The Justice Department is introducing an initiative to prevent discrimination against religious places of worship. This initiative protects the ability for places of worship and other religious institutions to obtain facilities without discrimination against them through the federal land use provisions.
The Justice Department has rolled out a new initiative that aims to protect the ability of religious institutions to access facilities through increased enforcement of federal land use provisions.
Called the “Place to Worship” Initiative, the project will emphasize the ability of places of worship and religious institutions to build, expand, buy, or rent facilities, as allowed under land use provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to further discuss the initiative later in the day Wednesday.
“The Constitution doesn’t just protect freedom to worship in private — it protects the public exercise of religious belief, including where people worship together,” Sessions said in a statement. “Under the laws of this country, government cannot discriminate against people based on their religion — not in law enforcement, not in grant-making, not in hiring, and not in local zoning laws.”
Sessions went on to praise President Trump for his commitment to religious liberty and said the Justice Department’s new initiative stems from that pledge.
“President Trump is an unwavering defender of the right of free exercise, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice is standing up for the rights of all Americans,” Sessions said. “By raising awareness about our legal rights, the Place to Worship Initiative will help us bring more civil rights cases, win more cases, and prevent discrimination from happening in the first place.”
Along with the new initiative, the DOJ has filed a lawsuit against a borough in New Jersey for their violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The borough placed a "substantial burden" on an Orthodox Jewish congregation that was trying to build a place of worship in the area.
This is not a case where the government is getting involved and promoting any certain religion. This is an instance of the government stepping in and protecting the constitutional freedoms allowed to religious institutions when they are discriminated against. Something that many feel is long over due.
Let us know how you feel in the comments.