Only Christians Are Allowed To Buy Houses In Bay View, Michigan
A federal lawsuit has been filed against the City of Bay View, Michigan, which only allows practicing Christians to own property.
Founded by Methodist families 140 years ago, Bay View passed their bigoted law in 1947, along with a white-only clause, which was eliminated in the 1950s. But the Christian-only law was strengthened in 1986.
The law requires evidence of Christian faith by a letter from a Christian minister testifying to active participation in a church.
Ironically, the Bible never mentions active participation in churches, church membership, or even churches.
Fortunately, a dozen current and former resident members filed a federal lawsuit against Bay View, the Bay View Association and a real estate company, claiming the Christian test is unconstitutional.
Betty Stevens, and her husband, Glenn, a former Bay View Association board member, do not believe the rules should change even though they clearly violate federal housing laws.
Glenn defended the violation of federal law based on religious freedom:
This place was founded with a purpose. People were coming to a camp meeting ground to participate in a Christian spiritual reawakening.
Mike Steinberg, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, called the lawsuit an “open-and-shut case”:
This is pure discrimination by a governmental entity. Bay View is clearly one and governmental entities cannot favor one religion over another, or religion over no religion.