A church in Virginia wants to give back to the community by hosting a free event for the public, but they're getting some pushback from the city of Fairfax.
Shepherd's Heart Anglican Church was planning on serving free hot dogs and drinks at a public park while playing some music. Everything was fine until the city found out the church was going to play contemporary Christian music. Tony Mangini, an attorney at the Center for Religious Expression, says the city officials then decided to back out of permitting the event and to instead practice censorship.
He explains, "They're basically saying, You can say whatever you want, you can play whatever music you want, but if it's religious, you can't do that. You can't do it at all. You can't even have your event because you were going to have religious music at it."
Mangini tells OneNewsNow he has sent a letter to the city on behalf of the church, letting officials know that it's perfectly fine for the church to play Christian music.
"They just want their rights protected,” the attorney says. “They just want to be assured that just like anyone else they can use the park for an event on the same terms as anybody else."
Mangini continues, saying this case is an example of a disturbing trend that's taking place in society.
"More and more we're seeing this idea that religion can be selectively sanitized from public,” he says. “The case law is pretty well settled that that's just not true, yet incidents like this are becoming more frequent rather than less."
Mangini is hopeful officials in Fairfax will change course. If not, he says they might have to look at filing a lawsuit.