Eminent Domain: Separation of a Black Church and Their Land

Eminent domain

No longer satisfied with just taking your house, they want your church, too. Especially if you are poor and black…

From The NY Times

With bulldozers churning up the earth at the front door, the small Centennial Baptist Church in this struggling industrial hub west of Tulsa seems about to fall to the wrecker.

But the construction is just roadwork, for now. And that is all it will ever be if the congregation has its way.

“The Lord didn’t send me here to build a minimall,” said the longtime pastor, the Rev. Roosevelt Gildon.

In what a local newspaper called “a battle between God Almighty and the almighty dollar,” Sand Springs is moving ahead with a redevelopment plan to clear the church and other occupants from the rundown district near downtown to make way for superstores like the Home Depot.

Surely the U.S. Constitution provides the solution for this one:

No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Because the Kelo decision makes it even easier for the local government to underbid, the following should not surprise us:

He said the offer of $142,000 for the church and two extra lots was not enough to move to a new location where he could serve his 50 or so regular members. He said he was “praying over” the question of a counteroffer. “If I have to move,” he said, “we’re not going out of existence.”

This is not an issue of Democrat v. Republican or black v. white. It’s a matter of government v. you, and it has to stop right now!

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. The egregiousness of Kelo seemed lost on the gasbags grilling Alito. The author of this piece incorporated language from the fourth Amendment, “No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process…”. Kelo brings to mind Additional language of the Founders. “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary…” and “Shall not be infringed.”