The United Methodist Church is in a legal battle that all Christians need watch closely. Long story short they are suing a New Jersey city to prevent a homosexual civil union service on their property. While surprised that they have decided to up hold their written beliefs, I am encouraged and hopeful for their stance. Maybe there is still hope their denomination may return to orthodoxy? What ever the case may be with the UMC, the legal battle bears watching for two reasons.
Reason #1 - How the legal battle is resolved by the courts will be an indicator of how much property owner rights are going to be eroded or enforced. Granted this right is being drastically eroded by court rulings and so called civil liberties laws. I am going to show my libertarian side here, but I think property owners should have the right to include or exclude who ever they want and the government should just butt-out.
Reason #2 - This legal battle will either continue the erosion of religious freedom in our country or stifle the bleeding a bit. I suspect the courts will do an end around by declaring it public space and not a place of worship. However, this would be a case of the government overstepping its bounds. If the government is going to be respectful of religious practices as it should under the 1st Amendment, it must recognize that Christians believe that a place of worship is wherever two or three gather in the name of Jesus Christ. If people are gathering in this place on a regular basis in the name of Jesus, they should recognize that it is a place of worship and uphold the right of the UMC to maintain its beliefs by not forcing them to host an horrid affront to God that is homosexual marriage. As such, the government should realize that any property owned by a Christian congregation/denomination regardless of type is a regular place of worship because people regular gather at this property in Christ's name.