Author Topic: Town where only Christians can buy houses  (Read 2172 times)

Town where only Christians can buy houses
« 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

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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? ...
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline SGOS

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #1 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.

Offline aitm

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #2 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....
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 11:13:17 AM »
Here's a link to the federal lawsuit complaint:

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Online Shiranu

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 01:29:54 PM by Shiranu »
I've Got Love, Fuck Your Money.

"Intellectualization creates a gap or lack of rapport between you and your life. You may think about things so much that you get into the state where you are eating the menu instead of the dinner." -Alan Watts

Offline Baruch

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #5 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.
שלום

Online trdsf

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #6 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.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline SGOS

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 02:23:59 PM »
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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.

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 02:30:07 PM »
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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?
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline SGOS

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #9 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.

Offline SGOS

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 02:39:53 PM »
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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.

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 02:07:28 AM »
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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.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #12 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?
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 02:21:52 AM »
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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?

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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
not expecting god to show up, but if he does we’re going to have to beat the prick up.

Re: Town where only Christians can buy houses
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 05:13:07 AM »
With signs on the gates "Jesus macht frei!"
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

 

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