New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Sides With Atheist Group, Declares That Churches Cannot Receive Tax Money For Any Reason At All

An important component of future anti-Christian activity will be the expropriation of property using tax laws as an excuse. This would most seriously affect the Catholic Church but will eventually target all churches with equally devastating consequences, and this is the ultimate end since it would be used to “legally” take down religion in the sense of it being a monolith for social guidance and, by reducing it to a private pursuit strictly through such laws, only precipitates rapid secularization to the form of a new paganism.

An intermediary step towards the realization of this goal happened in New Jersey, where the New Jersey Supreme Court and her Chief Justice ruled that all churches are barred from receiving state funds for any reason, including (and most important for our purposes) historic preservation:

Taxpayer money can’t be used for church repair projects that support religious activities — even if it’s for historic preservation, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The state’s highest court said millions of dollars in grants Morris County awarded to local churches for historic preservation violated proscriptions in the state Constitution against doling out aid to religious institutions.

Morris County had through its taxpayer-funded historic preservation trust fund granted $4.6 million to a dozen churches that used the money to repair stained glass windows with religious imagery, slate roofs, building towers and ventilation systems.

A Madison, Wisconsin,-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit, arguing that under the New Jersey Constitution, citizens cannot not be “obliged” to pay taxes for the repair of places of worship.

The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday that the grants violate that Religious Aid Clause, overturning a trial court ruling. It did not order the churches to return the funds.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed an amicus brief challenging the grants, said in a statement that the decision “makes a powerful statement: our taxpayer funds should not go to support religious worship.”

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner delivered the court’s opinion, writing that “the plain language of the Religious Aid Clause bars the use of taxpayer funds to repair and restore churches, and that Morris County’s program ran afoul of that longstanding provision.”

Attorneys for the court and churches that had received the funds had argued that disqualifying churches from the grant program would violate their own rights under the First Amendment’s protections on religion.

The court’s ruling stresses that these funds supported “religious uses,” as opposed to more secular uses, like refurbishing a playground.

Each one has “‘active congregations that regularly worship … and all hold regular worship services in one or more of the structures that they have used, or will use’ taxpayer-funded grants to repair.”

And in fact, the court noted, several of the churches applied for the funds in order to continue to conduct services.

“The churches are not being denied grant funds because they are religious institutions; they are being denied public funds because of what they plan to do — and in many cases have done: use public funds to repair church buildings so that religious worship services can be held there,” Rabner wrote.

Writing separately, Justice Lee Solomon said that the nature of the grant program puts it at odds with the Religious Aid Claude, but he does not think that clause should “categorically bar churches with active congregations from receiving funds that promote a substantial government purpose, such as historic preservation.” (source, source)

Sometimes church buildings go out of use. This happens because the church is as only as good as those who attend it. This is not uncommon to any society.

However, some of these churches are very historic and have deep roots in a society. This does not apply to churches only, but also to other religions and ideas. For example, when Rome became Christian, while it was necessary for many pagan places of worship and idols to be destroyed, the Church did not desire for a wholesale destruction of everything from the past and everywhere they could reach it. What was targeted then and throughout Church history were things that communicated or directly supported heathen beliefs and ideas that held a philosophy in contradiction to the Faith. It is same reason why St. Paul compelled the Greeks in Ephesus to destroy their scrolls of magic (Acts 19) and why the Spanish destroyed the Mayan and Aztec codices of magic- because outside of select academic use, they served no purpose other than to stir interest into subjects of a preternatural nature for the majority of people which would only bring about more problems for both the reader and anybody who would be influenced by his ideas. The Church did not just “destroy everything,” but to the contrary, it is argued that the Vatican Library and Vatican secret archives have possibly the largest collection on pagan and pre-Christian artifacts in the world, preserved by missionaries as a part of the historical record of the human race’s story, not for the purpose of “hiding the truth.”

This same philosophy also extends to physical places of worship, as many churches were build over or in the structures of old pagan temples, and in this sense preserve the idea that as the Church teaches how the law of God is written in the hearts of all men, the coming of the Faith fulfilled, perfected, and purified the errors of the old pagans by the coming of the true doctrine, which Isaiah prophesied about would come from Christ and spread to all the peoples of the world:

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased. Upon him I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.

He will not cry out, nor shout, nor make his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. He will faithfully bring forth justice.

He will not grow dim or be bruised until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching. (Isaiah 42:1-5)

The use of tax laws to attack the authority of the church, while having been used all throughout Europe by various tyrants, is of particular interest to the Anglosphere because it was the English who successfully used tax laws to annihilate the Church in much of what is today the UK, collectivize her wealth, and enforce a state “religion” in its place. While Anglicanism is the “Church of England,” the concern was less about the spiritual well-being of the people and rather their submission to the political authority of the Crown for which the public profession (no concerning belief at all) of the Crown official religion was one of their tools to determine the measure of a man’s patriotism.

Quebec and parts of Canada are an extension of France, the Hispanic world is an extension of Spain, Brazil is an extension of Portugal, and by that America is an extension of the UK. It should not therefore be a surprise that patterns found in the UK centuries ago therefore would at some point show themselves to re-appear in the US.

This example of denying government funds to churches who, be they in use or not, is a direct strike at the preservation of the historical memory of Christianity and to that, the past of a society. This will result in these buildings falling apart and, failing to be preserved, will most likely need to be demolished or sold to a developer who will destroy it beyond recognition from its past.

Either way, the result is the use of law to push against religion.

Supreme Justice Kavanaugh has criticized the ruling. It is yet to be seen if it will go to the Supreme Court. It will be a case to watch for future consequences.