Who Keeps the Keys?

Print More

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

Time magazine’s ever-on-top-of-things David Van Biema has a helpful explainer on Friday’s ruling in the Virginia Episcopal Church property lawsuit. (In case you missed it, a Virginia judge ruled that a Civil War-ear statute applies in the case involving 10 breakaway churches. The statute essentially says that when a church is split, the majority gets […]

  • Chris

    One of the problems with this law is that it makes an end-run around the rules and by-laws that govern denominations, local jurisdictions, and their congregations. In order to seize church property, all a break-away clergyperson or lay leader need do is get a majority of congregants – long-standing members or new like-minded folk – to convince a (not theologically-trained) judge to declare that a so-called “division” has occurred between themselves and their denomination. This totally disregards church order and the right of private organizations – in this case, a private religious organization – to regulate themselves without government interference.

    How ironic that conservatives are calling on the government to meddle in a dispute within a private religious organization. Isn’t that the kind of Big Government interference conservatives usually reject and decry as un-American?