LIA/R Files Suit

No, not against me. Zach’s story has spread to far that I’m now getting my news from all over. The latest is that Love in Action has filed suit against Tennessee.

Before today’s deadline the state gave Love in Action organizers three options. Change their mission, get a state mental health license or shut its doors.The group answered back by filing a federal lawsuit against the state. Love in Action attorney Nate Kellum says government has no right to regulate Love in Action. That’s why he filed a complaint against the state in federal court.

“Its repugnant for a faith based institution, a Christian ministry to come under the regulation of the state,” said Kellum.

Without a mental health license, state law prohibits the group from assisting more than one person with a diagnosed mental illness.

“Although Love in Action in its religious ministry has absolutely nothing to do with mental health services whatsoever,” Kellum said.

Did you catch that? “It is repugnant for a faith based institution to come under the regulation of the state.” Translation: Religious organizations are above the law.

Hopefully, the suite won’t go anywhere. If they’re offering treatment for alcohol and drug addiction they they ought to have a license, and the state should shut them down if they don’t. Period.

What’re more interesting is that that there’s going to be a documentary about LIA/R.

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About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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6 Responses to LIA/R Files Suit

  1. KipEsquire says:

    Yeah, right. So I suppose Notre Dame, Brigham Young and Yeshiva University are all exempt from government regulation? Or every St. Judes’ hospital in the country?

    This is most likely a fund-raising stunt aimed at their base.

  2. Peregrinato says:

    I’m going to be unpopular, i know. First I need a caveat: In no way does LIA/R represent the best (or even “the okay”) of faith-based social services, and am I in no way supporting them.

    Now, let me add a comment. You say: Did you catch that? “It is repugnant for a faith based institution to come under the regulation of the state.” Translation: Religious organizations are above the law.

    I don’t actually agree with your translation. What LIA/R is talking about is that fine line between separation of church and state. It is a common one-sidedness to think that the separation of church and state (the Establishment Clause) is to protect the state from the church. It also goes the other way around, to not have a state-controlled church.

    There is a certain truth that faith-based organizations are not subject to certain federal regulations–thus their lack of federal funding. That’s why there are parochial schools. Clearly, LIA/R’s statement goes too far. You can’t use that defense to say that a Christian doctor doesn’t need a medical license.

    So LIA/R is dangerous and full of crap, and their statement certainly twists the establishment clause; I’m just trying to make sure you don’t think that federal regulation should be involved in the nuts and bolts of faith based organizations (unless they’re receiving federal funds, or unless they are performing certain services that require professional standards, as in this case.)

    I’m tired, and I’m not sure I’m communicating myself. I just want to make sure that we all remember that the separation of church and state is designed to keep religion from controlling the state, and to keep the state from controlling religion as well.

  3. worldcitizen says:

    I just want to make sure that we all remember that the separation of church and state is designed to keep religion from controlling the state, and to keep the state from controlling religion as well.

    Well, actually, the First Amendment just says that the state shall not “establish” an official religion. At least, that’s what Scalia and his originalists are always telling us, isn’t it?

    I disagree with the idea that the government shouldn’t be able to regulate religion, regardless of what the First Amendment says or doesn’t. One of the first regulations should be the requirement that they file annual financial statements, just like all other non-profits do.

  4. The State of TN is not trying to regulate LIA’s religious activities or beliefs, rather the state is responsible for the welfare of its citizens. LIA can run an “ex-gay” program, that is not the problem they state has with it. Rather it is HOW LIA goes about doing so in light of the mentally ill patients they have serviced through the years (folks with bi-polar disorder, clinical depresssion, etc).

    In order to work wtih this population, one needs to ensure certain safeguards. The state monitors to make sure these are in place. It is really simple.

    I site some examples of improper treatment treatment I witnessed in my two years at LIA. Other commenters who also attended/survived the program weigh in too.

  5. Mike Rock says:

    I really wish “progressives” and activists and the “liberal media” would stop going along with the “faith-based organization” moniker kraptrap.

    The word is “religious organization”. A is A. We say we are against Bush’s neocon dominionist right wing fascist agenda, and then let them put their words in our mouths. Revolting.

  6. Candace says:

    Hmm….Interesting how Love in Action is SO UPSET about the state interfering with this so-called religious institution.  Welcome to our world honey, because the state regulates our lives every day from our bedrooms to our relationships to protecting our families

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