Rollins and his lawyer, Daniel Shea, say his past legal troubles stemmed from behavior fueled by alcohol and drug addictions sparked by the childhood sexual abuse. In 1998, Rollins was jailed for 10 years on burglary charges. Pressler advocated for Rollins to receive parole in 2000, when he was first eligible, and then again in 2002. In his 2002 letter to the parole board, Pressler pledged to employ Rollins and be personally involved in every bit of Duanes life with supervision and control.

Woodfill called the accusations against Pressler absolutely false and described the lawsuit as an attempt to extort money. He also said he plans to file counter charges against Rollins and his lawyer for a frivolous and harassing lawsuit.

Shea said Pressler previously settled with Rollins over a 2004 battery charge for an incident in a Dallas hotel room. That settlement is not public, Shea said, but reference is made to such an agreement in recent court filings.

Shea said that though Rollins filed that assault charge more than a decade ago, he had a suppressed memory of the sexual abuse until he made an outcry statement to a prison psychologist in November 2015. Harvey Rosenstock, a psychiatrist who has been working with Rollins since August 2016, wrote in a letter included in the suit that Rollins is a reliable historian for the childhood sexual trauma to which he was repeatedly and chronically subjected.

Pressler was President George H.W. Bushs pick to lead the Office of Government Ethics in 1989, but the administration ultimately ruled Pressler out after an FBI background investigation. News reports from the time suggest that Pressler was dismissed due to unspecified ethics issues.

BY EMMA PLATOFF, THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
Post Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:38 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

News Prince Georges County News
afro.com


Alexandria, Va. Church Pastor, Wife, Convicted of $2 Million Fraud Scheme
by: The Associated Press / (Photo/Victorious Life Church via Facebook) / December 19, 2017 03652

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) A Virginia pastor and his wife have been convicted of defrauding members of their congregation and investors in a Nigerian oil scheme.

Fifty-three-year-old Terry Wayne Millender and 57-year-old Brenda Millender were convicted by a federal jury Monday of a $2 million fraud scheme, according to the United States Attorneys office for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Terry Wayne and Brenda Millender. (Facebook Photo)
Terry Millender is the former senior pastor of Victorious Life Church in Alexandria.

Prosecutors said the couple recruited investors for companies they said provided small loans to poor people in developing countries and helped broker Nigerian oil deals. Prosecutors said the Millenders used investor money to pay for golf trips, a birthday party, and to help purchase a $1.75 million home.

The Millenders are set to be sentenced in March.
Post Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:25 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Ive never felt fearful like that: April Ryan says pro-Trump pastor screamed profanities at her after MLK event
Brad Reed BRAD REED
18 JAN 2018 AT 13:30 ET

April Ryan, White House correspondent anf Washington, D.C., bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks (Photo: Screen capture)
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Reporter April Ryan revealed this week that a pro-Trump pastor who attended the White Houses Martin Luther King Day event on Monday screamed profanities at her after she tried to ask President Donald Trump if he was a racist.



While talking at an event held by the Newseum and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Ryan told the story of her confrontation with the pastor to illustrate the frightening environment that now faces reporters.

Ryan said that she was confronted by a black pastor attending the event after she had tried to yell out questions to Trump, who had duly ignored them while exiting the room.

There was an expletive, and words were exchanged, and said, You were rude,' Ryan recalled. I kept saying, This is about the First Amendment.'

However, the pastor did not calm down and instead continued yelling at her more loudly.


Ive never felt fearful like that, Ryan said. I was doing my job, whether you like the question or not This is the President of the United States, and when you have people wondering about comments that youve been making over and over I had a right to ask. Its a sad day when you have to ask the sitting U.S. president if hes a racist.
Post Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:04 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Woman alleges prominent Flint pastor assaulted her son, attorney says its not true Flint Beat
According to Flint Police officials, a complaint was filed against a prominent Flint pastor on Feb. 9, 2018, by
FLINTBEAT.COM
Post Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:13 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Woman alleges prominent Flint pastor assaulted her son, attorney says its not true

February 9, 2018Jiquanda Johnson
FLINT, MI A local pastor has been accused of allegedly assaulting a six-year-old Flint boy.

