Church steeples are very common in Christian churches.They are symbols of man's attempt to reach the heavens or the Divine. They serve a religious purpose. As explained in Alletia,
Steeples were also used to remind a local community to remain focused on God. Other secular buildings were usually built lower than the church steeple, making the local church the highest and most important building of the town. You couldn’t go anywhere in town without seeing the steeple and as a result be reminded about your duty to God.Government money should never be spent to remind the local community about their duty to God.
Just last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a state grant to a church for playground surfacing was consistent with the Establishment Clause. Obviously, the grant was for a secular purpose. No one religion was given preference over another. There was no excessive entanglement of religious and governmental institutions.
This grant is the polar opposite. The money for a steeple serves no purpose other than religious. The grant gives preference to Christianity, where steeples are the norm. The government is directly involving itself in one specific church's attempt to reach the Divine
There are numerous churches out there. Shiloh Baptist Church has a completely secular after-school mentoring program. Other churches have food pantries. Even more churches sponsor athletic programs. there are even some churches with steeples of their own in need of restoration. Easton's Rock Church has a steeple that desperately needs restoration.
Did any of this churches even know that we are now in the business of handing out money to them? I doubt it. Rev. Mike Dowd knew because of his involvement in the Chamber, and made sure to pass the collection plate, to the exclusion of other churches.
This is totally wrong.
County Executive Lamont McClure tells me, "I believe in God and the First Amendment."
Well, you can believe in both and deny this grant.