Local U.S. community attacked AGAIN – for its Christianity!

September 20, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The community of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, is a privately owned Christian community that has acted on its faith for a century and a half.

Run by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, it was created in 1869 and houses one of the world's 20 largest pipe organs.

It's been the site of traditional and contemporary worship programs featuring speakers including Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, D. James Kennedy, and Charles Stanley.

During the Barack Obama administration, it came under attack for not allowing same-sex weddings, which would violate biblical principles, in its facilities.

It was during a time when Obama was trying to supplant the Constitution's protections for "freedom of religion" with his own ideology that included "freedom of worship."

When the Supreme Court's bare single-vote majority during Obama's tenure fabricated same-sex "marriage" for the nation, many court cases erupted and in one of those a leftist judge, David Bunning, pushed Obama's idea.

He ordered Rowan, Kentucky, County Clerk Kim Davis to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of her deeply held religious beliefs, protected by the First Amendment. He noted she was able to attend the church of her choice and believe what she wanted, but she could not practice her religion in her job. That case now is heading to the Supreme Court.

And now Ocean Grove is under attack, again, for its Christian beliefs.

Fox News is revealing that the state is threatening the community known as "God's Square Mile" because it closes its private property, and access to beaches, for a couple of hours on Sunday mornings, to create a quiet atmosphere so that residents can attend church.

The report confirmed, "The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) served a Notice of Violation to the Christian seaside community on Sept. 14 for its policy of closing its beach on 15 seasonal Sundays for a few hours on those mornings."

The state gave its notice to Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association Director of Operations Steve Columbo.

The state notice, from Robert Clark, "warned Columbo that Ocean Grove had 10 days to respond, and recommended that the association 'engage in compliance discussions with the Bureau of Coastal and Land Use Compliance & Enforcement' to resolve the matter."

In response, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association President Michael Badger told Fox it was having discussions on the dispute.

"Badger also unveiled a potential 'double standard' upheld by the NJDEP — as a neighboring community, Asbury Park, reportedly has been allowed to 'close parallel access' to the beach for an entire weekend for a music festival," the report noted.

Badger pointed out that closure was for days, far longer than the few hours of Ocean Grove's closure.

"The music festival placed sectional flooring across the entire beach, which is not objectionable to the Dept. of Environmental Protection — but keeping our beach less trampled for a few hours is in their interest," he said, suggesting the state was operating against the Christian community under a "double standard."

Ocean Grove's practices have been targeted by protesters from a group called "Neptune United," the report said.

Badger explained that OGCMA is a private, religious nonprofit that has owned the land, including beaches, boardwalks, and piers, for 154 years. He said the state's push to demand open use of the beach on Sunday mornings was an infringement of private property rights.

The original war against Ocean Grove came under Obama when his push for same-sex "marriage" created chaos in many situations across America. He often insisted that "gay" rights in the Constitution trumped its protections for religious rights.

Communities then used their adoption of "nondiscrimination" requirements, providing special rights to LGBT activists, to attack the religious rights of churches, individual Christians, and others.

At the time, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned of the dangers of succumbing to the argument for freedom of worship.

"Most Christians don't realize the danger of freedom of worship," Rafael Cruz said in an interview on "Hagee Hotline" with pastor Matthew Hagee. "Freedom of worship is not the same as freedom of religion. Every communist country around the world has freedom of worship. What freedom of worship means is you can worship inside a house of worship."

During Obama's reign, even the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights lamented that the Constitution limits governmental burdens on religion.

It claimed that "Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights."

It faulted the Constitution, which "constricts the ability of government actors to curtail private citizens' rights to the protections of nondiscrimination laws and policies."

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