I’m sure most people don’t think they are extreme in their application of their faith. It’s just that some are blinded by the power of the belief their god is the only one.
When this mental block moves from their heads into government, discrimination begins. This appears to be playing out in Beebe, Arkansas.
A couple want to start a Pagan church. They have a building located in a commercially zoned area. So far, the City has turned them down using a zoning argument. One of the City Council members said, “Their God is not my God.”
Now, zoning laws in general are a complex matter and zoning for churches is even more so. Mostly, zoning is about affecting neighbors. A church in a neighborhood of homes can cause problems. A big church in a shopping mall the same. But, to turn down a tiny church when it conforms to uses in a commercially zoned area is very suspicious.
There was a time when churches refused to be subject to zoning. That has changed though mostly they are giving a lot of slack.
The Pagan religion, there are many forms, predates Christianity. I have never understood why Pagans seem to be disliked more than Jews, though Jews put up with lots of discrimination.
There is no news about the Pagan church in the Beebe paper today. There is only a little story that the City Council will hold a special meeting because, “Something has come up.”
P. S. A special thanks to the folks that came to the reception last night for us. And, thanks to Senator Heitkamp for the beautiful bouquet.