Blog of Rights

A Bad Deal for South Bend: Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Gift to Religious School

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 6:01pm

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Indiana, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit yesterday against the City of South Bend, Indiana. The city spent taxpayer money to buy a piece of land in South Bend they intend to sell to the Catholic Diocese that runs St. Joseph’s High School, a private religious school.

The amount of taxpayer money that the city spent on the land: $1,200,000.

The cost to the Catholic Diocese: $1. (Coincidentally, a "Family Dollar" store sits on this land.)

By giving preference and direct aid to a religious institution, the City of South Bend has violated both the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. Residents of South Bend should expect that public funds will go toward public needs on a religion-neutral basis. Instead, their tax dollars are being used to make a million-dollar gift to a Catholic school.

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