WDC MEDIA NEWS
Christian News and Media Agency
September 22, 2006
Initiatives to counter eminent domain
ruling on several November ballots
(AgapePress) — The president of a pro-family group in Michigan says concerned Christian voters in his state have a chance to limit local governments from condemning homes and churches for private development projects.
Michigan is one of six states that will have proposed constitutional amendments limiting eminent domain on their November ballots. In the Kelo decision last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that municipalities have the right to condemn homes, businesses, and churches to make way for private development projects.
Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan, says the initiative to counter that ruling has broad support. “Everybody from Center for Law & Policy [legal arm of the American Family Association] to the National Council of Churches to the NAACP has spoken out against this outrageous decision,” says Glenn.
“[It] puts ominous power in the hands of local governments to turn over property — your property — to private developers who want to put up commercial development projects just so it will produce more tax revenue.”
Glenn cites just one example of the result of the Supreme Court’s decision. “One of the most famous examples is the African-American church in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, that’s being threatened with condemnation to make way for a Home Depot and Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” he says. “As the pastor [of that church] has said, the Lord called him to lead a church, not to make way for a Home Depot.”
Other states considering similar initiatives include Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.