Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Metro Council Approves $5,000 to Proselytizing Ministry; Not Clear Whether Metro Legal Will Allow It

Originally published at Free Tennessee:

Metro Council Member Ronnie Greer re-introduced his resolution earmarking $5,000 for the Churches of Christ's Nashville Inner City Ministry after the ministry submitted a statement a few hours before last night's council meeting saying that their "Lifeskills" classes are not based on biblical principles. Mr. Greer argued on behalf of the resolution saying that the classes, which would directly benefit from the public funds, are based on broader moral and character-based issues and that resubmitting the resolution was "just the right thing to do."

A council office official told members that it still is not clear whether Metro Legal will allow the funds to be sent to NICM, since they had not had time to look over the submitted statement. He also told them that the council office itself would like to see more language in the Lifeskills statement. Council Member Randy Foster, a Churches of Christ member, stood in support of the bill and said he wanted the message sent to Metro Legal that no organization should have to set aside Judeo-Christian values for the sake of broader moral principles. The council approved Greer's request.

I'll continue to follow this matter to see if public funds get sent to this Ministry. If the funds do get dispersed, I would want to know what kind of oversight Metro is going to exercise to make sure that the Establishment Clause is not being violated.

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