According to Flint Police officials, a complaint was filed against a prominent Flint pastor on Feb. 9, 2018, by the mother of a six-year-old boy who said her son was assaulted by the pastor while at school.


Photo from Eagles Nest Academy Superintendent Pastor Reginald Flynn. (http://www.eaglesnestflint.org/)
An attorney for Foss Avenue Baptist Church Pastor Reginald Flynn says his client did not assault the boy.

He has done so much work in the community its ridiculous to think that he would try to abuse a child, said Attorney Archie Hayman of his client. The response that I would make on behalf of Pastor Flynn is that the community should know pastor Flynn is someone who has been dedicated to uplifting the north side of Flint.

The mother who has not responded to messages from Flint Beat regarding the issue took her claims to Facebook on Feb. 8, 2018, saying Flynn assaulted her son. She also posted pictures of her son with bruising to his face and neck. Her post was shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

According to the mothers Facebook page, she took her son to the hospital and filed a report after Facebook friends urged her to do so. She first posted about the incident Thursday night and a number of Facebook friends showed outrage over the alleged incident.

Hayman said the family of the boy has ongoing issues and Flynn has tried to help them.

This is a situation where there is a troubled child and a troubled family that a pastor has tried to help, Hayman said. You are going to demean this mans character based on allegations that have not been proven. Its just ridiculous. We will address it in an appropriate forum. This man has been dedicated to the community and uplifts his community.

Flynn currently serves as pastor of Foss Avenue Baptist Church, is president of the North Flint Reinvestment Corporation, a non-profit spearheading the development of a grocery store on Flints north side. He is also the superintendent and founder of Eagles Nest Academy in Flint.

As of Friday, no formal charges had been filed.
Post Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:15 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

CHURCH & STATE MAGAZINE
The Supreme Court Takes A Dangerous Step Toward Taxpayer-Supported Religion
September 2017 Church & State | Editorial
by AU admin
In 1811, Congress passed a bill that would have given an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C., an official incorporation and a charge to care for the poor. When the bill reached the desk of President James Madison, he knew just what to do: reach for a pen and veto it.

The bill, Madison wrote in a veto message, exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited, by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions, and violates, in particular, the article of the Constitution of the United States, which declares, that Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.

The proposed legislation didnt provide any public money to the church, but Madison still saw it as problematic. It was a symbolic union of church and state, and that was enough for Madison (who was a primary author of the First Amendment) to reject it.

Unfortunately, our country has drifted far from Madisons vision. The Supreme Court in June issued a ruling stating, for the first time, that there are conditions under which houses of worship are legally entitled to receive taxpayer support.

Its important to understand that this case has nothing do with the basic public services that all entities, including religious ones, are entitled to receive. When a church catches on fire, a municipal fire department puts it out because a burning building is a threat to everyones health and safety.

In this case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, a Lutheran church in Columbia, Mo., sought taxpayer aid to resurface its preschools playground with material made from recycled tires. This beautification project benefited only the church. Not so long ago, it would have been unthinkable for a house of worship to demand public support to spruce up its physical facilities and it would have been unthinkable for our nations highest court to grant it.

What happened?

For decades, Religious Right activists and some misguided clerics have pushed for a policy whereby the state extends public aid to houses of worship as long as a thin secular purpose is first conjured up.

The religious groups that pushed for this scheme had different motivations. The Religious Right simply hates separation of church and state and was willing to do anything to weaken that principle. Others, such as the Roman Catholic hierarchy, sought to secure tax funding to prop up the churchs private school system.

Presidents Ronald W. Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and now Donald J. Trump appointed jurists sympathetic to this point of view to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. Over the years, they began to chip away at the church-state wall.

They began by declaring that in certain cases, such as private school vouchers, it was permissible to steer tax aid to religious schools as long as they were part of an array of educational options. Now, with the ruling in Trinity Lutheran, we see the high court inching toward the next dangerous step: not only may taxpayer aid be extended to houses of worship, sometimes it must be.

