Would You Rather Have a Costco or a Church on the Corner?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, September 9, 2002

Would You Rather Have a Costco or a Church on the Corner?

We're supposed to have church-state separation in this country, right? Well, only when it suits liberals.

In the town of Cypress, California, officials are trying to seize land purchased by a tax-exempt Christian group for a new church. The officials argue that they have a "compelling interest" for the property to be occupied by a taxable business.

City officials would rather see a COSTCO wholesale store on the premises, contending it would generate 350 jobs and bring in as much as $900,000 a year in tax revenue. A community development director said he did not view the establishment of a church as consistent with the "goals and objectives for development of this key piece of property."

The church's pastor says there is no room for the people now coming to the current building and he is forced to turn people away. Rev. Bayless Conley says the church paid $13 million for the prime land in 1999.

So far, a local judge is on the side of the church, but it will go to trial and, after all, it is liberal California. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.