2 of 2
2
Krishna temple in NYC apartment is illegal/unsafe—please help w/ feedback
Posted: 15 October 2010 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2010-09-24

I hope the group will stay with me if I utilize a hypothetical situation here. I think/hope it will depersonalize my issues.

So I will now invent Betty.

Betty doesn’t like this temple meeting in her apartment building. They cook smelly food, and take up all her parking which was already very difficult to find in her area. She is sick of these 6-10 people coming and going, chanting, and looking odd in the hallways.

Trouble is, there is no existing law to get these oddballs out of the building. 

Betty heard from a friend that this could maybe be against zoning. She decides she’ll bring a zoning complaint.

So please consider all further points of empathic criticism to be towards Betty.

dougsmith - 15 October 2010 06:42 PM

On what evidence do you term this “discrimination”?
Are you claiming that any zoning issue is “discrimination”?

Clearly not, I’m not saying anyone who wants to start a heavy industrial factory with toxic byproducts should be allowed to do so in a residential area.

dougsmith - 15 October 2010 06:42 PM

On what evidence do you term this “discrimination”?
If not, what is specific about this zoning issue that makes it such?

Laws must by definition be enforced equally and designed in such a manner that they are as broadly applicable as possible.

A stomach churning example can be found with the Catholic church and child abuse. The “Holy” See clearly feel they are above the law when it comes to such issues. But rape of a child should be prosecuted as such, irrespective and across the board as so. Just as the pursuit of prosecution should be equal, a priest deserves every protection against discrimintion against being viewed as automatically guilty due to his occupation as a priest.

You commit the crime, you do the time. Because of the crime, not because someone guilty of the same decided they didn’t like you. 

So if Betty wants to say “Look, look, look, a temple against zoning laws!” Betty had best be ready to take a possible eviction for her stove’s overhead exhaust being 1.25 inches too low. Or her charity knitting group meetings not being properly filed under non-profit group fundraising charter chapter 7129C-D.

As I mentioned before, anyone can be burned by these codes.

If you are not enforcing code on the whole building, you are by definition selectively enforcing code in order to oust an unpopular minority.

As I mentioned before, Joe McCarthy would be proud of Betty’s clever (and illegal) problem solving methods. Simply because Betty would potentially win in court does not make her actions ethical.

dougsmith - 15 October 2010 06:42 PM

Do you think there should be special dispensation for religious organizations?

LOL, no that would violate that precious 1st Amendment I love so much! wink

Betty just better be ready for the inspector and the same code punishments if she wants to throw a group of humans out on the street for crimes she is very likely guilty of herself.

And if she isn’t, she is misusing the law in a manner eerily similar to previous racist/theist/McCarthy-ist tactics.

If you want to claim immunity, you’d better qualify for it before you call the men with guns and sticks to do your evil for you.

Disenfranchisement by coercion does not escape the ethical punishment for said actions on my watch.

-RC

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2010 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11

If the home next door to my house turns itself into a mini megachurch or business pursuit,  and I complain about a zoning violation, the inspector is NOT going to go door to door to check all of the other houses in the neighborhood for violations.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2010 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2010-09-24
asanta - 15 October 2010 09:19 PM

If the home next door to my house turns itself into a mini megachurch or business pursuit,  and I complain about a zoning violation…

Well, do we have a “mini-megachurch” here? Or do we have six people (minus the two who already live there) getting together for food and mindless chanting?

I say again, with as much respect as I can muster, I feel this is being given special treatment in regards to an unpopular minority. 

I lived in a ramshackle apartment in a not very good area once, the upstairs neighbors were recent Nigerian immigrants (I know because I asked). It was a regular occurrence for seven to ten of them to get comer over, play cards, drink liquor and shout to shake the walls when the stakes went up on a tight hand.

Did I love their card games? Hell-to-the-no.

Did I try and have them evicted? Same answer.

