Atheistforums

Extraordinary Claims => Religion General Discussion => Christianity => Topic started by: GSOgymrat on February 09, 2018, 09:41:02 AM

Title: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: GSOgymrat on February 09, 2018, 09:41:02 AM
I'm aware of communities where residents create barriers for certain people to buy but I wasn't aware there were still places where you can't buy due to your religion or lack thereof. I was also surprised that one of the owners can't leave his house in his will to his wife or children because they are part Jewish.

The Michigan town where only Christians are allowed to buy houses

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/09/christians-only-town-bay-view-michigan

What started out as a modest camping ground for Methodist families 140 years ago has quietly developed into a stunning vacation spot for people who can afford the upkeep of a second home. Streets named Moss, Fern and Maple are dotted with impeccably maintained century-old gingerbread cottages. Over the horizon, residents can watch lifelong friends sail their boats across the water.

But this paradise is not open to all. In Bay View, only practicing Christians are allowed to buy houses, or even inherit them.
Prospective homeowners, according to a bylaw introduced in 1947 and strengthened in 1986, are required to produce evidence of their faith by providing among other things a letter from a Christian minister testifying to their active participation in a church.

Last summer, a dozen current and former resident members filed a federal lawsuit against the town, its ruling Bay View Association and a real estate company, claiming the Christian litmus test was illegal and unconstitutional. Is Bay View a religious community simply seeking to practice its own beliefs, in peace, as it has always desired? Or is it, as the lawsuit claims, a community in clear violation of constitutional, civil and religious rights – to say nothing of federal housing rights? ...
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2018, 09:58:57 AM
I don't know if it's illegal or not, but I wouldn't want to live there.  It's probably not legal, but that's a wild guess.  The big problem I see is the community dictating parts of your private life, and I think guaranteed private by law, in such matters as how you can write a will.  You can't give the house to your nephew, or whoever, because he's the wrong religion?  Or not Christian enough?  Not only does that sound egregious, but also subjective.  Maybe they can pull it off, and good luck to them if they do, but it seems like a legal minefield that I wouldn't want any responsibility for.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: aitm on February 09, 2018, 10:41:58 AM
and yet on the the hand...if we could erect a fence and keep the bastards in one spot....
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: sdelsolray on February 09, 2018, 11:13:17 AM
Here's a link to the federal lawsuit complaint:

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/bay-view.pdf
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Shiranu on February 09, 2018, 11:53:29 AM
If you're that fundamental to want such a community, maybe you and everyone else are better off with you isolating yourself like that.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Baruch on February 09, 2018, 12:51:36 PM
Housing covenants are murky, not even municipal regs sometimes, homeowner association stuff.

In Amish areas or Mormon areas or Hasidic areas, I would think this is common.  They don't want you there, and you probably don't want to be their either.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: trdsf on February 09, 2018, 02:19:34 PM
I suspect the case is going to hinge more on the rights of the individual to dispose of their estate as they wish.  A local ordinance forbidding someone from willing their estate to a non-Caucasian, or forbidding willing it to a gay couple, or—appropriately, here—forbidding willing it to a Jew wouldn't last five seconds in a court.  The right of free association only goes just so far, and since the entire community doesn't appear to be monolithically one particular sect of Christianity, there is no way to defend it on a church basis.  "Christian" isn't a church, it's an umbrella term covering everything from the most gentle of Quakers to the most demented of snake-handlers, with stops at all points between and beyond.

Judging by that article, even though it's administered under the United Methodist Church, it appears that they do not limit membership to Methodists only.  That right there damages any church-based defense.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2018, 02:23:59 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Housing covenants are murky, not even municipal regs sometimes, homeowner association stuff.
They are enforceable regulations, as long as they don't conflict with actual laws.  However, they are enforced through restraining orders paid for by the home owners.  Legally, they can even be brought to court by someone living outside the development.  I actually approve of them, but they do lend themselves to abuse.  This one would be an interesting case to watch.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: GSOgymrat on February 09, 2018, 02:30:07 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
They are enforceable regulations, as long as they don't conflict with actual laws.  However, they are enforced through restraining orders paid for by the home owners.  Legally, they can even be brought to court by someone living outside the development.  I actually approve of them, but they do lend themselves to abuse.  This one would be an interesting case to watch.

How do senior living communities legally avoid having residents under age 55?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2018, 02:32:35 PM
In reading the first half of the complaint, I'd be surprised if the community won their case, but then I am often surprised.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: SGOS on February 09, 2018, 02:39:53 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
How do senior living communities legally avoid having residents under age 55?

