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Sep 28, 2012

West Australian council bans church feeding poor

Churches can tend towards activities that they have no business being in, such as lobbying governments to inflict religion based taboos on the rest of us who are not worried about the afterlife.  On the other hand there are areas where the state has no business being, such as inflicting religion based taboos on of us, mandating actions, prohibiting peaceful interactions in certain areas, and so on.

Menzies House has highlighted a case where a council is banning a church from carrying out one of the most basic and fundamentally Christian actions as we understand them to be; feeding the poor:
… “A Scarborough church risked a $1 million fine last night by serving its weekly free Sunday meal, after the City of Stirling deemed many of the church’s activities were in breach of local planning regulations. 
“Under the planning scheme, Scarborough Baptist Church is allowed to use its land on the corner of Westview Street and Brighton Road as a place of worship and child daycare centre. In a letter sent on September 18, the council identified activities such as serving dinner at weekly Sunday evening services, craft classes, band practice and preschool dance classes as unapproved use of the land. 
“These activities mean the 65-year-old church risks a $1 million fine and a further $125,000 fine for each day it is found to be in breach of council regulations. …
If banning acts of charity by a church, or the thought of bureaucrats mandating what is or isn’t a legitimate action of a church to carry out on its own property is not bad enough to enrage you, the idea of million dollar fines for victimless activity should.  It would be difficult to think of a more Christian act than helping the poor.

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