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Featured City Shuts Down Baptist Church's Homeless Shelter

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/shelter-743612-city-church.html

    Former SBC Vice President Wiley Drake "said the city was invading his church’s property and the privacy rights of the homeless."

    "City officials said the building has no proper emergency exits, no certified fire alarm or smoke detection system, and a hazardous electrical system. Drake disputed the findings."

    "City officials said the temporary shelter building must be removed from the property or demolished by early March."

    "Drake said...he’ll move the homeless into the church itself."
     
  2. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Do you know if the city was justified for the shut down or not?

    HankD
     
  3. Rolfe

    Rolfe Well-Known Member
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    Might be good to include the first paragraph of the article:
    BUENA PARK -- About a dozen homeless people living in a shelter at First Southern Baptist Church vacated the building Thursday morning after city officials declared it unsafe to occupy.

    Even churches must comply with building and safety codes.
     
  4. Baptist Brother

    Baptist Brother Active Member

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    It looks like a mobile home. It has a front door and should have a back door. A smoke alarm is a few dollars at the store. What's the problem?
     
  5. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-743539-shelter-drake.html

    "Temporary industrial-style buildings were donated to the church in 1999, Drake said. The city that year granted the pastor a temporary occupancy permit with the understanding that a permanent shelter would be built."

    "But no permanent building has been erected. In March, city representatives inspected the property, and Police Chief Corey Sianez provided Drake a list of fire and life-safety issues to address."

    "After the December warehouse fire that killed 36 in Oakland, Buena Park officials returned to the church’s shelter on Jan. 24 and found few improvements at the buildings that have been melded together."

    "The pastor was instructed to vacate the shelter by Thursday and remove or demolish the building by early March."
     
  6. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    and they have that option - if it is extremely cold out - i would rather stay in the temporary shelter.


    Where are all the liberals protesting the separation of church and state?????
     
  7. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Just want peace - I am very serious about this - Liberals always complain about seperation of C&S.
    Well, the purospe is to keep the govt out of the business of the church.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I'm not a "liberal," but I do zealously guard separation of church and state.

    As you noted, part of the purpose of separation of church and state is to keep the government out of the business of the church. At the same time, the church has obligations to the community, their own people, and the people they minister to in terms of life safety.

    The government also has an overriding concern that churches are not killing people on their property. If a church decides that their religion should sacrifice people to their god, the state has the obligation to get involved on behalf of the welfare of the persons about to be sacrificed. They would also likely press charges against church members for ACTIONS or INACTIONS (not beliefs) that would endanger others.

    Furthermore, fire and building safety codes come into play when there is an emergency response team standing by to assist residents, businesses, and non-profit institutions in the event of an emergency. Although, unlike individuals and businesses, churches do not pay anything to have the benefit of emergency services to assist. However, if the church maintains unsafe conditions, they are also risking the lives of community servants because of their unwillingness to take reasonable steps to provide a minimal level of safety.

    If they want to be part of a city and have emergency services available to them (technically a minimal entanglement between church and state), they need to take reasonable steps to make their facilities safe.

    But beyond the whole church and state issue, I would think that the nature of the gospel would compel Pastor Drake to love his neighbors enough to at least provide a minimum of safety. They are safer with thermal sleeping bags in tents than in a facility like that.
     
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  9. Baptist Brother

    Baptist Brother Active Member

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    The Left only believes in Separation of Church and State when the church might benefit from non-discriminatory treatment. The Left demands churches be discriminated against when the result is oppression the church.
     
  10. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Sigh. And so it goes. This has nothing to do with separation.

    A church apparently is in violation of local building codes. It is only being discriminated against if it is true that it is being treated differently from other similar shelters.

    You may think the codes are unreasonable, but that doesn't make them illegal, so long as they are being applied uniformly. Churches — or synagogues or temples or mosques — have to follow the rules everyone else does in matters or civil regulation.

    A local example: Several years ago the largest Baptist church in town was told that it had to stop using a graveled parking lot because city code required it to be paved. There was much wailing about how unfair it was, but no one thought the church was being picked on because it was a church. (This is, of course, and overwhelmingly "conservative Christian" city.) Many people thought the code was unreasonable, but no one thought the church was being persecuted.

    A second case: A local church decided that it would provide unused Sunday school rooms to a local Christian private school. The city said that the space would be subject to the codes that govern schools, not churches, including sprinkler systems and alarms that the church wasn't required to have. Again, some thought the regulations an unreasonable burden, but practically no one thought that the city was targeting Christian education.

    The recent disastrous fire in Oakland has prompted many California cities to crack down on substandard housing. Hard to blame them.
     
    #10 rsr, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  11. Baptist Brother

    Baptist Brother Active Member

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    As the phrase "separation of church and state" is code for a twisted interpretation of the Constitution for the purpose of oppressing the church, it's not credible to claim to be not-a-liberal while claiming to be zealous for separation of church and state.

    If the Left want to entangle the government in the Church, they say it's not about belief but about actions or inaction. If doing the opposite, discrimination against the church, hey say it's about beliefs, not actions or inaction. Which ever way the Left goes to try to hurt the church, they have a card to play to pretend to be standing on moral ground.

    The Left likes to complain about churches not paying property taxes, as if the government is unfairly helping the church. Other non-businesses also don't pay property taxes, and many non-church non-businesses also receive a lot of taxpayer money.

    You say "If they want..." as if you think they do or should have choice. I don't think you believe they should have a choice.