The lead opinion in the case, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, contains a footnote asserting that the ruling is limited to this particular set of facts. The footnote may provide a firewall for now, but its clear that if there are more changes on the court, other schemes to direct tax money to religion will get a blessing.

At worst, the high court could obliterate language in more than 35 state constitutions that explicitly bars the diversion of tax money to houses of worship. Missouri has language like that and cited it when it denied public support to Trinity Lutheran. The justices ignored it.

The irony is, houses of worship will suffer in the long run from this new policy. Religious groups in America have grown and prospered precisely because of the separation of church and state, not in spite of it. Houses of worship have traditionally looked to their own members for support, and theyve done quite well.

Government funding, by contrast, tends to lead religious communities to become devitalized in modern Western nations, at least. After all, why should people donate if their taxes are already taking care of things?

Our First Amendment means that houses of worship must stand on their own two feet. They must pay for their own maintenance, repair and upkeep. In return, the state doesnt interfere in their internal workings.

The leaders of Trinity Lutheran put that principle in jeopardy because they wanted the taxpayers to foot the bill for a large piece of rubber.

It was a foolish move, and religious groups may pay the consequences for it.
Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:30 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint pastor says excessive force used during his arrest inside Flint City Hall
Print Email Cathy Shafran | cshafran@mlive.com By Cathy Shafran | cshafran@mlive.com
on May 03, 2012 at 3:30 PM, updated May 03, 2012 at 3:52 PM
Pastor Flynn protest2.jpg
View full sizeRyan Garza | The Flint Journal
Foss Avenue Baptist Church pastor Reginald Flynn, pictured in the white shirt on the left, claims he was treated with excessive force when he was arrested Thursday inside Flint City Hall. Flynn says he was protesting budget cuts that severely impact residents of Flint's north side when he was arrested.
FLINT, MI The Rev. Reginald Flynn, pastor of Foss Avenue Baptist Church, was seeking doctor's care today after he was arrested inside Flint City Hall while protesting budget cuts.

"I was protesting what I consider a grave injustice of the working poor families of the city of Flint," said Flynn as he was released from custody in the Flint Police Department shortly after noon.

"I'm protesting decisions made on astronomical fees for water and sewage and the decisions that have been made by those in power as to the allocation of dollars."

Flynn told his attorney that he was staging a one-man protest of what he saw as injustices imposed by the budget of Flint emergency manager Michael Brown when he was arrested.

Flynn's attorney, Glenn Cotton, said Flynn was sitting on the floor on the second level of City Hall reading a prepared statement out loud with a megaphone when officers detained him.

"They slammed him to the ground and an individual had a knee on his back and a knee on his neck," said Cotton. "We're taking him for medical attention because he is reporting pain in his knees and his wrists and he is reporting shortness of breath."

As he exited the police station, Flynn spoke of being treated with what he called "excessive force" during his arrest.

"Now I know what a lot of the young brothers I work with go through," Flynn said. "Now I know how they feel."

Cotton was told by officers at the police station that Flynn was being charged with a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. But Cotton says has yet to see any formal notice of the charges.

A defiant Flynn left the police station promising he would continue his demands for economic justice for residents on the north side of Flint.

"Investment will occur in north Flint," said Flynn, CEO of the North Flint Reinvestment Corporation.

"The residents of the north side of Flint will receive justice," Flynn said. "They will be treated equitably, like all the residents, even all that live downtown and in the Grand Traverse and Carriage Town areas. The residents of north Flint, they deserve the same allocation of resources in this community."

Flynn said he is demanding an end to what he sees economic disparity in the budget between those on Flint's north side, and other parts of the city.

" You can see, the disinvestment is intentional," said Flynn. "That's why I was here."

Emergency Manager Brown was unavailable for comment on the charges.

Flint police say they are unable to comment on the incident because it remains under investigation.
Post Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:25 am 
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