Also, have you ever sold anything on ebay? Some people do it to pay the rent. So does the business pursuit claim hold up to them?

Should they be evicted as well? What about a person who works via the internet from home?

It is my opinion that no matter how you spin this, you’re cherry picking.

asanta - 15 October 2010 09:19 PM

the inspector is NOT going to go door to door to check all of the other houses in the neighborhood for violations.

No I bet not, doesn’t make it right either.

I’ll remind you Rosa Parks went to jail for violating a law, not for her good looks.

Saying “I can make the police come and force you into behavior that I want” isn’t an ethical protection.

And it will not get as much from me.

I think my position is pretty clear on this, unless anyone has a specific question for me (please say as much), I’ll leave this thread be since I’ve started repeating myself.
And despite some of my other posts, I’m not trying to just make people angry. smile

I just enjoy a good debate.

-RC

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2010 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

RC, you seem to be assuming throughout that this case has no merits. I think we all would agree that if it had no merits, that nothing should be done. What in the original article leads you to your assumption?

And it’s just silly to claim that if one person violates the law then everyone should be investigated for legal violations.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2010 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
Ruat Caelum - 15 October 2010 09:44 PM

Or do we have six people (minus the two who already live there) getting together for food and mindless chanting?

I say again, with as much respect as I can muster, I feel this is being given special treatment in regards to an unpopular minority.

I personally don’t care what they are doing in their apartment. I have also said I don’t know what the laws of NYC say about what can be done in an apartment. I can say that in MY neighborhood, if someone were to start an obvious business in this residential neighborhood, it would be shut down. I also know that if the neighbors were to throw a loud party, playing cards and drinking liquor, making loud noises well into the night, and did not listen to my requests to keep it down, the police would do it for me….which is about being a considerate neighbor.

I lived in a ramshackle apartment in a not very good area once, the upstairs neighbors were recent Nigerian immigrants (I know because I asked). It was a regular occurrence for seven to ten of them to get comer over, play cards, drink liquor and shout to shake the walls when the stakes went up on a tight hand.

Did I love their card games? Hell-to-the-no.

Did I try and have them evicted? Same answer.

Also, have you ever sold anything on ebay? Some people do it to pay the rent. So does the business pursuit claim hold up to them?

Should they be evicted as well? What about a person who works via the internet from home?

now you are just being plain silly. Sure, and I’d evict someone holding garage sales on the weekend!! Which is what you will accuse me of next. I am not cherry picking you are carrying your argument to the ridiculous.

It is my opinion that no matter how you spin this, you’re cherry picking.

asanta - 15 October 2010 09:19 PM

the inspector is NOT going to go door to door to check all of the other houses in the neighborhood for violations.

No I bet not, doesn’t make it right either.

I’ll remind you Rosa Parks went to jail for violating a law, not for her good looks.

I fail to see what Rosa Parks has to do with this discussion.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2010 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2010-09-24
dougsmith - 16 October 2010 06:22 AM

It’s just silly to claim that if one person violates the law then everyone should be investigated for legal violations.

I’ll say this: you’re free to disagree with me.

However, the United States judicial system has long standing history of manipulating laws to subvert, or imprison unpopular political views.

If you’d like, I can give an example dear to my heart.

If you’d like to look up the Espionage Act of 1917, you’ll find the origin of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.‘s phrase “you don’t have a right to shout ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre.”

This makes sense when you visit the quoted phrase on the surface. In true historical context it was used against Jewish socialist protesters of the WWI draft.

Justice Holmes stated that protesting the draft was an equivalent action to “shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre.”  A draconian, sadistic (and Supreme Court protected) interpretation of the law.

I’ve also noticed that none of you have addressed my previous points.