    What's the point of your gratuitous church-bashing when you could have just argued that this is just a safety issue?

    Tents are not better than this building. Maybe regarding the highly unlikely even of a fire, a tent might be better, but in most other regards, this building is better. Tents soak through in heavy rain. Tents are cold when it's cold, and you can't stay in your sleeping bag to shower. Tents reduce the ability to supervise what these homeless people are doing. Tents become unbearably hot on hot days. Tents quickly wear out.

    Really, how dangerous is this building? When it comes to fire, how is it any more dangerous than any mobile home?
     
  12. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    It is entirely credible. Baptists, at least at one time they did, believe that the state should keep its nose out of church business and the church should not expect special favors from the secular authorities beyond that accorded other individuals or organizations. Seems simple to me.
     
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  13. Baptist Brother

    Baptist Brother Active Member

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    I do believe in Separation of Church and State, but not in the way Liberals use the phrase, but in the way the Constitution is written. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. A law dictating discrimination against a church is a law that "respects" the establishment of religion (although, I believe the Constitution only intended to prohibit a state church). When Liberals say churches should be taxed, they're advocating discrimination against churches because secular non-businesses are not taxed.

    This homeless shelter needs to be closed or improved if it's really is dangerous. But, I'm having trouble understanding why it's dangerous. Apparently it was approved at one time for the homeless to sleep there. Two doors to the outside and smoke alarms, where's the danger? It seems far safer than many bedrooms in houses built to code. Compare to a second- or third-story bedroom with only one door, which isn't to the outside but to a single hallway, which leads to a single set of stairs, which leads to the rest of the house before there's an exit to the outside.

    Maybe it's not a church issue, but intolerance of homeless people. It just smells fishy.
     
  14. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
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    Many times on atheist/secularist/SC&S boards I have presented a hypothetical situation like this in response to someone claiming we must have "absolute separation of church and state." They always relent on restricting churches and their programs, though of course they will never admit I am right. But indeed building or sanitation codes would not apply to churches if the separation was "absolute."
     
  15. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Baptists have advocated for institutional separation of church and state from the beginning. That's where I coming from, not "liberalism." I am zealous for historic Baptist beliefs.

    Just so it is clear, I am not against churches being exempt from taxes at all. In terms of separation of church and state, it is essential.

    If they are outside of all city and community jurisdictions, then they may be exempt in some states.

    There was no church bashing. Salty asked a question about how separation of church and state applied and I answered it.

    And that's precisely the point.

    I lived in a house without air conditioning for a couple of years in Central Texas where the summer temperatures reached 110. I would have gladly stayed in a tent on some of those days.

    Mobile homes are not great. But why couldn't the church create safe facilities? If you are going to serve people, at least provide the minimum standards that anyone else would provide. I work with and support our local homeless shelter and there are all kinds of safety procedures and systems in place to take care of people. Is it a place of luxury? Not at all, but it is clean, safe, and there is a program designed to help people get back on their feet and find success in life.
     
  16. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Pastor Wiley Drake applies for restraining order against Buena Park police chief

    Drake claims his civil rights have been violated and he has suffered "mental and emotional distress."

    He's asking a judge to order the police chief "to stay at least 100 yards away from him, his home, his workplace, the church and the homeless shelter."

    "After the shelter's Feb. 9 closure, Drake...transferred ownership of the...homeless center to another nonprofit, White Horse Family Rights Council....[run by] J. Steven Davis, [the church's] director of security....[who] had the locks the city installed on the building's doors removed and the boards on the windows taken down....late last month, city officials obtained a warrant to lock and board the building back up."
     
  17. Archie the Preacher

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    Sounds like a building code (ergo safety) matter than an entry into the church's affairs.

    One - even an institution - cannot 'invite' people to use a building as a residence which exposes those people to 'unsafe' conditions. Not even as a church. This is much the same as a person may not declare himself to be a 'church', then operate a Ponzi scheme for personal gain and claim immunity because he is a 'church'.

    No, the church isn't making money from the action, but the building code is the building code. If that condemned building is really safe, the church could bring a civil action against the city and get a bundle from the city. One wonders why that hasn't been mentioned?
     
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  18. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Pastor Wiley Drake Abandons Ploy to Get Restraining Order Against Police Chief

    "Pastor Wiley Drake has informed city officials that he is no longer seeking restraining orders against the city’s police chief and two other city employees."

    "An Orange County Superior Court commissioner was due to hear allegations of civil rights violations the pastor has made against the city, according to a letter filed Wednesday"

    “'I have elected to not pursue my action against the city,' Drake wrote in the letter. 'I believe the judicial officer is prejudice in favor of the city.'”

    "[At a] March 3 hearing....the pastor was denied his request to be aided during the court proceeding by J. Steven Davis, who he referred to as his 'spiritual counselor.'"

    "Davis was not a practicing attorney, and therefore was not able to represent Drake. According to the California State Bar, Davis resigned from the bar in 2004 while under investigation and is unable to practice law in California."

    "Drake and Davis indicated that they are now turning their attention to a federal lawsuit against the city"
     
  19. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Of course they are.
     
  20. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    City begins demolition of ramshackle "temporary" homeless shelter at First Southern Baptist Church:

    www.ocregister.com/2017/04/24/buena-park-starts-teardown-of-temporary-homeless-shelter-at-first-southern-baptist-church/

    [​IMG]
     
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