I suppose it depends on how they are set up.  I'm only familiar with a couple.  But the ones I know of are all owned by the corporation... Sort of.  You do buy the house or apartment and it becomes yours so to speak, but when you die, it reverts back to the corporation.  You don't get to will it to anyone, even though you <sort of> bought it.  I would never live in one, but I have friends who think the set up is great.  They consider themselves property owners.  I can understand their sense of community and enjoying the various amenities, but the ownership glitch horrifies me.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Blackleaf on February 10, 2018, 02:07:28 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If you're that fundamental to want such a community, maybe y you and everyone else are better off with you isolating yourself like that.

Bad idea. Mormons have already built their own segregated communities, where they control the local police and government. Human rights are frequently violated, and people are not allowed to leave. The only way they can be dealt with is if they're forced to disperse and actually follow the law.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 10, 2018, 06:08:08 AM
Do they have an Imaginary Friend Lease Law? Is there a limit to the number of gods you can worship if you live there? What's the minimum level of sanctimoniousness needed to qualify for a home purchase?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: fencerider on February 12, 2018, 02:21:52 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Do they have an Imaginary Friend Lease Law? Is there a limit to the number of gods you can worship if you live there? What's the minimum level of sanctimoniousness needed to qualify for a home purchase?
In otherwords how much ass-kissin do you gotta do if you want to live there?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
and yet on the the hand...if we could erect a fence and keep the bastards in one spot....
Don’t forget the one-way gates... everybody goes in but no one comes out
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 12, 2018, 05:13:07 AM
With signs on the gates "Jesus macht frei!"
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 13, 2018, 05:02:22 AM
It is probably illegal, but consider the benefits of them wallinh themselves away.  Most enclosed societies are committing socioicide.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: trdsf on February 13, 2018, 09:11:49 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
...socioicide.
Ooo.  I like that word.  If that's your own neologism, it's a good one.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 13, 2018, 09:17:35 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Ooo.  I like that word.  If that's your own neologism, it's a good one.

All mine, on the spot.  I kinna like it too.  I may rent it to George Will though.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: trdsf on February 13, 2018, 09:25:57 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
All mine, on the spot.  I kinna like it too.  I may rent it to George Will though.
Only suggestion: 'sociocide' flows better than 'socioicide', at least to my ear and tongue.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 13, 2018, 09:52:21 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Only suggestion: 'sociocide' flows better than 'socioicide', at least to my ear and tongue.

Good to me.  The second version of a GREAT IDEA is always a bit better than the first.  And who am I to criticize my GREAT IDEA!?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: sdelsolray on February 13, 2018, 10:39:11 AM
I think the Methodist Church owns all the land in this community.  Whomever buys a house does not own the land, just the structure.  That fact may doom the lawsuit.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 13, 2018, 11:16:44 AM
Sociocide, that's the path.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 13, 2018, 12:08:11 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I think the Methodist Church owns all the land in this community.  Whomever buys a house does not own the land, just the structure.  That fact may doom the lawsuit.

That's where lawyers earn their money.  Creating arguments among themselves for fun and profit... 

It seems unlikely that you can own a house but no property (access to the house requires land, etc), but association rules can say any damn thing they want until struck down by a court.  This could get very interesting.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 13, 2018, 12:22:04 PM
Good thing this isn't anti-muslim or anything...
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: GSOgymrat on February 13, 2018, 01:19:57 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Good thing this isn't anti-muslim or anything...

If this was a Muslim enclave in America that excluded ownership or transfer of property to Christians certain people would be outraged.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 13, 2018, 01:58:44 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If this was a Muslim enclave in America that excluded ownership or transfer of property to Christians certain people would be outraged.

I do suspect you might be on to something there...  And imagine what would happen if it was an atheist landlord enforcing such ungodly rules on the RIGHTEOUS!
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 13, 2018, 02:04:26 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If this was a Muslim enclave in America that excluded ownership or transfer of property to Christians certain people would be outraged.
We have Mormon enclaves already. Technically "Christian" because what's-his-name wasn't stupid, but a revealed religion of dubious nature anyway.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 15, 2018, 03:20:19 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
We have Mormon enclaves already. Technically "Christian" because what's-his-name wasn't stupid, but a revealed religion of dubious nature anyway.

