|1st Presbyterian Church Succasunna|
Church buildings were among the first community buildings built in our towns and villages. They served as houses of worship, schools, and community gathering places. The 1st Presbyterian Church in Succasunna served as a hospital during the American Revolution serving soldiers regardless of their faith; those who didn’t survive are buried in their cemetery. Don’t ask the government who married who in the 1700s, or when a child was born in most of the 1800s; this information was only kept by churches. Whether the politically correct like it or not, church going Americans founded this country and their buildings and records are inter-woven in the fabric of our society.
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The resolution being proposed in this motion clearly is prohibiting the free exercise of religion. A historic building that once was a church but is now used for another purpose would be eligible for county historical preservation grants; however, that same building if used for religious purposes today cannot. How is this not against the constitution? It is absurd to deny the historical status of these buildings and the accompanying need for upkeep just because they are run by thus and such religion. We are not asking you to establish a religion.
I ask Morris County Freeholders to NOT to prohibit the free exercise of religious organizations by denying them the necessary funds to maintain their historic buildings, solely on the basis of their religious beliefs. Tell your Freeholders what you think tonight 7:30pm at the Morristown Courthouse.