Same Old Deal for New York City’s Affordable Housing for Church

“There’s a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is — The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”–Alice in the Wonderland

While Chuck Schumer is busy saving his Wall Street, A champion of Wall Street reaps the benefits….

“All that money, all the things and the stuff, it’s very un-Icelandic. The wanting, the conspicuous consumption, the avarice and ambition, the pathetic jealousy, that isn’t us. A great weight has been lifted now the money and the desires are gone. We can get back to being who we are.” —Icelandic woman at a bar

Who will fight for

A synagogue?

“If a single entity owned New York’s 579 synagogues—as the Archdiocese owns as corporation sole most Catholic churches—it would be the largest religious property owner in the city. Instead, the highly diverse synagogues—from Orthodox to Reform—tend to go untracked by planners until disaster strikes, as it did last spring when the extraordinarily beautiful roof of the Lower East Side’s First Roumanian-American Congregation collapsed. Despite many last ditch efforts, the synagogue was demolished, after the Department of Buildings ruled it too dangerous to stand. “–Manhattan Institute

A Church?

Essentially a Church got old (born in 1923) and became monetarily handicapped (People started tuning into social networks and iPod not a physical church). In an effort to repair itself it held catering events in the church during off hours. The City gave them the right to do so and then reneged when real estate development got Hot!! (spelled Euros) New York City asked the church to pay up as a corporation; a request that would bankrupt the church.

The church won their recent court case. New York City is paying our tax dollars to battle the church further. Now that the Euros are gone, all that is left is false pride or coverup?

Would you, as a New York City taxpayer, feel upright about putting a church or synogogue in the hands of a major commercial real estate developer? That’s basically what the City and its friends have been doing since Bloomberg took office.

The Duh! factor. First they get the Landmarks Preservation Commission to say oh we have more than one of those, not a landmark.
Then the Power factor. Municipal Art Society.

I, for one, am on the Church’s side and say Kick Ass! I hope they receive triple damages for attorney’s fees and all the wasted time and energy. Church of Christ is one of a few organizations struggling to keep what’s left of integrity and beauty in the city; we should support them.

MASNYC’s latest headline “A Lawsuit’s Potential Crippling Effect” never bears fruit. In their dogma, they state:

“If interpreted too broadly, RLUIPA could be understood to mean that religious institutions are exempt from such regulations. In fact, in 2004 MAS filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a case challenging the Constitutionality of the Act.”

What does that mean? It means nothing.
First off, the Municipal Art Society’s (MAS) function is not one to decide regulation of real estate and churches in the city. If their acted out function was legit then MAS would not be a private non-profit as they claim and they too should be regulated or legislated per such function; they are not. They have no legislative or inherent power in New York City; they only have “beliefs” which they seek to weld upon our heads.

“The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is a private, non-profit membership organization that aggressively champions excellence in urban design and planning and the preservation of the best of New York’s past. The Society believes that the physical city – its light, air, land and open spaces – and its sensible development are critical to New York’s continued economic health and social well-being. “–museum’s listing

In business since 1983, their Board of Directors are filled to the brim with today’s defenders and causers of maladjusted bankruptcies and commercial real estate.

Religious institutions should be exempt from corporate regulations when they are not corporations. To date other churches on Park Avenue that are corporations have and are pursuing “major fund raisers” and they have not come under the taxation of the extraordinary darkness that New York City is venting upon the Church of Christ.

A smart city would say this is a beautiful place, an extraordinary place, and the monies are being spent to keep it up. How lucky are we? I see nowhere in the brief that the Church has spent money for frivolity or betterment of its administration. The netted extracurricular earnings have gone solely to the repair of the church. When you look at non-profits they are hardly that at all, look at the salary ratio to benefit of their cause and their investments. In 2007 MAS reported 13.95M in assets and 13.95M in liabilities and net assets. See their 2007 Audit.

Admit that the same forces that stole the New York City public branch libraries right out from under the public and Andrew Carnegie’s donor intent now want our churches and synagogues and you are on the road to “Kick Ass and the Sell Will Follow.” There is no inherent or statutory law that grants funds for the New York City Against Churches campaign, no provision to treat one church or synagogue differently than another. We would not have lost a most beautiful synagogue if they had pursued upkeep as the Church of Christ did. It is a good thing that we have people in this country like the Church of Christ who not only fight for their church but in the process write law that will help all other churches and synagogues that are on their way to demolition status.
Stop by and visit this church, its one of the few peaceful spots remaining in NYC.
583 Park Avenue, New York City

How much is that Air Space Outside the Window?

LO VE at the corner of 53rd and Sixth waited even for a fool

Who will handle Catering at City Hall, now that Rover has moved over??

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