But what legal rights do they have for religious exclusion?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 15, 2018, 05:25:06 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
But what legal rights do they have for religious exclusion?
No more than anyone else, of course. Just pointing out that exclusionary groups will bunker down to avoid contact with the real world.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 15, 2018, 07:37:26 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
No more than anyone else, of course. Just pointing out that exclusionary groups will bunker down to avoid contact with the real world.

That's what laws are for.  And they should be applied.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 15, 2018, 07:40:46 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
That's what laws are for.  And they should be applied.
"They can take our lives, but they can never taking our FREEDOMMMMMMM!!!!"
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 15, 2018, 09:18:44 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"They can take our lives, but they can never taking our FREEDOMMMMMMM!!!!"

It depends on what you mean by "freedom".  If it means keeping others out, no.  If it means requiring that "others" are allowed in, yes.  Social diversity, as in genetics, usually equals improvement.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 15, 2018, 09:22:20 AM
That was a quote from a Mel Gibson movie.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: SGOS on February 15, 2018, 09:38:27 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
But what legal rights do they have for religious exclusion?
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
No more than anyone else, of course. Just pointing out that exclusionary groups will bunker down to avoid contact with the real world.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
That's what laws are for.  And they should be applied.
When I visited my Mormon cousin in Utah, it was when that national flap was taking place over that Mormon offshoot group in Southern Utah.  Never mind that actual laws were being broken including child molestation and tax evasion.  The general opinion among the upright Mormon community was, "They should be left alone.  They aren't hurting anyone."  To them, the issue was over freedom of religion and the associated polygamy, and that's much of what the nation understood it to be.  Since then, books have been written by insiders who had escaped the compound.  Turns out, it wasn't just some harmless religion with an odd proclivity for kinky sex.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 15, 2018, 10:22:15 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
When I visited my Mormon cousin in Utah, it was when that national flap was taking place over that Mormon offshoot group in Southern Utah.  Never mind that actual laws were being broken including child molestation and tax evasion.  The general opinion among the upright Mormon community was, "They should be left alone.  They aren't hurting anyone."  To them, the issue was over freedom of religion and the associated polygamy, and that's much of what the nation understood it to be.  Since then, books have been written by insiders who had escaped the compound.  Turns out, it wasn't just some harmless religion with an odd proclivity for kinky sex.

Such situations are never harmless.  When children are involved I think all other rights go away.  Rights are for adults.  Children must be protected.  I think it was Robert Heinlein who said that any society that does not put women and children "first" is doomed to fail. 

Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on February 15, 2018, 10:45:56 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I think it was Robert Heinlein who said that any society that does not put women and children "first" is doomed to fail. 


Rather a cruel way to check for snipers, don't you think?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 19, 2018, 02:56:32 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Rather a cruel way to check for snipers, don't you think?

Not quite what I meant by "first'.  Good one though...  I admire linguistic creativity.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Baruch on February 19, 2018, 06:32:27 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Not quite what I meant by "first'.  Good one though...  I admire linguistic creativity.

Put women and children first, in sniper situations ;-(
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on February 19, 2018, 08:41:42 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Put women and children first, in sniper situations ;-(

First to be protected...  Was that not obvious?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: sdelsolray on February 19, 2018, 10:25:13 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
That's where lawyers earn their money.  Creating arguments among themselves for fun and profit... 

It seems unlikely that you can own a house but no property (access to the house requires land, etc), but association rules can say any damn thing they want until struck down by a court.  This could get very interesting.

The land is leased.  The house is owned.  Your disdain for the law and/or lawyers is not relevant.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on March 18, 2018, 01:33:00 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The land is leased.  The house is owned.  Your disdain for the law and/or lawyers is not relevant.

That strikes me as an unusual situation.  How can you own a house on leased land?  What do you do if the lease ends?  Pick up the house and move it?  I would like to learn more about that.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Baruch on March 18, 2018, 05:54:09 AM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
That strikes me as an unusual situation.  How can you own a house on leased land?  What do you do if the lease ends?  Pick up the house and move it?  I would like to learn more about that.

Maybe he lives in a ... mobile home??
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on March 25, 2018, 08:30:03 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Maybe he lives in a ... mobile home??

That's not a "house", its a large trailer.  A tornado attraction.  An RV.  Think the "mobile" part.
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Unbeliever on March 25, 2018, 08:35:39 PM
Maybe he lives in a mobile...phone?
Title: Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
Post by: Cavebear on March 25, 2018, 08:41:11 PM
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Maybe he lives in a mobile...phone?

LOL!  Yeah, that is TOTALLY mobile...