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No Bible Reading in a HUD-Funded Building

Written by Gary North on October 30, 2012

Some bureaucrat who polices a retirement center that was built with HUD funding is making sure there is no public Bible reading going on.

She told Ruth Sweats to stop reading her Bible and discussing it with another resident. To read the Bible and then discuss it — yes, my friends, actually discuss it . . . in full public view! — is a violation of the separation of church and state. So says the bureaucrat.

Religious speech is allowed in private rooms, but not the commons area. So said the bureaucrat.

Mrs. Sweats contacted a public interest law organization to send this bureaucrat’s employer a letter, which the firm did.

The social worker reportedly said that since the non-profit complex receives federal funding, Sweats “did not have First Amendment rights because HUD does not allow religious discussions in public areas of the complex,” reported Todd Starnes of Fox News.

This human interest story was not picked up by the mainstream media. It is all over the blogosphere.

My guess is that the over-zealous employee will find that her boss prefers to avoid a law suit. The policy will no longer be enforced, if it really is policy. Senior bureaucrats do not like dealing with public-interest lawyers. The defense costs are high, and the publicity is bad.

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14 thoughts on “No Bible Reading in a HUD-Funded Building

  1. Texas Chris says:

    What exactly does the first Amendment protect? Nothing.

    If the government wants to infringe, the 1st Amendment prevents religious expression in or around government. If the government wants to interfere, then the 1st Amendment prevents religion from being expressed around government.

  2. if the american people would learn to read enough to at least read the constitution,including the supreme court,they would know that all such laws are unconstitutional

  3. Sharon Jeanguenat says:

    Too many people have fallen for that separation of church & state junk. There is NO SUCH thing in the Constitution. What it DOES say is that, the federal government cannot endorse a specific religion, create a federal religion, nor prefer one religion over the other. Nor pass laws that create a religion. In other words, IF I want to pray, read my Bible, whatever, they have no legal right to stop me. Of course, IF Obama stays in office, that will cease too, because he is determined to get rid of the Constitution, & all the idiot liberals are helping him do just that as fast as they can.

  4. I doubt that there can be real separation of church & state. Do protect freedom of religion. However, any religion that teaches that they can kill or oppress those who are outside of that church, must be dangerous to people.

  5. "The defense costs are high"–what do bureaucrats care about costs? It's all out of our hides, anyway. But you're right, bad PR could shorten one's time at the trough.

  6. Blair Franconia, NH says:


  7. Here it the way it is…"F" you…I will read what I want to read when I want to read it weather it is in your building or NOT and I DARE you to try and stop me because you WILL be eating what I am reading for lunch if you even dare try tell me I can't!!!

  8. That bureaucrat should be told to F-O. (Pardon my French)

  9. Is there such a thing as separation of mosque and state? Surely not!

  10. What exactly is religious speech? The Bible is God's revealed word, for our Constitution it lays antecedent as the very foundation of ethics and morals upon which the Constitution must operate. To discuss anything there has to be a reference to authority of some type, some ultimate concern that determines what one accepts as right and true. Since the establishment of religion is cultural in our country and antecedent to civil law enjoying it's exercise is a protected right even upon public property under our First Amendment, properly interpreted and understood. Rightly comprehended there is no conflict, no Constitutional problem, between what is required (ethics) and what is practiced (morals) between the established religion and religious liberty.

    That being said, though, the position of the liberal and this particular housing employee is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because she rejects revealed truth and therefore seeks an establishment of religion in her negation of revealed truth. She must be asserting some system of ethics and morals by which she concludes this is religious speech, simply because they were reading a Bible. But what if they are discussing law, economics, marriage, or just revisiting a wonderful story deposited in its pages? What is religious speech? Rather, the employee's squelching of this lady's liberty is religious speech in the process of establishment precisely because it demands ethical and moral establishment and cannot allow it to be an antecedent concern. Our First Amendment, properly interpreted and understood, prevents the establishment of religion and requires an antecedent ethical and moral foundation to operate upon, otherwise it must work to establish it which it is prohibited to do.

  11. jmsmaxwell says:

    Actually I would tell them to FOAD (Fu– off and die). I spend my time in the Military defending my country form fools and
    criminal who want to destroy our Republic and out laws. Even though I am retired I still hold my oath sacred and will
    defend it Country to the death against our enemies both foreign and domestic, especially to ones in the White House.

  12. you are sooo RIGHT ON!! these OBAMABOT MORONS swallow any SWILL that spews from the Liar in chief's lips!!

  13. ScarletDove says:

    Good for you Ruth Sweats, you are a tough individual who appreciates and respects our freedom of speech and Constitution and I personally am very proud that you did not accept this dictatorial superiority and handled it correctly. Congratulations to you! We all need to do exactly what Ruth did, stand up to the current Marxism mentality that trickles down from the current resident in our WH. I want him out of my home, go back to the streets of Chicago and sell you sick philosophy.

  14. ronkilmartin says:

    Sharon – you are absolutely right! We owe that phrase to the supreme court misconstruing an 1814 letter of Thomas Jefferson as superseding the 1st Amendment, a letter that has absolutely no political validity whatsoever, but which the liberal supreme court has used to willy-nilly make an Un-Constitutional "Amendment"!!! One which in no way complied with the Constitutional requirement (Article V) for 2/3s of both houses of Congress to approve and the approval of 2/3s of the legislatures of the (50) states. Because of this obnoxious violation of the Constitution by the supreme court itself, our entire legal system including all the state courts have endorsed this bogus "Amendment". And the Atheists, the ACLU, the Communists and the Progressives have had a field day ever since, contributing greatly to the massive decrease in morality that now infects our society at every level. Jefferson would turn over in his grave if he knew what that letter did to our country and our culture