If this were: a group of atheists meeting for a book club, a group of artists inviting the public into their unofficial and non-local government supported Co-Op for profits not going into a taxable income, or a group of African immigrants coming together out of the only solidarity they know of in a foreign land, I doubt anyone of you would support an eviction; even if that eviction was legally permissible.
And if I have to repeat it again, my keyboard may break under the strain all of these people could be legally evicted under standing zoning laws, but none of you seem to care about that.

Ergo: selective enforcement.

So yes, I’ll say again. If you want to drag the legal system outside of its bounds, you will be held to answer for it. Perhaps not in any court you can muster, but by ethics itself.

Didn’t figure I’d have to make the argument that right action without being noticed by any other person is still right action just the same. 

The only defining factor in this eviction talk is this tiny little group’s religious views. If we changed the words Krishna (or whatever they are) into “atheist” or “socialist” or “Black Panther Party circa 1968” all of these groups could be ousted from their personally owned private property, face jail time, or worse, outright murder in the streets.

All of it could be lined up neatly in front of the American judicial system at one time or another and come out completely free of judicial intervention.

May I remind all of you here of the murders in Mississippi of civil rights workers in 1964?

No state level charges were filed, and as far as the local justice system was concerned, everything was on the level.

Tell that to the people murdered for investigating lynchings and attempting to register African Americans to vote in the face crushing intimidation.

Guess that was all fine and well if law the said so right?

And it must have been just just “silly” to attack the law makers, police officers, and judges who stood by while a minority (and I do not mean a racial minority) was butchered.

All is well because the legal system said so right? 

Yes, Doug I do mean that the police officer who rounded up voting rights activists under charges of being “under investigation” and lead them to their violent demise should be charged with the same.

Too bad that the state level investigation cleared Cecil Price of murder. He came out clean as an autoclave as far as the courts were concerned.

The fed had to step in, and the only charges they were able to muster was a six year sentence of violating the murdered activists “civil rights.”

Are you sick yet?

Is it clear yet that just because you can call the cops, and have them throw poor people out on the street on your behalf doesn’t mean you’re 100% morally or ethically in the clear?

Perhaps I’ll refer back to my dear First Amendment for help. I wonder if it has anything to do with all this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So if you take away all the Hindu specificity, where are we?

A bunch of people getting together and Betty doesn’t like it.
Sorry, but Betty is on the wrong side of this debate. I do not care what the cops, the judge, or her friends say.

To quote Abraham Lincoln, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”

I would never attempt to deprive any group of people of their right to religious freedom, their freedom of assembly, or the prohibition of government to recognise the specific religious nature of this group as evidence against their case.

Take away the religion, they’re a group of people assembling together.


The moment you’ve crossed that line and decided who may assemble with whom, and for what purpose, you are my sworn enemy.

I have no more polite a term in my vocabulary for the circumstance.

Again, feel free to disagree with me.

So when asanta says, “Now you are just being plain silly. Sure, and I’d evict someone holding garage sales on the weekend!! Which is what you will accuse me of next. I am not cherry picking you are carrying your argument to the ridiculous.

I purposely said I cannot represent your opinion out of respect. I reserve the same request the same of you now.

asanta - 15 October 2010 09:19 PM

I fail to see what Rosa Parks has to do with this discussion.

So Rosa Parks decision to violate a standing unjust law has nothing to do with what I have just mentioned in your opinion?

If I am incorrect, please enlighten me, for I make no claim to your internal thoughts or logic.

Again, out of respect.

-RC

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2010 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

The case at hand has nothing to do with political views, or indeed any views, popular or unpopular. So I don’t see your point.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2010 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2010-09-24

So when I say…

“The only defining factor in this eviction talk is this tiny little group’s religious views. If we changed the words Krishna (or whatever they are) into “atheist” or “socialist” or “Black Panther Party circa 1968” all of these groups could be ousted from their personally owned private property [due to zoning issues].” That has nothing to do with the issue in your view?

Said circumstances are just fine?

If so, you’re right, we have no debate. We just don’t agree and should leave it as such.

