Would this be a Church/State conflict?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by HeDied4U, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    Some friends and I have an opportunity to open up a coffee shop. We want to make it a Christian coffee shop, including having different speakers in on Friday and Saturday evenings. We would also like to have local Christian singing groups in from time to time.

    Here's the thing; there is a chance we can get a grant (not a loan) of up to $20,000 from the SBA, which would help out a great deal. However, we were told that if we did obtain the grant, we could not have any "preaching" going on. Why? Because the place would be funded, in part, by government money, thus any preaching would appear to be an endorsement of Christianity by the fed's.

    Is there any validity to this statement? To me, it seems so ridiculous that there just might be some truth to it.

    If anyone could throw any insight/comments/experiences my way it would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  2. Gina B

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    Even if it is, it seems easily repelled by the argument that if preaching does NOT happen, it would seem the goverment is endorsing atheism! [​IMG]
    Gina
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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  4. Artimaeus

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    The government considers its "No, you can't" policy, to be neutral. When it ought to be, "We don't care one way or the other".
     
  5. Mike McK

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    Adam, if this is a for profit business catering to Christians, I don't see a problem with it.

    If it's a ministry, then you might run into some problems.

    Go to http://www.aclj.org and ask them. They specialize in this sort of thing.
     
  6. ColoradoFB

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    Gina,

    You misconstrue neutrality as endorsement. If they paid you money and you have atheist speakers come in and promote their worldview, that is endorsing atheism. If they paid you money and you have Christian speakers preaching, that is endorsing Christianity. If they allow neither, that is neutrality.

    HeDied4U, why don't you do like most business people do...take out a loan and not have others dictating what you do in your business? I do not believe it is right for you to use money belonging to everyone for your private business. I believe this for every size business, from small to large. I also am against taxpayers paying for new, elaborate stadiums for sports teams (which are privately owned).
     
  7. just-want-peace

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    ColoradoFB, we disagree on many things, but I'm with you 100% on this!! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If only we could get the gov't to take this approach on things other than just business! :mad:
     
  8. ColoradoFB

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    Amen, just-want-peace!
     
  9. Bartimaeus

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    Just my opinion:

    There is no difference between this and a "church" that has rental properties that are let out or has a "Christian" School Program that brings in more tuition than is spent and the pastor is building his retirement on. I've seen this before in Baptist Churches. These churches need to be incorporated as businesses and are no different than the Gov't funded coffee house.

    Thanks ------Bart
     
  10. Jailminister

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    Some one else used this saying in another thread. COME SHECKELS.......COME SHACKELS

    With that said, if Gos is in it then you will not have to use their money. Be sure to ask yourself this: Is this for the Glory of the Lord or for money? I believe if you can answer it with for the Glory of the Lord, then God will provide a way. If it is for money then the SBC rules will not be grievous.
     
  11. Artimaeus

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    If they allow EITHER, is is neutral. If they allow NEITHER then they are hostile to both. They should be neutral and not care one way or the other.

    Some help to small businesses is a help to the economy and some isn't. The government is generally not wise enough to be able to tell the difference. As a result it is generally better to keep the government out of it.
     
  12. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    If they allow EITHER, is is neutral. If they allow NEITHER then they are hostile to both. They should be neutral and not care one way or the other.</font>[/QUOTE]While I can understand the point you are driving at here, I would say that they were PROMOTING both if both were allowed. I still contend that if one wishes to promote a view, be it Christianity, Atheism, Buddhism, or whatever, better not to do it with the public till that everyone pays in to.

    For example, say I wanted to open a coffee shop that promoted a pro-abortion viewpoint. I take a government grant to open it, therefore anti-abortion taxpayers are having their money spent to promote a view to which they are opposed. I am all for free speech, as long as the speaker is paying his own way. I should not have to subsidize the promotion of a view I disagree with via tax monies which I have no choice in either paying or earmarking for a particular purpose.

    With budget shortfalls in most state, federal & local budgets these days, public funds should be used for highways, defense, infrastructure, etc.
     
  13. Artimaeus

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    Colorado said
    I see you point also...how about if the government doesn't take either side into consideration (except to rule out subversive types). If HeDied4U wanted a business and the government found it might stimulate the economy and provide a few jobs (which in turn would indirectly pay back their investment). If the government doesn't care if it has a Christian flavor or a 50's theme, or NASCAR memorabilia then wouldn't that be neutral? If they say,"No", then that is an explicit disapproval, and if they say, "Yes", then that is, at least, an implicit approval, but, if they don't even consider it then, that would be neutral.
     
  14. HeDied4U

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    We're not sure yet exactly what direction our plans are going to take, if they take any direction at all. Everything is in the very early stages of planning, including the finances. Just wanted to toss this question and see what y'all thought.

    Once again, thanks!

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    My question about this would be a little more basic: What church is this coffee shop operating under and why aren't they funding it?
     
  16. RomOne16

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    If your goal is to open up a private business that caters to Christians, then you should avoid Gov. grants unless you don't have a problem being obligated to provide an equal voice to muslim speakers, or athiest, or buddhist, etc.

    If you want to adhere to one specific religion in your business, then taking govt. money is a definite conflict.

    If this business is also seperate from your church, you may run into problems (of adherence strictly to Christianity) by having to be liscensed by the city, county, state in which the business is located.
     
  17. HeDied4U

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    Pastor Larry asked...

    It wouldn't be operating under any church per se. It would be a private business with a Christian theme; sort of like the Family Christianstore chain; it isn't run by any particular church.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool: [​IMG]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Where in the NT do we see "ministry" that operates outside of and apart from the local church?? To what spiritual body will you be accountable??
     
  19. Major B

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    Here is a real example. The local "actors guild" type organization in our town got a megabucks grant ($200K plus!) from our rich Uncle Sam to put up a state of the art theater building. To help with their operating budget, they rent it out to lots of people for everything from pocket knife and tool shows to political events. For several months, a new church plant met there (they have subsequently built their own building). The legal eagles here said that was OK, since the facility was available to other organizations.
     
  20. fromtheright

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    ColoradoFB,

    I do not believe it is right for you to use money belonging to everyone for your private business. I believe this for every size business, from small to large. I also am against taxpayers paying for new, elaborate stadiums for sports teams (which are privately owned).

    I also agree with your statement on this one, but, Constitutionally speaking, would it be chipping at "the wall" if this coffeeshop allowed both preachers and atheists to promote their worldviews?
     

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