But if you don’t have clear evidence as to how this is not selective enforcement, I’ll be adhering to my perspective.

Funny thing about abuse of law, you never know when it is your turn to be on the receiving end of the nightstick.

Defend one, defend them all. The alternative is in no way democracy.

Also, how does it have nothing to do with “any” views?
We’re not debating if the planet earth is capable of sustaining life are we?

Just because you don’t agree with the views, doesn’t mean this issue doesn’t affect them.

I didn’t say “The moment you’ve crossed that line and decided who may assemble with whom, and for what purpose, you are my sworn enemy” because it is fun.

I actually believe this stuff.

-RC

[ Edited: 16 October 2010 08:38 PM by Ruat Caelum ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2010 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
Ruat Caelum - 16 October 2010 08:31 PM

So when I say…

“The only defining factor in this eviction talk is this tiny little group’s religious views. If we changed the words Krishna (or whatever they are) into “atheist” or “socialist” or “Black Panther Party circa 1968” all of these groups could be ousted from their personally owned private property [due to zoning issues].” That has nothing to do with the issue in your view?

Said circumstances are just fine?

If so, you’re right, we have no debate. We just don’t agree and should leave it as such.

That’s what it sounds like, yes. However just to correct a misperception: as far as I understand zoning laws, nobody would be “ousted from their personally owned private property”. They would only be enjoined from opening a temple there. Of course, if they decided to open one anyway, they would fall afoul of whatever legal remedies were on offer.

The same is true for someone who wanted to open a branch of CFI there with a public auditorium. If the zoning laws don’t allow public auditoria, then that would be illegal. (I don’t know if zoning laws would prohibit opening a CFI branch office without an auditorium).

In my building I am not allowed to open up a business. If a doctor wanted to start treating patients here, he would be legally enjoined from doing so. There may be grey areas (e.g., perhaps a psychologist would be allowed to do talking therapy here while a surgeon could not do brain surgery. I don’t know). However the principle stands. And it is a very good principle indeed, one we should all be glad for.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 October 2010 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2010-09-24

Agree to disagree I suppose.

-RC

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 November 2010 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  350
Joined  2008-12-11

More news on this issue:

DuPage proposal would ban new neighborhood churches

By Susan Frick Carlman
Nov 13, 2010
http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/news/2320376-418/county-church-zoning-dupage-islamic.html

Neighbors of a house on Army Trail Road where people come to pray together several times daily want to know why that’s being allowed.

The practice violates DuPage County zoning regulations, but enforcement of the code is on hold while the Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs completes a lengthy permitting process to use the site near West Chicago, now zoned for residential use, as a worship center. . . .

The case has assorted parallels to the Irshad Learning Center, which was proposed for property on 75th Street just east of the Naperville border. After county officials earlier this year turned down the center’s request for a conditional use permit to open an Islamic prayer site and school, they were named in a complaint alleging infringement of constitutional freedom. The 18 County Board and Zoning Board of Appeals members targeted in the suit are awaiting a court ruling on their request to have the case dismissed.

Restricting districts

The county also is taking steps to fend off future struggles between religious organizations and homeowners who don’t want them practicing their faith next door. Designed to encompass places of assembly in general, the proposed zoning code changes face considerable opposition from those who contend they would deny the faithful their right to religious freedom. . . .

The ZBA on Monday will continue hearing what people have to say about the prohibition of group gathering sites in residential areas of unincorporated DuPage. County staff say the proposed modifications would keep intensive uses from taxing the neighborhoods’ finite street, sewer and water networks. Opponents who have spoken up at the two hearing sessions held so far say it would be at odds with a long tradition of religious places comprising a pillar of community life. . . .

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2010 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  49
Joined  2008-08-01

I’m completely in agreement with Ruat on this. If you don’t understand his argument, then you don’t understand the Constitution. Of course most of this country doesn’t understand the constitution, and our rights keep slipping away.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2